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“The Second Coming. Cafe Heaven.”
Review of Terry's Cafe

Terry's Cafe
Ranked #658 of 22,509 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $12
Cuisines: Cafe, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Kids, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Brunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Waitstaff
Description: If you’re looking for a Michelin-star restaurant you’re in the wrong place. Terry’s Cafe is a diamond in the rough. In an area now saturated with chains and soulless cheap snacks we’re proud to have achieved TripAdvisor’s 5-star rating and Certificate of Excellence for two years running. We offer good, affordable, locally sourced produce. And with our ever-increasing takeaway menu you can walk away with your lunch for a fiver. Our story: Terry came from a modest family of cooks. His dad was a chef in the army and his mum a pastry cook, so naturally he grew up around food. Born and raised in South London — all his family were from the Borough — where bomb sites were the playgrounds of his generation. Like most working class families in London, summer holidays were spent working on hop farms around Kent, pulling down vines for the local breweries. During the war he was evacuated to Folkestone, where he lived with an Army major and his wife. After the bombs stopped falling, Terry was reunited with the major on a trip down memory lane which resulted in his ownership of two pigs. This quickly turned into a smallholding two thousand pigs. (Promise we’re not telling porkies.) Learning the trade: At 17, Terry got a job at Smithfield Meat Market, where he learnt his trade in all aspects of butchery. But after a long career in the market, he decided it was time for a change of direction in order to spend some time with his young family. In 1982 he opened what is now known as Terry’s Cafe. With his extensive product knowledge, cooking and butchering skills, he produced wonderful home-cooked food using the resources from Smithfield and Borough markets nearby. South London ambassador: During his life, Terry was an ambassador for the local community. He passed on his values and experience to his son, Austin, who was named after Austin’s of Peckham, a former antiques shop on Rye Lane. Terry even got a discount on antiques for promoting the name. Austin has worked in Terry’s since becoming a Saturday boy at the age of 14. Now in his thirties, he plans to move forward with his dad’s winning formula and continue to promote traditional values and British culture in a positive fashion. Terry’s Tea Drink tea for Victory -World peace & positivity Have you seen the news lately? It seems like every day there’s another war, scandal or natural disaster. Just thinking about it would make your head spin. While you’re at Terry’s, we’d like to encourage you to pause for thought and meditate over a cup of your favourite brew. It’ll help you put things in perspective and appreciate the wonderful world we live in. The only London caff with it's own blend of tea. London’s noted cup of tea was the result of a research trip to Sri Lanka and India that was more about self-discovery than tea discovery. But the people at Terry’s are no stranger to a decent cup of tea. The distinctive flavour and soothing effect of these teas were hard to ignore. And soon they were on a boat to London to be sold exclusively at Terry’s. Terry's Tea : London's noted cup of tea since 1982 , pure unblended , fully traceable ceylon tea , available in store and on the Terry's cafe website . Available in English Breakfast (Cylon Black ) . Earl Grey . Green tea & Jasmine . Chamomile .London's morning pride coming soon . SUMMER NOTICE :Please note we will be closed on Saturdays for the the month of August only . Return to a normal work Schedule in September
Newcastle upon Tyne
Level Contributor
134 reviews
114 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“The Second Coming. Cafe Heaven.”
Reviewed October 18, 2013

This is my second review of Terry's cafe. I was first here some 8 months ago and was massively impressed. I have been back 3 times since. I decided it was time to post a new review and share my experiences. I arrived at just before 10:30 on a Friday and the place was packed full of working men and office suits. I took the last seat in the corner of the cafe. I ordered the blow-out at £7.40 (after checking that the famous bubble was available), a coffee and a slice of toast, which are not included in the breakfast price. The delightfully pleasant (in both aesthetics and attitude) waitress, who was most amused by my wonderfully colloquial Geordie accent, swiftly took my order. The blow-out is composed of: 2 eggs, a large Cumberland sausage, bacon thrice, bubble or chips and beans or toms. I went for bubble and ordered the beans to add moisture across the piece. As I waited for my freshly cooked order I took the time to remind myself what makes this place great. Most reviewers will allude to the decor and the music, but it's much more than that. It's the mixture of customers; some sitting inside, gently getting through a breakfast or luncheon and others enjoying their meal outside with a cigarette. It's also the passing trade stopping to order a coffee from the barista cart before they rush off to the office. If you like people watching this is your place.
My pipping hot breakfast arrived 15 mins later. Visually it's stunning. A massive slice of fantastic bubble loomed large on the plate like a vegetable Vesuvius; flawless in texture, colour and flavour. 3 thick good quality slices of best bacon were nestling betwixt the aforementioned Cumberland and 2 perfectly cooked fried eggs - ideal for dipping and some beans which were thickened somewhat, exactly how I like them. Coffee is good quality and toast was, well toast. I always view the English breakfast a real ensemble piece. If one item is off it knocks the whole experience for me. There were no such concerns here. One cautionary bit of advice, unless you are really hungry maybe go for the Standard as the blow-out is a serious undertaking. I'm eating and then typing in between and it's taken me an enjoyable 25 mins to get through the meal. Terry's cafe - It's quite simply a wonderful place which thrives on serving super quality food at good prices time after time. I'm signing off now. I need a lie down!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank bekoubetts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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270 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A gem of a cafe - unique.”
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Terry's is a local institution: proper English breakfasts, lunchtime roasts and traditional puddings.

