In London, “Crosstown” is synonymous with “doughnut”. You can purchase these delightful creations from various Crosstown Doughnuts market stalls (I’ve visited both King’s Cross and Old Spitalfields) while they’re also available in several speciality coffee shops (again, from personal experience, Notes, King’s Cross and Origin at the British Library). However, for the last year, you’ve been able to get them in Crosstown’s own coffee shop in Soho, where you can wash down your doughnut with some excellent Caravan coffee. Or Kokoa Collection hot chocolate if you’ve not had a sufficient sugar rush!
It’s a small place, with enough space for a doughnut-laden counter (right) and a five-person bar (left). However, it’s worth paying a visit, if only because I know of nowhere else where you can sit in such close proximity to so many superb doughnuts. Beware though: Crosstown only has takeaway cups, so don’t forget to bring your own.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
There’s not much to Crosstown Doughnuts on Soho’s Broadwick Street. Tucked between two shops, it’s essentially a glass front, door to the left (fortunately the scaffolding that adorned the building during my visit has gone), the glass providing the perfect opportunity to show off the doughnuts to passers-by (you’ve no idea how hard it is to get a clean shot of the exterior when everyone wants to stop and look at the doughnuts!!).
Inside, the doughnuts are similarly the centre of attention. The counter, on the right, occupies maybe two-thirds of the shop, and is adorned with doughnuts, available singly or in boxes of ever-increasing size. More doughnuts await you on the shelves that line the wall behind the counter. The coffee, meanwhile, is relegated to the far end, although it’s far from an afterthought, with a La Marzocco Strada espresso machine and a pair of grinders.
If you are sitting in, there’s a single bar, complete with bar-stools, the seats shaped like the Crosstown Doughnut logo (a doughnut with a bite taken out of it). There are five in all, the seating deliberately minimal so as not to detract from the doughnuts.
So, the doughnuts. They really are that good and, with 16 varieties on offer, you’d be hard pressed not to find one to your taste. You can buy one (or two, or a box) to go with your coffee, or you can get your doughnuts to go, even pre-ordering them to save time. I’ve sampled many of the doughnuts since discovering Crosstown, but the Cinnamon Scroll was new to me, so I had one. I’m a fan of cinnamon buns, so used this as my reference point. I confess I was impressed. Less sticky than the average cinnamon bun (in fact, less sticky/messy than your average doughnut) this was a wonderful concoction, light, not too sweet and delightfully chewy.
I paired this with a flat white, which I had in my glass Keep Cup, the appearance of which delighted the baristas. In turn, I was impressed that I was served with a 6oz flat white in my 8oz cup: all too often the temptation is to put in extra milk to fill the cup up.
There’s a danger with the focus so firmly on the doughnuts that the coffee could be overlooked, but Crosstown stands comparison with many speciality coffee shops. All the coffee’s from Caravan, its Market Blend going into my flat white, a fine coffee which went well with the milk. However, I was really impressed that there was a single-origin guest, a Mudusi from Burundi, which I had as a straight espresso in my Kaffeeform cup. This was excellent, a very bright, fruity shot.
|4 BROADWICK STREET • LONDON • W1F 0DA|
|www.crosstowndoughnuts.com||+44 (0) 207 734 8873|
|Monday||08:00 – 22:00||Roaster||Caravan (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 22:00||Seating||Bar|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 22:00||Food||Doughnuts!|
|Thursday||08:00 – 22:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 23:00||Cards||Amex, Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||09:00 – 23:00||Wifi||No|
|Sunday||09:00 – 20:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||Local||Visits||24th April 2016|
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