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London’s best greasy spoons, from E.Pellicci to the Regency Cafe

by News Room
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One of London’s most historic British-Italian cafes, Mario’s has a wonderfully chequered history, as so many great London restaurants do. First opened in 1958 as Tony’s Restaurant, the site became a Chinese for a while in the Seventies, after a fallout between the two Italian owners. For four years it sat unoccupied, until 1989 when the children of the original founders came together to open Mario’s. Named after the “uneducated, unemployed, pot-smoking wannabe rockstar” (his words) Mario Saggese, this Kentish Town hangout was a popular haunt for the arty Camden crowd of the Nineties and still serves the Kelly Street locals today. The decor is a little more modern than some, as are the vibes. Eggs on toast might be traditional, but sourdough toast is available (at a premium). Otherwise, have a bouncy omelette or a superb aubergine parmigiana, served with chips. The coffee, a contentious issue with owner Mario, who hates the term “barista” — is completely unfussy.

6 Kelly Street, NW1 8HP, marioscafe.com

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