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July 16, 2010


I read a post on Sheffield Forum a while ago asking where all the greasy spoons and cheap cafes were in Sheffield City Centre these days – with the ‘gentrification’ of most of the town centre by the council many cheaper places get priced out of the market or feel they have to go down the ‘panini and latte’ route.

Welcome to Sarni’s. This cafe is a regulars’ little institution, tucked away in an alleyway just off the tram route. It’s really near my office so a great place to go for a quick bite to eat or a coffee without the massive price tag or pretension. They do a big blackboard full of various hot sandwiches (bacon, egg, sausage etc), and great jacket potatoes. They also do all day breakfasts, and the best thing for me is that they do tea to order – one of the few places I’ve found where when I ask for a strong tea, they make it the colour of American Tan Tights (all credit to a colleague for the reference, now I always know what to say when people ask me how I have my tea). The cafe is always busy, and yet the staff always seem relaxed and friendly. No matter how busy you are the food and drinks always come really quickly, despite being made to order – they obviously know what they’re doing!

They’re great with kids too, despite the small size of the place they have two high chairs and don’t mind buggies, and were even gracious when the three year old I was with today decided he was a lion and wanted to crawl around the floor roaring under the waiter’s feet!

For my colleagues, this is the cafe they always used to go to after the picket on strike days, for a well deserved cuppa and hot meal. After our last period of industrial action I definitely understood the appeal, although not the repeated ordering by one colleague of a ‘tomato dip’ sandwich – white bread with hot tinned tomatoes in the middle – does this exist anywhere else (in Sheffield or nationally?!).

So don’t all crowd there at once (you won’t get in anyway, it’s always full), and yes. They do now do lattes, but I think they’d prefer it if you ordered it with a side of sausage sandwich or a packet of cheese and onion Walkers.


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