Maria And Aldo's Coffee Bar, BR3 1AG
- 020 8289 6588
- 117 Beckenham High Street, BR3 1AG
British and Italian cafe in Beckenham. It's had several names over the years: Maria's Sandwich & Coffee Bar, Aldo's Coffee Bar, and now Maria & Aldo's Coffee Bar.
Inside, it seats only around 20 people at varnished wooden tables surrounded by upright wooden chairs with tie-on cushions. Walls are plain, but decorated with vintage photos and bits of memorabilia. A fully-glazed frontage lets in plenty of light, and the recessed central doorway allows for two set-aside nooks with tables for two right by the windows. Orders are taken at the table, and you pay at the counter afterwards.
Kake visited on a Wednesday lunchtime in February 2017. It was quite full when I arrived a little after noon, and by 12:30pm every table was taken. Many of the other customers seemed to be regulars, and were greeted by name. Music was playing, very quietly.
I went for the eggs florentine (£6.50) photo. The spinach was very well-handled — neither overcooked nor waterlogged — and there was plenty of it. Unfortunately the egg yolks were cooked to the point of no longer being runny, which for me misses part of the point of this dish. The muffin was fine, though, and the hollandaise was well-emulsified and had a balanced flavour.
An accompanying cup of tea (£1.50), ordered very weak, arrived with the bag still in, and stronger than I prefer, though they did bring me an extra saucer so I could remove the bag straight away. (They understood the request for "very weak" and tried to fulfil it; they just didn't quite succeed.)
Service was friendly, helpful, and welcoming. No service charge was added to the bill.
Kake's verdict: My eggs were a bit disappointing, but this is a nice little cafe and I'd not say no to giving it another go next time I'm in Beckenham. They do savoury pancakes that I'd like to try.
Accessibility: No steps to get in. There doesn't seem to be a customer toilet.