Gaby's is a great little restaurant and a West End institution. The salt-beef sandwiches and salads are to die for (as are the falafel options), and I'm really glad the petition helped to keep it open. Certainly worth five stars.
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Wed Nov 2 2011
Having earned a stay of execution from the site's landlord after initial redevelopment plans were met with public outcry, Gaby's Deli (run by 71-year-old Gaby Elyahou), will remain in business until at least May 2013.
Forget the unassuming façade and you’ll see why this (non-Kosher) Jewish deli, a stone’s throw from the tourist destination of Leicester Square, has become such a West End institution.
At the back are small plastic tables beneath walls plastered with theatre flyers. A counter at the front holds a selection of salads, vegetable fritters and stews. Culinary standards are variable. On our last visit we ordered a smoked salmon bagel that arrived toasted, with a generous amount of tasty fish, though we wished the accompanying salad consisted of the treats from the front counter rather than a dull coleslaw and potato salad we received.
A large falafel and salad in pitta was better, the chickpea balls crunchy and warm and covered in a vast amount of proper houmous. For dessert, a slice of lime cheesecake was nearly luminous on top, but weighty and rich, with a lovely sticky base. Fresh orange juice was a plus, as was decent coffee.
Gaby’s is an unpretentious place that's useful to know about, especially as a pre- or post-show eaterie.
Gaby's 30 Charing Cross Road
- Venue phone:
020 7836 4233
- Opening hours:
Meals served 9am-midnight Mon-Sat; 11-10pm Sun.
Tube: Leicester Square tube
Main courses £5-£9.
- 30 Charing Cross Road
- 020 7836 4233
- 30 Charing Cross Road
Average User Rating
4.1 / 5
- 5 star:6
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:0
Firstly I would not really describe this as ‘budget’, in fact I would say some of the choices are really quite expensive. For example, I had the salt beef special with beetroot and potato salad costing £12. The quality was good, bread was tasty, fresh and overall had good flavour. Their cheapest main course option is a ‘chicken wrap’ (I’ve had this before and it’s not particularly filling) at £9. Bear in mind that this is a fairly scruffy café and not a plush restaurant (I like the fact that it’s unpretentious though).
Other dishes on the menu are not truly budget, such as the small side salads priced at £4.80 each. Drinks again are relatively expensive: £2 for a mint tea, £3.60 for a glass of orange juice.
On this occasion (have been about six or so times over the last few years) the service was not at all attentive (one meal was served before the other, we could have been told in advance that one would take longer and asked if we wanted to have them together for example). At the end of the meal we were not asked if we wanted a dessert or coffee and we had to chase them for the bill (it was not really busy, about half full).
I think they have shown themselves to be complacent and that’s a pity really especially
since their future business is under threat.
I ordered the bagel salted beef with salad platter that turned out to be disappointing as the potato salad was way too salty and the portion small with just a few slivers of beef. The bagel was soft a flat. Giving Gaby's anything more than two stars would be too kind. Overll very disappointing especially ifor anyone from New York..
2 stars is an underestimation. Delicious unpretentious Middle Eastern food and good value for its location in heart of theatre land & film land.
2 stars!? That seems way off to me. Gaby's has long been one of my favourite places to eat in London. Its takeaway pittas in particular - felafel, vegetable or aubergine fritter - are faultless and indescribably delicious, and just about the best use of £4 I can think of. The fact that this characterful, unique place, which has been serving delicious, affordable food since the 1960s is now threatened with closure is an absolute tragedy: it is quite simply irreplaceable and would be an incalculable loss to London. I very much hope the landlords will see sense and reconsider their decision to force the place to close. In the mean time, I'd urge anyone who hasn't been to sample Gaby's food while you still have the chance. (I'd also urge Time Out to reconsider their - to me - spectacularly wide of the mark 2 star rating!)
Gaby's is a great little cafe, and one of few affordable, independent places left in the West End outside of Chinatown. I have to say, the review Time Out review is a bizarre one, both in that it's not North American in style but Jewish (where does the reviewer think America got salt beef from?) / Mediterranean, and also because the review doesn't seem to reflect the number of stars given.
Gaby's has become a West End institution for those in the know. The food is delicious and always arrives promptly, the staff are friendly and helpful, and the prices are amazingly low for central London. For many years it has been the only place my family and I have eaten in town when we have needed a quick snack. But now a large developer wants to close it down to make way for some faceless chain. Sign the petition at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-gaby-s-deli-charing-cross-road-london.html
Surely more Greek than North American? Went yesterday and had the stuffed aubergine. It was absolutely delicious and the salad with it was lovely. Really good portion sizes too. The staff were very friendly and, unlike in the above review, when my boyfriend ordered a large salad he was given the choice of the things at the front counter. Would definitely go again.
disagree with the 2stars - a 5 star place, been coming here since student days in the 90's can't fault it!