New London Cafe is a cosy spot with an incredibly homely and vintage vibe. This unassuming North London cafe offers a lot of choice from organic coffee, breakfast plates, burgers and sweet treats. For the spring and summer months, the cafe offers an outdoor terrace that you can enjoy your brunch on.
Food - 7/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Service - 7.5/10
Value for Money - 7/10
A quaint brunch spot hidden behind Highbury & Islington – and well worth a visit!
Price range: ££
Address: 210 St Pauls Rd N1 2LL
Nearest Station: Highbury & Islington
I originally found New London Cafe by accident. I was on the top deck of the number 19 going towards Angel which is my go to spot for some weekend brunch. The bus stopped at some traffic lights and adjacent to it stood New London Cafe. The shop front itself was unassuming, a bit plain even, and so at a quick glance it was easy to miss; I hadn’t realised it existed until that point, despite my many years of going past it. Stuck at the traffic lights though I had a good minute or two to peek at the cafe, and make a decision. I got off the bus at the next stop, instead of going to Angel as originally planned, and walked into New London Cafe.
Is New London Cafe the biggest brunch spot in town, or the best? No I wouldn’t say so, but it pulled me in. Walking into the shop I immediately appreciated the vibes, aesthetic and decor – it just felt homely, very relaxed and cosy. It wasn’t too busy, and that may have helped my initial reaction. Too often on entering a brunch spot you are rushed in and rushed out, canned in like sardines against other customers. An empty shop isn’t always a good sign, that’s for sure, but in the case of New London Cafe, I think it might be because of its unassuming exterior and location. Although there are always vehicles passing by it outside, it probably doesn’t see a lot of direct footfall as it’s located away from the main high street along Highbury.
In any case, I was made to feel welcome and took a seat at the back of the cafe. There were a lot of choices available but I instinctively went for the back as it’s the best spot to chill. I should add that there is a terrace available here – although the weather wasn’t too great, so decided to stay indoors. Lined along the walls are photo frames of all shapes, sizes, and angles; the tables and chairs were different of styles and arranged in non-standard ways, it was quirky, which I liked.
The menu covers a lot of ground – you can go for the usual breakfast plates, or something sweet in the form of pancakes – or you can go for a burger if you want a more substantial meal. You also have the option to go for a sandwich, panini or salad if you want an in-between or lighter bite. Of course, there are smoothies and drinks of all kinds to choose from too. I went for a pot of tea (I’m not a big coffee person but I do enjoy the occasional latte). The pot is served within the cup, and comes with a Turkish biscuit (known as a ‘Tutku’), which was a nice touch.
In terms of food, as I was here for brunch I went for a breakfast plate. And as this was a Mediterrian cafe, I went for the Mad Med option featuring grilled halloumi and Turkish Sucuk (which is just Turkish cured beef sausage). It was priced well – around £7 for the food plus £1 extra for a hot drink. The inclusion of olives in the meal was a nice touch but I would have liked to see some feta cheese too, that would have gone down very well with the olives. However, I did feel full afterwards, so I couldn’t complain. It wasn’t the prettiest plate of food I’ve ever had – that’s for sure – but New London Cafe doesn’t seem to take things like that too seriously. Check out the photos below and let me know what you thought about the Mad Med! Unlike most Mediterrian cafes, New London doesn’t over-play the Turkish factor. It does come out in a few items on the menu, but on the whole you wouldn’t think it’s Turkish owned. Nonetheless the Mad Med is a good introduction into a Mediterrian breakfast.
All in all, New London Cafe is definitely a spot to check out around the Highbury & Islington area, and definitely worth a chance. It feels different to most cafes, in a good way, and I will definitely be going back there again in the future.