Renowned as an atmospheric and convivial French restaurant, Le Cafe du Marche has been open for three decades. Tucked away down a cobbled mews in Smithfield, we are one of the oldest restaurants in the area and remain family run.

Downstairs our characterful dining room serves authentic French cuisine, whilst upstairs is an unique private dining room – perfect for parties, dinner, corporate events and wedding celebrations.

To book a table, please call us on 02076081609.

History

Tucked away in the heart of London, Le Cafe du Marche has been serving French cuisine to a steady myriad of diners, happy regulars and Francophiles for over thirty years.
Founded by Charlie Graham-Wood in 1986, we remain an independent, family run restaurant, with a core management team who have been here since the very beginning.

Housed in a converted warehouse, built on the foundations of the coach houses for the neighbouring Charterhouse and once a storage warehouse for St Barts, our structural heritage is fitting as one of the area’s oldest restaurants and little has been done to alter the original features of the building. Inspiring la “Bon viveur” we hope to transport our guests out of the bustling Squaremile and into rural France.

Cuisine

Our cuisine has a provincial French accent. The regularly changing menu uses the best fresh and seasonal ingredients, features daily specials and ever popular dishes such as la cote de boeuf with sauce béarnaise; la soupe de poisson; and classic French cheese. Our Chefs are working constantly to innovate, bringing European influences to their dishes.

 

Le Vin du Café

The Café’s careful selection of wines offers a variety of French regional wines.

Private Dining

Le Grenier is available on week days and Saturdays (or on Sundays by negotiation) for wedding receptions, private parties and dinners, or other functions. We can arrange music for your party – with bands providing musical styles ranging from classical to jazz to blues. Please contact us on 020 7608 1609 to discuss your plans.

Gift Vouchers

Treat friends and family to a gift voucher for lunch or dinner For more information please email us at [email protected]

Contact

Le Café du Marché 22 Charterhouse Square, Charterhouse Mews Smithfield London EC1M 6DX Locate on the map 020 7608 1609 [email protected] Kitchen Opening Hours: Lunch: Monday-Friday 12pm-2.30pm Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6pm-10pm

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Le Café du Marche has been open for more than thirty years. Here are a few of our reviews over the past few decades.

  • Barbican Life - Feb 2016
  • The Guardian - Feb 2015
  • A Little Bird - Nov 2010
  • Squaremile - Oct 2010
  • Foodepedia - Jul 2010
  • Evening Standard - Jul 2010
  • City AM - Jun 2010
  • Charles Campion - Jun 2010
  • Time Out - Jul 2009
  • OS Magazine - Mar 1993
  • Letter from London - May 1989
  • Image Magazine - Feb 1987

With a family lineage hailing from the French culinary capital of Lyon, the original restaurateur, Charlie Graham-Wood, sought to bring straightforward, honest French food to his tables. Almost three decades later, four of his core staff remain: executive chef Simon Cottard who trained under the Roux brothers, general managers Roberto Muscas and Carlos Ruiz and Keith Davies, pastry chef, the latter three joined Charlie from the Restaurant Ship Hispaniola. Remaining an independent, family run restaurant, his daughter has joined the team. Together they continue to carry out Charlie’s vision.

The bare brick walls with little by way of decoration bar vast glass bottles of preserved fruit; the single vintage clock, the wooden warehouse beams. Senior, magnificently Gallic chaps in checked shirts and aprons greet you like old pals when you arrive and remember your coat when you leave. The candlelit romance of the place is intensified by its location, a hidden, cobbled arched mews off Charterhouse Square. It’s all enough to turn the most leathery cynic misty-eyed.

This is a great place for dinner with friends but it’s also a perfect date spot – book a cosy table for two by the wall and you can gaze at each other over candlelight and steak-frites.

That’s probably down to the lure of places like Le Café Du Marché, which has taken the best innovations of the last few decades(lighter dishes; waiters who don’t look at you like you’ve shat in their shoes) and grafted them on to what is, essentially, a great French neighbourhood restaurant. That just happens to be plonked right in the middle of Smithfield.

Le Café du Marché has been in Clerkenwell so long you half expect to find Peter Ackroyd excavating the cobbles outside. This area is steeped in history, so perhaps it’s only fitting that one of its best restaurants has been around a while too…

This nest of three restaurants is hidden away close to Smithfield(as well as the café there is Cafe Rendezvous and Le Grenier Du Café) and they have been serving traditional French food to happy regulars since 1986. For the Francophile its the perfect place to celebrate Quatorze Julliet.

Le Café Du Marché, the atmospheric French restaurant in Smithfield and firm favourite among City folk, is offering three courses for the price of two for lunch until the end of the summer. Hidden up an ancient cobbled lane off Charterhouse Square, there’s nothing erstaz about the place’s romantic Gallic charm, where you can get stuck into a constantly changing menu of French classics. The fillet steak, by the way, is spectacular.

These old-timers have been quietly going about their business for decades rather than years. Their menus are couched in old-fashioned language, this is not the place to seek out Asian spicing, foams, or moody fusion concepts.

Set in a former warehouse on an idyllic alleyway off Charterhouse Square, Café du Marché is divided into three separate eateries: Le Café is the smartest and most atmospheric, with a pared-down country-meets-city aesthetic (bare brick walls, starched white tablecloths, original wooden floors, candles), and a jazz pianist to set the sophisticated but warm tone. The romantic location is popular with couples…
The fixed-price three-course à la carte features a nice balance of French provincial dishes. Dishes were beautifully presented and near faultless. Chocolate mousse to follow was deliciously rich and appropriately small. The wine list (almost exclusively French) provides a satisfying read for oenophiles…
Complimentary extras such as a large salad bowl with the mains and constantly refilled bread baskets reinforce the feeling of being well looked after…

Whether you are seeking a business lunch or an unhurried soiree a deux, Charles Graham-Wood’s restaurant tucked behind London’s meat market has the ambience to suit. By day, the corporate lunch dominates, but by night the atmosphere transforms into a soft, relaxed setting. Even the brick walls take on a warmer hue especially when the three piece band strikes up (saxophone, piano and double bass). Cuisine is of the highest quality and reasonably priced, so it is hardly surprising that even in the depths of recession you need to book. The colourful, Gitanes-smoking patron, whose family originate from the French gastronomique capital of Lyon, attends to his guests as though he were hosting a private dinner party. Set price three course menu, lunch and dinner £19, or £11 three course (no-choice) downstairs. Excellent house wine; the little known Vacqueyras from the Rhone valley £11. Only one sitting so you never feel rushed.

A real find in something of a culinary desert is Le Café Du Marché, very handy for the Barbican and close to atmospheric Smithfield market. The roomy converted warehouse is pretty, done in rustic French style with brick walls, wood and lace curtains. Downstairs the set price meals offer good French bistro fare like poule au pot or provencal fish soup as well as more international flavouring with satay and ceviche. All meals are set menus from £10 to £15.50. A grill room upstairs, Le Grenier, has a bar festooned with French sausages you never knew existed and serves grills with classic sauces.

Le Café Du Marché serves food which is not only imaginatively selected and prepared, but also has the good sense to simplify its menu to a two-tier structure. You may either have the set meal of the day – three courses at £9.00 – or any selection from the equally tantalising a la carte menu at £12.50…