Pavilion Café

East Finchley

The setting is idyllic: on the edge of 70 acres of ancient woodland and a huge open field, with a wisteria-clad picket fence and a large outdoor terrace. But we particularly like this place because the food and drinks are better than they have to be. Rustic Mediterranean cooking comes in huge portions: a special of fusilli pasta with balsamic-roasted red onions, rocket and tomatoes saw us through lunch and dinner. On another day, you might find slow-cooked pork belly.

Streusel-topped blueberry muffin had a pleasing homemade character and the vanilla ice-cream was good enough to impress both kids and adults. The mix of bar ordering and counter service is confusing and seems to change with each visit; there’s also a sign asking customers to wait to be seated, though none of the staff was attending to this. They were, however, friendly and prompt when it came to ordering. Note that there aren’t many tables inside.


Venue name: Pavilion Café
Address: Highgate Woods
N10 3JN
Cross street: Muswell Hill Road
Opening hours: Open 9am-7pm daily
Transport: Tube: Highgate
Price: Main courses £6-£10

Average User Rating

2.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:4
1 person listening
1 of 1 found helpful

I tried to get a coffee today, admittedly I was 5 minutes early from their opening time but the door was open and there was no sign saying it was closed. It was a freezing morning and I had a small baby with me. the guy was extremely rude and extremely arrogant and quite aggressive towards me when I commented on his lack of help. He told me to go elsewhere and almost shoved me off the premises.. I go there every day to walk my dog and I spend alot of money in their cafe buying coffees cakes etc etc..My face is not one of a new customer and I was thoroughly disappointed to be treated in such a disgusting way. Such a terrible shame

Lee-anne H

This restaurant used to be great but it has gone downhill! I am reviewing following on from Tracey below, I had a similar experience. The manager, who is rude and unhelpful, refused to serve my two children 2 and 4 years old. My little boy was crying for food and she refused to serve us, we were told they were on a break until 12 and she would not give us a bowl of pasta and (shop bought) pesto until then .... It was 11.45! Not sure how many restaurants would treat their patrons like that. The only reason anyone goes there is because of the location, the food is a joke and the service abysmal. Shame on them!

Iveta J

No stars I'm afraid.  Appaling and disgusting.  Yes, true that it used to be lovely about 5 years ago.  The service started to go down, the last time we attempted to eat there we gave up waiting for our food and went somwhere else.  Today (during May half term) we went in to get a coffee and ice cream.  The room that the cafe used to have table for eating inside is now for queing and paying and had a table stacked full of dirty plates (lovely).  The ice cream box was about 80% out of flavours (they cannot even order ice cream for half term week) and did not decaffe that my friend wanted.  I left with crying child.  When it used to to be nice you could hardly get a table in the lovely garden if rain was not on, today you could have picked almost any table.  Real shame.

Steve T

Truly awful Sat morning breakfast with family:

Okay, here goes:

1) Stone cold lattes

2) Full English: bacon that had obviously been pre-cooked and re-fried (?deep fried)

3) One diner's order completely forgotten

4) Bumped into the chef in the toilet who was having a slash and walked out without washing his hands. Nice.


Although service is hit and miss (especially in summer when the crowds get the better of the staff) the food is lovely and very vegetarian-friendly. If you are planning on dropping in for a coffee and cake: try the plum muffin!


Amazing place, the best food and lovely staff! Always going to be your customer!