Tram Stop, CR0 6RD
- 231 Lower Addiscombe Road, CR0 6RD
- 8am-5pm Mon-Fri; 8:30am-5pm Sat; closed Sun (kitchen open 8:30am-11:30am and noon-4pm)
It's quite small, seating only around 35 people. The front is fully glazed, letting in the light and offering a good view of the tram stop opposite. Exposed dark wood floorboards, mismatched upright wooden chairs, brown and white sugar lumps in jars on the tables, and framed vintage railway ads on the walls all give a retro feel.
A sideboard holds newspapers and a book swap station; the books are available for reading in the cafe and also for taking away as long as you bring another one back next time (except for the children's books, which are for reading in the cafe only).
The menu partly varies with the seasons, but includes cooked breakfasts, sandwiches, bagels, savoury tarts, salads, and sweet baked goods. Several varieties of coffee and tea (Twinings and Teapigs) are available. They usually have gluten free bread and bagels, and often cakes too.
Kake visited on a Thursday lunchtime in January 2015. There were 8 or 9 other customers in when I arrived around noon, including a toddler. Swing music was playing, not too loud.
From the seasonal menu, I chose the focaccia with tuna, olives, red onion, and capers (£5 including leaf salad and crisps) photo. The filling was great; the olives and other ingredients were finely chopped and well-amalgamated with the tuna, and there was plenty of it. The focaccia as a whole was a little too big to fit into my mouth comfortably without squeezing some of the filling out, but the crisps provided on the side were a good way to scoop up the escaped tuna.
Service was efficient and friendly. No service charge was added, but there's a thing to put tips in next to the till.
Child-friendliness: There are at least two highchairs, the type without trays, and fairly small. The menu includes a "Little Tramspotter's Lunchbox". A pull-down baby change table and nappy bags are provided in the single unisex toilet. Children's books are available too, for reading in the cafe only.
Accessibility: A small step to get in. No steps to the toilet, but access is a bit narrow.