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  • “Very friendly and nice staff, delicious fresh food and yummy desserts, perfect coffees, a couch at the front, free WiFi, outlets to plug in...I can't say enough positive things about this place.” in 3 reviews

  • “It's main pulling point is the vast array of second hand books which you can read or purchase should one of the dog-eared tomes catch your fancy.” in 2 reviews

  • “It's a wet, Wednesday afternoon and I'm sitting on the mismatched furniture typing this on the free wifi.” in 2 reviews

Recommended Reviews

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  • 5.0 star rating
    19/3/2014
    1 check-in

    Cosy, funky, boho, literary cafe.

    Charming and efficient table service.

    But what makes this place is the vibe.  I'd happily go here on my own and while away an afternoon reading, writing or whatever.  Laidback, relaxing and comfortable.

  • 2.0 star rating
    10/2/2014
    1 check-in

    I have to say, unfortunately, that this little place has been one of my big KTown disappointments. I love the idea of it; vintage interior, second hand books, cups of coffee... But unfortunately the interior is just tatty; mismatched light bulbs, unfinished paintwork and unattractive furniture. The second hand books are the kind of thing you'd find in a small Oxfam; discarded chicklit and mass market publications, and you can't take them to your table, so what's the point? And the coffee! Oh dear. Well, I ordered a macchiato, and what I got was a white coffee. And my friend ordered the chai tea and got the most bizarre creamy nightmare we'd ever seen. It was actually quite funny. Safe to say neither of us finished our drinks and we won't be going back, which is such a shame.
    We didn't try any of the food so can't comment on that, and the staff seemed friendly enough.

  • 4.0 star rating
    19/7/2009
    11 check-ins

    What I like about this cafe most is the atmosphere...it's a very nice local hang-out place...perfect for studying or meeting friends for a little chat. They also have a nice back yard.

    Most of all though I really enjoy the down-to-earth service and friendliness of both the owners and their staff.

    Free wi-fi.

  • 3.0 star rating
    24/1/2011
    1 check-in
    Listed in Café Culture

    When it comes to good, neighbourhood cafés, nothing beats a busted-up interior with yellowed books lining shelves, dim lighting, high ceilings, softly playing classical music and mismatched furniture.

    A vital component of the good, neighbourhood café, however, is good coffee.

    And the coffee at Rustique was merely 'meh'. Bitter and pedestrian, but serviceable.

    (I should say that the service was endearingly friendly.)

    The fact that the Rustique is no where near to my own neighbourhood means that I will probably never visit it again.

    That being said, if it were in my neighbourhood, I'd probably only go back if I were in desperate need of wifi and didn't mind other residents bringing in their incredibly ill-mannered children to an otherwise civilised, adult environment. But since the latter of these things will, indeed, never happen, I have to say that the Rustique isn't my thing.

  • 5.0 star rating
    2/3/2011

    My second home- seriously!  Everything about this place is amazing and it is one of a kind in the dead zone near Tufnell Park.

    Here are a few of my favorite things- it is cosy, the lights are dim, the music is soft and relaxing, FREE WIFI, plenty of tables with plug-in access, a large comfy couch, the friendliest staff, LARGE lattes, HOMEMADE desserts, yummy soup and eggcellent quiches.  

    Always treated well here, always get lots of work done here and love the location.  Definitely check it out for a relaxing read and a coffee or a nice lunch with a friend!

  • 3.0 star rating
    27/1/2011
    1 check-in

    Go for the atmosphere if nothing else. It's very laid-back, quiet and just good 'ole cozy.

    Don't go for the hot chocolate. After the server brought me one to the table I looked down and noticed how pale it was. I tried it and it was not chocolatey enough. I love my hot chocolate rich and sweet and this was way too milky. But the good service made up for it. The server greeted me when I walked in and brought me my drink, both times with a smile. A smile goes a long way with me.

    I would go back and order something else, perhaps a coffee and try their food. There were quite a few people eating since I was there during dinner time.

  • 4.0 star rating
    2/3/2010

    Free wifi always gets a hell yeah in my book. A relaxed atmosphere, with shelves full of intellectual books and soft classical music, adds much to the vibe. Well it is called a 'Literary Cafe.'

    The food menu is rather posh with very clean feel to it. Yes you can get an American Breakfast, but it is just a stack of four pancakes with syrup - no bacon. Not sure how I feel about that. Actual yes I do. "I want me some bacon!" Sandwiches seem to be marketed as the A-list eat, but something else caught my eye. How about pancakes with baked apples, maple syrup, cream cheese and pecans. Oh yeah! I also purchased a house smoothie that tasted good, but once my pancakes arrived that bad boy had my undivided attention. As that first bite hit my palate my reaction was one of an overload of sweetness. Within seconds my tastebuds rose to the challenge and declared "Leon we can handle this!" Boy did they handle it well. I loved my lunch. It was priced at £5.95 so I'll let you decide if you think it's expensive.

