Cafe Below

4.7
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367 reviews
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£25 and under
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British
In the atmospheric, mediaeval crypt of St Mary le Bow Church, the Cafe Below is a City institution. A quiet oasis from the hectic world above, serving a short menu of British and European dishes, with the occasional curry, the cafe has an ever changing seasonal menu. Being beneath the Bow Bells, naturally we are dedicated to all things London, so we source as locally as possible; our coffee is roasted in Hackney and our beer brewed in the East End. For breakfast, we are the perfect place for a moment of quiet before the day begins or a small or large business meeting, all with Homemade rye toast, River Farm smoked salmon, Brioche French toast and our own granola.

Jay Rayner hailed the cafe as being the "kind of restaurant any hectic city needs"; a quality driven, friendly place where you can meet mates, clients or colleagues, all in the unique setting of a Christopher Wren crypt!

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What 367 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Quiet
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JS
JoSummers
London
2 reviews
Dined on 11 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, good service and a lovely quirky atmosphere. Will definitely come back

D
Dickdoc
London
7 reviews
Dined on 17 January 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

2 70+ year old doctors. First time. Attracted by quality of other crypt restaurants. This is one of the best. Warm and helpful staff on arrival at 1pm despite v busy. Had reserved table (wise) and though close to others not too noisy. Service fast and helpful. My salmon Salad excellent and very fresh. Colleague’s chicken main beautifully cooked and tasty. Very impressed. Excellent value. Note: open 7-1030 breakfast. Reopens for lunch and closes at 2.30 Mon -Fri only. Problems? None. All staff superb throughout. Well done.

BJ
BradJ
London
8 reviews
Dined on 12 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was good, as was the wine and the service. Very well priced for tge City.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 10 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Despite our last minute revised numbers, Cafe Below took us straight to our table without hesitation. Menu always interesting and delicious. Staff very attentive.

SO
vipStewartO
London
28 reviews
Dined on 10 December 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience3

Lovely setting, but not warm and cozy. Service fine, but one side order missed, and no marmite - just confusion with marmalade. But, I'll be vack

C
Customer
1 review
Dined on 21 November 2019
Overall4food4service2ambience4

Lovely food. Really fresh and delicious. Nice space.

I found the waitress wasn't very accomodating or flexible. She wouldnt let us change tables (despite it being almost empty for the first hour of us being there)... forgot a drink I ordered... didnt come to check if the food was ok... and when I asked if I could have the chocolate brownie as a warm dessert she said no (I chose not to order a dessert, so they lost out on us paying for another dish when they could have quite easily pinged in in a microwave for 30 secondas and I would have been happy with that!).
As it wasn't particularly busy and there were plenty of staff per customer, I felt the service let down the experience. Saying that, the food is great and will still come back, but sadly expect less from the waiters to avoid a feeling of disappointment. It's a shame, but it was missing those very basic customer service touches that make a big imepact on a diner's experience.

IB
vipIBBB
London
195 reviews
Dined on 19 November 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

another excellent meal at this fine city eatery!
Excellent salad and great ambience

SM
vipSamanthaM
London
14 reviews
Dined on 18 October 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Nice location; underneath the church. Full of character. Very quiet - people in there working on laptops. Had a lovely freshly cooked breakfast. Was a group booking and all were happy!

p
pppp
London
13 reviews
Dined on 16 September 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

It is quite noisy but the food was excellent

EH
vipEmmaH
London
124 reviews
Dined on 4 September 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Excellent food and nice atmosphere. Great spot to lunch with a friend.

KS
KirstyS
London
13 reviews
Dined on 8 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely love the Cafe Below. Great food, attentive staff and lovely location. It will always be a favourite

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 21 June 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was simple and delicious. Our server made us feel so welcome. Thank you!

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great

IB
vipIBBB
London
195 reviews
Dined on 12 June 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another excellent lunch at Cafe Below. Healthy, simple, reasonable, clean, great venue

WB
WillowBe
1 review
Dined on 5 June 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

My only complaint about Cafe Below was the excessively rushed service. As soon as we arrived We were asked 3 times within 5 mins if we were ready to order, then the food came instantly. The moment we finished we were asked if we wanted desert. I was tempted to ask if we were only allowed 15 mins table time!! It made us feel under pressure to leave! Food was lovely though.

JP
JaniceP
London
5 reviews
Dined on 17 May 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always 5 stars, can’t fault this place, everything of the menu is always delicious. Compliments to the chef!

JM
vipJeanetteM
London
3 reviews
Dined on 10 May 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Cafe Below is my favourite place to eat in the City and I love to take friends there to enjoy the wonderfully cosy atmosphere. The salads are imaginative and delicious. The service is always friendly and attentive.

JP
JaniceP
London
5 reviews
Dined on 1 May 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always delicious, can’t fault it.

