Top Ten Vintage (& Unusual) Cafes - Any Old Vintage

Top Ten Vintage (& Unusual) Cafes

E Pellicci
332 Bethnal Grn Rd, London E2 0AG
Vintage art deco workers' cafe offering English breakfast and Italian classics since 1900. 

Priamo Pellicci began working there in 1900 and after his death in 1931 his wife Elide brought up their seven children single-handedly whilst running the cafe below. Elide is the E Pellicci whose initial is still emblazoned in chrome upon the primrose–hued vitroglass fascia. Her son Nevio Snr took over until his death in 2008 and Nevio’s wife Maria - who’s been cooking there since 1966 - is the head of the family business today. Son Nevio Jnr., daughter Anna and cousin Tony make the Pellicci cafe family complete.

Pellicci’s boasts an ornate panelled wooden decor, carved by regular customer and carpenter Achille Capocci back in 1946. Thanks to his handiwork, Pellicci’s has now been awarded Grade II listed status by English Heritage and has featured in Legend, a feature film about the Kray Twins, who were also former regulars themselves.


Marios Cafe
6 Kelly St, London NW1 8PH
English breakfast and classic Italian fare in a tiny, long-running cafe hung with local artworks. 

A cafe since 1958 when the present owner’s  grandfather Mario opened ‘Tony’s Restaurant’, named after his son Tony. In true Italian fashion, Tony had a bust-up with his dad and walked out, leaving Mario to run the place alone. Mario struggled to continue and in 1974 it was leased as a Chinese restaurant and eventually fell empty.

However, after Mario’s death, Tony returned and Mario’s Cafe was reborn in 1989, named after Tony’s son Mario Jnr - an uneducated unemployed pot smoking wannabe rock star in his own words! - who now runs the place. Saint Etienne’s 1993 track, Mario’s Café, is a homage to this much-loved cafe, also a community space which hosts regular art exhibitions.



Four Teas Tea Room
13-14 Webber St, Falmouth TR11 3AU
A unique 1940s themed tearoom in Cornwall. 

World War 2 memorabilia fills the walls and cabinets of this wartime-themed cafe in Falmouth (pictured). You can expect a regular fry-up with daily specials with a ration-book-themed menu.

The soundtrack to this cosy cafe is 1940s music and the friendly owners Angie and Lyn make it popular with visitors and locals alike. All the meals served are made by Lyn, using the same philosophy as housewives using ration books, supplemented by a board of ‘Black Market Specials’ using more luxurious ingredients that would only have been found during the time on the black market.

With an adjoining seafood restaurant next door and vintage shop upstairs, it's well worth a visit. Falmouth is only 30 miles from Fowey - home of our very own Any Old Vintage, so make sure to drop by!


Retroblast Coffee
16 East Street, Newquay TR7 1BH
Coffee shop and retro arcade lounge in the heart of Cornwall.

This quirky venue, slap-bang in the middle of Newquay, serves up coffee and also has an old-school retro arcade and tabletop gaming shop. You can find regular games of Dungeons & Dragons and chess here. If they are fully booked, players are more than welcome to grab a coffee, hot chocolate or milkshake and spectate as the games unfold. 

27A Foley Street, London, W1W
Former Victorian men's toilet.

It doesn’t get much more vintage than this! Located in the heart of Fitzrovia and five minutes walk from Oxford Street, head to the ironwork cage on the corner of Great Titchfield & Foley Street, and descend underground into the old Victorian gentlemen’s toilet which has been lovingly transformed into one of London’s top speciality coffee & brunch cafes.

Built around 1890 and mothballed in the 1960s, the Attendant was dormant for more than fifty years. Owners Pete Tomlinson and Ben Russel retained many of the original ceramic fixtures. The Doulton & Co porcelain urinals themselves stand out as a major component in the overall décor, but a functional one as well; capped with a long wooden tabletop with bright green stools to match the original Victorian floor tiles.

