The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Monday, September 05, 2005

Mario's Cafe, Kentish Town

Mario's Cafe
6 Kelly St
Kentish Town
NW1 8PH
www.marioscafe.com

by Dr Sigmund Fried

And lo, having tried - and failed - to penetrate the hallowed walls of Mario’s due to it being inexplicably closed three weekends on the trot, this humble hack did finally break there early on a sunny Saturday afternoon in September. I had reliably been informed by friends for quite a while that Mario’s does the best breakfast in Kentish Town if not the whole area (comprising Tufnell Park, Camden Town et al), and so this coquettishness on the part of the proprietor possibly built up my expectations of what lay in store to such an extent that only a truly Olympic standard fry-up was going to make the grade.

In reality then it was more akin to the Commonwealth Games: of a pretty high standard - and very reasonable at £4.50 for sausage, egg, bacon, mushrooms, tea and toast - but as a spectator, one gets the feeling that there’s probably better out there. Slightly dodgy analogy put to one side then, Mario’s problem is that it lets itself down on the details - deep-fried mushrooms when fried is preferable; cheap sausage where a fat, meaty Lincolnshire/Toulose etc is essential. Indeed, the location (on a quiet and colourful street just off the main road) and interior (pleasingly quaint, homely and relaxing with some good quality, colourful original art on the walls) are hard to fault.

I’d hate to think I’m being unduly harsh, and so I must stress that if you live in the area it’s absolutely worth checking out – it’s just a shame that, at the moment, it’s not quite the world-beater that it could so easily be.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this the legendary Mario's cafe from the St Etinne song of the same name? I feel nostalgic just thinking about it.

11:25 AM, October 03, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, this is indeed the legendary Mario's cafe. "Ah, cigarette, cup of tea, a bun..."

1:06 PM, June 14, 2006  
Anonymous Rob said...

Besf caff in the world. Egg, chips, beans, mushroom, tomatoes, fried slice, two *uncut* white slices and a cup of tea - leave the bag in. He still remembers my usual despite only managing to get back a few times a year. I used to practically live here until 2000 and I miss it now I live 60 miles away. And his Mum is the best...

11:09 PM, July 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only a good breakfast but it is the man himself - Mario one of the most easy going and charming cafe owners in the world. Kind to all comers and always there - the backbone of Kentish Town. He is a supporter of the arts with regular changes of exhibitions and a mum who is still cutting homemade chips every night and making her own pasta. In a low key but excellent way Marios is a total winner and is the best coffee north of Rome!!!

5:10 PM, December 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All true,and a good place for spotting the local celebs....no names here !

7:21 PM, October 22, 2007  
Anonymous Lloyd said...

Best cafe in the whole wide world!

6:37 PM, October 15, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep reading this blog in the hope of finding a good breakfast recommendation, but out of the 10 or so I have read they have all been bad or mediocre. Are there any good breakfast places in London? in your eyes?

12:08 PM, December 17, 2009  
Anonymous Hidden London said...

...and you really must watch this great short documentary about it...
http://vimeo.com/11101411

2:13 PM, July 15, 2010  
Blogger JAn said...

I would feel remiss if I didn't post a comment professing my love for this place. Proper coffee, excellent chips, and an absolute diamond of an owner. I also love the vibe and characters if this place and the conversations one can overhear or perhaps get swept up in.

3:48 PM, July 30, 2010  

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