Clapton in east London has some strong food game at the moment and Cafe Miami is definitely one of my new favourites.
It’s in good company too, with French bistro Les Nénettes serving up a magnificent Croque Madame, Red Velvet Lattes at nearby Palm Vaults, amazing Danish baked goods at Charles Artisan Bread and from what I’ve heard, top class tacos at DEL74.
More than just a fun name, Cafe Miami takes inspiration from its location inside the Strand Building, a striking Art Deco gem that’s more South Beach than Lower Clapton Road. It was originally built as the Hackney Electricity Demonstration Hall and Offices in 1925 and has since been converted into flats with an enviable courtyard terrace.
Cafe Miami is a petite all-day spot that draws a good crowd for weekend brunch with tempting American comfort food. It’s simple yet welcoming, designed in dreamy pastel hues with a counter laden with cakes. The soundtrack is 90s R’n’B, the staff wear Cafe Miami logo tees with stone wash jeans and there’s a cheeky wifi passcode that’s too rude for them to say aloud. OF COURSE I was going to like this place!
We started by ordering some hot drinks and were given some vanilla-scented popcorn to graze on while waiting for our food. My Matcha latte with almond milk was absolutely perfectly (with plenty of high quality matcha and no bitter taste) and Steven’s Flat white, made with Workshop Coffee, was potent and milky with a nutty flavour.
Everything is freshly-cooked with care at Cafe Miami and we were really wowed when we saw the size of our dishes. My Nutella-filled pancakes topped with banana (£8.50) included three giant, fluffy pancakes stuck together with gooey Nutella and finished with sliced banana and a good ole’ drizzle of maple syrup. They were just heavenly and I managed to get through two thirds before sliding the rest across the table in defeat.
Steven went for a diner classic of American waffles with bacon, maple syrup and blueberries (£9). The heart-shaped, golden waffles were nice and thin and loaded with the most delicious Canadian maple-cured bacon, fresh blueberries and lashings of maple syrup. The savoury waffles had quite a neutral flavour and made an ideal base for the bold, in-your-face smokiness and sweetness.
Obviously, we had more than enough for a filling brunch, however if you’re feeling really indulgent, Cafe Miami also offers snacks like Pop Tarts, Grilled grapefruit and Toasted banana bread with Nutella.
Cafe Miami definitely scores points for its mouthwatering food and cool interiors, but it’s also really chilled and the staff are friendly and laid-back. I can’t wait to go back and try their toasted sandwiches, avo toast and fish finger tacos.
All photos by Chérie City