    Rustique Literary Cafe is one of those places to get away from the hustle and bustle. The vibe is relaxed, the food is good, the clientèle remarkably middle-class and it has that all important free wifi.

  • 3.0 star rating
    8/11/2012
    1 check-in

    The atmosphere and the location are what make this cafe good. The products are average. I have, over two visits, had a latte (average), a juice (from a box), and a tea (about as good as one could get from your average tea bag). I haven't tried the food, but nothing in the case looked very persuasive. I'd love to have someone tell me otherwise.

    But considering it is right near Tufnell Park Tube, and full of cozy study/reading/sitting spaces (and they seem to not mind studying/lingering), I will probably be back on multiple occasions for convenience/ambiance alone.

  • 3.0 star rating
    31/7/2011
    1 check-in

    There's a coffee table shaped like two giant books! I love shite like that.

    Their mocha is delicious. Not overly sweet and still the strong flavor of espresso came through the chocolate. I forgot how much I enjoy whipped cream on hot drinks.

    The breakfast menu is sparse to be sure but surprisingly their fancy egg on toast was satisfying. Scrambled eggs were yummy and cooked perfectly and they gave you half a toasted baguette with a little pad of butter. mmm it was tasty.

    Ate breakfast and tried to read in their little garden. I say tried because they're so jammed packed next to their residential neighbors that I could hear someone watching sex and the city part two with the volume cranked up and their window open apparently. There's only so much girly screaming a person can take? I couldn't stay. Twas a shame.

  • 5.0 star rating
    23/12/2012
    2 check-ins

    My local coffee shop. A Costa just opened across the street and I really hope they don't lose any business because of it. Very friendly and nice staff, delicious fresh food and yummy desserts, perfect coffees, a couch at the front, free WiFi, outlets to plug in...I can't say enough positive things about this place.

    Frequented by mostly students and academics, it seems, but people don't seem to mind when I'm in there, Skyping my friends back home or watching TED videos while knitting!

    The bathroom is pretty dodgy but I probably shouldn't hang out there for 3+ hours at a time, anyway.

  • 4.0 star rating
    22/1/2011

    This cafe reminded me of the Elephant House cafe in Edinburgh, where JK Rowling wrote much of the first Harry Potter novels.

    I think that's because of the mismatched old furniture, terracotta walls, stacks of flyers for arts events and the middle class clientèle on laptops or reading.  Also the rain outside.

    I only popped in for a cuppa en route to a Yelp event nearby, so didn't have time to check the menu, which from other reviews here sounds good.  I didn't realise that Rustique styles itself as a 'literary cafe', so it's interesting that I picked up on an artsy vibe without being clobbered round the head with that hilarious branding.

    This is a nice chilled cafe which I would definitely frequent if I lived nearby.

  • 4.0 star rating
    12/2/2011

    This time, my four stars should really be 3.5, but Yelp won't let me do that ...

    My cuppa tea and carrot cake was a bit run of the mill, but as other Yelpers have indicated before me, the atmosphere is where this cafe's charm really shines. Wooden mismatched furniture, antique-lamps, a sofa, a shelf full of books, and BBC 4 playing in the background makes it like you're just hanging out in someone's lounge that happens to have some food and drink the back and people asking you for money for them.

    Whilst this initial visit occurred on a grey and dreary afternoon, I'm looking forward to the warmer sunny days, when I can claim that coveted seat outside, watching the always-colourful characters of Tufnell Park passing by. This may be my pick for my go-to neighbourhood cafe, though I really don't know why I hadn't visited until now, when I've been living in the neighbourhood for 6 months now ...

    Oh and yes, how can I forget that free wi-fi. WIN.

  • 4.0 star rating
    26/10/2010

    This is a wonderful café. Subtitled with the name 'the Literary Café' might strike it out as the heart of pretension but actually it doesn't seem that pretentious at all. It's a wet, Wednesday afternoon and I'm sitting on the mismatched furniture typing this on the free wifi. The windows are steamed up and I have to say I was pretty happy to find this little place in an area of otherwise uninspiring destenations and that was before I stepped in.

