Wednesday 3 October 2012

No 33 - Norwich

33 Exchange Street

Breakfast served all day
Monday to Friday - 8am till 5pm
Saturday - 9am till 5pm
Sunday - 10.30 till 4.30pm

Tel - 01603 626097

Head down Exchange Street towards St Andrews Street and you will spot No 33 on the right hand side.

The counter displayed a fine selection of homemade cakes.

I must return again soon to try a slice of the fantastic looking cakes, the chocolate brownie sample was excellent!

A bit of a blurry shot but it is quite tricky to discreetly take photos without being seen. This is how the dining area looks anyway.

The kitchen at the rear looks over the dining area, the frying pans were raring to go.

The "No 33 big breakfast" can be found on the brunch menu.

The coffee here is really good.

When the "No 33 big breakfast" arrived everything looked amazing and the presentation was excellent.

It made a nice change to have poached eggs and I could tell straight away that the tomato was going to be full of flavour.

 The poached eggs were delicious, they accompanied the beans and toast really well.

Everything was cooked perfectly and tasted amazing. 2 baked beans had made a hasty exit from the pot but they would be joined by the others very soon.

I am quite liking the idea of beans in a pot now as it makes placing them where you want on the plate much easier.

A couple of years ago when I started the blog a friend of mine recommended No 33 for breakfast but it didn't appear to offer a full english breakfast back then so I gave it a miss. A month or so ago I was contacted again by somebody telling me "they now serve a full english and it was perfect", I had to find out for myself to see if this was true...

Upon entering - As soon as I walked through the door I immediately liked the feel of No 33 with its excellent mix of traditional and modern decor and great vibe, It was very busy but didn't feel at all hectic. There is a counter near the door with a fantastic selection of homemade cakes on display and some tables in this area too. Towards the back is another dining area and the kitchen, there may have been more seating upstairs but I couldn't be certain as upstairs was closed when I was there. You simply decide where to sit and a menu is bought to your table, tell the staff what you would like and everything is bought to the table when it is ready. 9/10

Service - The staff here seemed really friendly, lively, enthusiastic and appeared to love their work. We were immediately greeted and invited to choose where we would like to sit, a menu appeared almost straight away, drinks were ordered and we were left to decide what we wanted to eat. The drinks arrived and our food order was taken, once the food arrived we were offered sauces which were then bought to the table. At the end we paid at the counter  sampling a piece of the excellent chocolate brownie offered to us by the waitress. The chocolate brownie was very much like the service... excellent! 9/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 2 bacon, 2 poached eggs, oven roasted tomato, mushrooms, beans and 2 chunky slices of toast and butter. 8/10

Presentation - The centre of this delightful circle of treats was the pot of beans, 2 stray beans had jumped ship, 1 started a new life on the mushrooms beside it but the other sadly didn't make it landing at the base of the pot. A heap of hot buttered toast occupied the top of the plate and towards the bottom the beautifully cooked quality meats. The tomato complete with stem and a pair of perfect looking poached eggs completed this visually stunning breakfast that had been placed in front of me. It seemed a shame to cut into anything as it looked so amazing but as it looked so good I went straight to work at ensuring the plate would return empty. 9/10

The food - The butchers pork sausage tasted amazing, had a high meat content, a great texture and was cooked perfectly. The chunky slices of Norfolk dry cured bacon were the best I had eaten in a long time with excellent flavour and browned really nicely, I wrapped a slice between some of the delicious hot buttered toast. The rest of the toast I lay flat on the plate and poured the pot of hot, juicy beans on top of. I then popped the perfectly formed poached eggs on top of the beans on toast, the combination was spot on. The 2 large pan fried mushrooms were so tasty and about as good a mushroom situation as you could ever wish for, pure mushroom heaven! I have tried many a tomato in my time but none as good as this oven roasted beauty, the taste was something else. 10/10

Value for money - At £8.50 quite expensive but it tastes amazing and the quality of the ingredients shine through. Combine this with the great service and environment and it suddenly feels like £8.50 very wisely spent! 8/10

Veggie option - Yes, veggie options available.

Overall - I had walked passed No 33 on many occasions and considered trying it at some point, I just wish I had done it sooner! It has a great interior with a nice atmosphere and the staff are friendly and efficient. The breakfast was well worth the money and was a complete pleasure to eat, in-fact every plate of food that came out of the kitchen looked amazing. Well worth a look and I can't wait to return again! 9/10

*** Update, June 2015 ***

My wife was treating me to a birthday breakfast, I'd only ever been to No 33 once before so decided to give it a second look. The menu had changed slightly but still contained No 33 big breakfast which I had really enjoyed on my first visit.

The food was really delicious as before, a hugely enjoyable breakfast!

My wife tried the sweet chilli scrambled eggs and was very impressed.

The slice of cake that arrived at the end was so tasty and a really nice touch, thanks No 33!

*** Update, July 2017 ***

I was really craving a breakfast today but nearly everyone had stopped serving by the time I'd got into Norwich City Centre. Luckily No 33 cafe were still serving though!


  1. Hmm, we didn't get offered free brownie samples - are you sure they didn't know you were The Fryup Inspector?!

    Definitely agree on the quality of the food and service, and of the place itself. A real gem, and deserves support from all Norwich's cafe enthusiasts!

  2. Yep, we pop in on Saturdays every so often. A great menu, and friendly staff - but the cakes are the stars!

  3. This is far and away the best cafe in Norwich. It may also be the best cafe in Britain. Bill's in Brighton (which has now been turned into a 'brand') has great food, but the atmosphere and service isn't a patch on No.33 in good old Norwich. The cakes are fabulous, the proper food is excellent - but the staff are superb: friendly, kind and efficient! Good soundtrack, too. One of my afternoon treat sessions was enlivened by absolutely filthy hip hop, drifting along over the heads of oblivious cake-munchers ;-) Very Norwich!!!!

  4. I agree with all the above, it's an utter Gem of a cafe and really needs to be visited. The cakes are really something else and the staff are fantastic.

  5. Always happy with the cakes here, but the last couple of times I've been for food I've been really disappointed. Both the breakfast hash and the full english were completely unseasoned, poorly cooked and nigh on inedible in parts. Neither of us finished.

  6. My wife and I went there last Saturday with my daughter who we were visiting for the weekend. We got there early as she had warned us that a queue would develop out the door and up the street. We got the last table upstairs in front of the cast iron fireplace. The food was fantastic and so well presented by very friendly staff. Between us we had the big breakfast, Salmon Benedict & smoked Salmon with scrambled eggs, all were delicious. Such large portions, in a way I wish they did a Mini ‘Big Breakfast’ with only 1 egg! We had no room for the cakes after that. A place definitely to recommend to anyone in the area. Oh, and an interesting toilet for the gents – a small broom cupboard where once inside you have to climb 2 steps to get to the throne!

  7. I went in here twice last week whilst on holiday in Norwich, once for a full breakfast and the second time for salmon benedict. Both were very nice and the cake my partner had was just as good. I'm glad we got there early as it is quite popular!