*London cafes: your very best recommendations, please!

Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by editor, Mar 26, 2003.

  1. IMR

    IMR well-meaning tosser

    'My Tea Shop' underneath London Bridge Station on Duke Hill Street has re-opened following the death of Ronaldo, its previous and long-time owner. This must be one of the smallest, cosiest cafes in London, not counting the green huts used by cab drivers.

    The new owners have kept the interior just as it was, complete with a good square yardage of vintage Formica. The Still water boiler alas has disappeared, but they've stopped making spare parts for them. The food remains slightly better quality than most cafe fry-ups which are usually all done on the griddle these days.

    Scotti's Snack Bar on Clerkenwell Green is a nice old-school cafe run by a father-and-son team. The interior is very worn but kept clean in a spartan masculine fashion. When it is gone it will be replaced with some walk-in looking glass for ambitious people to preen in, so visit it while you still can.
  2. Ceej

    Ceej Where is my mind?

    I was going to say this - New Goodfare is an ex-Italian coffee shop that's been there since about 1960 and has the oldest waitresses in the world, fantastically efficient. Great food too.

    Would also add the Cafe Grill in Camden High Street, towards Mornington Crescent - Italian run, lovely staff, loud Italian opera and other classical toons, cheap, fresh and and very cheerful. Super kid-friendly too.
  3. Nixon

    Nixon peanut butter n.w.o.

    There's a place on Kingsland Road on the same side as the Rio called Red Cafe I think (or something similarly pants).Inside is nice though.Kinda Turkish decor.Newspapers,smiley staff (who've served me food in a variety of states).
    It's the only place in Dalston that i've found where you can get a fry up on a Sunday evening (in fact whenever it's open)..cause sometimes that's the time im awake and functioning after a weekend partying.They do proper Turkish coffee,nice bread,lovely grills,sandwiches,Turkish breakfasts..I go for the biggest fry up which consists of fried tomato,fried bacon (smokey none of that cheap shite),sausage,fried mushrooms,hash browns (again proper),eggs done as you want,beans,toast and onion rings for 5-6 quid.It's pretty good value for money for the amount of food you get and also it makes a change having a non greasy fry up with nice ingredients instead of bog standard cheap stuff...
  4. Itziko

    Itziko Gone AWOL

    Can someone enlighten me as to what's happening with Pogo Cafe in Hackney? apologies if it's been discussed elsewhere, and please link me to the discussions if applicable.

    I know they had serious problems, I know it's changed hands, the last time I was there the staff were so clueless that they wildly undercharged me... and the food wasn't that good. Not to mention that waiting for one hour to get your food has become standard. i would be a real shame if such a great place went to the dogs, even if they are Vegan dogs :( (and btw, i'm not a Vegan, I just like all kinds of good food).
  5. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

  6. Itziko

    Itziko Gone AWOL

    Thank you Citizen66, I knew about the Pogo blog, but I wanted the innocent bystanders' view of the whole issue. That's the funniest thread I've read for a while :)
  7. editor

    editor hiraethified

    From my blog - this is a great Soho cafe with loads of proper tea and lashings of free wi-fi.

    This is a lovely tea shop/cafe in the heart of Soho. You can smell the leaves of the many blends on offer before ordering, and they do some pretty fine food too.
    If you bag yourself an upstairs seat, you can watch Soho go by as you drink your tea (or coffee, if you must), and there’s free wi-fi on offer, so you can get some work done – if you’re not busy chomping on the cakes.
    It’s well worth a visit. Yumchaa is at 45 Berwick Street, London W1F 8SF, and they’ve also got cafes at Camden Lock and Camden parkway and stalls at various street markets – check out their website: yumchaa.co.uk.
    UrbaneFox likes this.
  8. toblerone3

    toblerone3 Grrrrr

    Valtaro's in Marchmont Street is excellent. English breakfast with all the trimmings including bubble and squeak and black pudding. Also does cheap and filling simple pasta dishes. Very popular with taxi drivers.

