StringRay Globe Café, Bar & Pizzeria

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
1 Love It
Bethnal Green

A feature of the northern end of Columbia Road for more than a decade, this corner joint still pulls in the crowds through its cheerful atmosphere and generous, low-cost grub. The pine tables, scuffed wooden floors and primary coloured walls give the place the feel of an arty backpackers’ café circa 1990, while displays of local art reference the creativity of the surrounding area.

The food isn’t especially sophisticated, nor is it always Italian (feta and halloumi feature in several of the salads and pasta dishes), but if you’re looking for cheap and filling, you won’t go far wrong. Pizzas are the highlight, mainly due to their huge size. Though nothing to write home to mamma about – we found the bases quite bland – they’re tasty enough and varied, ranging from the classic (fiorentina, quattro formaggi) to the cross-cultural (the mexicana, with jalapeño chillies and minced beef).

Daily meat, fish and vegetarian specials are also available, and desserts are calorific (tiramisu, banoffi pie) but tasty. StringRay is normally heaving on Sunday lunchtimes; arrive early to grab a prime spot on the front terrace, from where you can watch plant-laden passers-by leaving the flower market.


Venue name: StringRay Globe Café, Bar & Pizzeria
Address: 109 Columbia Road
E2 7RL
Opening hours: Meals served 11am-11.15pm daily
Transport: Tube: Hoxton rail or bus 26, 48, 55
Price: Main courses £6.95-£11.95

Average User Rating

2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
2 people listening

Bish, bosh, bash no frills, good value pizza and pasta. Great neighbourhood restaurant when you just can't be bothered to cook. Sit in or take out, it's never going to break the bank. Service is sometimes a little curt but that's forgiven with the prices in mind. 


I've been here many times over the years. The food's not bad for the price but the service ruins any chance you have of a nice time. They ignore you, they like to tell you its your fault your food is taking so long (40mins for 3 normal pasta dishes?) , they brought us a bottle of wine when we'd asked for a glass and then blamed us for changing our mind, and then have the nerve to want to charge you £1 for paying by card. Please avoid, it just leaves you unnecessarily riled up when you leave. This is a recent thing and I really hope the management staff decide to take the feedback onboard.


I love the food at this place, and as a regular, I always have a nice belly when I leave-the only problem is the truly disrespectful and awful service we receive EVERY TIME. The waitresses always have terrible attitudes and I have even once been scowled at for asking for ketchup for my fries! They never smile and they ignore you when you ask for something quickly, often pulling a face or rolling their eyes. I am always frustrated when I leave, hoping they will improve their attitudes, but it never happens. I have started not tipping them, to which they again roll their eyes and laugh at, which is even more rude. There are reviews all over the internet saying the same thing: It is common knowledge that the waiting staff are extremely rude. I think the management should start to do something and realise that their staff is destroying the great reputation that their chefs have built up.