Cà Phê! Pit stop

There I was cycling the city, running on empty. The stomach starting to act up, forming plans with other body parts, a mutiny. If the rebellion became strong enough my brain would give in. It was time to make a pit stop.

I needed a cycle friendly sort of joint. No locking bikes up or worrying about sweaty clothes, just a place by the side of the road. ‘Cà Phê!‘ is situated on one of the main London cycle arteries that flows east out of the city. Perfect for a quick refueling while heading in or out of the city. This is a bricks n’ mortar version of the popular ‘Saigon Street Café‘ in Broadway Market. The bonus here is that it is open 7 days a week, whereas the latter is only open Saturdays.  As an official Banh Mi admirer, someone who at any given time would like to have their fix and wrap their lips round this Franco-Vietnamese speciality,  must see this place is a godsend.

If you believe, the more things stuffed into a
sandwich the better, then go. Just for kicks here is a huge ingredients list: steamed belly pork, steamed sausage, gammon ham, fluffy pork, and pate. Those are the ingredients for the ‘Classic Saigon Five Pork’. Now chuck in the carrots, daikon pickles, cucumber, spring onion, coriander, Viet mayo and the optional chili sauce. Plus, now don’t quote me on this, but it looked like the lady dashed in some soy sauce too. The bread as all sandwich munching lovers out there are aware, is the foundation to a succesfully blissful mouthful. If your bread ain’t up to scratch, you have nothing. All the other Banh Mi’ers across the city cannot compete with the light, crisp consistency of this bread. I call it the heaven stick(actually I don’t, but that sounded really good).

It was lunch time when I went, and the meal deal was a real steal; five pounds for a sandwich and drink. It felt like daylight robbery, I ordered a Vietnamese coffee to balance my quality/cost conscience meter. I was now running on a full tank, the mutiny had been  averted. I cruised off at a pace that implied satisfaction. The cycle traffic, starting to pick up as after work riders headed home, battling it out for dominance of the road.  For any of those cats who head up Clerkenwell road in the early evening rush, take a chill, park up and go to ‘Cà Phê!‘. Sit outside, watch the race go by. Try the Banh Mi, go for a daily special, or just have a coffee.

Cà Phê!
47 Clerkenwell Rd, EC1M 5RS
Open weekdays: 11am-7pm, Sat-Sun: 10am-7pm
For other locations go to: www.caphevn.co.uk



Categories: London


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2 Comments on “Cà Phê! Pit stop”

  1. Natasha
    August 23, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    Gosh my stomach is rumbling reading this…Can you start a list of your top weekly or monthly restaurant recommendations? Would love to start using this site as a point of reference for future visits to London town and where my stomach will be entertained!

  2. August 24, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Sounds pretty good, I haven’t found a Bahn Mi here in NYC that is quite as good as that, strangely enough I haven’t seen the ‘classic saigon 5 pork’. I’ve seen ones that have the pork in all the ways you listed, just not all together…hmm I have to do some research

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