Café Below

Restaurants, British Mansion House
4 Love It
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Café Below

A City café that’s a cut above for quality, ambition, and the setting – a Grade I-listed Christopher Wren church.

Anyone born within hearing range of St Mary-le-Bow’s bells is, by tradition, a bona fide Cockney. Christopher Wren’s church stands amid the City hubbub, and its crypt now houses this unpretentious café. It’s a breakfast and lunch spot only, with an open kitchen that works its way from bacon sarnies and french toast in the morning to a daily changing roster of substantial rustic grub – beef bourguignon, fish pie, jerk chicken – come midday. 

For years this was a vegetarian café, and veggie classics with a twist are still offered. Feta, olive and yellow courgette were encased in a nicely wobbly quiche with a crisp top and an unfortunately soggy base; crunchy roast potatoes and a tangle of salad leaves rounded off the plate. Puddings could feature zesty coconut lime tart or divine chocolate chestnut cake. Square Mile suits and consumers from the One New Change shopping centre throng in for takeaways or to eat in the high-arched canteen.

The new East End makes an appearance with London Fields Brewery beers and Allpress coffee. In summer, ascend the weathered flagstone steps to take secular communion with a cuppa outdoors in the churchyard.



Venue name: Café Below
Address: St Mary-le-Bow Church
Opening hours: Meals served 7.30am-2.30pm Mon, Tue; Wed-Fri 7:30am-5pm
Transport: Tube: Mansion House
Price: Main courses £6-£10
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When did you last walk into the basement of a church to get a cup of coffee? Located near the Bank station, this little cafe serves baked goods for breakfast, short menu of hot food for lunch and deliciously strong coffee to get you into gear to start off your day.


Living up to its name, the ‘Cafe below’ is set in the basement of a church and offers a nice atmosphere and good selection of food. The cafe’s most notable feature is the building it is part of. And perhaps this is no surprise given the church was designed by Christopher Wren. Think thick brick walls, an imposing ceiling and yet a cozy dining environment. The salads are very tasty and you have quite a range of options to choose from (the goat’s cheese soufflé is a good pick). Overall a nice spot with a different feel to the usual City restaurants. 

I love this place... breakfast is such a treat - great place for a meeting and lunch is just what you want.... healthy delicious and won't break the bank. The staff are really friendly too and I like seeing the food being freshly prepared... a bit of chef theatre.