GP
GillP
London
1 review
Dined on 12 April 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

One of my favourite places, great food, friendly staff nice atmosphere....

JM
vipJeanetteM
London
4 reviews
Dined on 12 April 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cafe Below is my favourite place to eat in the City. There's a wonderful atmosphere, the service is always attentive and friendly, and the food is delicious. I'm already looking forward to my next meal there.

IB
vipIBBB
London
195 reviews
Dined on 10 April 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

another reliable meal at this excellent city eatery. good food; pleasant service and ambience

IB
vipIBBB
London
195 reviews
Dined on 9 April 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Another excellent meal at Café Below. Reliable food, speedy service and affordable. Great venue

FH
vipFionaH
London
4 reviews
Dined on 18 March 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A lovely haven to have lunch in the City. It is a small space, with therefore a small menu, but the choice was good.

FH
vipFionaH
London
4 reviews
Dined on 4 March 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Sadly the lamb dish had sold out by the time we ordered.
Nevertheless the chicken salad was extremely nice. The wait staff were very attentive, as ever. Many thanks, and will definitely come again.

JM
vipJeanetteM
London
4 reviews
Dined on 28 February 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I am never disappointed by the Cafe Below and still love to visit there from time to time even though I no longer work nearby. The food is always delicious and the salads are particularly inspired. The service is excellent and always comes with a smile. I'm already looking forward to my next visit.

IB
vipIBBB
London
195 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Another great lunch at Cafe Below.
The salads are truly wonderful; the deserts delicious and wine reasonable.

MD
vipMarshahD
London
42 reviews
Dined on 5 February 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very good food and service

AC
AnneC
London
1 review
Dined on 3 January 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was really good and would highly recommend this restaurant. Service was good and friendly too. This was my first visit and will definitely be going back again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 17 December 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Cool venue very interesting. Food was decent, not amazing but tasty and decent portions. Prices reasonable given it’s in St. Paul’s. Makes a very nice change to all the corporate style restaurants in the City. Would go again. Lots of options for vegetarians too.

AK
vipAKN1
London
12 reviews
Dined on 17 December 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and very speedy service - fantastic place for lunch.

S
vipSandrine
London
13 reviews
Dined on 11 December 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience4

lovely staff, food was very good, we asked for a discrete table and were put next to a group so not so great as it's a bit echoey and we had trouble hearing each other once they arrived but other than that, the food and staff really made us forget about this.
We will come back for sure!

N
Nikki
London
20 reviews
Dined on 5 December 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An incredible place - made even more special by the staff; friendly, attentive, witty, caring...if I didn't already have a partner, I would move in!

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
7 reviews
Dined on 2 November 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very cosy crypt with a large choice of great meals. Vegetarian options are awesome and the products are good and fresh!

AB
ABIN
London
1 review
Dined on 5 October 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Yummy Friday brekkie with a colleague - second time this week - this could be habit-forming! Which is not necessarily a bad thing... thanks Cafe Below!

IB
vipIBBB
London
195 reviews
Dined on 19 September 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience4

another excellent meal at Café Below. The ambience is perfect for a business meal, and the acoustics such that you can converse easily and quietly.
Food is excellent too!

IB
vipIBBB
London
195 reviews
Dined on 21 August 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another wonderful lunch at Café Below!
Excellent food; lovely wine; great service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
7 reviews
Dined on 16 August 2018
Overall5food4service4ambience3

Quaint location with homemade food. Nothing massively spectacular food wise, but very enjoyable

JM
vipJeanetteM
London
4 reviews
Dined on 1 August 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It's always a pleasure and a treat to eat at the Cafe Below. The food is always freshly prepared and there's something for all tastes. I especially enjoy the salad plates and vegetarian dishes. The service is always friendly with a smile and I always feel very welcome there.

r
rjeat
London
13 reviews
Dined on 24 July 2018
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Booked through Open Table using the special lunch offer (which you have to physically click on) of 2 courses and drink for £18. I've done a lot of deals like this through Open table and another site with no issues. When I asked for the bill they charged full price which I questioned. The waitress went off to "speak to the manager" and came back saying you must mention the offer before you order.

Now, I say that the correct response should have been, "you should request the menu before, but we will correct the bill". Note, the food is the same. The deal was only £10 cheaper for 2 so no real issue, but for anyone booking it, just note what you need to do.

Food was all OK. Nicely cooked but not particularly full of flavour.

SW
vipStripeyWoof
London
12 reviews
Dined on 3 July 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful to be able to sit outside in the City but away from traffic. Interesting and delicious array of salads all hand prepared. Home made lemonade was very refreshing in the heat. Food very good value. Service very efficient yet friendly. Will certainly come back.

FAQs

Cafe Below offers takeaway which you can order by calling the restaurant at 020 7329 0789.

Cafe Below is rated 4.7 stars by 367 OpenTable diners.

You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.