    It is also mentioned in The Pogues song Transmetropolitan


    By Shane MacGowan (1984)
    In the rosy parks of England
    We'll sit and have a drink
    Of VP wine and cider 'till we can hardly think
    And we'll go where the spirits take us
    To heaven or to hell
    And kick up bloody murder in the town we love so well

    Going transmetropolitan, Yip-ay-aye
    From the dear old streets of Kings Cross
    To the doors of the ICA
    Going transmetropolitan, Yip-ay-aye
    We'll drink the rat's piss, kick the shite
    And I'm not going home tonight, Yip-ay-aye

    From Brixton's lovely boulevards
    To Hammersmith's sightly shores
    We'll scare the Camden Palace poofs
    And worry all the whores
    There's lechers up in Whitehall
    And queers in the GLC
    And when we've done those bastards in
    We'll storm the BBC

    Going transmetropolitan, Yip-ay-aye
    From Surrey Docks to Somers Town
    With a KMRIA
    Going transmetropolitan, Yip-ay-aye
    We'll drink the rat's piss, kick the shite
    And I'm not going home tonight, Yip-ay-aye

    From a five-bob bet in William Hills
    To a Soho sex-shop dream
    From a fried egg in Valtaro's
    To a Tottenham Court Road ice cream
    We'll spew and lurch, get nicked and fixed
    On the way we'll kill and maim
    When you haven't got a penny, boys
    It's all the bloody same

    Going transmetropolitan, Yip-ay-aye
    From Pentonville Road on a sunset eve
    To the beauty that's Mill Lane
    Going transmetropolitan, Yip-ay-aye
    We'll drink the rat's piss, kick the shite
    And I'm not going home tonight, Yip-ay-aye

    This town has done us dirty
    This town has bled us dry
    We've been here for a long time
    And we'll be here 'till we die
    So we'll finish off the leavings
    Of blood and glue and beer
    And burn this fucking city down
    Every the summer of the year

    Going transmetropolitan, Yip-ay-aye
    From Arlington House with a two-bob bit
    To the Scottish shores today
    Going transmetropolitan, Yip-ay-aye
    We'll drink the rat's piss, kick the shite
    And I'm not going home tonight, Yip-ay-aye, Yip-ay-aye, Yip-ay-aye!
  9. IMR

    IMR well-meaning tosser

    Wenlock Cafe in Murray Grove off Shepherdess Walk, Hoxton. Plain and simple cafe run by a Turkish family serving up staples like chili con carne, shepherds pie, etc. Prices are good and the food is alright too: lasagne and chips with a bit of side salad for about £5. Big portions. Lots of the dishes do actually seem home-cooked, like they claim on the menu.

    I like the Shepherdess Cafe nearby but it's always rampacked at lunchtime.
  10. IMR

    IMR well-meaning tosser

    Recently had the pleasure - no, the honour - of visiting the Tonibell Cafe in Borehamwood. So named after the Tonibell ice cream factory nearby and yard for their fleet of pink-painted ice cream vans. These had their own signature tune: 'Tonibell Time'.

    The food is nothing special, but so what? Go into the cafe and you enter a Rhapsody in Formica. A remarkable survivor. Featured on this site with some photos: http://www.greasy-spoon-cafes.zoomshare.com/15.html.
  11. editor

    editor hiraethified

  12. braindancer

    braindancer not for long

    Awesome! I'm a regular here but had never picked up on the Pogues lyric.....
  13. editor

    editor hiraethified

  14. Black Halo

    Black Halo Well-Known Member

    I love that place it is really cool also the location of one of my favourite photos on my flickr stream - http://www.flickr.com/photos/neasanoneill/4018415153/

    Has any one mentioned The Kennington Lane Cafe (http://www.welovelocal.com/en/london/lambeth/vauxhall/cafes/kennington-lane-cafe-se115qy.html)? First place I head for a fry-up when I'm looking to spoil myself.

    There is also a greasy spoon on Portobello road which my father and I hit when he is over and wants to see the market first thing Saturday morning. I don't know its name but is beside the Tesco at W11 1LJ (just where streetview breaks down) and at the weekends hidden behind a pile of merchandise from the stall outside. OK after some googling apparently it is called Eves Market Cafe.
  15. editor

    editor hiraethified

  16. DJ Pat

    DJ Pat New Member

    After all my years visiting the Hercules Cafe, Hercules Street N7, it seems to have closed down. Last week on a visit to the area it was closed three days running on the days I went.

