cafe miscellania

  • from Kieran

    i used to work as a dispatch rider in london and went to hundreds of cafes and i've seen some of my old faves on your website. i wonder if you can help me find a real gem.... it was a small cafe run by an ex-boxer in his late 50's and had old b&w photos of boxers/fights/promo posters all over the place and i mean from skirting boards to ceilings. the food was good but the character of the place and the people there was awesome. all i can remember is that it was in it's own small building in the greenwich area on a desolate industrial estate. it'd be great to re-visit or see a review cheers and thanks for all that dedicated eating

  • from Clare

    It may be too far out of the west end for you, but I have a haven of greasy spooned-ness at the end of my road. YORK CAFE on Woolwich Road is clean, friendly and with proper chips. It is even licensed I think. Give it a go!

  • from Lambros

    TJ's Cafe in mortlake sw14 open seven days a weeks, big portions!! cheap. you should definatley visit this place won the "best greasy spoon" in london award 2003

  • from The Shropshire Cafe

    Russell how come we have not seen you at our cafe you are missing a treat. We serve the best all day breakfast in the North West We cater for everyone also we are in the process of taking on the title of the Ace Cafe of the Midlands Regards Lynn & Pete.

  • from Dave

    May I heartily recommend Sues Cafe in Gillingham Road, Gillingham, Kent (almost opposite the Arriva Bus Depot). Great food, great tea............very good prices for such good quality breakfasts and dinners.

  • from Abby

    The mess in Hackney is much nicer (and admittedly middle classer) than it's local counterparts (nice sausage rather than pig's bum). Some say it's better than Mario's... Alt for a good proper greasy spoon Dilari's on the corner of Mare Street is pretty good. Packed out every lunchtime and they have a non-smoking side of the room. Finally, if you live near Ealing and you've never been to Starvin' Marvins you're missing out. I was cautiously eating my breakfast with the pancake and maple syrup on one side and the bacon and eggs and hash brown on the other. Then absentmindedly I stabbed a bit of bacon onto the end of my syrupy pancaked-up fork… It's manna from lardarse heaven.

  • from Emma

    I love yr book and website. I have never commented on one or a blog before as I dont know how to. My son got this space for me. I am trying to get info on my favourite old cafe, The Blue Sky, by corner of Westbourne Grove and Chepstow Rd,London W2, between PAddington and Portobello Rd, which was my home from home from 1974-80.I lived in various squats and flats nearby and hung out with various groovy people in those days.... It closed down a few years ago. I wld love to get photos and the name/address of the lovely Irish waitress and Italian boss.... I have tried the Archives at Westminster City Library but no luck. I am doing a Ceramics degree as a v mature student and want to do an installation recreating a table at it, the light coming thru steamy bright plateglass windows, the smells, food, china,plastic menus, etc etc. I have assembled a load of stuff (tables, chairs etc),but they are not perfect. I wonder if you have any ideas on where I cld borrow/hire perfect stuff in one fell swoop, for a few days in early Jan 07? Most of all I want to get hold of a tape/CD of cafe background noises. Any ideas? Many thanks, Emma

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More great pictures. Do you ever get any hassle from customers when you take photos ?

I've only ever been in this place once, despite walking past it hundreds of times. I almost feel that I know it anyway, as it's so open you can look right in, like some form of "Big Brother" cafe.

The decor looks badly faded, and I'll pay it a visit before it goes the way of the nearby "Pollo".


I was here earlier today. Adrian Maddox has commented on the proposed development of this part of Moor St.

The manageress informed me that they'll "know more in March". I think most of the block except Ed's Easy Diner and the pub on the corner will be "developed".

What with the loss of Presto and Pollo, and the gutting of 101 Snack Bar, it looks like Soho's "classic cafes" are rapidly disappearing. The demise of the New Piccadilly will be the biggest blow.


The demise of Centrale in its present form is closer than I'd previously thought.

I popped in yesterday, the cafe will close on 29th December. It's re-opening in Archer St., off Shaftsbury Avenue, with a licence to sell alcohol, and the same sort of food, and prices.

The new hotel will also take out some of the properties in Old Compton St. I would have thought that the buildings were listed,as they look 18th c., but apparently not. I thought there was a Soho Society ? If so, they seem to have missed this planning application, as did English Heritage.


There's a notice in the old Centrale's window stating that work's been delayed at the Archer St. site. From what I could see, nothing seems to have happened there yet.

Compared to Moor St., the number of possible punters passing through Archer St. is miniscule. Hopefully, they'll still keep most of their regulars.


I walked past Centrale this morning - the interior was finally being ripped out.