I go to Terry's at least once a week. Sitting there with a cup of tea, you feel part of Borough village life.

The nostalgic decoration harks back to a time before frittatas and skinny lattes. The photos on the wall are of the local area (c 1930) with some snaps of (the late) Terry and his family, not generic prints from cafefurnishers.com. The cheery staff are always welcoming and the quiet 1920s tunes create a relaxing atmosphere. In short, Terry's is a gem of a cafe - it's unique.

PS. I like an English breakfast with doorstop bread and a 20p cup of tea. My wife likes their fancy eggs and a Monmouth coffee. Always excellent.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank James G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great English Breakfast”
Reviewed September 29, 2013 via mobile

My BF and I passed this place in our first full day in London. We already had plans, so we just grabbed a coffee and left. We thought the coffee was great and we loved the little setup that had outside with the coffee/cappuccino machine and the overall look of the pace was enticing, so we went back the next morning for breakfast. Unfortunately, we enjoyed the place so much that we ate there the remainder of our stay in London, before heading further out for my sisters wedding. I say unfortunately because I am sure we missed a lot of other nice places, but Terry's had such a great atmosphere and Austin was such a captivating person. The guy really belongs on a television show or something with his unique personality. Don't get me wrong, the traditional English breakfast was amazing too and at reasonable prices. My Bf and I have been home a couple of weeks now, so it is about time I got around to posting this review. I told Austin I would yelp him and he said tripadvisor, so here it is:-)

Thanks for making our trip more memorable, for the free spicy sausage and for recommending the duck eggs, even though I misunderstood you the first day and thought you were suggesting I have duck for breakfast. Good luck and good health in your future. - Jason and Frank

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Jason G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terryscafe, Owner at Terry's Cafe, responded to this review, October 1, 2013
Hello Jason & Frank ,

It was a pleasure to serve you both ,we had a good laugh , you became regulars and really captured the spirit of the place , i wish you both well for the future and also hope San Fran is treating you well .


Im still disappointed you never made it to croydon !

Best of luck ,

Austin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bromley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
71 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Old School Cafe..Perfect pick me up”
Reviewed September 26, 2013

Austin is definitely one of a kind , eaten here many times, all day breakfast (top quality ingredients) and the Toad in the Hole are my fave's

Hidden Gem, well worth a visit, 20p Teas !

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank RajuWatts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terryscafe, Owner at Terry's Cafe, responded to this review, December 1, 2014
Oi Oi ,

Thank you very much , see you soon ,

Best wishes,

Austin & The team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lodi, Lombardia, Italy
Level Contributor
209 reviews
156 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“English style? Yes...but...”
Reviewed August 28, 2013

This morning my boyfriend and I ate in Terry's Cafe. He had a full english breakfast quite good and I had a croissant plain(almond was finished) not very special and a porridge with banana that i didn't like but this is a problem of mine. Of course it is a very english cafè but I never had a service like this. The blonde waitress continued" to smile "about my boyfriend and me and about our questions (for example that one about porridge); she looked also at the other waitress as she would like find a partner. She smiled also about my request of skinny latte and when we arrived she didn't look at us and she didn't show a table. The owner was kinder than her, I have to tell this. i wouldn't come back for the service!

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Silvia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terryscafe, Owner at Terry's Cafe, responded to this review, August 29, 2013
Hello Silvia ,

Im so sorry you feel this way ....... i have no explanation for this , i remember talking to you both about the porridge and about working in england and enjoyed talking to you both, i even remember your boyfriends order ,egg bacon two sausage (1,hot & spicy) fresh tomatoes & mushrooms in which he left a clean plate.
I apologise if the girls come across this way , i can promise you it would not of been their intention , but i will relaying your review to them first thing in the morning for them to take note .
From monday i shall be replacing my croissant supplier and baking them fresh on the premises .Service along with the food are our strong points and i am genuinely sorry we failed you on this occasion and hope you accept our sincerest apologies .

Kind regards,

Austin .
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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