A great alternative to a greasy breakfast or a boring sandwich, Crepeaffaire is more than just desserts.
Spitalfields Market’s Crepeaffaire is one of their newer locations, towards the southeast corner of the market. Although it costs slightly more to eat in than to take away, the comfortable seating and small outdoor area make a nice place for single diners and small groups of friends. The floor to ceiling windows are perfect for people watching, and the outdoor area means you can dine alfresco even in the rain, thanks to the roof over Spitalfields Market. Touches of orangey yellow create a cheerful look.
On weekends and busy market days Crepeaffaire is surrounded by a riot of colour and the noisy chatter of tourists and artsy market shoppers. They do a steady breakfast and lunch trade, and you’ll occasionally see lone customers with a coffee and a paper taking up a table in the outside space. Order at the counter and take a seat, and your crepes will be brought over – the paper plates attest to it not being fine dining, but the real silverware is a nice touch.
With over thirty crepes on the menu, a make-your-own option and specials, you can pretty much order anything you fancy. Priced between about £3 and £5, they’re really good value considering that they’re pretty large and definitely filling. Specials include a breakfast crepe (The Londoner), plus croissant and coffee for £3.95, and a ham and cheese crepe or a Veggie Delight crepe plus a drink for £3.95. Choices are divided up into sweet, savoury and gourmet options, with crepes for vegetarians as well. Breakfasts are catered for (with cheese and marmite, smoked salmon and scrambled egg) and the savoury choices are a good alternative to other standard lunch options in the area.
One breakfast option is The Londoner, made with scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese. The scrambled eggs taste light and fresh, whilst the bacon is nicely textured – much lighter and healthier than a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. Another savoury crape, the Spargo, is made with thin slices of ham, cooked asparagus, cheese and Bearnaise sauce. It’s all melted together, omelette-style, inside the crepe, and the slightly bitter asparagus goes well together with the smoky ham and gooey cheese.
More than ten sweet crepes on offer, with classic ingredients like butter and sugar, chocolate and Nutella. The Spicy Apple is warm and cinnamon-y, a nice treat for a cold afternoon. The optional ice cream isn’t really necessary though, and as it’s too cold and has big chunks of ice mixed in, it takes away from the flavour of the crepe. The Banana Dulce de Leche is filled with big chunks of soft banana and drizzled with warm caramel sauce, which turns the light, thin crepe into a slightly crisp, sugary sweet indulgence.
Coffee is well made and served in a tall glass mug complete with a thick layer of froth on top, and lattes, espressos, mochas and hot chocolate. Teapigs tea is also on the menu, and their posh mesh teabags are much more elegant than the run-of-the-mill brands. Try the Yerba Mate, a smoky, fragrant tea with a pale green colour. Crepeaffaire is also licensed and carries ciders, beers and wines if you want to indulge in a lunchtime drink.
The Last Word
If you’re tired of the usual lunchtime choices around Spitalfields, or need a break after an afternoon of market shopping, head to Crepeaffaire for sweet – or savoury – treats that won’t break the bank.