Early Bird

Restaurants Chalk Farm
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)
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Early Bird
© Guy Dimond
Early Bird

The early bird catches the worm – and it seems as if this early-opening café aims to catch commuters before they vanish down the wormhole that is Chalk Farm tube station. Right next door to the entrance, Early Bird offers sandwiches and Continental cooked dishes, as well as a selection of Polish cakes, in a bright and airy dining area.

Lemony yellow furnishings are contrasted by black-and-white wallpaper depicting birch trees, all illuminated by a broad plate-glass front.

The food is displayed at the counter, but orders taken at the table. A frittata of the day was studded with mushrooms, which turned the egg-based dish into an unfortunate-looking grey slice. Still, a lovely hint of rosemary rendered it perfectly enjoyable.

Salmon fishcakes were moulded patties of crushed new potatoes and big chunks of salmon, generously seasoned with fresh dill. Never mind that they disintegrated at the touch of a fork – these were decent fishcakes.

It’s not obvious that Early Bird has Polish owners and staff unless you notice the Eastern European preserves on sale, and the classic Polish cakes on display.

A cheesecake had a light and crumbly texture, with a hint of lemon flavour, in the Polish way. Also very authentic- tasting was a slice of apple cake, made with chunky cinnamon apple compote and topped with a light crumble.

Local early birds may wish to take advantage of the breakfast options, which are mostly egg-based and include the likes of omelettes and scrambled eggs and served until 2pm.On an earler visit, we tried a cooked breakfast, but we think the cakes and the lunch options are more appealing dishes.


Venue name: Early Bird
Address: 2-3 Chalk Farm Parade
Opening hours: Open 7am-9pm Mon-Fri, 9.30am-9pm Sat, 9.30am-6pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Chalk Farm tube
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £20
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
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I come here mostly with friends but sometimes alone as well. It is a very nice relaxing coffee shop! Unlike Starbucks and other noisy coffee shops! Mainly come for tea/coffee with croissant/pastry, very nice quality tea and fresh pastries. I tried a home made cheesecake once also it was unique


Very good lunch options, affordable, fresh, varied and deliciously composed– it looks like they are always doing their best to use seasonal produce. Cakes are also excellent – plum tart and poppy roulade being my favorite. Highly recommended.


I visit this cafe atleast 4times a week, the food is always nice and fresh, the staff are very happy and friendly. I have recommended this place to many other people. You can even grab a nice cup of coffee at 6am - Starbucks don't even open at that time.


Fantastic place for a bite to eat, and relax after the ordeal of the underground. Great freshly prepared food and friendly staff.


Very nice clean place. Very nice service and food. Fodd light not too heavy so you can stil have a place for a cheskake. Everybody will found something even vegans. The toliet is so clean I could not belive I am in London Cafe


Really disappointing. Went for breakfast here and both the food and the service are below average. Milk that came with coffee was off (!!), it took them another 15 mins to bring more milk by which point coffee was cold. My breakfast was sat at the bar for good 5 mins before they brought it out, they then apologised that they forgot, the poached eggs were boiled. Please don't waste your time and money here.


Wonderful friendly atmosphere, lovely cakes and coffee, a great little welcoming place to watch the world go by!!!!