Salads, sarnies and sweet treats
A list of nice cafes and delis I’ve been to across town. I’ll keep adding to this and updating it, so make sure to check back for the latest juice. If you have any suggestions, stick ’em in the comments box below.
This little cafe in Harringay just by Downhills Park (with tennis courts that require no booking!) possibly serves one of the best value and tastiest breakfasts in London. They have an outdoor terrace, so make sure to bag a seat here if it’s warm and sunny outside.
Cute enough cafe on Holloway Road. Had poached eggs on sourdough toast which was beautiful to look at but not as exciting to eat. It needed quite a bit of salt to give it some flavour but it’s quite cheap and a rather charming spot, so I’d be inclined to revisit if in the area.
This space has a sleek clean feel to it with pops of colour via its yellow tiling. Salads are tasty but the meats could do with a tad more flavour. The chicken skewers and salads are my go to and if I get a hot dish it’s usually the blackened chicken + roasted corn yoghurt + rice. It’s pricey but I really like the folks there, so it’s become a lunchtime reg. A pack and go affair as there aren’t really any eating spots.
I’ve only ever had the banana cake from this cute little cafe, super close to Kensal Rise overground. I believe it is run by a couple who reside locally. Staff are super nice. Service tends to be on the slow side but I don’t mind coz I’m usually on a chill vibe when I visit this cafe.
There is a dearth of decent eateries on The Strand, so thank goodness for this cafe. Their hot chocolate is pleasing as are their scones. I’ve also had a polenta cake which although tasty was a little on the oily side. A decent spot in an island of food chains and generally uninspiring food fare.
A friend took me here the other day and I couldn’t believe I’d never been. I’ve since been back and it’s probs gonna become a regular because they do plates of hearty salads and hot plates at decent prices (under a tenner). It’s a good option for casual lunch spot. NOTE: tables are close together / communal, so if you want to have a discreet conversation, probs not the best place for it. Oh the staff can be a bit hectic, service could be better.
High Street Kensington
This high end chocolate chain has a café / chocolate shop in Kensington that is super chill. The hot chocolate from here is a no brainer, so do yourself a favour and order one. The scone with chocolate hazelnut butter is really rather lush – order that too, if it’s still on the menu.
Cute little ‘distressed’ chic cafe near Dalston Kingsland station. Had a hot chocolate – I generally prefer hot chocolate that’s essentially melted hot choc but this milky version was great. I’d like to return and try more of their fare. Service was a bit dopey but that may have just been the fact that it was Monday morning.
Cool, modern neighbourhood cafe, Harringay way with friendly service – best for a snack and a drink – avoid the main fare which really isn’t very good. They do some nice cakes – big generous portions which obviously I’m grateful for because I’m quite the glutton.
Upscale Italian canteen – always heaving. For the level it’s aiming at, it’s very decent fare with a mixture of a fab dessert bar, salad and pizza bar and a hot section right at the back dishing up hearty aubergine parmigianas and such alike. Seats are hard to come by, so you may have to eat at one of the standing tables.
I don’t drink coffee but I do eat cake 🙂 and they sell a delicious avocado cake here that sounds healthy but is mos def not. They’ve also started serving damn good cronuts. There are a few tables with a mini courtyard out back, in this good looking small coffee shop on Leonard St. Service is cool, laid back and friendly.
Possibly the most design drive coffee shop in London? Lol, I don’t drink coffee, so not really in a position to say. However, it is a damn fine space that bills itself as a ‘lifestyle house’ which sounds tres pretentious but actually isn’t. Really friendly staff and they let me park my bike inside, so I love ’em. Just had a hot choccie but keen to go back and try their salads and super cute choux pastries. Oh and their beetroot latte!
Nice look and feel to this Japanese café in S.Ken but the food is pretty average. You’ll struggle to find good, cheap spots to eat in the area, so whilst it’s not brilliant, I would consider going here as it’s one of the better options for the price bracket in the area.
CHAIN / GROUP
Fitzrovia & Shoreditch
I’ve only been to the Attendant in Fitzrovia which is dinky and housed in a former loo but they’ve spruced it up since then and it’s a charming little spot. They serve up a decent banana cake. Do you spot a theme here? The other Attendant is located in Shoreditch on Great Eastern Street.
One of the original hip indie cafes serving yummy savoury and sweet things (and wine too). They have a couple of spots spread across town, mostly in Central London. Oh and thinking about it, this is the other decent eatery on the Strand, also housed in Somerset House.
A nice pit stop for a gourmet sandwich / decent salad and a sweet treat. I especially like their mini chicken burger, poppy seed baguette stuffed with salmon and avocado mousse and their flourless quiche. Avoid their banana bread which tastes like ginger cake – weird. Think you can eat in at most of their branches.
Overpriced but sensational deli, with a Middle Eastern touch, serving up colourful salads and decadent treats. Their flourless cake is other worldly – a must order. They’ve got a couple of spots across town – Notting Hill, Belgravia, Islington and Spitalfields.
I love their thick hot chocolate and their giant macaroons. Yep I said it, go ahead and judge me – don’t care if macaroons ain’t meant to be that big coz they mighty delicious and that’s all that counts to me. There isn’t a shortage of them though you can’t eat in at all of them.
Upscale chain of cafes typically attached to museums / galleries across London. The one at the Royal Academy is my sanctuary from the hideousness of Piccadilly. Haven’t been for quite a while but I can’t imagine it’s become really shit in the last few years.
Bermondsey | Tower Bridge | Fetter Lane
I’ve only been to the one in Bermondsey which seats about 12 people. Alongside its drink offering, it serves up casual bites like poppyseed bagels with avocado. Vibe is cool and relaxed. The space is gorgeous with lots of wood structures from the fans to the hanging lights; this is intermixed with a black, white and cream colour palette, exposed brick walls and a checkerboard tiled / patterned floor. This place is best for pairs rather than large groups.
To find the closest cafe / deli on my map whilst you are out and about:
+ Simply click the extend button on the top right hand corner of the map
+ This will take you into Google Maps where your location will be pinpointed
+ Click on a pin that is close to you, the name of the cafe / deli will appear in the bottom band
+ Then, click on the walking man icon
+ This will then show you the route to get there and approx travel time
NOTE: Even though, I have included all the branches of chains I’ve profiled, I obviously haven’t been to all, so can’t verify if standards vary radically – let’s hope not, eh?