Regency Cafe London’s Best Greasy Spoon
The Regency Cafe is a traditional English cafe in the heart of London serving traditional British food. The Regency Cafe first opened in 1946. On the corner of Regency Street and page street in the middle of primarily residential roads bordering Westminster and Pimlico. The 1940s design of Black tiled exterior, gingham fabric curtains and original white tilled walls look retro.
The distinctive look of Regency Cafe and adjacent Page Street have made both popular film and photo shoot locations. It features in a scene in the film Layer Cake starring Daniel Craig who later went on to star as James Bond. And the Regency Cafe was once voted the fifth best restaurant in London on website Yelp.
“To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day”
“To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day,” said the writer William Somerset Maugham. So fortunately breakfast is what Regency Cafe is renowned for. A favourite with locals and Londoners for 7 decades the internet has now put it firmly on the tourist map. Intrigued and keen to try a traditional Full English Breakfast customers now come from all around the world.
Cash only and no reservations taken at this style of traditional London cafe affectionately known as a greasy spoon. Their is a polite notice at the door asking all customers to join the queue and place their orders before taking a seat.
And the queue often goes out the door which can look off putting to potential visitors. But like most traditional greasy spoon style cafes their are no modern facility’s to keep customers lingering. Having no customer toilets, Wi-fi, plug sockets and all the tricks coffee shops use to keep you in store hadn’t been invented when Regency Cafe first opened.
The long queue
But everything works as perfectly as clockwork. The lack of facilities means customers order, eat and leave. The long queue at peak times is usually about the time it takes to eat a Full English. So as one customer joins the Queue the first in line is ordering and the customers at the front when they arrived are leaving. When you place your order they take your name or if its a difficult one give you a number. Only once you’ve ordered do you find a seat at one of the formica tables. Then as the parts of your breakfast are ready they shout you out to collect at the counter.
The menu is mostly traditional British Dishes. And all the dishes that powered the Industrial revolution and made Britain Great. Pies, Pasties, Steak and Kidney puddings, liver and bacon, Corn beef, Jacket Potatoes, Ham egg and chips, Bread and butter pudding, sponges and custard. Also daily lunch specials include Steak, Shepherds pie, Roast dinner and on Fridays Fish and chips with mushy peas.
The Best Full English Breakfast in London
Regency Cafe is renowned for its Full English Breakfast. The Full English Breakfast is still popular with the British. Yet most of us no longer have jobs that require that amount of fuel. So in recent decades the traditional greasy spoon cafes have started to disappear. With a decline in manual labour and increase in health conscience some struggled as a result. Supported primarily by the building trade during the week and hung over party goes at weekends. The Full English breakfast remains the best cure to relieve the symptoms of a long night in the pub.
The set breakfast deal is amazing value especially for central London. Egg, Bacon, Sausage, Beans or Tomatoes, Bread or toast, Tea or Coffee for just £5.50. And breakfast extras include Black pudding, bubble and squeak and hash browns for 90p each. Brits can’t agree on the exact contents of a Full English Breakfast. So there is a long list of alternative breakfast deals or you can order individual items.
So for visitors the set Breakfast with optional extras and traditional builders style tea is a great cheap full English Breakfast. Why we call it builders tea I don’t know but it is simply weak British tea with too much milk. Furthermore each table also has the two condiments that Brits also disagree over, tomato ketchup or brown sauce.
So to see more check out the video above to see the full English Breakfast at Regency cafe. And also its a great place for visitors to try another British classic – Marmite.
The Regency Cafe, 17 – 19 Regency Street, London. SW1P 4BY
Monday – Friday 7am – 2.30pm + 4pm – 7pm
Saturday – 7am – 12pm
Sunday – Closed
The Regency Cafe has no official website at the time of my visit. However you can check out their unofficial one here. Check the latest Trip advisor reviews here. Time Out London’s review here. Yelps latest reviews here. And for reviews and more menu images Zomato here.