REVIEW: Shoreditch Grind, Old Street
WHAT: A surprisingly serene spot for Shoreditch workers who are serious about coffee and cake.
WHERE: Right on the circumference of stressful Old Street roundabout, you’d be forgiven for thinking Shoreditch Grind wasn’t a pleasant spot to spend time – great for a coffee before jumping on the tube (it’s situated literally next to the Hoxton/City Road exit), but not ideal for a lengthy, relaxing brunch. Oh, but how wrong you’d be to think so – stepping inside the pared back, jazzy interior, the traffic noise melts away (in part thanks to the excellent soul music pumping through the entrance).
WHY GO? The smell of strong coffee and baked goods invites you to linger, ever-changing drink concoctions scrawled on a blackboard by the till. We were drawn to a ‘London Fog’ Earl Grey iced coffee, a tall drink so tasty we’ve found ourselves thinking back to it ever since. Ham and cheese croissants, open sandwiches, muffins and sweet treats are piled up on the counter, but it’s wise to leave room for the sit-down brunch menu, packed with colourful, healthy options and naughtier full breakfasts.
We opted for the Raw Breakfast Salad, a virtuous feast of chilli, avocado, broccoli and red cabbage on sourdough with poached eggs – but we’ll be back for the Breakfast Foccacia, with sausage, back bacon, smoked mozzarella, fried egg and aioli. There’s a range of freshly pressed juice priced at £4.75, the likes of ‘Green’ mixing cucumber, lime, apple, broccoli and spinach.
HOW MUCH: Toasted sourdough and homemade jam starts at £2.50; banana bread, creme fraiche and honeycomb is £5 and a Granola smoothie bowl is £6.50. Smashed avocado with chilli on toast is £5.50, and a full English (‘The Grind’) is £10.
It’s worth noting that this is a great place to chill out post-work, too. Sourdough pizza and ‘proper’ burger and chips accompany a handful of well-picked nibbles (we like the look of Croquettes of San Daniele or sweet potato wedges and chilli mayo), and there’s an ample cocktail list – the Grind espresso martini somewhat legendary among those in the know. Being this close to the transport home, you’ve no excuse to leave early – and when the night tube comes in, lord have mercy.
ADDRESS: 213 Old Street, London, EC1V 9NR