We were big fans of Bunker Coffee and would often recommend it to our veggie and vegan friends. While there were meat dishes on the menu, we felt there was a real commitment to providing hearty and healthy vegan substitutes for breakfast and brunch. News that it was to become Flat Caps second outlet in the city raised the question of whether there’d still be something on offer, besides the coffee, to tempt us to return.I remember there was a Kickstarter in the middle of last year (2016) to fund the opening of a second coffee shop alongside the original Flat Caps Coffee, which was located in a basement on Ridley Terrace. After this successful campaign the opportunity to take over Bunker Coffee came about, which seems like a natural progression for the brand.
There are subtle difference internally, with the bare chipboard replaced with replaced with painted surfaces and a more comfortable relaxation area, should you manage to grab one of the sofas.
What remains is the laidback atmosphere, and Flat Caps is very much a place you can come to work or chat with friends. Open 7 days a week, we popped in for a Sunday brunch. While there was a vegetarian breakfast option, the vegan choice was Avocado on Toast. Looking at the menu options, it may have been possible to craft something from if the BBQ Beans and Sweet Potato Hash Browns were free from dairy or egg, but I decided not to over-complicate things. The Sweet Potato, Coconut & Chilli Soup was suitable and, as I had a stinking cold, seemed like the best choice for me.The Teen opted for the Chilli Nachos, which would have been vegan-friendly without the cheese and sour cream topping. Bursting with beans, the chilli had an aromatic warmth rather than a ‘blow your boots off’ heat. The same could be said for my soup, which was lightly spiced and creamy.
With a board behind the counter listing the different types of teas and coffees on offer, as well as daily specials, no visit need be the same. Almond milk is available, although I didn’t try out what was on offer. Instead the Teen ordered a Hot Chocolate, which was served in a mug that lasted him a while.
With a range of sweet treats lined up begging to be purchased, he tried out the Nutella Brownie (£2.50). Made by the famous Pet Lamb ladies, the Teen said it was ‘peng’. Whatever that means.
While I’ll mourn the loss of Bunker’s Sweet Potato (Vegan) Brownies for a little while longer (there was nothing I could have for afters that didn’t feature dairy or egg), I’d still be more than happy to return to Flat Caps for a leisurely brunch. With baby change facilities and high chairs, it is also baby-friendly, so I know I can pop in with Dinky if I’m wanting to escape the same four walls. The menu is helpfully labelled and prices remain around the £4-£5 mark for lunch, ensuring it remains on my Top 10 Budget Places to eat in the Toon.
Thanks for reading,