Subtitles Café, Dalston
42 Ball's Pond Road,
After eyeing this café almost every morning during my daily bus commute, I decided one fine Sunday morning to head over and check it out. I was greeted by a warm smile from the owner, Lucas, who was sitting outside briefly, enjoying the warmth of the sun's rays. Even from the exterior of the café, Lucas's passion for films, friends and great coffee is evident. It is quirky, creative and feels like stepping into someone's home.
The café serves fresh cakes, pastries, bagels, sandwiches, smoothies and juices, along with hot drinks. I was very tempted to try one of the brownies! The main reason that the customers come back here though is the coffee; Lucas knows how to make a mean coffee. The place is decorated with Czech film posters, (the owner is Czech) and you can have a flick through the DVD collection and the selection of books or cinema. I had a good look at a Stanley Kubrick book on the top deck. That's another unique quality about Subtitles; it has an wooden upper deck that makes it feel as though you're in someone's bedroom or secret film pad.
The upper wooden decking has pillows, magazines and a space to work on your laptop , read a book or watch the world go by. The overall atmosphere in Subtitles is very relaxed and the iPad that acts as a digital till (very practical) and controls the music in the café brings a very Indie, trendy feel to the place. The music playlists picked by the owner reflects Dalston's artistic and 'Hipster' edge that everyone is currently raving about and adds another element of Lucas's personal tastes.
The café is petite in size but its perfect for meeting a friend and if it's sunny you can sit outside and enjoy your coffee or food.
Now to the important part; the coffee. I recently voted for Subtitles in the Time Out Independent Café Awards mostly due to the amazing quality and taste of their coffee.
This is the FIRST café I've been to where they use REAL chocolate for their sprinkles. This cappuccino was smooth in texture, not bitter and really pleasing and the additional chocolate made it heavenly. I only wish I'd gotten a larger one.
I would strongly recommend visiting Lucas and the gang at Subtitles. They are so friendly and make a real effort to ensure their customers have a relaxing and enjoyable afternoon. Despite its small size, it's never overcrowded and its busiest times are on a Sunday afternoon. The café also hosts evening movie screenings, art exhibitions, and small concerts. Subtitles is a real cultural hub where customers can feel at home in a creative and sociable space.