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*London cafes: your very best recommendations, please!


Originally posted by dum dum
Bassment Jo deserves a mention in the cafe guide Ed , lovely peeps nice food , vibes n all.
You'll have to give me a little more info than that!
I need the address, what kind of food it serves and what's good about it...
Can't believe no one's mentioned E Pellicci!

'Tis on Bethnal Green Road, just east of the junction with Vallance Road. It's run by an old Italian cockney family, and opened in about 1900, and the current capo di tutti capi (good call :D ) is a 60-something bloke with a fine perm and a pencil moustache - he would have looked well dapper back in the day. The place is only about 20ft by 20ft square and you'll get crammed onto tables any which way, the walls are art deco wood-panelled and covered in photos of the Pelliccis with Babs Windsor, Patsy Palmer and other such east end slebs, and the food is good traditional home-cooked fare with a slightly Italian flavour. Atmosphere is fantastic, and they even have a bizarre aquarium with a vomiting Romanesque fountain in it.

Big up the Brick Lane Bagel Bake, and mention the fantastic apple strudels which are about 25p each. Also one of the few places in London you can get decent black bread. Evering bakery next door is, for the most part, not as good, but if there's a bit of a queue at the Bagel Bake their cream cheese and salad bagels are nicer to be honest.

Cafe 1001 is good, and despite its potential wankiness it just has a good atmosphere. And they do good pasteis de natas, which is pretty damn important I reckon.

Don't know much outside east London. There used to be a couple of wonderful places in Soho (some vegetarian restaurant right next to Liberty's springs to mind) but I think they're mostly closed down now.

edited to shrink Pellicci's

i did mention pellicci a couple of posts above, but called it pellucci. but it's the best in london n'est pas?

ps. i've fallen in love with an aussie girl. damn
Begosh Max, that you did.

Tis a great place, as I said.

Why you no call me back when I coming down to Melbourne?

BTW, I could be heading in the same direction re: Aussie girls. Or one of em.


New Member
The Red Cafe, Portobello Road.

Well actually it's located just south of the West Way, 20 metres off Portobello in a square on Tavistock Road.

Red has only been open a few weeks but is definitely worth a visit.

Simple decor, nice coffee, friendly owner / staff.

Food is fairly simple - I just had a baguette of Turkish meatballs (yum yum yum!). Veggie friend of mine said selection was acceptable, and good quality.


Mrs Magpie

On a bit of break...
The Astral, on the corner of Maunsell St and Rutherford St, SW1 (Just off Horseferry Rd).
Truly an excellent cafe. The pasta is home-made, as in fresh pasta and the rest is honest-to-goodness caff grub. The steak pie is home-made, and sadly, not a patch on the Phoenix in Brixton (the best pastry I have ever tasted), but heaps better than mass-produced pies.
Deservedly well-loved by cabbies, and a very convenient distance from the Royal Oak (a Youngs pub) on Rutherford St.


chunk the second
Originally posted by Mrs Magpie
The Astral, on the corner of Maunsell St and Rutherford St, SW1 (Just off Horseferry Rd).

That's literally 20m from my front door, and in 2 yrs i've sadly never been in....that's first on my list for tomorrow morning then!!
Cheers for the recommendation


New Member
I'm surprised Cafe Cairo isn't listed

Hello all:cool:

I just had a quick look at the posts here and didn't see Cafe Cairo on Clapham / Brixton boarder listed, it is in Landor Rd (if you come out of Clapham North station; Landor Rd is on your right, there is a Pub on one corner and a shop on the other, unless you come out backwards then its on your left;) ) it is 5 minutes walk from the station.

It is an Egyptian coffee shop and is really cool, down stairs there is a room; very dark and loud music and upstairs at the back it is as if you are sitting in a very colourful tent :D

Good food good drink and lots of chatty people. Give it a go!

<//////////////////////////////////////@ ~~~~~~~~~

Sorry: humungous image removed - Spud


Music Studios & Cafe
201-205 Hackney Rd. London E2 8JL
TEL: 0207 729 7593

This is my favourite cafe in London.

Fabulous breakfasts, luscious bacon sarnies, free newspapers, cheerful staff and the chance of bumping or listening in to whichever band happens to be recording in the studio downstairs.

The numerous signed photos on the walls also provide interesting reading if the daily news is just too much.

Funnily enough, I always remember it being sunny when I'm in there, even when I know I dashed in to get out of the rain.



