Restaurant review: Tram Stop café, Addiscombe

By - Tuesday 28th February, 2017

A satisfying selection from a local favourite

231 Lower Addiscombe Road, CR0 6RD

Time from East Croydon:  25 minutes,  8 minutes to Addiscombe then  1 minute

Photo by the Tram Stop café, used with permission.

Ambling home after a stroll around South Norwood Country Park and contemplating lunch possibilities, we happened to be passing the Tram Stop café on Lower Addiscombe Road. Having previously been here for coffee but not for a meal, we decided to give it a try. Since then, we’ve been a few times.

It’s a popular place locally, and distinguished itself as runner-up in the Citizen’s Best Independent Café Awards back in 2015. The Tram Stop café is wonderfully airy with a couple of window seats, a couch and a few substantial tables with a children’s play area beyond. Yes, this is one of Croydon’s premiere sprog-friendly eateries.

A specials board offers a tempting variety of dishes including some interesting (and rarely changing) breakfast specials. The latter includes the traditional ‘full English’, a veggie equivalent and even one featuring avocado.

The fish finger sandwich raised a smile

At lunchtime (it’s served from 11:00am) there are a couple of soups and a whole variety of sandwiches: ciabatta, panini and several different types of roll. There are salads as well, then cake to finish. There’s imagination here too: I like the sound of a ciabatta melt containing haggis – and the fish finger sandwich raised a smile. It’s not just meat and fish though: vegetarians are well catered for. The Tram Stop also understands and can cater for coeliacs: gluten-free bread and other items are on hand.

Soups are flavourful and, as mentioned, there is a gamut of sandwiches. Of the several salads, I tried the potato. This was a far cry from the usual lame offering of diced boiled spud in mayonnaise. Instead I was presented with sauteed potatoes (still warm) lightly coated in a sauce whose components – aside from balsemic vinegar – I could not completely identify but which was most tasty. Then, if one still has room, then there’s an array of home-made cake. And aside from the well-prepared tea and coffee, for those warmer days there are various juices and frappés.

I’ve also since breakfasted here. Although well cooked and substantial, the breakfast is not (at a shade under £7) really competitive with some rivals (such as the nearby Moliceiro café on St James’s Road).

In summary, with drinks from £2.00 to £4.00, most dishes from £4.00 to £8.00, child friendly, coeliac friendly, plenty for vegetarians, decent portions well prepared and with imagination, I would rate it as one of the best lunch venues in East Addiscombe.

Andy Ellis

Andy Ellis

Descendant of an old Devonshire family, Andy has spent over 25 years of his life in Croydon. He runs a small computer business, is a student at Seishin Ryu Aikido, helps to teach the Body Harmony community fitness classes held in several libraries across the town and, last but not least, dances with the Purley-based North Wood Morris Men.

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  • Anne Giles

    Interesting. Steve was not at all impressed when he went there during a lunch break. I think he said that the service was so slow he had to get back to the office without the lunch he wanted. He thinks this place is best suited for people with children rather than an office worker.

    • Andy H Ellis

      I guess it’s a fair point. Much of the food is prepared to order so things take a while- so maybe a place when not in a hurry.

      • Anne Giles


  • Kathy Atkins

    Interesting article but they don’t have a ‘play area’ for children. Sometimes I wish they did because it might deter the children from running around the café or bouncing on the sofas.

    • Andy H Ellis

      I think maybe one time I went there a few parents had corralled their progeny in the end part and perhaps that had stuck in my mind. Can’t say I’ve ever noticed any problems with errant sprogs in there though.

      • Kathy Atkins

        I use the place frequently but often walk straight by if it’s too full. Other cafes with good cake and coffee nearby!. Addiscombe is fortunate to have a good choice.