    I know the original owners retired after doing up the flats above, and the place was left to Giovanni, one of the old chefs. They took out the old chairs and tables, and dismantled half the kitchen area. Thus losing its character. It seemed cold and atmosphere-less on my last visit when it was open (a year ago).

    I miss their specials from back in the day. A large plate of lamb casserole and veg for only £3.50.........
  17. IMR

    IMR well-meaning tosser

    The Double Six in Eversholt Street, Euston, has now shut. A real shame as it had a lot of character and was a good place to loaf around for an hour or two. Seekers of traditional cafes now have to roam further and further afield. The Rhiedol Rooms in Rheidol Terrace, Islington is still there and worth a visit.
  18. TitanSound

    TitanSound Mr Beardy Drummer

    Having grown up in Archway, I'm familiar with this place! My dad used to take us there for a treat after an early morning shopping trip to Safeway.
  19. itsbruce

    itsbruce New Member

    The Beanery cafe opened up near me quite recently and I've been very happy to see it there. Good coffee, nice pizza.
  20. little_legs

    little_legs Поехали!

    If you a meat eater and want to try seriously good American BBQ food, try the Pitt Cue Co. van which is currently sitting underneath the Hungerford Bridge at Southbank. They are open Tue-Sun, 1pm - 10pm. Pulled pork + Boston beans + coleslaw combo is the best, but they also do ribs, brisket (they let me try a bit of brisket today and it's delicious), chicken, and all kinds of other yummy stuff. They also do whiskey, beer, and lemonade.


    (2nd pic source: Helen Graves)
  21. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

  22. Maggot

    Maggot The Cake of Liberty

    UrbaneFox likes this.
  23. dtno

    dtno New Member

    little_legs - Completely agree, Pitt Cue is brilliant. Must be terrible for veggies though...

    Time Out's 101 things to do in London guide has got some information on the capital's best cafes, as well as other places to eat...seems interesting, especially the bit about Turkish food around Dalston.
  24. wtfftw

    wtfftw melting like a toastie

    That's a shame. :( I used to go there.
  25. editor

    editor hiraethified

  26. stethoscope

    stethoscope Well-Known Member

    Possibly not the most ideal thread for this, but didn't think it warranted its own and weren't sure where else it might go tbh.

    Anyway, just wanted to pay a tribute to First Out cafe in Soho, which will be closing its doors for good on the 29th October after 25 years - fallen victim of Crossrail.


    "First Out Cafe calls last orders on London's gay scene"

    Used to go there many times in the 90s, and whereas other LGBT cafes/bars became all glitz and glam trying to vie for every bit of the so-called 'pink pound', First Out remained a really friendly and down to earth little place for a great coffee and lunch and meet others.
  27. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat Santa is an evilous man

  28. davesgcr

    davesgcr Reading books

    Apologies for this if it has been listed already - but the Modern Snack Bar (I think) on Pentonville Road - near the Scala and the Old Thameslink station does a cracking home cooked breakfast for a modest sum - had a prelim in there this am before a meeting , had tea , scrambled eggs , 2 of bacon and my colleauge off the sleeper train (being Scottish) - had egg , chips and sausage - all in + tip for a tenner.

    Mark of approval comes from the LFB who collected a phoned , large , take away breakfast order. :)
  29. harpo

    harpo Listening to Radio Jackie

    The Nile St caff on Nile St (N1) recently changed hands from one Turkish family to another. It was always a good solid caff but it's into another dimension now. As well as your standard menu; groaningly large fried breakfasts, lunches, grill and suchlike, they're now doing quite an unusual range of Turkish meals. All plates pretty much under a fiver. They maintain a central pot of leaf tea too, none of the teabags in cups malarkey. Days only, sadly (they shut about 3.30ish), but highly recommended.
  30. MrSki

    MrSki Who am I to say you're wrong

    Just had a tuna & spring onion crusty roll for £1.30.

    Bacon & egg sandwich is £2.00. I would recommend this place too.
    davesgcr likes this.

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