Well-Known Member
Dolce's on Whitecross St, off Old St EC1 is cool. Nice staff, quick service when they're not too busy! and make the best ciabattas/panini/foccaccia etc. in central london ;)


Well-Known Member
Originally posted by Spud Murphy III
Kings Cross: two good cafes have been lost here recently: the Railway (underneath St Pancras Station) and Bar Uno, formerly the Beehive, formerly the A1. The old lady, Maria, who ran it has now retired.
Sorry to hear about the Beeehive going. I used to know it well, as I lived round the corner from there one summer. It was the kind of place where you could turn up after not having been in for years and they'd greet you immediately.

A lot of caffs I used to know have closed. Are there fewer caffs around now than there used to be, or do they simply come and go, with new ones starting up as others close?

Spud Murphy III

Housewives' choice
There are fewer caffs in London now than there used to be, especially in Central London.

I have a book called the 'Good Cafe Guide' published in 1981, which lists around 120 caffs in and around Central London. From a sample of around 40, I found that less than half still survive as independent concerns.

There was recent Euromonitor market research report published about this, quoted on the radio (thanks hatboy). They found that around 1 in 9 traditional-style caffs had closed for good in the UK over the last 5 years.

Competition has come from fast-food outlets, sandwich bars, and 'ready meals'. Changes in the nature of the workforce will have had an impact too.

Caffs in city centre areas have also faced extortionate rent rises from commercial property landlords, who are often keen to force out the small family-run concern to make room for a corporate tenant, thereby increasing the value of their property portfolios.


New Member
Two places: if it's still there, the wonderful "Cha Bar" in Bloomsbury, near Kings X end: the best Lond-indian teas and sandwiches ever!
And not strictly speaking a cafe but more of a sandwich place (you can see what I like ;-) is City Snacks, on Theobald's Road, Holborn. Watch out for the father & sons banter :)


Well-Known Member
My fave smoke free cafes:

Bean 'n' Cup Cafe
104 Camden High Street (NW1) tel 020 7267 7340
Very clean and friendly family run café 100% smoke free. The smaller seating area at the entrance to the cafe is bright but rather formal and is often frequented by older Camden locals. There is a lovely much larger area to the rear of the café with massive comfy sofas that attracts a cosmopolitan, media savvy clientele. The cafe serves excellent coffee, a range of soft drinks, herbal teas, sandwiches and nice cakes at reasonable prices.

First Out
52 St Giles' High Street (WC2) tel 020 7240 8042
First Out has a non-smoking café upstairs and a smoky café downstairs. Their welcoming and friendly staff serve wonderful veggie meals, cakes and drinks. Very community orientated and a great place for women on their own to meet without being hassled.

Psychedelic Dream Temple
Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road
Camden Town (NW1) tel 020 7267 5828
New Agey CD/record and bookshop in the heart of Camden Market. Upstairs (no disabled access) is an exquisitely decorated 100% smoke free Middle Eastern style café serving organic smoothies, herbal teas, coffee and a selection of Arabic teas (beautifully served in traditional silver pots and gold decorated glasses) as well as a range of vegan and veggie cakes and Middle Eastern pastries. The seating consists of sofas covered with oriental rugs and the tables are intricately carved in oriental style. The sofas near the window are the best, as from them you can enjoy the ambience of the cafe while watching the crowds pass by on the cobbled paving below. Music policy ambient / middle eastern / world music 11am- 4pm and then trance / acid trance after 4.
7 days, 11am - 6.30pm.

longer list of smoke free cafes availble on request. :)


make love and war
High Barn. N5

The Stingray Cafe in Highbury Barn

It's called a cafe although the standards are much higher than I would consider a cafe to be. It has a very cosy and intimate atmosphere with candles lit in the evening.

Their food is mostly Italian ... With a limited but very tasty menu. I particularly enjoyed the Spinach and Mushroom Risotto.
They also serve excellent coffees, fruit juice combinations and alcohol.

Although on our last visit Yossarian felt like jumping over the counter, grabbing the waitress by her apron and forcing her to change the music....Phil Collins 'Greatest Hits' was playing on a loop. :D :D

Paulie Tandoori

shut it you egg!
Best for Cheese and Mushroom omlette, chips and baked beans without a shadow of a doubt - Leo's Cafe on Stokie High St, the one opposite the end of Church St (altho the one near Dalston is good as well), once you've been spotted in their more than twice, they throw your tea in for free (don't tell 'em i told ya).

Best for fulsome veggie selection - Bodrum Cafe, Stokie High St, does 6 (SIX!!!!) set veggie breakfasts, plus Turkish brekkies and a wide variety of decent scran, newspapers, few types but if you go in the week, you can avoid them.

