Oct 11 2014

City Caphe


I have been delaying the review of City Caphe for a long time, as I love this place so much and the queues outside it are so long already, I don’t want to contribute to making this place even more popular and the queues even longer. City Caphe is a cheap and cheerful Vietnamese restaurant in the city, close to bank station. After travelling to Vietnam I fell in love with their food, and I was so happy when my friend Will told me about this place and I discovered an amazing place where to have delicious Vietnamese food for lunch.

The way City Caphe works is that you come here for lunch (not open for dinner), from around 11.30 to 2pm, you should come earlier or later, as at around 12-12.30 the queues get very long and are outside on the street. But the nice Vietnamese ladies inside are so efficient even when the queue is long you don’t have to wait too long before they take your order and pass you your food with your initials written on the bag. Most people buy food and take it away but there are some very casual stools and tables where you can eat it inside, the place is small and often gets crowded.

I have been writing this review for a long time, so you can see below pictures of the various dishes I have had over many lunches, I have had most things on the menu, so with confidence I can say what I like and what I don’t. The menu is divided into “Pho”, the traditional Vietnamese soup, Bun Hue (the spicy lemongrass soup that comes from the city Hue in Vietnam), rice and rice noodle dishes and Vietnamese baguettes (mix of French and Vietnamese that come from the time Vietnam was a colony of France). You can also have vegetarian or non-vegetarian papaya salad and  vegetarian or non-vegetarian fried Vietnamese rolls or fresh rolls (not fried and rolled into rice paper). All the dishes that I mentioned – pho, bun hue and the rice/ rice noodle dishes and baguettes you can chose to have with tofu, prawns, lemongrass beef, bethel leaf beef, or Vietnamese marinated pork or other things.

I love everything in City Caphe. The pho costs £6 on average and is one of the best Phos in London. cheap, cheerful, authentic, full of flavour and a large bowl all for £6, I love it and usually have it with beef. I love the flavour of Bun Hue (also £6 on average), as I love lemongrass and chilli and I often ask for the Bun Hue to be served with rice noodles (not the traditional noodles that come with it), as I love rice noodles. For £6, I could not find a more flavoursome or nicer or healthier lunch for me. I am also a huge fan of their rice noodle dishes, especially with the Vietnamese chargrilled pork, which is a bit sweet and crunchy but so tasty. I often ask for 2 pots of the Vietnamese traditional sauce (that has lime, Thai fish sauce, sugar and other things) to get extra flavour and then mix the rice noodles with the vegetables, pork and sauce together and eat it in bliss. I like the baguettes less, as I am not a huge fan of bread for lunch, but with the same Vietnamese chargrilled pork it is probably one of the most interesting and tasty lunch sandwiches you can get in the city. I am also a huge fan of the salad rolls. They do them so well. I have been to good Vietnamese restaurants where they can’t roll them (in Vietnam I did a small course on how to roll these rolls, so I know) and the ingredients are all wrong, but here they give you the exact amount of prawns, pork, rice noodles and salad, that it is such a well balanced roll, so tasty and tightly rolled, like it should be. One of the best in London.

Just thinking of the City Caphe food makes me hungry. I am always so happy when I am around bank station around lunch time, as then I can get some food at City Caphe. It is so cheap, yet serves such authentic and delicious food. My heart wants it to give 5Ms, as it is literally my favourite lunch place in the city, but with my head I know it is not perfect for everyone, just for me, and so 4.5Ms, still extremely good.

Date: I come here all the time
Location: Bank (although I would rather not say to keep this amazing place a secret)
Price per person (they don’t serve alcohol and don’t make you pay service charge): I usually spend between £6-10 depending on how many things I buy and how hungry I am

City Càphê on Urbanspoon

Maija rated: 



City Caphe
17 Ironmonger Lane EC2V 8EY
United Kingdom
City Caphe Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4.5