Twickenham’s best café?

UPDATE: Now edited to reflect closures. Although T-Break (pictured) is now closed we’ll leave the image there… as a warning!

Compare these two questions: “Would you like a cup of tea and a biscuit?” and “Fancy coming in for coffee?” One question promises a cup of tea, a couple of dry Rich Teas and maybe, if you’re really lucky, a nice sit down. The other question seems to promise a little more. Compared to coffee, tea suffers from an image problem. Perhaps it’s that coffee is more expensive, was popularised in Britain by exciting and dangerous types in new-fangled coffee houses and, if we’re honest, is more of an acquired taste than tea. From those early coffee shops, through the Italian espresso bars of the 1950s to today’s mega chains with their wifi, loyalty cards and overpriced “biscotti”, the roasted bean still wins the image battle over the dried leaf.

But one question has remained unanswered until now…

Which is the best café in Twickenham? And why? OK, so that’s two questions but you get the idea. And there’s no shortage of choice. Café Nero or Starbucks? Café Zizou or York Street Cafe? The Sunshine Café (next to the top secret garden), Luluz or the unconvincingly named Café Coffee Day? We could go on. Mambocino or La Cigale? Maybe the new Harris & Hoole (part owned by Tesco) or Bellissimo (err, the estate agent café). Or heading down river there’s always Orleans Gardens Café and the Coach House Café (beloved of Marble Hillers and the mini-rugby brigade). Or is it perhaps yummy mummy central, the Karmarama Cafe? Example overload? Probably.

The view from here is:
Of the independents? Luluz on London Road or Zizou on King Street. Corto on Church Street is good but could do with being a bit stronger, in our humblest of opinions.
Of the big boys? Café Nero (Their coffee is better than Starbucks although both places can involve manoeuvring across an obstacle course of buggies to find a table)
Coffee to go? Orleans Gardens Café (Joe’s Café as was) for consumption whilst enjoying the rive gauche.

So what’s hot and what’s not in Twickenham’s café society, even if it really does just involve a nice cup of tea and a biscuit? The people need to know. Add your comments below.

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21 Comments

Filed under Food & Drink, High Street Updates, Reviews

21 responses to “Twickenham’s best café?

  1. Richard

    Hello all – I truly love Luluz for a nice coffee and well made food. Does anyone know what the plans are for the closed down coffee shop just outside the train station? I would be very interested to know who owns it now as I am looking to open a coffees shop

  2. Anonymous

    Coffee Lab – small and really, really good coffee. And he makes homemade cakes (when he feels like it). The ‘thought of the day’ sign outside makes me smile each day anyway walking past to the station.

  3. Mac Iato

    What’s happened to Luluz? Went for a coffee this morning and it was closed, dark and locked.

  4. Rachel

    Not a cafe only – Osteria Pulcinella on Church Street does fab coffee, a lovely scrambled egg breakfast & nice croisaants/danish pastries – but you have to be quick for those as they don’t get enough in!

  5. Dukes of Orleans

    Try Grounded in Crown Road. Monmouth coffee, well made. Our favourite in the area.

  6. snoozer

    Luluz cafe opposite Waitrose is very good, the coffees are really nice and all the food is freshly made to order, god knows why Harris and Hoole is always packed and this little gem is just around the corner

  7. Richard

    Try vintage Church Street for genuine Italian deli and coffee. Also new H&H trendy cafe on Kings Street next to Poundland. Best way of getting a good cup is by making sure you’re drinking famous brands like iLLY and Lavazza. Belamissimo a genuine Italian family run cafe next to Neros serves iLLY and superb grub. Even English breakfasts excellent. Popular on Sundays too.

    • Roberts

      U don’t know I think what is coffe, if u say bellissimo coffe is nice all the rest must be nice,couse this is rubbish place full of crap people

  8. Eva

    Try Heavenly Dish opposite Multiyork Furniture on Heath Road. Cosy, welcoming and terrific food.

  9. Cafe Fresh is superb for food. very friendly and excellent english breakfast

  10. Horace Walpole

    Does Strawberry Hill count as Twickenham? If so, then Peggy’s Pantry near the station must be a front runner for best caff. Peggy, from Greece by way of South Africa, does an ace cup of coffee, sarnies, salads, sells locally made cakes and honey (and I mean local – from just round the corner) and great soups made by her lovely sister, Tracy. Handy for people on the way from the station to Strawberry Hill House.

  11. Anonymous

    The cafe’s in Twickenham depress me. Coming from Australia I am used to excellent coffee in simple, well designed spaces. This is almost impossible to find in Twickenham but Karmarama comes the closest. I hear Fresh deli is meant to be good – will check it out this week. But at the moment it easier to jump on the train and go to Fernandez & Wells on Beak Street (central London).

  12. I can’t really compare as I’ve only ever been to Nero (typical, boring, nothing special), but we regularly have business meetings in Cafe Coffee Day.

    I really like Cafe Coffee Day as the staff are always welcoming, friendly and polite. They go out of their way to give you good service.

    The menu has a good range of food, including ‘healthy’ options which I like! They also do skinny milk for your tea and coffee.

    The interior is nice as there are several big comfy sofas. Also, there is WiFi and a couple of desktop PCs available.

  13. Based on the quality of the coffee, I would go (well, actually, I do go) for Cafe Zizou every time.

    • Totolover

      GO along with that one, when it was Caffe Caffe (or some such spelling) it was excellent and carries on being our favourite now that it is called Zizou. Lovely coffee, lovely staff and a proper coffee shop atmosphere.

      Recently plumped for lunch at the Sunshine Cafe and the coffee was good, the food excellent and very generous – had a ploughmans that filled a large chopping board platter! Staff are delightful and helpful. Added bonus is that their prices are so keen you wonder they can make enough to buy the very fresh food they serve.

  14. Family unfriendly cafes? Try to find some with very narrow doorways and/or lots of stairs. Or ones that don’t know what a “babycino” is.

  15. leelcampbell

    Any cafe with no prams and kids is fine by me. Do any exist?

    • Yvonne Hewett

      I’m with Lee. I’m beginning to think that family unfriendly is the way to go.

    • Anonymous

      here here… no, i’ve never found one that is not crammed with screamers with smug “don’t stifle them” parents. andy

  16. George

    The take out coffee from Zizou is good. Grab one of those & wander down to the embankment. Nice.