Best RIP cafe - Quality Cafe at the bottom of Wells Street, Homerton used to be superb grub and nice people but then we spotted a cockroach and stopped going.

Also worthy of mention are Rosa's Cafe on a road off Commercial St, towards Brick Lane at the North East side of Spitalfields market, good cheap food and good service and if you can't get a seat, there's another cafe 2 doors up, result:)


Who am I to say you're wrong
Blue River Cafe King's Cross Northdown Street.

Clean friendly reasonably priced.

The real selling point is that if you are with people who like a drink then you can go and get a pint in the pub across the road and have your meal served in the boozer.

Only open till about 5 pm and shut at weekends but if your in King's Cross on a weekday it's a place worth checking out.

It has tables outside for those wishing to enjoy the weather and watching the world go by.


tram enthusiast
Check out H's in Rotherhithe...anyone know it? It's on Moodkee St by the Albion boozer. You'd think there'd be weird happenings on Moodkee but there aint.
The owner (H obviously) looks like Gianluca Vialli and funnily enough used to be a Turkish professional footballer. The Grub is top drawer and massive portions..take a refibulator (or whatever those heart massge/exploders are bloody called).
It's like stepping back to 1968..everything in there is old but looked after. There's a bloke working there called Remi who once saw me coming out of the bookies and is convinced I'm a gambler. he has a Bobby Ball perm which he keeps under a hairnet to avoid tangling with the hash browns.
The slogan on the ouutside says "Where you know you've had a sandwich"..this is hilarious as H doesn't do sarnies. He fears the sarnie. grease only.

Another one is Kens Caff in Green Street Upton pk, right next to the beautiful West Ham United Boleyn ground. Pics of Bobby Moore, Billy Bonds et al..look down at yer bubble with envy. Carol does the shouting "Number 65, eggs, chips, bacon, 2 slices" and all that. You get a bingo ticket for that bit. Once saw David Essex in there which freaked me right out cos he used to go out with my Mum. AND NO - I haven't got curly bloody hair..


Originally posted by Batfink
Once saw David Essex in there which freaked me right out cos he used to go out with my Mum. AND NO - I haven't got curly bloody hair..
Are you sure Ringo is not your Father. :p


tram enthusiast
...you been watching that film haven't you..whatever it's called..Keef Moon was in it too. It's really funny when Essex is on the telly..my Mum goes red and really really stares at the screen and my Old Man gets the hump and starts looking over his paper for the remote.
This is nothing - my mate Simon is Ian"Lovejoy" McShane's cousin and Tony Adams chased me round school, held me down, and wrote c*** across my forehead. I've gone way off the thread here. Might start one up on this sort of vein.."Abuse you've taken at the hands of the famous".
Hopefully no-one will tell us about their troubles with Jimmy Saville.


Banned Derek/Steelgate/Twat
Govinda's vegetarian restaurant on Soho Street near Soho Square is a good cafe. They do a huge range of resonably priced vegetarian meals. The cafe is run by the Hare Krishnas.


tram enthusiast

I agree..it is really good but do you remember when it used to be a lot better? Bit cheaper/larger portions..still can't complain as it's top notch still. There used to be another veggie Indian cafe round the corner from there called the Mandeer..Hanway St.. that was the best one in Central London I reckon.


Vakmanschap is Meestersch
Frank's Cafe, Commercial Road opposite Limehouse tube station(bit far out for most I know :p )

2 great all rounders with 2 rounds of bread & butter & 4 cups of sweet tea about £7.50 - quality!

Also Benjy's on Earl's Court Road, nr. tube - big rave reviews in that Aussie mag and other sources but not nearly greasy enough! Lovely Eastern Bloc girls working there and food cheap & good when I went in.....v. flirtly even when you got horrid hangover red eyes :D

All good



New Member
The Toads Mouth Too in Brockley Road, SE4.

Beautiful cafe not long opened, they have local artists and photographers work on display for sale and a great garden area. They have just been granted a booze license and I believe have live music on occassionally too. Well worth a visit. Oh and food and coffee too!


A certain Man U fan ; )
has anyone mentioned the copper kettle on or near liverpool st?
nice,clean,efficiently fast,looks like it aint changed since the sixties



I like Coffee @ Brick Lane, even if just for the fact that I once went in their on a Sunday morning and they were playing Warp records stuff...

Good for the obligatory soya-lattes as well.


Spud Murphy III

Housewives' choice
jhazard: I have observed the Toad's Mouth Too, although have not been in. Those preferring more of a traditional cafe that serves hot food should go to the Central Cafe, on the other side of Brockley Road.