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 shots. You should set up your own direct link/website rather than be available through "I Like Old Cafes".

I've only been here about four times, most recently about 3 weeks ago, when I was in the area on a weekday ( it's closed weekends). The cafe might be a remnant of the days of Covent Garden's fruit & veg past.

According to local estate agents, this part of Drury Lane is "improving".I'd anticipate this place and some of the other small businesses in the vicinity being "Long Acre-d" out of existence.

Keep up the good work !!!


Great site! Although I *would* say that as I work around the corner from Il Buffone so it's a regular haunt. You also might like to try Silva's, on Shaftesbury Ave. behind the Bat Boy musical, and Giovanni's on Museum Street, (the continuation of Drury Lane towards the British Museum). Giovanni's does great salads and Silva's has great daily specials. Good chips too!


Another good place is Zita's, also on Shaftsbury Avenue, just up the road from Silva's. It was featured in "Classic Cafes" and "London Caffs".

It still had it's great, original 1950's sign last time in was there, in December.


I think they have refurbished the interior of Zita's, it no longer resembles the description on the Classic Cafes website, and the chrome chairs look very contemporary. The service is still good, though.


Yes, Zita has been wrecked. I know we shouldn't be too trainspotterish about interiors but the old orange booths were truly beautiful and made for a cheery bacon sarnie after a trip to the Oasis swimming pool. What were they thinking?? I even spoke to the new manager 2 weeks before destruction and said "please keep the booths, we love them" and he nodded, probably just to shut me up...


Zita's Sandwich Bar is now closed, though the sign in the window says that a new espresso and bagel bar is opening soon.

The original sign, as featured in London Caff's, is still there.

Silva's is just down the road, and looks more than worthy of gracing your site !


Il Buffone is one of the best place in town to get a sandwich and a cuppa! Very friendly too. Nice & traditional environment. Ideal place to go and relax at lunch time or to grab a take-away before wandering round Covent Garden!
Good site BTW!!! Keep it up!!


This was a regular haunt of mine when I worked in Parker Street, so I was alarmed to learn that it has recently been taken over. Word is that the new owners had a few teething problems.

I had to see what they've done to MY cafe!

Good news, it's not a starbucks! It's still called Il Buffone, and aside from brightly colored menus in the windows, and less shouting :) not much seems to have changed.

The prices do seem to have taken a tumble though. IIRC the wonderful chorizo pasta was about £5, now it's only £3.50.

To be honest, I was reluctant to even try it at that price, I thought it must come out of a tin (yuck!).

But they assured me that it is still made to the previous owners recipe - so what the heck, and they were right! Every bit as good as I remember it, though the portions seem to have gotten bigger if anything.

Next day I tried the Chilli Con Carne. It was delicious! A huge portion, really well presented with golden rice and tortilla chips, and it was dirt cheap to boot! I'll be back for more!

A friend tells me their Scotch Pies are delicious - I haven't had one of those in years!

He also recommended something called Lorne Sausage and Tattie Scones, but I draw the line at the deep fried mars bars!


Unfortunately Il Buffone is no more. Thankfully the site is still a cafe with a suitably italian soubriquet, though the wonderful wooden interior and booths have now gone. Will they never learn?

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