Review: The Counter Cafe

The Counter Cafe is quite literally in the shadow of the 2012 London Olympic stadium.  Although the view here isn’t one of the most attractive views you’ve ever seen, keep reading for photos and a written review that will make your mouth water…

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There are four walls, just about, but this is virtually a derelict shack where bare plaster and holes in walls poke fun at the concept of a shabby chic cafe. It’s more fine art student’s flat than Cath Kidston sitting room.

Photograph taken using Nikon D40

Stour Space joined forces with The Counter in May 2011 and you can now find the award-winning cafe in it’s new location within the Stour Space gallery, split over two levels with incredible views of the Olympic Park, perched snugly beside the Regent’s canal.

Young and middle-aged couples, dads and kids, groups of friends, as well as singletons with laptops, take up every chair, sofa and theatre-seat. There’s free Wi-Fi, newspapers, a decent soundtrack and huge windows and skylights offering great weather- and people-watching opportunities until the dishes arrive.

The Counter is a truly unique café bursting with character… Coffee is excellent, service welcoming and the breakfast mouth-watering. A must-see.

The food – breakfasts, brunches, cakes and own-made pies – is excellent. A perfect flat white coffee and a sumptuous big breakfast – eggs, bacon, home made potato cakes and baked beans – yum. Even the scrambled egg is re-tuned Counter Café style, with perfectly seasoned eggs dancing together and strewn across linseed burgen-style bread with the addition of Counter relish – a tangy tomato side that was a tasty, quite addictive brunch accompaniment.

Photograph taken using Nikon D40

The potato cakes are made from mashed potato with grilled flat edges and the poached eggs were cooked perfectly i.e. you cut into them and the egg yolk oozes out onto the potatoes. 

Only downside was that the food took quite a long time to arrive – my suspicion is a backlog in the kitchen because food came out for all the tables at the same time.  It took so long, we had to double check they hadn’t forgotten us. My advice for those going would be to hit the place early, I’ve been at 9 am before and we had no problem getting served on time – but Sunday afternoon, classic hangover bing time, avoid! Unless, your happy to appreciate the art on show at the Stour Space or to simply oggle over everybody elses plates of food!

 Photograph taken using Nikon D40

Now at least, despite a positive Time Out review, it’s relatively undiscovered, and frequented by locals and non-locals making the tour of the Olympic site, and the galleries around Hackney Wick. They make really excellent coffee, and are happy to make a vegan version of their vegetarian breakfast. 

Photograph taken using Nikon D40

I would recommend going to, as part of a larger exploration of the area, before the place is permanently changed over the course of the year. The walk along the canal is well worth it on a sunny day also.

 Photograph taken using Nikon D40


ADDRESS – 7 Roach Rd, Hackney Wick, London E3 2PA

TELEPHONE – 07834 275920

OPENING TIMES – Mon-Fri 7:30 – 17:00 and Sat-Sun 9:00 – 17:00



Photograph taken using Nikon D40

Its website states it’s London’s best kept secret, well the secret’s out and it comes with relish.

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