    There's some slightly questionable art on the walls and the table is a bit wobbly but that's part of this charm of this place. The bookcases are stacked with .. well, books and there are posters around for a poetry night (second Tuesday of every month). The tea is served in proper teacups and saucers and I'll write about the food when it arrives. Not terribly cheap ~£4 for a sandwich, ~£1.50 for a cup of tea but not terribly expensive either. Ok, food just arrived. Mmm home-made chocolate chip cookie for 95p was tasty. Baugette was just a baugette which I guess is good since I never eat any of the stupid garnish they put onto the plates to make it look like you've paid for more. No skimping on the goat's cheese or sundried tomatoes, a perfectly good sandwich.

    I've worked out where this reminds me of. It's the bakery from 'Stranger than Fiction' and I have always wanted to have that bakery on my doorstep (minus the socialist undertones). There's an element of a shambles here but that's just as it should be in an independent café one of the staff ran across the road to buy Earl Grey teabags for a customer and the lampshades on two of the tables are on the wonk but I'm glad about that. It wouldn't happen in Starbucks and that's a good thing.

  • 3.0 star rating
    3/12/2008
    First to Review

    For bookworms or those trying to live to bohemian ideals the Literary Cafe in Tufnel Park may be a place you'd like to try.  It's main pulling point is the vast array of second hand books which you can read or purchase should one of the dog-eared tomes catch your fancy.

    Foodwise the cafe isn't great with you sometimes wondering whether some of the food isn't also second-hand.  The owners are very polite, though, and if you just fancy some time alone with a book and a drink then i think you'll find this may be right up your alley.

    • Qype User Pedros…
    • London
    • 1 friend
    • 10 reviews
    1.0 star rating
    19/9/2010

    I cannot believe so many people like this place. I've been there this afternoon with a friend and would rate my experience as, well, one out of five stars. The coffee was watery and burnt and I found out after leaving the caf that they had charged us £2.99 for each cappucino! If it had been my turn to pay I would have debated it with the staff.
    The only reason I'm not giving zero stars is because I liked the decor and the the staff were polite, even though that is not the reason I go to coffee shops. I suspect they survive due to the fact that there isn't a chain coffee shop anywhere near: the nearest north is in Muswell Hill and south in Camden High St., even though there is a Macdonalds in Archway where the coffee is not as bad as at this place!

  • 2.0 star rating
    26/1/2013

    Overpriced and average coffee in a semi grimey environment, surrounded by people with macbooks. The staff are very very friendly though.

  • 3.0 star rating
    1/5/2012
    Listed in Flat white please

    Nice relaxed coffee shop with friendly staff. Let down by slightly high price for mediocre to poor coffee. And seriously who charges 20p to toast your bread. Needs to iron out a few creases.

    • Qype User Berr…
    • London
    • 8 friends
    • 134 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    26/11/2008

    Cosy and friendly little cafe with books you can read or buy (second-hand and cheap), wifi connection, so you see people at work over a smoothie, open till about seven so a good place to wind down in the early evening. It is a bit pricey, but considering the area and the atmosphere it is worth it. It is also worth a visit for the extensive notices in the doorway, advertising local events and services such as poetry evenings and karate!

    • Qype User curvy_…
    • London
    • 3 friends
    • 77 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    10/1/2008

    This is a lovely place to go for a quiet coffee and cake after work to de-stress. Its perfect to go with your mates and have a chat, you can go inside or outside in the small garden. They serve lovely coffee, mochas, hot chocolates.. cookies, cakes, pastries, also herbal teas, or just an orange juice. It looks very nice from the outside, very arty, nicely painted, and its not too expensive. It definitely has a nice intimate and warm vibe to it, recommended.

    • Qype User char-l…
    • London
    • 77 friends
    • 119 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    30/4/2009

    I fear I may not be too popular saying that I don't think Cafe Rustique deserves quite the hype it gets. Granted the owners and staff are really lovely and this is purely the reason I go back when I do. There is little in the way to write home about on the food side other than it's on the whole pretty alarmingly spendy. I remember when Rustique first opened it's doors near 10 years ago and all Tufnell Park residents were thrilled to have somewhere to go get a cup of coffee. Fortess Road is a notoriously difficult spot for businesses to survive, the majority of shops being owned by one greedy and awkward landlord. But Rustique's original owner (a slightly unimaginative heavy smoking lovely American lady) had the stubborness and drive to get this place established. Job done she passed the reins to the Polish family who run the place now and I suspect keep it going through sheer hard work and determination. It does have a loyal clientele but may I suggest this is helped in part by the relatively thin on the ground competition. Sweet but not great- a lick of paint wouldn't go a miss and perhaps a few new second hand books. Keep on trucking!

    • Qype User sophia…
    • Paris, France
    • 0 friends
    • 1 review
    1.0 star rating
    9/9/2008

    yeah. the cafe in not bad.
    I just would like to say that the owner has some problems
    with paying money for his workers.
    i saw few comments.
    in my opiniot it's a shame!

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