They pull their very own seasonal espresso blend direct from the Attendant Roastery as well as single-origin filters from around the world, as well as serving home-style breakfast, brunch and lunch menus daily.


388 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT
An ‘anti-café’ that charges by the minute.

Instead of paying for what you eat or drink, you're charged 5p a minute to be there, making you a ‘micro tenant’ who’s free to use the facilities as you wish. There’s a full kitchen with espresso machine, teas and other sweet snacks including unlimited peanut butter and toast.

Decorated in the style of a living room, guests clock in and out at the desk upon entry and are encouraged to treat the space like home with books, records, boardgames, newspapers, wi-fi and craft supplies.

The name Ziferblat is derived from Zifferblatt, meaning “clock face” in Russian and German, and the first branch was opened in Moscow by Ivan Mitin. There are now branches also in Kiev, Slovenia, Manchester and Coventry.

During their first two years in the UK, Ziferblat was shortlisted for multiple awards and cited as an example of how modern working patterns were changing in the UK, particularly in urban areas.


Queens Lane Coffee House
40 High St, Oxford 0X1 4AP
Longest established coffee house in Europe since 1654. 

Established by Cirques Jobson, a Levantine Jew from Syria. Dating back to 1654, it claims to be the oldest continually serving coffee house in Europe. The building in which it operates is a Grade II listed building. 

Queens Lane has always been a family business which the present owners have run since 1982, when their family moved to England from Turkey, with the children working there after school every day, on weekends, and every holiday. They offer teas, coffees and cakes as well as traditional British and Turkish meals.


27 Camden Passage, London N1 8EA
Helping London’s refugee community integrate, train and find employment.

Trampoline is a social-enterprise cafe owned by Pranav Chopra, which is all about helping refugees to the UK enter the workforce. Pranav is also the founder of Nemi teas, a wholesale tea company which employs refugees across its business, from manufacturing to sales, marketing and distribution.

Working with Hotel School (for training) and Groundwork London (for recruitment), each refugee is given up to six months training (at the London living wage, plus pension contributions) in the cafe, as well as other help where it’s needed (eg English lessons) before businesses across London, partners of Trampoline, offer them full-time employment elsewhere. 


Redemption Roasters
Various outlets across London
Reducing reoffending through coffee. 

With ten coffee shops throughout London, Redemption Roasters are the world’s first prison-based coffee roasters. Based inside HMP The Mount, prisoners are trained to roast coffee, and the scheme is committed to helping offenders reintegrate into society following release - employment being one of the best ways to achieve this. In fact, prisoners are 50% more likely to reoffend if they leave prison without skills or a job.

In a bid to give prisoners another chance and help in the rehabilitation process, graduates of the prison Redemption programme are found jobs within their coffee shops, or with partners of the scheme. Redemption Roasters are found across London, with cafes in Islington, Bloomsbury, Holborn, Dulwich, Kings Cross and Farringdon, and you’ll be met with fresh coffees and a range of tasty cakes and pastries.


The Regency Café 
17-19 Regency St, Westminster, London SW1P 4BY 
Art Deco-style no-frills British cafe.

Opened in 1946 on Regency Street, near Westminster in London, this popular cafe was voted as the fifth best eating place in London in 2013.

The interior is designed in an Art Deco style with original tiling, while the tables are newer and Formica-topped. (Speaking of original tiling, when we opened Any Old Lights - the forerunner to Any Old Vintage - in its current site at 14 Lostwithiel Street in Fowey, we uncovered swathes of 1920s tiling from the shop's earlier incarnation as a butchers. It looks stunning.)

Interior decorations include photographs of Tottenham Hotspur football players. The cafe has been featured as a filming location in several BBC series such as Judge John Deed, Rescue Me and London Spy. It has also appeared in the films Layer Cake, Brighton Rock, Pride and Rocketman

The Regency was sold by the original owners to Antonio Perotti and Gino Schiavetta in 1986 and is now run by Antonio's daughter, Claudia, and Gino's son, Marco.

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