Leftovers - A Cafe Miscellany
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These are the best of the classic cafes left standing largely unharmed in London. Note that most keep odd early closing times at the weekends - and often during the week for that matter. Few open more than a couple of hours on Saturdays. In the long-term all are under threat. Catch 'em now whilst they're still standing.

Click here > for an at-a-glance Top Ten cafe guide.
Click here > for Central London establishments.
Click here > for the abbreviated No. 8 bus London Caff Tour.

Also, here's the full unexpurgated Central London Cafe Tour that was put together for Architecture Week June 17 - 26 June 2005...

St James Coffee Bar (RIP), Haymarket WC1


Regis Snack Bar [Leadenhall Place - behind Lloyds building] NEW
The City is a truly terrible place for Aroma style coffee cesspits so stumbling across this fine frontage in the shadow of Richard Rogers' monument to Mamon is an especial treat. This has completely escaped the ravages of other local establishments - all viciously subjected to high-finance make-overs. The sign is large and brown with a period font and boasts an old illuminated Coke sign. Inside it's 50s stools all round with a couple of nasty modern silver tables providing the only proper seating. This is a great place just to look at from the outside and then move on. Heartwarming.

Munchies [Charlotte St] NEW
Barely noticeable amongst the French brasseries this little hideaway has decent seating but a rather nonedescript interior. Not as good as the nearby Sidolli [opp. Goodge St tube] but it breaks up the monied monotony of Charlotte St now the plucky little Venus Kebab House has been shut at the lower corner of this boulevard of broken expense acounts.

Highbury Cafe [Holloway Rd] NEW
Despite the awful frontage this has some charm. A good selection of solid wooden tables and chairs [featuring worn tartan patterning] plus a back section with six booths and powder blue formica panels make for a pleasant surprise. Good rosewood wall fittings and cheapo portions. Most refreshing. [It's maybe also worth a visit to the Trevi Italian restaurant next to The Garage. This has a mini-lounge feel with booth seating throughout.]

Hope Workers Cafe [Holloway Rd] NEW
The name is better than the actual establishment but for the brilliant array of polished wood chairs and tables alone this is worth inclusion. All of them in full-on classic mode and proudly displayed. Like the Highbury above it has decent wall panels but an utterly bland interior otherwise. Pity about the wretched metal doors and window surrounds.

Workmans Cafe [off King St Market W6]
Tiny. Standing only but excellent formica interior.

Market Cafe [Fournier St] RIP
Gilbert & George's local! V. Rough. odd int. composed of mismatched second hand seats and odd junk tables. Open only from 1.00am to 1.00pm. G & G live opposite down a few doors in a massive Huguenot house. Occasionally they have been known to serve in the caff. Also thought that they pumped money into keeping the place going through hard times. Heartening.

Euston Rd Snack Bar [Opp. Gt Portland St tube]
Good ext. sign. is all that remains.

Criss Cafe [187 Balham High Rd]
Good plain cafe

Odd Spot Cafe [Opp. Riverside Centre Hammersmith]
Good plain cafe ­ features in TFI Friday

3 Star [Salsbury Rd Queens Pk]
Good local cafe with plain int.

Jack's Cafe [Boundary Rd opp. old Satchi Gallery]
Small plain rosewood & simple good chairs - rarely open

Sergios [Eagle Place SW1]
Useful little cafe off Piccadilly. Good sign and a few booths. Worth a look. But eclipsed by the glories of The Euro Snack Bar nearby.

Continental [Kentish Town]
Good local cafe opposite the Forum venue. Good n' dingy - fair int.

Sidoli's Buttery [Alfred Pl WC1]
Good seats ext. sign and walls. Nr Goodge St tube. Seems to have some sort of club running in the basement so very noisy and unrelaxed. Still, a good find in this otherwise bereft area

Dino's [Spitalfields nr. Christchurch]
Good Italian - great brown formica banquettes and great specialist chips! Once part of a mighty local family chain. Right next to Hawksmore's masterpiece church in Spitalfields.

Pembroke Cafe [Warwick Rd W8]
Fair interior. Fine seating but naff outside sign - opposite large Homebase store.

Conduit Coffee House [Lambs Conduit St]
Good beige booth seats in a fine little enclave off Holborn. Large back section and good counter and tea machine.

A1 [Kings Cross]RIP
Hole in the wall in the lost dusty Cross. Good dark brown moribund interior that is always too hot. Pleasantly scatty old lady runs the joint.

Bloomsbury Restaurant [Brunswick Centre nr Russell St tube]RIP
2 very good 70s style lounge-ish emporia one with excellent and extensive mustard coloured leatherette seats and open all week very late. Very Americanno in feel.

Rosemont Cafe [Rosemont Rd NW3] NEW
"Alive and well and has apparently been here for 66 years! Typical menu, Formica tables, value for money... a little find.The lady who served us said she's been there for 30 years. £3.60 for full English." (Andre Millodot)

Windmill [Westbourne Pk Rd]
Good sign; great old couple rudely taking orders; dirt cheap but so-so interior only! Stupendously abysmal service.

Electric [Norwood Rd/Tulse Hill SE27]
Bang opposite the Fire Station. Smashing beige and horror-brown decor. Old pinball machine and ramshackle kitchen. Right on the main drag of Norwood's nightmare alley. They don't make them like this any more. Owner Stavros Tsoukkas says: 'my family have been running the Electric for over 30 years. We are very much still open for business, unchanged in our smashing beige and horror brown decor.'

Mary's [Camberwell New Rd] RIP
Magnificent chairs and tables - ugly view onto Walworth Rd - pensioner action guaranteed.

Cafe On The Green [Camberwell Green] RIP
Small and scuzzy but good seats. Endlessly arguing staff. Poor ext. sign.

Boggi's [Topham St EC1]RIP
Nice hidden family restaurant expansive upstairs eaterie. A Guardian fave.

Five Stars Coffee Lounge [North Row/Park Lane W1]
Great logo sign - unappealing average 70s int. Weird mirror walls - intriguing downstairs section

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