I love these sights - and their associated sites! Still miss the Central Cafe in Warrenpoint (a seaside resort in Co Down) which was a classic example of this type of cafe.

Any movement yet on Centrale 2?


The building housing Centrale, and the two adjacent properties are now totally demolished. Why the **** these weren't listed and preserved is a real scandal. Maybe there was a "brown envelope" deal ? Westminster planners should get their backsides severely kicked.

There's still no sign of the replacement Centrale in Archer Street


Has it re-opened anywhere yet? I miss this place and the people that ran it - been going there for over 10 years! It never opened where they said it would be? PLEASE CAN ANYONE LET ME KNOW?


The Central Cafe is still sorely missed from Warrenpoint, which still has a pleasant 40s/50s quality about it. I remember going in one morning for a cup of coffee and a Kit Kat. A few old men - obviously regulars - were arriving for the £3.50 hot plate. Service was from two very lovely old dears, who displayed both biccies and health certificates with pride. It makes me so sad that places like this can be allowed to disappear. I'm really disappointed I never took a photograph, but I suppose I never thought it would go away. A lesson in mutability to us all.

Mo Abersheid

Oh no! Centrale is gone?? I have so many great memories of this place. When I was a student in London in the early 90s we used to eat there practically every day along with Pollo Bar. So sad to hear they're both gone. Missing London. We don't have the charm of these small London eateries here in Los Angeles.


I was walking through Archer street today and it seems as if the new Centrale might be finally being kitted out.

Marie Shaftoe

Is this really true? Can anyone else verify? I have been devastated at the thought of never eating fusilli broccoli again. I would be SO happy for Centrale to reopen, please keep us posted!

Alan Forth

I totally agree with the last post except it is their Spaghetti Vongole that I dream about!


So...I've been away. Is the Archer St. site really there even?

vicky wadge

I am also a big fan of centrale - the rigatoni alfredo was always my dish of choice - in all the years it never changed in the quality of its flavour - garlic, cheese, pasta cooked just to the right consistency...mmm...used to be our regular when up in town. I am so relieved to have found this website and news that it will finally be re-opening. any more news on this?

Chris Chambers

Did the Centrale ever re-appear? I went looking the other day but could'nt see it in Archer Street (although it was a Sunday). I miss the Tagliatelle Alfredo.


Did Centrale ever open again? Have not been able to find it in Archer St; it can't have happened. Any info, much appreciated.


Any news please? Many happy memories of the Centrale, always stopped there when in London to watch football or to see The Pogues, who mentioned it in their song "London Girl"

"The devil moon took me through the alley
Down by the Kardomah and the Centrale
To the Mews running through the back streets
Where the Blacks sold fire and sleep
The devil moon took me out of Soho
Up to Camden where the cold north winds blow
Sucked along by a winter shower
To stand beside your shining tower"

Aida Nicol

It’s been over a year now, and I have been looking for Centrale with my friends, walking around Soho, looking so lost...

well yesterday was my final mansion, me and my firmed set out to look for it, well we found the it, but it was closed, did not have a sin up but we know it was it, we hoped that they was just closed for the day and might open other day.

We want to a barbershop which is just across from it, we asked the owner if he no’s about an it, it was then that we got the sad new that it was meant to open but never did. Why? We don’t no... It’s sad,  I no I will never find some where as good as Centrale. Well the long search is over, but I will never forgot it that’s for sore... I do still wonder why it did not re-open. Oh well may be some one out there might no.

p.s sorry for the bad spelling am dyslexic.

neil walker

i am so disappointed to hear that centrale is no more. I started working in soho in 1991 and was a regular there for my rigatoni alfredo. I have tried to find it and once even had an e mail address for the owner but never heard anything and can only presume its gone for good. God how i miss those alfredos, i have even tried to find the recipe but have had no luck, if anyone out there knows how to make anything close to it please please do let me know. Neil [email protected]

Marybeth Richards

The Centrale used to be the Barocco Bar, made famous in Dire Strait's 'Wild West End': 'the waitress she watches me, crossing from the Barocco Bar...' - for that reason I frequented it a lot back in the 1980s. It was a swell place to get a decent plate of pasta, and I loved how orange juice was listed as a starter.

I miss it every time I go past Moor Street.

oliver craner

I used to eat there all the time - many hungover lunch hours with a pile of vongole, wraithed in the waitresses smoke. I miss it like a limb. I was talking to a Soho old timer at the Italian bar some evenings ago, and asked him what became of La Centrale, why it never reopened. As far as he knew, the owners pocketed the money they had been paid to relocate and retired and moved back to Italy. It's sad, but you can't blame them - it was never really going to work on scummy Archer Street, was it?


Oh, the memories. What a crying shame...

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