Valtaro Snack Bar, Marchmont Street, WC1

First Visited: Monday 22nd September 2008, last visited: Saturday 2nd January 2010

Interior: Pared down classic of the formica/leatherette variety – no tables, but literally a bar hugging the walls with stools, but comfortable for all that. There was certainly enough width on the bar to take journal articles and notebooks as well as a plate of food and mug of tea. You order at the counter, paying beforehand, and the welcome was particularly friendly.

Food: Valtaro offer a surprisingly large choice for such a tiny place – perhaps because there is a generous space given to the kitchen. Tempted by the breakfasts (especially as it was 11.30), I opted instead for the vegetarian pasta which was absolutely delicious. The fact that it took more than five minutes and the pasta was amazingly non-soggy makes me wonder if they made it freshly. The mug of tea which arrived instantly was lovely. Everything was very cheap indeed.

Update: Today I had a veggie breakfast of a high quality – really lovely fried bubble, lots of beans and good grilled tomatoes. The mushrooms were tinned and not great, but tasty enough mixed in with the beans. Good value at £3.20 – toast and tea are extra but, to be honest, toast was completely unnecessary and at 50p per mug, tea is a bargain. I had two mugs.

Update for 2010: Another great breakfast, and my companion recommended the bacon, although he did consider that the meat content of the sausage probably qualified it as a vegetarian one.

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