Blue Brick Café
What used to be a standard greasy spoon is now a tidy little vegetarian bistro. The Blue Brick Café does a mean veggie variation of a full English for your hangover needs, but also pushes the boat out further into spicy chickpea stews, risottos, and substantial salads. It's got a sweet cosy charm to it, and is definitely the kind of place you wouldn't feel nervous about taking your meat-loving friends. It's cash-only, so nip by an ATM on your way then share their banoffee pie with a loved one. Simples.
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Tide Tables Cafe
Tucked neatly underneath a converted archway beneath Richmond Bridge, this vegetarian/vegan safe haven flaunts a large garden with three majestic trees and some of the best views of the Thames. Great coffee at tiny prices makes this an easy all-day hangout when there's sun by the riverside. Their full-on vegetarian breakfast is something we'll definitely be venturing back for.
High Tea of Highgate
***Closed. 05/18*** This charming, family-run tearoom specialises in loose-leaf brews, and boy do you have a selection crisis ahead of you. There’s a category breakdown on the menu to help you decide though: black, green, herbal and fruit. And yes, there are plenty of freshly baked cakes to scoff too - the carrot and walnut number with cream cheese is a particular favourite among regulars. But home-made cakes and fancy teas ain’t the only thing on the agenda here - peruse the walls and shelves and have your pick of local art, cute tea-pots, aprons and other tea-related paraphernalia. Lunch offerings are simple and sweet - toasted sandwiches, frittatas and soups.
***Permanently Closed*** London’s first gluten-free patisserie is on a mission to raise expectations. They’re aware of the growing market and equally aware of the sceptic’s beef: gluten-free food often suffers in taste and texture. Not at Manna Dew however, where 10 months were devoted to perfectly crafting recipes to ensure top quality. We're not gluten-free and we couldn’t tell the difference - not only that, but the cakes are affordable and as pretty as a Parisian picture. Swing by and tuck into something like the delicious pistachio ricotta cheesecake, or the Egyptian breakfast with creamy scrambled eggs, yoghurt cheese topped with dukkah (mixed spices), salad, falafel and bread.
Wood St Coffee
Wood St Coffee might be open, airy, and laid back, but these guys don't fuck around when it comes to coffee. Serving up specialty brews, courtesy of Climpson & Sons and Counter Roastery, this independent local cafe is a great shout for those who want the best-of-all-beans in their cup of Joe. Man, they're so passionate about the art of coffee making that they offer masterclasses in home-brewing and latte art. The food ain't bad either; weekend brunches are hearty and antipodean inspired, which means sourdough toasties, homemade cakes and scrumptious salads. Do yourself a favour and get involved.