Sunday 11 September 2011

Regency Cafe - Pimlico, London

17-19 Regency Street

Opening hours
Monday - Friday
7.00am - 14.30pm
7.00am - 12.00pm

Regency Cafe is featured in 2 books I had been reading "London Caffs" by Edwin Heathcote and "Egg, bacon, chips and beans" by Russell Davies.

As soon as we arrived in london we headed straight for Pimlico.

The exterior of this art deco cafe is stunning with its black tiles and Gill typeface sign.

Be sure to place your order first before sitting down or you run the risk of irritating the regulars. The chap in the white shirt at the counter will bellow your order out when it is ready, fear not you will hear him!

There were four chefs busy in the kitchen and rest assured the food they are cooking will not disappoint.

This place gets very busy but as we arrived so early there were free tables which was a relief.

There are many photo's coving the walls of the cafe during different decades and screen shots of the film "Layer Cake" which the cafe featured in.

The condiment selection was about as spot on and traditional as you could ever wish for.

So was the mug of tea. Do remember to collect hot drinks as you place your order though.

The toast and real butter is served before the fry up arrives.

I had never seen such massive tinned tomatoes before!

The huge slab of bubble and squeak was delicious and cost just 90p.

I chose the set breakfast with beans and added 2 extra's, black pudding and bubble & squeak.

Having read about Regency Cafe in a couple of books I decided on a day trip to London to book the tickets for an early train so I could visit the place for breakfast. Once in London we headed straight for Pimlico on the tube, the cafe was not too far from the tube station on Regency Road. As soon as we spotted it in the distance we were immediately loving the classic art deco exterior, the cafe established in 1946 has featured in the film "Layer Cake" and a Channel 4 advert. Anyway, having admired how fantastic the place looked on the outside we decided to head inside..

Upon entering - Cream tiles line the walls and many pictures hang showing the cafe over the decades since it opened in 1946. The seats look like they have been there since the 1970's and everything from the hot water urn to gingham curtains screams "traditional no nonsense cafe". There are a vast number of tables but don't even think about taking one until you have placed your order as you could upset the locals. There are blackboards above the counter displaying the set breakfast and daily specials, to the left of the water urn is another menu but you will most likely find it difficult to focus on making your choice 1st time round as the interior will have you looking in every direction trying to take it all in. 10/10

Service - The chap that takes the order is fast, efficient and I imagine he doesn't suffer fools gladly! Tell him what you would like and collect your drink at the counter, grab some cutlery and find a table. When your food is ready he will bellow out your order in his deep and very loud voice, the 1st time you hear him shout an order out you will most likely jump out of your skin as this guy is loud! Collect your food from him once it is ready. The chap on the counter although loud is very friendly and seems to recognise newcomers giving you a nod and a swift wave as he calls your order. When you leave he thanks you and shouts goodbye. 9/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 2 bacon, 1 fried egg, beans or tomatoes, toast or bread & butter and tea or coffee. I ordered bubble & squeak and black pudding as extras. 8/10

Presentation - The food looked great when it arrived with the fried egg sitting on top of the slab of bubble & squeak, you could tell by looking at it it was going to taste great. 8/10

The Food - Quite possibly the best sausage I have tried so far on my search for fry up perfection, plump and juicy with a delicious herby taste. Good quality and perfectly cooked bacon and 2 generous slices of tasty black pudding. The huge slab of homemade bubble & squeak was golden on the outside, full of flavour and without a doubt the best i have ever eaten. A perfect fried egg, a sea of beans and hot toast and real butter finished off this amazing breakfast. My girlfriend had chosen tinned tomatoes and a side order of mushrooms, both of which I tried and can report were delicious too and I have never seen such massive tinned tomatoes before in my life! 10/10

Value for money - The set breakfast costs £5.50 and includes toast or bread & butter and tea or coffee, incredible value for money as everything is so delicious. To make the breakfast more complete though you may want to order extra's at 90p each, these include black pudding, bubble & squeak, hash browns and mushrooms. I added 2 extra's so paid £7.30 but even with extra's added it is still well worth the money considering you are in central London. 8/10

Veggie option - I didn't see a specific veggie breakfast on offer but you can build your own breakfast from items on the menu and don't forget that amazing bubble & squeak!.

