Croydon’s Best Independent Café 2015: the results

By - Wednesday 20th January, 2016

We tasted much coffee, we ate much cake. My waistline is a permanent – and slightly juddering – testament to this fact, says Bernadette Fallon

Photo by eBear’s Attic, used with permission.

‘We’ were a group who had chatted on Twitter, ended up meeting sporadically for coffee and cake and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if Croydon had awards to recognise all the great independent cafés in the area?’. We set up a group, invited people to join us, and spent the summer visiting cafés on Saturday afternoons.

We criss-crossed the borough of Croydon and met lots of great people; from the young start-up café owners full of passion for their new businesses to the established venues that have become community hubs and meeting places. We drew up a map of the borough as we were keen that all areas should be represented, and marked off cafés as we went. Somebody has since suggested it should become an app to negotiate all of Croydon’s great independent cafés. This is a great idea: maybe some tech company will take it on.

We filled out a marking sheet for every single café we visited, scoring them out of ten in a number of categories including ‘atmosphere’, ‘coffee’, ‘cake’, ‘price’, etc. And when the scores were totted up at the end of our coffee and cake journey, there was one clear winner.

Photo by Ebear’s Attic, used with permission.

And so Croydon’s Best Independent Café for 2015 is…

eBears Attic Tea Room in Hamsey Green, right at the edge of the borough.

This wonderful little café really does have everything; it’s a quirky, cosy spot with welcoming friendly staff (all of whom are volunteers), serving top notch coffee and a nice variety of tasty cakes, including cup-cakes presented in vintage china tea cups and big slabs of coffee cake, cut from a mini monster of cake-age.

The People’s Choice Café

But why should we have all the fun? We wanted everyone in Croydon to vote for their own favourite, for a special People’s Choice award. So, drawing up a shortlist of the places we had visited, we invited votes from the public. 15 cafés were shortlisted, we received over 2,700 votes and the winner of the People’s Choice award can now be announced as Café Adagio in Addiscombe.

We’d also like to make a special Highly Commended Award in this category to a close runner-up, Priscilla’s Tea Room in Sanderstead. And a special acknowledgement for our second runner-up, the Tram Stop in Addiscombe.

Thanks to everyone who took part and voted, commented, tweeted and re-tweeted.

Coming soon

We’ll be unveiling details of Croydon’s Best Independent Café awards for 2016 later this year, on Twitter and here in the Citizen. So if you want to treat yourself to afternoons of coffee and cake in the interests of recognising and celebrating Croydon’s growing café culture, why not join us? It’s a lot of fun. Though we can’t do anything about the juddering stomachs unfortunately…

Bernadette Fallon

Bernadette Fallon

Bernadette has been a journalist since the age of 7 when she devised, designed and launched ‘Fallon’s News’ – much to her family’s delight. Brought up in Ireland, she was born in Addiscombe where she now lives, though it took her several decades to find it again. She works as a journalist and broadcaster. Follow her at

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  • Anne Giles

    Cafe Adagio does interest me, as they seem to play good music. I was brought up in a cafe culture without cakes. Cakes are an English thing and we don’t eat them, nor do we have milk or cream in anything. Espressos are our thing. We may try the Hamsey Green one. Priscilla’s is friendly, but the espressos are costly, with very little coffee in the cup. My husband didn’t like the Tram Stop when he went, as it seemed at that time to be more of a Mother & Baby meeting place. My personal favourites are the Jubilee Cafe at Selsdon Hall, where a single espresso is a nice, hot and frothy full cup for £1.50, followed up by Yeha Noha in South Norwood – again a full cup. Many English people serving coffee insist that one has to sit and wait to be served, while other customers who have ordered food are served first, and one ends up with a luke warm espresso. Not good if one is in a hurry. In Buenos Aires one can sit on a stool at the bar and be served straight away if one doesn’t wish to wait at a table. With the coffee comes a small glass of water (essential when having caffeine) or orange juice and a saucer with tiny biscuits occasionally. Thanks for this lovely article!

    • Bernadette Fallon

      Glad you liked it Anne – and thanks for all the interesting and useful info

  • Priscilla’s Tea Room Sanderste

    Wow, we were so proud even to be shortlisted and then finalist and now 1st runner up. Blown away! Well done eBears and Cafe Adagio and all the other finalists. So many votes and so much support for us all.
    Thank you so much for supporting us, visiting us and sharing our tweets and posts.
    I really enjoyed reading the article. Definitely going to visit some of the other offerings Croydon has.

    Would it be a terrible pain to edit our name in the article to Priscilla’s Tea Room instead of Priscilla’s Cafe. Sorry to ask, just thought if someone not on social media tried to google us, they may not find us.

    I hope I am personally around next time you visit as I would love to meet you and thank you personally.
    Many thanks

    • Bernadette Fallon

      Updated now. And congratulations!

      • Priscilla’s Tea Room Sanderste

        Thank you. See you soon

  • eBear’s Attic Tea Rm & Shop

    A great write up and thank you so much for supporting eBear’s our wonderful Charity Tea Room & Boutique, we love it and we now know you love it to! Congrat’s to Cafe Adagio and Priscilla’s … I’ve yet to visit you both but rest assured I will! Take Care everyone <3 and hope you are all extremely busy in these sometimes very difficult times xx

    • Bernadette Fallon

      Thanks eBear’s – and congratulations

  • Reena

    Nothing in the city centre? seriously?

    • Bernadette Fallon

      There were a few on the shortlist Reena – some great new places in particular that have recently opened up, so would expect to see strong competition in this area for the 2016 awards