Hungry Highbury locals; no longer will you have to stroll into Islington in search of a great breakfast. Franks Canteen is the brainchild of Paul Warburton, a small, trendy café always jam-packed with locals chatting weekends over eggs or sipping cappuccinos while reading the daily paper. I battled through a swarm of Arsenal fans (it was match day) to go and see why everyone raves about this little north London brunch spot…
Franks is located at 86 Highbury Park, a leisurely 10 minute walk from Highbury & Islington station. The café may be small in size - with seats for 22 people - but it’s light and airy, with high ceilings, white tiled walls and floor to ceiling windows that let in a warm flood of sunlight.
We managed to squeeze onto a table - the place was packed - and immediately started scanning the menu. It’s short and quirky: I opted for the poached egg and chorizo Cassoulet, which was one of only four breakfast options, which came with toasted sourdough and spicy yoghurt (£9.90).
My breakfast buddy created his own brunch, piling poached eggs, bacon and sausages on soft sourdough bread, with baked borletti beans on the side (£9). We were only a few sips into our coffee when our brunch appeared. The staff were friendly and attentive (quickly rushing to fetch us brown sauce), and our plates were served piping hot.
My dish was delicious; a rich casserole with flavoursome chorizo, perfectly runny eggs and spicy borletti beans. I usually find sourdough too crispy for my liking, but it was soft and buttery and deliciously moreish dipped into the casserole. My brunch partner was also pleased with his piled-high plate, and all the ingredients were tasty, fresh and seasonal.
Their quirky menu changes weekly, so there’s always something new and yummy to try. They also do lunch - sarnies and salads - roasts on a Sunday and there’s the option to take away if you can’t eat in. With portions this generous and prices this low, there’s no reason not to take a trip to Highbury. Keep an eye on their website, their menus change weekly.
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