Speedy’s Sandwich Bar and Cafe, with its instantly recognisable red canopy, features in all three television series of the BBC’s Sherlock. It's located directly below the first floor flat which is home to Sherlock and Watson. Since featuring in the hit TV series, with its modern day twist on Sherlock Holmes, the cafe has been welcoming fans who visit. So the other day I stopped by for a delicious breakfast.
In the pilot episode the cafe was featured with Mrs Hudson's Snax on its canopy but since then Speedy's has appeared as itself. The cafe's exterior and interior have both featured in its episodes.
The door to Sherlock and Watson's flat is immediately left of the cafe
In the TV series the filming of the exterior shots of Baker Street took place in North Gower Street. The Camden location was chosen as it's quieter than the original street in Marylebone. Incidently when Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his Sherlock stories 221b did not exist and it was only created in the 1930s when the road was extended to include Upper Baker Street and the buildings were renumbered.
Door 187 immediately to the left of the cafe stands in for one of the world's most famous addresses 221b Baker Street. The blue plaque next to the door is to Giuseppe Mazzini, an Italian statesman, who campaigned for the unification of Italy in the 1800s. The two windows immediately above the cafe are Sherlock and Watson's flat, although the interior shots have been recorded in a film studio.
I visited one busy Saturday morning to find all its dozen or so tables occupied. However I only had to wait a few minutes until one became available. There was also a nice mix of customers with both locals (sporting work overalls) and Sherlock fans (taking photos) so it didn't feel overtly touristy.
What I liked most about Speedy's was its staff's friendly, welcoming manner along with great service, it certainly lives up to its Speedy's name without customs feeling hurried. They also didn't mind me taking photos and infact the waitress apologised when she thought she had got in the way of the camera.
Chris Georgiou - Speedy's owner
The cafe operates a waitress service and then customers go to the counter to pay their bill when they have finished.
The menu offers a good choice of very reasonably priced food. The selection on offer includes cooked breakfasts, omlettes, burgers, pasta, jacket potatoes and salads. It has been know that some of the fans have taken the menus home as a souvenir but I returned mine to my waitress!
There is also a specials board behind the counter. The menu includes Sherlock and Watson Wraps.
Around the cafe's walls are some Sherlock themed art work and photographs but it's nicely understated and not over done.
The cafe was extremely busy when I visited
More art work and photographs
My vegetarian breakfast consisted of 2 eggs (which I asked to be scrambled), mushroom, beans, grilled tomatoes, hashbrown and a slice of toast. This was delicious and excellent value at £4.40.
I loved my visit to Speedy's and to be honest whether or not your a Sherlock fan this is a great place to visit as they offer delicious, great value food for breakfast and lunchtimes.
Above: Benedict Cumberbatch Ate Here: A Visit to Speedy's Cafe in London! from Anglophile Channel
Address: Speedy's Sandwich Bar and Cafe, 187 North Gower Street, NW1 2NJ
Nearest Train/ Tube Stations: Euston Square, Euston and Warren Street. All the stations are in Travelcard Zone 1. Euston Square is the nearest station as it's north side exit is literally round the corner but all are within a 5 minute easy walk.
Opening Hours: Please check website for up to date details before travelling.
If you'd like to discover more about Sherlock Holmes in Marylebone there are free guided walking tour organised by the Baker Street Quarter Partnership called Streets of Sherlock. The next walks will be taking place on Wednesday 14th January and Wednesday 25th March 2015. Both walks start from 55 Baker Street at 6pm and last 90 minutes. No pre-booking required. (Please note that although I lead regular walks for BSQP it will be my guiding colleague Mark that will be leading these walk).
If you enjoyed this you might like reading my blog posts about Agatha Christie.
The author of this blog is a qualified City of London and City of Westminster Tour Guide who leads guided walks combining world famous landmarks with hidden treasures often missed by the crowds.