Review: Beam Cafe, Crouch End

The most recent addition to Crouch End’s nearly saturated café scene is Beam. Housed in the former Blockbuster Video store, this is probably the biggest café in the area – though that doesn’t mean it’s not heaving come lunch time. It’s a family run establishment and is just one of a number of new additions to that end of Crouch End around the new cinema.

Beam me up!

Beam me up!

Coffee – 5/5

Using Allpress, which roasts its coffee from its premises just off Brick Lane, the cappuccino has a good kick to it. Creamy with a thick, dense foam, it has smooth nutty flavours without much acidity. A very easy drinking cup and at £2.20 a very good price.

The Allpress coffee at Beam is excellent

The Allpress coffee at Beam is excellent

Atmosphere – 3/5

While it’s large and accommodating, it lacks a bit of atmosphere. The décor is trying too hard to be classy and only just manages it. However, there’s room for everyone and it has a few comfy arm chairs near the huge pictures windows and even a few outdoor seats on its front porch. A bit more personality and a few more armchairs could make this a really nice place.

Quite a change from the Blockbuster

Quite a change from the Blockbuster

Food – 4/4

A great selection of hot food like burgers, sandwiches and breakfasts make this a good place to eat as well as sup. There’s also the odd Eastern European/Med dishes thrown in. Moussaka, Beef Kofta and  Butternut Squash and Feta Salad stand out.

Service – 2/3

When it’s quiet, the service gets full-marks Fast, efficient and very friendly – it truly has a family feel. However, when it gets busy the table service does get a bit overwhelmed. Though they are apologetic about it.

Extras – 1/3

Currently, not much going on. The usual art for sale but considering how much other cafes do in the community, I expected more. Still, it’s just opened so maybe they have grand plans.

Summary – 15/20

I get the feeling that there are a few teething problems here but it has the potential to become a great addition to the Crouch End café scene. It’s clearly very popular so I expect it to be around for a long while.


40-41 Topsfield Road,

Crouch End,

N8 8PT


Twitter: @cafebeam

Click here for a map


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