Saturday 27 July 2013

Terry's Cafe - Borough, London

158 Great Suffolk Street

Breakfast menu available from 7am till midday

I left Spitalfields Market at 9am and arrived at Terry's cafe just after 9.30am. It was nice weather so sitting outside was a tempting option but I decided to head inside to take a closer look.

From the gingham table cloths and classic condiment stacks to the historic local photos on the walls this place was visually stunning and one you just have to see for yourself.

 The counter is a hive of activity as is the kitchen behind.

 The varied breakfast menu had something for everyone and each breakfast had it's own great name. I went for The Works but if you prefer chips with your breakfast then perhaps The Blowout is more your thing. Take a closer look at the menu here

Condiment and table cloth perfection

At 20p a cup (when buying food) I chose tea over coffee on this inspection and was well impressed, strong and piping hot.

The works arrived and it was really big and looked delicious with lots of great features I look for in a fry up, just a shame the sausage was burnt.

 So the sausage was well burnt on top but this jumbo cumberland beast tasted great with its thick meaty texture. My good friend black pudding was back on a breakfast plate again so I was one happy inspector.

The bubble and squeak was pretty good, I've had much better at E.Pellici though.

A perfect egg yolk was bulging from beneath the bacon and I was delighted to see tinned tomatoes sitting between the thick beans and chunky mushrooms. Egg touching beans could be a nightmare for some here though!

Terry's Cafe had recently been guest reviewed on the blog and as soon as I read the review I just had to go and look for myself at this classic London Cafe that had stood the test of time for 31 years. I was helping my wife at Spitalfields Market for the day so as soon as the stall was set up I headed towards London Bridge and onto Borough High Street until I eventually reached Great Suffolk Street where the cafe appeared in the distance..

Upon entering - Outside seating was available but I headed straight inside keen to take a look and was delighted to find an empty table to sit at. The interior is incredible with a classic/traditional look with lots of fascinating photos covering the walls of local workers from past times. Its not just the look of the place that impresses though, the feel of it with locals chatting and background music immediately makes you feel at home making for a hugely pleasant environment to spend time in. Good solid tables and chairs, gingham table cloths, classic condiment stacks and a varied breakfast menu soon make you realise things don't get much better than this. As soon as you take a seat the staff will take care of everything for you and you simply pay at the till as you leave. 9/10

Service - As soon as I sat down I was offered a cup of tea and the staff were efficiently taking care of all the customers around me. During my visit I encountered four seperate members of staff who were really on the ball and friendly ensuring I got served and ate in good time. When my tea arrived I took the sugar from another table and before my bum hit the seat another sugar pourer was bought to my table. When I placed my order I was told bread and butter may not be needed as the breakfast was big, this was good advice as I only just managed to finish what I did have. I liked being called darling and sweetheart and seeing such an efficient and friendly staff team who clearly enjoyed their jobs work so well together. 9/10

Contents - 1 jumbo cumberland sausage, 3 rashers of bacon, 2 slices of black pudding, bubble and squeak, 1 fried egg, tinned tomatoes, mushrooms and beans. 9/10

Presentation - The giant sausage was looking well burnt on top but the meaty inside was clearly visible still. A carpet of bacon covered half the plate with a generous serving of black pudding laying on top. The egg was difficult to see at first but the perfect yolk was clear to see surrounded by the beans and tomatoes. A generous stack of chunky cut mushrooms sat beside a mountain of impressive looking bubble and squeak. 7/10

The food - The jumbo cumberland sausage was good quality and nicely textured, a real shame they burnt it though... luckily the bacon was thick and perfectly cooked. The black pudding was fairly standard but the bubble and squeak was quite nice, soft and nicely textured with a crisp golden edge. The thick cut mushrooms tasted amazing and the fried egg had a lovely runny yolk. The beans were slightly stodgy as I like them and the tinned tomatoes tasted great and gave a nice bit of moisture to this thoroughly enjoyable and filling breakfast. 7/10

Value for money - The works cost me £8.80 and with 2 cups of tea the total cost was £9.20. The breakfast was huge and a pleasure to eat and tea at 20p a cup is unheard of these days! Taking into account the excellent environment and service this seemed like a reasonable price to pay. 8/10

Veggie option - Egg, veggie sausage, bubble and squeak, beans tomatoes and mushrooms £7.00

Overall - There are not many places like this about anymore and Terry's is a cafe that you simply must visit, proper old school! Its not just a good breakfast you will find here but a stunning interior, great atmosphere and friendly staff that immediately make you feel at home. The 20p cup of tea is really nice touch but one thing not to miss is that amazing bubble and squeak. 8/10


  1. Had been wanting to go to Terry's for a while now, ever since my regular fry up place changed ownership and sank it by getting rid of the talented chef and waitress. I found a slice of old school Britain. With it's perfectly cooked Blowout and friendly service. A rare find that is well worth going into the city for.

  2. im a london Taxi driver and i reckon this is the best caff in london
    still all cooked by old english cockney women

  3. Was going here late 80's. Our offices were around the corner and a regular sandwich run (always fresh bread doorsteps) was in place in addition to sit downs on a Saturday. Terry was always friendly and he had great staff in Liz and Rosa. Glad that his sons are helping to keep things going and staff are still friendly. Must make some time to go back soon for a reminisce.

  4. the owner. arrogant. The polish waitress so-so, the food average for a Greasy Food Cafe

  5. The owner arrogant the polish waitress helpful. The food average for a "greasy spoon"

  6. I sat here for ten minutes in the seat by the draughty doorway watching builder queue to pay for their breakfasts consumed. After 10 minutes of non recognition and not being served, I left and went opposite to the Giggling Sausage, ordered immediately and was served food before this place would have said hello.

  7. Best Breakfast in London.... and a Cup of Tea for 20p with Food.... Unheard of.... I sit outside always, and as if by magic a Cup of Tea appears.... First Class Service .... The Works.... with Bubble and fresh Fried Tomatoes...

  8. I visited Terry's yesterday after seeing it as the location for this excellent interview with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon talking about their TV series The Trip. I was very impressed with The Works breakfast that I had and the atmosphere inside the cafe was just perfect. I came on here to tell you all about it ... and, of course, you have already visited.

  9. Serves proper sausages and generally the food is good, but has got quite pricey so unless you are a tourist or plumber with loads of dosh you wild find £8.00 for Sausage,egg and chips and a cup of tea a bit on the steep side. Still always full so some people are doing alright.