You won’t find any smashed avocados on toast here, no artisan coffees and certainly no salted caramel pancakes, but despite this lack of essential modern-day breakfast foods, the Regency Café has a formidable reputation as one of the best cafes in London. Oft called a greasy spoon, which I take to mean it’s lathered in grease and tastes as such, it’s not a flattering name. Instead, it should be referred to as ‘no-frills’.
Retro black and white tiles and gingham checked booths line this little café tucked away in a side street in deepest darkest Westminster/ Pimlico, you have to know where you’re going to end up here.
The process of ordering is simple – you get yourselves to the back of the queue and start thinking about which combination of foods you might fancy. You could order from their menu but my recommendation is to just compile a list of things you like the sound of most on your breakfast plate and get those. Prices are low and even that additional slice of bacon isn’t going to break the bank.
So that’s exactly what we do. A smorgasbord of everything we fancy with a couple of teas and a coffee on the side. Despite the Greasy spoon name tag, the food isn’t overly greasy at all, which is a big relief. It’s good quality ingredients very simply cooked. You get exactly what you ask for on a plate, no more, no less. There are no garnishes, no acrouments, no nothing.
The best part of dining here is undoubtedly the calling of the food order. In front of your very eyes, the friendly lady taking your orders morphs from an averagely-voiced lady into a bass megaphone, bellowing out your order so you can come and pick it up. Be warned, you will be shouted at if you pick up someone else’s order. But you won’t care. You’ll be too busy biting into your bacon and eggs, just the way you like it.
Regency Cafe can be found at 17 Regency St, London SW1P 4BY. You can’t book even if you wanted to, but don’t worry, the line moves swiftly enough.