What?: Perhaps not the first place you’d think to take a toddler thanks to its sugar-packed menu and wanky hipster reputation, but as a sucker for a sweet, malty treat and a not-particularly-secret lover of wanky hipster shit I had to give Cereal Killer Cafe a try – and, let’s face it, it’s not like I get to pee alone these days, let alone go out alone, so of course my little Sugar Puff came too.
I have to say, this place was an absolute bitch to find and after about half an hour of dragging the big buggy up and down stairs in search of the elusive ‘Mezz 2’, we’d just about given up when we spotted one of those photo boards you get at the seaside, usually with a muscle man and bikini-clad woman with their faces cut out, except this time it was a carton of cereal depicting the brothers Keery, founders of the punnily named cereal bar.
You’re meant to order at the front and then await your order in the cafe, but the guy serving let us go straight through because Bab sort of already had and our tank-like buggy was blocking the entrance. There were high chairs available, but Bab preferred to sit on one of the bed benches, which was pink and topped with a Gladiators duvet cover. We didn’t bother trying to find her a sugar-free option since I’m of the opinion that the (very) occasional sweet treat doesn’t hurt, and instead ordered the Luckiest Charm cereal cocktail to share, while Bab Dad chose a couple of Pop Tarts since he “refuses to spend £6 on a bowl of cereal”.
My bowl actually cost £5 and, in my humble opinion, was worth every penny, being massive, marshmallowy and devilishly moreish. Bab loved it too, since she’s her mother’s child when it comes to her sweet tooth and dodgy eating habits. Of course a trip to Cereal Killer Cafe is really less about the actual eating of cereal (which, let’s be honest, you can do on your sofa in your Y-fronts any day of the week – though perhaps with a smaller array of imported and limited-edition cereals to choose from), and more about the experience. This place is gimmicky as hell, but the nostalgia is real, and so, so comforting.
Do bear in mind that your post-Millenial children won’t have the faintest clue what’s going on when you’re handed a The Land Before Time VHS case to use as the table number, and you are going to feel utterly ancient singing along to Unpretty by TLC and Mickey by Toni Basil while they stare at you like you’ve lost the plot entirely, but you can kid yourself that you’re giving them a history lesson over breakfast – albeit a very low-brow history lesson over a coma-inducingly/hyperactivity-triggeringly sugary breakfast.
Where?: Cereal Killer Cafe Camden is located at Mezz 2, Camden Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, and is a six- minute walk from Camden Town (Northern) and Chalk Farm (Northern) Underground stations, and 10 from Camden Road (Ginger). The Brick Lane branch is located at 192a Brick Lane and is a four-minute walk from Shoreditch High Street (Ginger), and 13 from Algate East (District, Hammersmith & City) and Liverpool Street (Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Ginger, mainline)
What’s on the Menu?: A billion different combinations of cereal, milk, flavoured milk, milk alternatives and fruit/nut/candy toppings; cereal cocktails; Pop Tarts and toast. Drinks include tea, coffee, juices and sodas, stacked hot chocolates and maltshakes.
Best Bits: The staff were friendly and accommodating, and I loved the retro soundtrack and the old-skool decor.
Worst Bits: It took ages for us to find the cafe and it was a bit of a faff trying to get the buggy through the door and down the stairs.
Facilities: Enough space to park a buggy but no step-free access. No kids’ menu, although it’s not like the main menu is the height of adult sophistication and kids will love it anyway (though obviously watch out for the sugar). Toilets are shared with the Stables Market.
Would We Come Back?: While I wouldn’t be comfortable with Bab starting her day with marshmallows and Cocoa Pebbles on a regular basis, this is a really fun occasional treat.
Mummy and Bab check out the cereal wall at Cereal Killer Cafe, Camden.