Cafe Rio, Grafton Way, Fitzrovia

Last visited 7th December 2010

Interior: I have a bit of a soft spot for Cafe Rio because I lived across the road from it when it opened and it just made it into my year of attempting to eat at all the caffs in Fitzrovia. As is the way with caffs, many of its neighbours have closed. It’s still a pleasant place to be in as an obvious effort has been made with the interior, but there’s part of me that doesn’t really feel it’s a caff. Perhaps it’s the details, such as the peep-through tabletops showing glass vitrines filled with, um, pasta. Or perhaps it’s the welcome, which is friendly but on my visit was really not impressed that I wanted a menu rather than just a coffee. I’m sure it would have been different at lunchtime, and perhaps it’s their small Brazilian menu which is the real attraction.

Food: My mushroom and tomato on toast weren’t particularly nice, but they weren’t the worst I’ve ever had either. Needless to say the bread was the usual soggy pap, but you can say the same about most caffs. On the other hand, my order was off-menu and it was nice of them to make it. I may return, because actually there aren’t that many independent cafes open at this end of Tottenham Court Road, but the food will never be a priority. Unless I want to come back for a Brazilian. Dish, that is.

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