[London] Maria's Market Cafe at Borough Market

One of my must-visits when in Borough Market has to be Maria’s Market Café, which I consider to be one of long-standing businesses which constitute the heart-and-soul of the ever-evolving market.

Maria Moruzzi of Maria’s Market Cafe is Borough Market’s longest serving trader - her parents started Borough Café in 1961 on Park Street, a 5-minute jaunt from where she operates now. Maria reputedly cooks up the best bubble-and-squeak in the business.

Refer to the board for some helpful breakfast recommendations (leave your diet outside the door)

I chose the egg-bacon-black pudding-bubble and squeak combination, washed down with a mug of hot watered-down tea. It was a breakfast to end all breakfasts. I think it’s the ugliest, unhealthiest plate of sheer deliciousness I’d ever had in my life.

Absolutely loved this place for its sense of history and belonging.

Address
Maria’s Market Café
Three Crowns Square, Borough Market
Stoney St, London SE1 9AA, United Kingdom
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 10am-5pm, Fri 10am-6pm.
Sat 8am-5pm, Closed on Sunday.

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Bubble only seems to be a breakfast item in the London area. Up here, in the frozen northwest, it was (and is), Monday night dinner using the leftovers from the Sunday roast, frying the potato and cabbage together, to have with any meat and warmed up gravy. In this house, we don’t do too many Sunday roasts so, whenever there’s a call for bubble, it does mean making it from scratch.

As for the bubble at Maria’s, I remember it as a fine thing. I may not have done it justice as, the day we went, we’d had breakfast in the hotel. I did, of course, manfully, battle my way through a second brekkie, as best I could.

By the by, the fullest of Full English’s I recall was at the Bridge Cafe in Brentford in 2008. Very traditional greasy spoon caff, with old wooden bench seats (and I do mean old, not “retro”). It was still there last year, although I didnt try it as my hotel deal included breakfast. Assuming they still do the “Full Monty”, you’d be getting bacon, black pudding & white pudding, a sausage, beans, mushrooms, tomato, fried bread, fried egg, bubble & squeak, toast and coffee. It is the Mother of All Breakfasts.

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Bridge Café - I must go there the next time I visit London.

Had a big breakfast up at Kensal Rise last week - Bel & Nev - brought there by a couple of Londoner friends who lived round the block from it.

Had this for breakfast at 8.30am - I was full the rest of the day. :joy: :joy: :joy:

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We’d prefer to think of black pudding as healthy for the soul.

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Start the day at the cafe. Walk it off going round Kew Gardens. You won’t need lunch. A proper afternoon tea at the Maids of Honour (opposite Kew). Turkish or Indian for dinner at Galata Pera or Pappadums - in adjacent premises on Ferry Quays (15 minutes walk from Kew towards the centre of Brentford).

Reassuringly good eats in such an unpromising location.

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Sounds very cool. Thanks for the ideas, John.

Maria and her mother brought about a dozen breakfasts into my nearby office a couple of times a week (no, not all for me) from 1986 to 1999, when my employer moved to a different location. After her mother died she toyed with the idea of moving to Italy, but luckily for us breakfasters she decided to stay. I now work only 10 minutes walk away, so I stop by from time to time to quality check the bubble etc. All is well!

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To me, this observation so perfectly sums up the kind of place that I always hope to find – whether locally or when I get to travel.

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Man, I love me some English/Irish breakfast. We grazed at Borough Market a couple of days ago, but didn’t remember your high rec of Maria’s. May just have to revisit the market and have some bubble and squeak. Of course, must indulge in the usual 10 quid/btl of prosecco.

Last year March, we were wandering around SoHo one morning. Was hoping to grab a Chinese breakfast, but no restaurants in Chinatown were open yet. What’s up with that!?

We stumbled upon a deli/diner called Bar Bruno and tucked ourselves in amongst the tradesmen fueling up for an honest day’s work.

Not pictured, two huge thick hunks of toast. Wife had calves liver, bacon and chips. I had the full blown Bruno breakfast. A memorable breakfast for the two of us.

We stopped in a couple of days ago, in the eve this time. Enjoyed this place again, and it was a welcoming oasis amidst a sea of gentrified hip bars and eateries.

Bar Bruno, on Peter Street. Soho.

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Yes, London Chinatown is closed at breakfast-time. I think the whole place’s F&B establishments cater to the tourist crowd, so Chinese breakfast foods are virtually non-existent, or else served for lunch.

Take dim sum, for example - traditionally a breakfast food in South China. In London, people have dim sum for lunch and sometimes even at dinner-time. Nothing stopping one from having it at those times, of course - but it’ll be like the English equivalent of having breakfast cereal for lunch or dinner. :grin:

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Would love to hear any suggestions for places to get a Chinese breakfast in London at actual breakfast time (i.e. 9am at the very very latest). (Aside from the Mandarin Oriental, which is £38 and hence more than I really want to pay for breakfast, as well as being currently closed due to fire damage.)

I’d yet to come across one, but will definitely report back here if I do hear of any.

As for a Malaysian breakfast, I normally traipse over to the Malaysia Hall Canteen at 30-34 Queensborough Terrace, London, United Kingdom, W2 3ST. Opens at 8am and serves a good nasi lemak.

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i would love to try this. more than i’d love to try the often overpriced stall food :slight_smile: i love bubble and squeak and black pudding too.

regarding chinese breakfast, i am now homesick for toronto’s congee with chinese doughnut breakfast i’d eat at least once a week. somehow i haven’t attempted to make congee myself and really should. my favourites are with fish and scallop, or wonton. sigh.

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Unless things have changed, you can only go to the Malaysia Hall Canteen if you are actually Malaysian (I believe it’s subsidised by the Malaysian government). I tried to go many years ago and I was given a rather abrupt repsonse about whether I should be allowed inside.

And yes, the lack of breakfast food always puzzles me. A while ago when I visited the Chinese Laundry not long after opening, their main pitch was they sold great Chinese breakfast food.

Excellent, I said to the waiter, I can come here before work for a nice breakfast!

Oh, said the waiter, we don’t open till midday.

Still baffles me to this day.

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Since coming back from Asia the thing I miss most is not being able to get foods like, dim sum,congee, idlis, parathas, rota canai etc for breakfast. I understand it though. I think breakfast is the one meal were people are pretty set in their ways as to what constitutes breakfast. Maybe because it’s their first meal of the day?Commercially It probably doesn’t make sense to offer these for breakfast.
In Kuching I met an English guy who’d been there for 20 years. I said how good beef noodle soup was in the morning if you had a hangover. He wasn’t having any of it, had to be a full English.

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I have managed to get in but I went with a Malaysian friend. I turned up after them and had to point them out before they would served me. This was a few years ago so I’m not sure of the situation now.

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Yeah if you go with a Malaysian they turn a blind eye. I went on my own, they looked me up and down and eventually gave me a “we will let you just this once but next time bring a Malaysian!”

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Haha. Yes my wife is exactly like this. She will eat adventurously throughout the day but values a western breakfast. I can never do business on my congee or noodle soup.

I think around East Ham etc quite a few of the Indian places open for breakfast, @shekha can advise.

I think another problem with opening for breakfast is rents are so high and restaurants generally make so much of their profit from alcohol. Only a hardy few would chug down a beer while having a noodle soup at 7am.

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Ugh, okay - let’s go together when I’m in town next month. You can come as a “guest”. :rofl:

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2