As far as well-known suburban cafes go, The Fridge is probably right at the beginning of the list for those first-off-the-top-of-your-head moments. Times when you want a great coffee but don’t have the time, inclination or parking money to go into town and will go to the first place your party, study or kids-addled brain will remember, as long as it’s quality.
The Fridge is one of those rare places: popular and deserving of it.
Go in preparing for bustle and you may be pleasantly surprised. Just don’t let that narrow space in front of the counter scare you. Linger at it, look in the glass case of salad specialties, consider the menu board behind the counter for a while – people won’t mind, and they’ll expect the same from you.
If it is busy and you order takeaway, make sure to wait in hearing distance for when they call your name. If you’re eating in, check out the seating areas for vacancies first.
You will have two options – the inside bit, which can get a little hot in summer even with its giant windows, and the outside bit, which is cozy and bright. The stairs to the outside bit are treacherous, but if the waiting staff can navigate them so can you – take it slow and put each foot down evenly.
What food then? Indeed. The better question is what NOT to eat. As mentioned, the coffee is always hot and strong. Refrigerator drinks will suffice, but a coffee denied is a wasted opportunity.
Hot food: PIES. Eat them. Being spoiled for filling choice is an understatement here, so be prepared to get in everyone’s way as you stand there, staring, unable to decide on one.
Cold food: the Caesar wrap from the deli cabinet can’t be beat. Such good value for money!
Breakfast food: mushrooms. The Fridge knows how to charm patrons with well-cooked grey guys.
It has an unassuming little shop front, at the further-from-town end of the Kingsland shops. One of its best features is the collection of cool shops that share its kilometre-square locale - you can be a lazy, strolling gawker round these parts.
The best time to come is a weekend morning, around 11.30. The bustle here is friendly and welcoming, infused with soporific smiles and the glazed eyes you get from multiple, enjoyable Listener perusals.
Photo from: unkreative.blogspot.com