With a coffee shop on almost every corner, it seemed impossible to limit the title of ‘London’s Sexiest Cafes’ to a mere three, so this week, we’re going to throw another three breakfast spots into the mix. This week’s picks are all super affordable and all within a twenty minute walk from uni, meaning that dragging yourselves out for a hungover brunch has never been easier.
Barone, 576 Roman Road, E3 5ES
Sat right in the heart of Roman Road, Barone is a tiny gem. The light, bright décor – a mixture of pretty wallpaper, colourful tables and rustic wooden floors – is hard to resist, which often results in queues out the door. But once you’re in, the wait is worth it. Run by a man who epitomises East End spirit, the service is quick and friendly, despite the café’s popularity. The radio is always playing and the relaxed atmosphere makes it a great place to sit down amongst the potted plants for a good catch up. Most importantly, though, the food is great. The hollandaise sauce on the Eggs Benedict is to die for, while a Full English with either a tea or coffee of your choice is only £4! As well as breakfasts, Barone also offers a range of sandwiches, paninis and pastries, so if breakfast isn’t your thing, there’s something to cater for everyone. The coffee is also b-e-a-utiful – perfect for if you ever find yourself feeling a little worse for wear.
Mighty Bite, 123 Bow Road, E3 2AN
Don’t let the fact that family-run Mighty Bite is a haven for builders on the hunt for breakfast and a cuppa put you off. The food ranges from paninis to omelettes to various combinations of a Full English – and it’s all really, really good. Sandwiched (excuse the pun) between a William Hill and The Little Driver pub, Mighty Bite doesn’t perhaps offer the most salubrious of surroundings, but if you’re looking for the perfect bacon sarnie to pick up on the way to a 9am lecture then this is the place for you. The hash browns that come with the Full English are perhaps the best I’ve ever had – if you don’t mind sitting in the slightly cramped interior or out on busy Bow Road, that is. Having said that, the café has been recently renovated with clean, white tiles and wooden benches lining the walls to make the most of the small space. One wall is also dedicated to documenting the building’s history in a series of black and white photos, which I feel is a nice touch and interesting to look at while you wait for your coffee. I personally feel that Mighty Bite’s less than glamourous backdrop only adds to that feel of a proper East London breakfast.
Café 338, Bethnal Green, E2 0AG
Offering probably the widest range of food out of the three, Café 338 is a great find. Pick from a selection of breakfasts that include pancakes and halloumi burgers, or assemble your own fry up from an extensive list of fresh ingredients – the choice here really blew me away. And don’t get me started on the freshly squeezed orange juice, which is really something else. The atmosphere here was also probably my favourite out the three cafes mentioned; I went on an especially sunny day, which may have contributed to my mood, but I found the service exceptionally friendly and really accommodating given that I visited with a fairly large group on a busy day. Situated on Bethnal Green Road, this hotspot’s surroundings are a little hectic, but coupled with classic red-checked table cloths and nearby market stalls, I felt as though I were being served up a slice of the East End alongside my breakfast – something I would heartily recommend to anyone.