Place of the Month: Dandy Cafe

Carrots with something lovely and octopus with something equally lovely... #greatcaption

Carrots with something lovely and octopus with something equally lovely... #greatcaption

This month it's my favourite cafe in a railway arch, Dandy Cafe. I've told enough people to go here so it's about time I wrote about it and sung its praises for all of you too! Opened just over a year ago behind London Fields station near the park, since then they've gone from strength to strength and are now a firm favourite with Hackney residents. Founded by Dan and Andy (surprise) and a third cool dude, G, these guys have transformed the inside of this container to be one of the most beautiful spaces we've got round here. Anyone will tell you how much a Hackney lass loves some natural wood and pastel colours but these guys have added just the right amount of foliage to keep it cool as. My favourite corner has to be the slightly hidden wine selection where the boys' have shelves of every wine you could imagine. Natural takes precedent with some incredible whites, reds and oranges to take your fancy. I'll often go and have a look at the bottles for the design alone; some of them are truly beautiful but for choosing, I tend to just say to the guys or one of their awesome wait staff how I'm feeling and they always pick out something perfect. On my last birthday meal, they even converted the most non-natural-wine-drinker by giving us a lighter red which still worked so well with our food. 

The food itself is always a winner; whether you go for brunch, lunch or dinner you won't be disappointed. It changes all the time with whatever awesome things Dan's got from his producers but the one thing that I'm uber grateful that has returned for a second winter is their bagna cauda. I could do a post on that alone, it's that good. Salty anchovies and butter with warming garlic and the perfect sourdough or crudités to dip in it make it probably my absolute favourite sauce/dip of all time. That's saying something right? Served lovingly in a giant bowl for the whole table to enjoy at dinner, I even managed to get it in on a recent brunch trip - drizzled over eggs... See how versatile it is?! They have plenty of awesome vegcentric dishes too and plenty for those with a sweet tooth - the french toast is next level. 

Bagna cauda fried eggs: stuff of DREAMS

Bagna cauda fried eggs: stuff of DREAMS

The vibe is neighbourhood familiarity with all the casual trappings that come with that- great personal service and a huge smile from everyone as you walk in, whether you've been once or a few too many times. Even writing this now is making me want to pop in for a coffee tomorrow! That's another selling point: these Aussies know their coffee. Only grinding a serving at a time, their filter is top notch. It's a great place to sit and work on something for a couple of hours or to take a group of adventurous friends for a meal they won't forget. Keep an eye on their Insta/Twitter feed @dandycaf to make sure they're open when you fancy going as sometimes they close for private functions. I'd also definitely book at the weekend if you're more than a 2 - ya don't wanna miss out!