Overall - Wow, what an experience and what an incredible place! You will love the way it looks, the order's being boomed out across the cafe and the amazing food. There are not many left like this anymore so well worth a visit if you are in London. No fried bread stopped this place from becoming my favourite so far but it does come a respectable 2nd. 9/10


  1. Been here once before and can confirm the breakfast is spot-on! I did get served by a woman who is equally as loud! The breakfast was delicious and the all-round experience was great. Proper traditional no-nonsense cafe that you don't get enough of.

  2. I just saw the Regency Cafe on the film Layer Cake.

    1. I keep meaning to watch Layer Cake to see the Regency in it.

  3. For me a greasy spoon loses a lot of its usefulness if it's not open on a Sunday morning - when I most want a fry up. Pity, because this place looks amazing.

    1. I agree David, a real shame it is closed on Sunday as many people do like a fry up then.

  4. I have to agree with the fry up inspectors review. I used to work on the Horseferry Road and popped in there once or twice a week. It always gave great service and the breakfast was always 1st class.

  5. I've just visited and had two fried slices with my breakfast (60p each), they were fantastic ;)

  6. And the Regency's famous Spurs wall is worth viewing too :)

  7. They do have fried bread so I think you should amend your score!!!

  8. Great site FUI. Visited this morning based on the TA and your reviews and was everything that I was expecting.
    Just had the set breakfast with a tea & a coffee and bubble as extra. Everything was cooked perfectly. Tasty sausage and great smoked bacon. A load of hot beans and perfect egg. The toast was perfect - hot and crispy and golden served with ample butter - 3 pats per 2 slices. This was also soft and spreadable unlike others who serve it fridge hard.

    You have the choice of beans or tomatoes with the set at £5.50 which also comes with tea or coffee. I also heard other orders being called for grilled tomatoes and fried slice so these are also available.

    The hash browns looked awesome. It was all served on a hot plate. Can't wait to go back.

    1. This place certainly has plenty of character, glad you enjoyed it! I can't wait to return one day to try that fried slice too.

  9. Happy to host you you next time as my excuse to have a fry up at the Regency which is around the corner from me

  10. Have been in a few times, it is great.. Just avoid Tony's round the corner!

  11. I have got to try this place next time I'm in the smoke, soon as I saw the picture of the exterior I recognised it from one of my favourite movies, as long as the scene is not repeated while I'm there lol. Great to hear its good grub too, with bubble on the menu, heaven.

  12. This is a fantastic Cafe, but get there early at lunchtime, it fills up quickly.

  13. Hi Fry Up Inspector!
    I'm Rozzi and I've recently started a youtube channel. I speak in Japanese about London/England/Britain.
    I was wondering if I would be able to feature a few of your images in a video that I've been requested to do about London's best breakfasts.
    Of course I'll link back to this blog and credit you accordingly if you'd be happy for me to use the images.
    I'd also love to translate a few of your comments regarding the cafe.
    Sorry for such a long comment, let me know how you feel about me featuring this article!
    Thanks very much for your time :)

    1. Hi Rozzi, Thanks for asking my permission, you are welcome to use any pictures and to translate any comments. I am off to Japan very soon, can't wait! Be sure to post a link to the youtube video once it is finished so I can take a look. Many thanks!! :-)

  14. Still top quality breakfasts being served in this place.
    The staff are also very nice.

    They serve lunchtime standards throughout the week too.

  15. Hi Fry up Inspector,

    am pretty sure I messaged you about this place soon after my visit in early 2013
    So glad you have now visited and reviewed and concurred with my impressions of the place and food. 2nd place is a very respectable achievement. I didn't know that they don't offer a fried slice. Pretty sure they did when I was there but I chose the bubble which was delicious.
    If you are ever in the Bournemouth area i thoroughly recommend Mum's cafe near Christchurch. And a fried slice is included in their standard set!
    Best regards

    1. Hi Ed,
      I visited in 2011, certainly a great place and fried bread is available, I didn't spot it on my visit. I will try to visit Mum' Cafe at some point, cheers!