Classic Cafes: Don's, Lower Clapton Rd E5

Enclaves of the '50s & 60s


Almost as turbid as the Clapton Ponds it stands next to, with its creaky double-fronted exterior and unremitting drab decor, Don's, Lower Clapton Road E5 seems to be perpetually on its last legs. Orders are written in felt-tip pen on an ancient piece of plastic on the counter which is then wiped clean. Says caff classicist J. Hourrigan: "The cafe's run by the eponymous Don and his ancient Italian siblings in their 80s (all of whom came from Lucca in the 1930s). They've been there all their lives. It sits just around the corner from where Harold Pinter was born. Don's was once a stables. Wooden interior, high ceilings, never full! Open til 2.00 pm most days.

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