Had breakfast at Gastronomica in Pimlico, a cafe/deli that advertises itself quite rightly as Piemonte in Pimlico.
Actually Gastronomica is a lot more that just this one cafe/deli. They have several market stalls (including one at Borough Market) and another couple of cafes in Wapping and Manchester as well as a wholesale food business.
The cafe in the heart of Pimlico is not that pretty from the outside, as it is located in an unattractive red brick block of shops behind a rather garish red awning.
Inside it is much more attractive, the Cafe area consists of a couple of large wooden tables and a few smaller ones, surrounded by shelves of Italian Wine and cabinets full of wonderful meats and cheese. The menu is quite small, mainly Italian sandwiches, cheese and meat boards and salads, but everything looks really good.
My breakfast was just a simple ham and cheese tostado, served with a really good cup of coffee. They also had a selection of cakes, which were inviting enough for me to want to make a return visit to try them along with another cup of that coffee. It’s always good to find an alternative to the ubiquitous Starbucks and Cafe Nero coffee shops.
This place captures the best of Italy. It’s very laid back, I particularly liked the way they went off menu to please a family that just wanted toast and jam for their kids. You definitely don’t see that in Starbucks.
UPDATE : January 2011, returned for coffee and cake, had a piece of strawberry and pannacotta cheese cake, and another cup of their great coffee. I also bought some Delizia Mandorla (Almond Cakes) which are lovely with a glass of Amaretto.
For a bit of everything Del’Aziz the Mediterranean Delicatessen and Brasserie is great, they have their deli counters (of course) and a really good selection of cakes (portion control is a problem though, sometimes bigger is not better!). I have only been to the ones in Bankside and Fulham.
UPDATE : September 2010 – I passed by their new outpost in Bermondsey Square yesterday during the annual Bermondsey Street Festival and it looked good.
UPDATE : May 2011 – Finally tried the Bermondsey Square branch, it has outdoor seating at the front and in the Square, which is a great little sun trap. Identical formula and quality level as the other branches of Del’Aziz.
We have been going to several of the restaurants in the Tas group for a good few years now. They are ideal venues for vegetarians as well, as the menu covers a number of interesting non meat dishes.
The first one Tas The Cut is still the best, followed by the Tas Borough High Street. The one in The Cut is very efficient and delivers good quality food. Ironically based on my experience you are more likely to spot a celebrity here, than at the Ivy – the Old and Young Vic Theatres are in the same street. On our last visit the actress Jenny Agutter was dining at the table next to ours.
The Tas group specialises in Anatolian cuisine, and also runs a couple of delicatessens.
They have a larger venue call EV located under the arches near Southwark Tube station. This is great on a summer evening for drinks or for a cheap night out with a large group, as is Tas Pide, which is right next to the Globe Theatre.