Sunday, 29 August 2010

Pat's Cafe - Norwich

(Now closed)

65-65a Hall Road

The cafe has looked the same for decades

As you enter you feel like you have walked right back into the 80's. On the wall is a slightly faded newspaper article from many years ago featuring Pat's Cafe in its heyday.

There is plenty of seating inside the cafe. In the far corner a "video games" sign still hangs from the ceiling, the video games are long gone and the corner is now occupied by a fruit machine and a selection of cold drinks.

Salt, pepper & vinegar are on each table but don't forget to add sauces from the pump action bottles when you collect your food from the counter.

A good mug of strong tea will keep you occupied till you hear your order called out.

This is the reason Pat's Cafe is always so busy and the reason why you will most likely return.

Norwich has changed a lot over the decades but the city end of Hall Road has been home to pat's Cafe for as long as I can remember. On occasions when mentioning Hall Road people have looked puzzled, but mention Pat's Cafe and they immediately know where you mean. I lived almost opposite it for a number of years, every day I would look at it from the balcony telling myself "I must pop in there one day." When I finally got round to visiting the place I was amazed at how time had stood still there, it really is like stepping back in time to the 1980's. The natural retro feel to the place I like a lot but others could see it as being dated and in need of a makeover. The place is clean but nothing much has changed for decades, even the nicotine stains post smoking ban remain on the walls and ceilings. The place is always busy and has a steady flow of regulars that can't get enough of the place. It certainly has lots of character and quirkiness aside they know how to cook a good fry-up.

Upon entering - As you walk in and take a step back in time you may well be too overwhelmed to notice the counter. Just keep walking and you will eventually find yourself at the counter, menus are displayed on the walls. Place your order, pay, grab some cutlery and find a table, there are plenty to choose from. 8/10

Service - The staff seem friendly enough and when your food is ready they will shout out the order. This can become a bit confusing and you may well walk up to collect your order and realise it is someone else's who has ordered the same thing as you. The person shouting the orders will soon inform you of this and you simply sit and wait until yours is ready. 7/10

Contents - I ordered the full monty for £5.25, it contained: 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 eggs*, Fried potato slices, tinned tomatoes, beans & bread and butter. (*as they had run out of mushrooms an extra egg was added) 7/10

Presentation - Nicely presented on a large oval plate, everything sat together just right. 9/10

The food - Very nice juicy butchers sausages and tasty bacon. Slightly crispy hand cut potato slices, perfectly cooked fried eggs, standard but nice beans, tinned tomatoes & bread and butter. 8/10

Value for money - £5.25 seemed like a fair price and other types of fry-up are available for less money, tea was just 55p a mug. 8/10

Veggie option - Yes

Overall - It might not be everyones cup of tea but plenty of people love the place. There are not that many places like this left anymore so treat yourself to a trip back in time and a good down to earth fry-up at Pat's Cafe. 8/10


  1. I have eaten in Pats cafe before, but i drove past the other day and it seemed closed - any news?

  2. I noticed a few weeks back that half of it has been shut down and wondered if they were in the process of refitting it, maybe it has closed down though. Would be a shame as it has been there for so long, but if you need a decent fry up on Hall Road I can recommend Birchy's Diner a few mins away on the other side of the road, well nice!

    1. Yes sad news about Pat's Cafe. If you would like to support it - find out why it has closed.

  3. Would love to know why it closed but haven't got a clue why, does anyone know??

  4. the scoop in the local paper reveals rent arrears although the owner was trying to work with the council apparently the closing up of the business cost the owner his marriage and house and is now living in his van . sad sad end , i used to go there with my 8yr old son and the friendly staff and great fry up really kick started my day . keep up the good work mr inspector.

  5. phyilis who used to work in pats cafe now works at kennys yes it is a shame so many cafes are closing but kennys is still goin strong

  6. where is kennys ?

  7. Kenny's is on Concorde Road, fairly near the airport.