Opened in late 2013/early 2014, The Crepe Shop and Art Cafe is one of the few independent businesses in the local area of Whitechapel/Aldgate that I have always been a very firm supporter of. What it lacks in square size, it makes up for in impeccable customer service and student-friendly prices. I know I shouldn’t technically be admitting this so publicly, but whenever I’ve been skiving or on the run from something, my temporary haven has been this rustic little coffee shop. Its quiet and quaint nature is welcoming and comforting in times of noise and chaos.
For the coffee buffs: The Crepe Shop and Art Cafe uses only the finest blend of Moak’s ‘Special Bar’ coffee which apparently has special floral nuances and notes of vanilla, and a light and pleasant acidity which does wonders for its cocoa aftertaste. As someone who has always been a bit particular about the coffee I drink, I’ve found that this specific blend by Moak is absolutely perfect in terms of really appreciating the flavour of the coffee without needing to drown it in sugar. (I usually take 2 sugars in my tea/coffee, but with this blend, I don’t add in any at all because it tastes pretty perfect without it!) Also, they do some pretty amazing latte art at this place – try asking for a blue latte if you’re feeling a little adventurous (you can thank me later!).
For the Muslims: You’re in luck, kids. Finally a decent place that offers a plethora of both sweet and savoury halal options! Though my personal favourites are the smoked salmon and goat cheese savoury crepes, I have heard raving reviews from friends and family about the meatier/chicken ones. For the non-Muslims who are wondering why I’m getting so excited about a crepe place that serves some halal food and the answer is exactly in the question, A CREPE PLACE THAT SERVES HALAL FOOD – DO YOU KNOW HOW RARE IT IS TO BE ABLE TO FIND CUTE PLACES THAT SERVE HALAL FOOD??? (we gotta step up our game, y’all.) Also, for my guys and gals who feel uncomfortable in social settings, throw your fears out the window because the guys who work here are the right level of friendly – the kind where they’re really nice and you can have banter but at the same time, if you want space, you got it.
For the vegans: As a place that prides itself on appealing to its target audience in the best possible way, there are plenty of replacement options on the menu which allow you to personalise and create a vegan-friendly version of the ever-popular savoury and sweet crepes. Not only this, they also have a range of vegan milks, meaning that you won’t have to miss out on this amazing coffee blend! Though there is still a little work to be done in creating a fully functional menu that appeals to the vegan crowd, it’s definitely a work in progress and worth trying.
For the art buffs: Since this is an art cafe that boasts creativity and independence, you will most definitely be able to check out some beautiful work by predominantly self-taught artists. With a whole basement dedicated to being an exhibition space, this art cafe boasts flair and creativity. But most of all, friendliness. The staff are more than happy to help you in building an audience for your work and display it in this space for everyone to marvel at. At the moment, the entirety of this space is an exhibitive space for an up and coming self-taught artist who goes by the name of Musa Artistry – check out his instagram for more details on his work and exhibitions!
All in all, I bloody love this place. It is cute, quaint, but most of all, a friendly space. They offer free WiFi and discounted prices for students and NHS staff. During occasional weeks during the year, they also host charity events wherein profits go towards specific charities – like we needed another reason to love them!
If you’re ever in Whitechapel, I would definitely recommend visiting. It is located minutes from both Whitechapel and Aldgate East station and honestly, it’s an experience that will keep you coming back for more.