The Cafe In The Crypt information

Located on the northeast corner of Trafalgar Square, the Les Routiers award-winning Café in the Crypt is the ideal escape from the West End crowds and West End prices. Enjoy delicious food prepared on site using fresh ingredients sourced locally and from the UK and in the unique atmosphere of the crypt – under the brick vaulted ceiling and among the historic gravestones.

Ranked #2251 of 5241 restaurants in London

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Opening Hours
Opening Hours
Mon-Tue 08:00-20:00
Wed-Sat 08:00-21:00
Sun 12:00-18:00
Every Wednesday the cafe holds jazz evenings. Ticket holders only from 19:30 on those nights.

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What did you think of The Cafe In The Crypt?

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The Cafe In The Crypt reviews

By Michael S.

What an amazing place! You can feel the history of the venue looming over you as you tuck into your traditional cafe grub. Check it out.

By C R.

A lunchtime treat - I either have a main course or I have an indulgent typical British pud with delicious custard. A great example of British food at its best. Unique to the area.

By Laura R.

Placed in the basement of St Martin-in-the-Fields church and gallery just off Trafalgar Square is the Café in the Crypt, a venue lacking the kind of buzz it ought to generate. It seems a cruel coincidence that the crypt was historically a place for the dead and buried.

The Venue
The flow of tourists between Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square makes the Café in the Crypt a fairly busy lunch spot. Through the glass elevator entrance and below the ground, the Café is found next to the St Martin-in-the-Fields gallery and brass rubbing activity area, and directly below the historic chapel. Tombstones line the floor of the large room and a low, exposed-brick ceiling arches over tables and chairs that are placed in a regimented fashion. Along one side of the café is a sterile, canteen-style food counter, where hot and cold foods are out on display and staff wait to serve queuing customers.

The Atmosphere
The Café in the Crypt is nothing more than a gallery canteen in a historic setting, but unfortunately the most has not been made of this unique location. As a consequence, the café lacks atmosphere. The clientele are predominantly older tourists and families, who are served by bored and disinterested staff at the canteen counter. Food prices are also tricky to figure out, making customer service below par.

The Food
There are plenty of dinner and lunch options, from light snacks to impressively large plates of food, and most options are reasonably priced, especially given the café’s prime location. Sandwiches are pre-prepared and bagged, costing £3.95, with a buffalo mozzarella, spinach, onion chutney and cranberry sauce sandwich made with soggy white bread. The contents of the sandwich taste relatively fresh, but the cranberry sauce and onion chutney overwhelm other ingredients.

Salad platters are huge plates of food and for £7.50 customers can choose from a special option served with three side salads, and can load their plates as high as they can get away with. An avocado stuffed with tuna salad is ripe and tasty, and coleslaw is creamy with mayonnaise. Hot food is served daily too and comes in similarly sized portions. For a British staple, pan fried hake, mushy peas and tartare sauce (£8.75) is bound to please the older clientele that this venue seems to attract. Hot vegetarian options are also served up, like braised aubergine and dill gnocchi with sun-dried tomato cream (£7.10).

Traditional British desserts come in the shape of bread and butter pudding (£3.90) and spotted dick (£3.90). There are also cakes and pastries aplenty, making the Café in the Crypt good enough for a spot of afternoon tea.

The Drink
Standard drink options are available here, with tea (from £1.60) and coffee (from £1.90) served at the counter, making this probably the cheapest cup in the area. Other soft drinks such as coca-cola and pressed apple juice start at £2.30 and are bottled and kept in a self-service chilled cabinet. House wine is served at £4.25 a glass or £15.95 a bottle, but it’s not the most sophisticated wine list in town.

The Last Word
Despite being a gallery canteen with a central London location, the Café in the Crypt serves up big plates of food at reasonable prices. However, there is little character, flare or originality to this ageing tourist hot spot.

By Victoria H.

A friend recommended The Cafe In The Crypt to me as the food is all home cooked. It's located in the basement of the church. You choose your food from the self service bar, pay, then find a seat (of which there are many). The food was good quality and very reasonably priced. I would definitely go there again.

By Marion P.

I had a very bad experience here. Very unfriendly service and hardly any food choice so that I took a mix of two side salads in the end. I digged in the salad and what did I find? Something was moving there, a fat little caterpillar, as green as the salad. I took the plate back to the till and the staff didn't even bother to apologise. Their main concern seemed to be to treat the case discreetly so that no other customer would hear about it.
For something as unacceptable as a caterpillar in a salad I got my 3 pounds for the salad back, nothing extra and not one 'sorry' from the staff!
An awful place with inexplicable unfriendly staff, it doesn't deserve this nice setting in a church. One star is still too much.

By K.

Oh dear! We'd heard good things about this place via a friend and Time Out, and just had to write and say NO!

Was it an off day in the kitchen? Or a sign of some deeper malaise? The staff were inattentive (it is only self service), unfriendly and tables were left laden with trays (and I just love the little pot for tips on the cash desk). My tuna avocado was left undressed, not even a garnish was offered, and without the ballast of salad it nearly rolled off my plate, especially when one of the staff backed into me at the cutlery point - no, don't worry, no apology necessary; chance would be a fine thing.

Sorry I know sarcasm is not good in a restaurant review, but it was my friend's food which has filled me with such irritation that I can't help but succumb. The vegetarian option that was available for him was a Root Vegetable Bake in Tomato sauce with Cous Cous. So far so veggie. It turned out to be chunks of suede in a watery tomato sauce, with nary a flavouring of herbs or spices to enliven the proceedings, this was laid on a bed of similarly treated cous cous, the bland covering the bland. Some undercooked cabbage limped at the side of the plate, and the whole thing smelt distinctly... dodgy!

This repast was meant to see us through an evenings entertainment, but honestly it was revolting! My poor friend had to put it aside and lope off looking elsewhere for sustenance while I finished my bare avocado and small piece of ciabatta (65p). I did feel mean, but needs must when hunger arises. My main gripe is, its one thing to serve bad food, its quite another to charge £7.00 for it (the veggie dish) and act as if you should be grateful into the bargain. I like cooking, I think I cook quite well, and take a pride in it, and I just feel plain insulted when someone gets paid to make trash like this, harsh words maybe, but I won't be back, unless... Hmm maybe a certain troubleshotting chef would take the place in hand - if only.

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