In the atmospheric, mediaeval crypt of St Mary le Bow Church, the Cafe Below is a City institution. A quiet oasis from the hectic world above, serving a short menu of British and European dishes, with the occasional curry, the cafe has an ever changing seasonal menu. Being beneath the Bow Bells, naturally we are dedicated to all things London, so we source as locally as possible; our coffee is roasted in Hackney and our beer brewed in the East End. For breakfast, we are the perfect place for a moment of quiet before the day begins or a small or large business meeting, all with Homemade rye toast, River Farm smoked salmon, Brioche French toast and our own granola.
Jay Rayner hailed the cafe as being the "kind of restaurant any hectic city needs"; a quality driven, friendly place where you can meet mates, clients or colleagues, all in the unique setting of a Christopher Wren crypt!
£25 and under
I came here in summer 2004 thanks to a guidebook called Vegetarian London. I'm so glad I did! How utterly cool to be able to dine in a church crypt. The food was delicious, too; at the time they had "health bowls" filled with grains and fresh vegetables. I think the menu has changed since then but according to their website they still have vegetarian items. A must-dine for vegetarian...more
This is a former vegetarian-only canteen/restaurant, interestingly located in a crypt under St. Mary Le Bow on Cheapside.Food here is an interesting combination of homy food, cooked in a more elegant way. It is tasty and of higher quality than most (maybe all) other options in that area, and it is more expensive as well.
I never managed to become a regular though, visiting only once every...more
It was fine, nothing special. I experienced a bit of culture shock, though, when I got my meal. I ordered scrambled eggs and bacon over toast, and what I got was very good, but as an American, I found the eggs to be a tad runny, and apparently white bread is different here than it is in the states. The bacon was amazing, though. It was a large strip rather than the dainty pieces that are...more
I was so disappointed because I went to the website and was convinced that I was going to have an elegant and inspiring lunch. The salad on the website with the elequent pitcher of dressing made me think linen tablecloths in a light and airy dining room. Even walking in, I was digging the graphics of the bright green signs leading me down below. I even loved the typeface on the menus and...more
...a church, in case you were wondering.
Not that you were, since Molly and Larissa have both mentioned it. But hey, maybe you're reading this first. Who am I to judge?
Actually, that's what I'm meant to be doing. Only I'm judging the gaff, not you. So.. why three stars?
It's a really nice place and is perfect for the city. They've used the space really well and there's a nice outside...more