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It’s said to have the best breakfast in Norwich - but does it live up to the hype?

PUBLISHED: 07:14 20 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:10 21 December 2019

Restaurant review of The Street café, on Magdalen Street. Photo: Lauren Cope

Restaurant review of The Street café, on Magdalen Street. Photo: Lauren Cope

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According to review website TripAdvisor, it is home to the best breakfast in Norwich. Lauren Cope visited The Street Café, at 147 Magdalen Street, to find out whether it lives up to the hype.

Restaurant review of The Street café, on Magdalen Street. Photo: Lauren CopeRestaurant review of The Street café, on Magdalen Street. Photo: Lauren Cope

Food

A day of Christmas shopping, at the start of a week off work, called for one thing: A fried breakfast.

So off we trotted to The Street Café, hopes buoyed by positive TripAdvisor and Fry Up Inspector reviews, using the excuse to explore the treasures of Magdalen Street along the way.

The café had a buzz about it for a Monday morning, with a few tables filled, but we were seated straight away and began intense deliberations over a menu packed with fry-up options.

Restaurant review of The Street café, on Magdalen Street. Photo: Lauren CopeRestaurant review of The Street café, on Magdalen Street. Photo: Lauren Cope

Daunted by the Challenge Breakfast (£13.95 and including double of everything) but wary the Traditional (£7.45 but with just one) would leave us unfuelled, we plumped for something in the middle, The Old English Breakfast (£9.95) and the Medium Vegetarian Breakfast (£9.95), for the sake of variety.

With the Old English boasting two eggs, two bacon, two sausages, tomato, flat mushroom, griddled bread, black and white pudding and two slices of toast with butter, it was certainly not a light option and, as always, our eyes were bigger than our bellies (which to be fair weren't petite after leaving).

The bacon was crispy and charred, the sausages well seasoned and the black and white pudding a smooth, herby addition to the plate.

My partner couldn't get through the griddled bread and toast but made a good showing and, after raising the white flag, described it as excellent.

Restaurant review of The Street café, on Magdalen Street. Photo: Lauren CopeRestaurant review of The Street café, on Magdalen Street. Photo: Lauren Cope

The vegetarian breakfast had vegetarian Glamorgan sausages, hash browns, fried halloumi, two eggs, flat mushroom, tomato and baked beans (as well as the two types of bread, of course).

The sausages, rather than aspiring to taste like meat, were breaded and filled with leek and cheese, offering something different, and in my books better, than traditional options.

I'm not convinced that halloumi ever really belongs in a full English, but it was excellent, incredibly crisp and not oily, and the hash browns (in an early Christmas miracle I was given three instead of two as they were initially forgotten) were crisp on the outside and fluffy inside.

I made a valiant attempt at the toast, dipping it into reassuringly soft yolks, also had to admit defeat before clearing the plate.

Without sounding like too much of a spoil sport, we could have had less, but in hindsight we should have probably plumped for the smaller options.

Hopes we were energised for a day of enduring Christmas queues were also naive - I've never been more in a need of a lie down - but we were stuffed and content.

Setting

If you're coming from the city centre, it's right at the end of Magdalen Street, offering a perfect opportunity to explore the area's antiques shops, bursting with treasures. There's plenty of space inside, and it feels like a traditional café with a modern twist and clean and simple decor.

Ambiance

Relaxed - our fellow diners included a woman grabbing breakfast on the go, a man eating on his own, a group of four male friends and a couple sitting down for a hot drink before a day of shopping. We weren't rushed, there was plenty of space and it was easy to feel at home.

Service

Very friendly and helpful. If you're in a rush, it might be worth telling your waitress (as it advises on the menu, which says they are a 'good food outlet', rather than 'fast food outlet'). We waited 20 minutes for our breakfasts, which was fine for us.

Drinks

Plenty of soft drinks, including fresh fruit juices (£2 for half a pint), wines, lagers and hot drinks. We had a refillable pot of breakfast tea (£2.40) and a regular cappuccino (£2.40). Both went down well.

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Accessibility

There's a slight step to get inside, and there are steps in the restaurant (including one up to the toilet), but there are plenty of tables when you come in through the front door.

Toilets

There are separate male and female toilets, clean and functional - a tad dated but what you'd expect in a café.

Parking

Limited as it's in the city centre, but well-connected by bus links (particularly the Anglia Square stops).

Price

The medium-sized breakfasts were about £10 and big ones nearer £12. It's not a cheap fry up on the go - for two drinks and two breakfasts we paid just over £28. Not unreasonable, and we didn't begrudge it, but it's probably not the cheapest option.

Highlight

The food - almost every element of the breakfasts was lovely, which is not always a given in a meal which usually focuses on quantity rather than quality.

In summary

Absolutely worth a visit if you're in the mood for a stand-out breakfast while in Norwich. One of the best we've had in the city, served by friendly staff in a nice atmosphere.

Value for money

From £2.80 to £13.95 for breakfasts and £6.95 to £9.95 for lunches.

- If you like that, try these

- No 33 Café Bar, Norwich - this Exchange Street eatery has become a firm favourite with both locals and visitors. It's often busy so be prepared to wait for a table, but its menu offers its traditional big breakfast, eggs Benedict options, American-style pancakes, sandwiches and more.

- Olive's, Norwich - this café has become a go-to for those in the city looking for a delicious - and sizeable - breakfast. On the corner of Elm Hill, it's busy, but well worth a visit.

- The Lemon Tree Café, Wymondham - serving breakfasts, lunches, pastries, cakes and hot drinks, the Lemon Tree, on Damgate Street, is one of most popular spots in Wymondham thanks to its good food and laid back atmosphere.

Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited. The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer. The choice of places reviewed is also independent and is not based on venues which do or do not advertise in our publications.


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