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The Common E2

Restaurants, Cafés Bethnal Green
5 out of 5 stars
(9user reviews)
The Common E2, 2016
© Amandine Alessandra

Time Out says

A cafe cum architectural studio that began life as an artists' workspace until it's rennovation in 2014. Now members of the public can sit side by side with designers, architects, photographers and artists to witness the creativity in full flow.



Address: 53 Old Bethnal Green Rd
E2 6QA
Transport: Tube: Bethnal Green/Cambridge Heath rail
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Users say (9)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:8
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

The owner is such a nice guy, the space is very cosy and the food always good.

The owner is such a nice guy, the space is very cosy and the food always good.

The friendly atmosphere and staff make it a lovely regular stop for coffee and brunch 😋

Because the coffee is great, the staff friendly, the croissants crispy abd soft, and the atmosphere suitably relaxed!

Wonderful food and just as incredible friendly staff, an East London winner.


The Common cafe is in an interesting location, sharing a space with a bright and airy architecture firm in Bethnal Green. I’ve only been on weekends when people aren’t working there but the seating is a combination of a long communal table and desks which must all be used for work on the weekdays. The menu is simple but delicious - I’ve had the avocado and eggs on sourdough (yes, I know - an east London stereotype) as well as the Turkish baked eggs which were both great. They also offer an array of baked goods and nice juices and coffees. The Common is a great place to stop and fuel up before heading over to the Columbia Road Flower Market on a Sunday.


As locals to the area my boyfriend and I were looking for somewhere to have brunch. We’d walked past The Common a couple of times but never remember it as a place to eat when racking our brains for a breakfast venue as it sits quite solemnly on Old Bethnal Green Road. However, this particular Saturday morning we remembered to give it a go. Walking in you are greeted with a wonderful counter of cakes, muffins and other delights. As your eyes glance further into the café confusion hits. What is this place? Is it a café or is it an office? Well, it’s a really interesting hybrid of the two. It’s an architectural practice come café come communal working space. The desks are situated next to punters enjoying light food or a coffee – they are literally next to them – this is not a big space. There is an interesting chart on the wall which illustrates the reasons people go to the Common, how noisy the space gets, it’s busiest times and most interestingly, how business has increased for the firm by sharing their space with customers.

It gave my boyfriend and I had a lot to discuss over brunch – would it be too distracting? Do the architects wear headphones to drown out the sound? Who else uses this space? Should we contact them about a potential kitchen extension?  And so on. That aside, our brunch was great. The Common hasn’t got huge facilities in the way of ovens, hobs etc but what they can make is spot on. I ate a wonderfully filling and warming pepper, tomato, onion and chorizo stew with baked eggs and my other half a generous serving of smashed avocado on sourdough washed down with tea and well put together coffee.

I really enjoyed our hour at the Common. It was an interesting and refreshing experience and we were looked after by super friendly staff. Now I need to return midweek to see how those architects do it. And maybe get the kitchen extension done. 

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