Le Cafe Du Marche

22 Charterhouse Mews, The City, London

This is the best kind of hearty, classic French cooking

Our USP - Unique Selling Proposition
"Atmospheric and convivial French restaurant.
open for three decades and still ?family-run.
Tucked away down a cobbled mews in historic Smithfield.
Authentic French cuisine.
Upstairs is"
- Le Cafe Du Marche
Le Cafe Du Marche picture

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Address:22 Charterhouse Mews
The City
Map:Map & nearby
Region:The City
Nearest Station:Barbican
Opening Hours:

Lunch: Monday-Friday 12pm-2.30pm
Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6pm-10pm
Menu:See Menu

Dress Code:smart / casual

Facilities & Info:
  • Party bookings accepted
  • Private hire available
  • Booking advisable
  • Disabled access/facilities
  • Children welcome
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Live music
  • Private space
About: Renowned as an atmospheric and convivial French restaurant, Le Café du Marché has been open for three decades. Tucked away down a cobbled mews in historic Smithfield, it is one of the oldest restaurants in the area and remains family-run.

Downstairs a characterful restaurant serves authentic French cuisine, while upstairs is a unique private dining room – perfect for parties, dinners, corporate events and wedding celebrations.

The regularly changing à la carte menu uses the best fresh and seasonal ingredients, features daily specials and ever popular dishes such as la cote de boeuf with sauce béarnaise; braised beef bourguignon and celeriac puree; mousse au chocolat and classic French cheese and wine.

The restaurant retains the bare brick walls and beams of this former warehouse and coachhouse for neighbouring Charterhouse. The atmosphere is that of a traditional French brasserie, with live jazz in the evenings. In the summer tables spill out onto the pavement.

Related Businesses

Nearby alternatives

  1. Le Rendezvous Du Cafe (0.0 miles)
    Charterhouse Street, The City, EC1M 6AA
  2. Le Cafe Du Marche (0.0 miles)
    Charterhouse Street, Clerkenwell, EC1M 6AA
  3. Le Saint Julien (0.1 miles)
    Long Lane, The City, EC1A 9EJ

"This is the best kind of hearty, classic French cooking"

Review Rating: 7 / 10
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It’s all to easy to become swept away in the wave of new restaurants seemingly opening their doors daily in London, but spare a thought for the classics; you may find yourself surprised.

It’s no secret you can often find better French food in London than across the channel (sorry Paris…) and Le Café du Marché, a mainstay of that Barbican/Farringdon corner since 1986, is an authentic taste of France without leaving Zone 1. Set back from Charterhouse Square down a quiet cobbled mews, the restaurant instantly has the feel of a candlelit small town bistro, homely, cosy and full of stripped back wood, despite its size. Arriving on a Wednesday evening, we were the first in at 7pm but it quickly filled up, becoming a buzzing hive of merriment with the accompaniment of a pianist and double bass player just adding to its snug revelry.

As expected the menu comprises hearty French fare, an extensive wine list and a fine selection of cheeses, handwritten to add to the rustic feel. Seasonal produce is key, with autumn favourites including la cote de boeuf and bourguignon of Portobello mushrooms, among others, the dishes of head chef Tony Pineda, who brings his own test to classic dishes.

A rabbit terrine with quince compote was full of flavour, but it was the starter of gnocchi with wild mushrooms and parmesan that really blew our socks off; they ought to have that on the menu as a main, rich, buttery and heartening as a warm hug on a cold day. I’d pay to have their chef live in and make it for me daily. Either that or they should consider doing take out.

My main of hen pheasant with chestnuts, apple and calvados sauce was an autumnal delight; though the addition of more chestnuts wouldn’t have gone amiss, the flavour combination was spot on, with the sweetness of the apple pairing perfectly with the delicate gaminess of the pheasant. The day’s special of chicken, whilst very tasty, wasn’t a patch on the pheasant, though a shared bowl of frites didn’t last particularly long, so delectable they were.

Pro tip; make sure you leave room for dessert - half the joy of French cuisine is the pudding. The cheese selection, enjoyed with a glass of 2015 Côtes du Rhône, was sublime, while continuing the apple theme the tarte du jour was a completely perfect apple tart tatin, straight from the patisserie, with a healthy dose of calvados cream.

This is the best kind of hearty, classic French cooking, in a cosily buzzing atmosphere; get it in your little black book.

Laurel reviewed Le Cafe Du Marche on Mon 03 Dec 2018

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