Café Zilly – restaurant review

April 10, 2014, Article by Tom in Food, Restaurant reviews

Nestled away on Cleveland Street, Café Zilly is a café of the people, with students, builders, bankers, and even a few of us stuffy publishing types brought together by extremely generous portions and reasonable prices. To describe this establishment as a ‘hidden gem’ would be a tragic understatement.

We decided/were forced to take a table downstairs (who would want to sit outside when it’s 31°C? Stick us in the basement and we’re happy), and the stairs must have stretched further than we ever thought possible, as we were immediately presented with stunning views across the Thames. At night. Could it be? Was this real? Or simply an optical illusion? Visit for yourself and draw your own conclusions, but suffice to say we were convinced that Big Ben was watching over us.

Rich, flummoxed

If the views weren’t enough, a small wall-mounted television was also showing some golf.

After browsing the vast menu, which boasts, among other things, burgers, jacket potatoes and ‘morning goodies’, I settled for the fantastically-titled Mextereme Burrito. ‘Is it Mexican?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Is it extreme?’ ‘Of course.’ ‘Is it Mextreme?’ ‘No you fool, it’s Mextereme.’

Needless to say, Rich went for the veggie option.

When our dishes arrived, we were both rendered speechless. An absolutely gargantuan meal sat before me. Beautifully presented too:

After making my first tentative incision into the soft and perfectly-heated flour tortilla, a tantalizing mixture of chicken, beef, rice and vegetables spilled forth onto my plate. The next 3 and a half minutes were simply a blur, as I devoured the entire thing in a state of jalapeno-fuelled delirium.

Disgustingly full, we both wearily climbed the stairs back into reality, as the shocking realization that we would have to return to our desks and do several hours work set in. But was it worth it? Was it ever.

Rating: 8.5 / 10

Highlights: Amazing food, amazing prices, breathtaking nightime views of London, ample seating when hot outside.

Price: Food: £5, Carbonated soft drink: <£1, Total: £6

Quick Review: Stomach-filling fun.


Café Zilly
126 Cleveland Street London,
Greater London W1T 6PQ