Review: The Preston cafe serving authentic South American cuisine on the Cheapside

Posted on - 15th July, 2023 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, City Centre, Food & Drink, Opinion, Preston City Centre, Restaurants in Preston, What's On in Preston

There are a number of thriving chains in Preston City Centre such as Turtle Bay where you can find a rum cocktail, Nando’s where you can find a chargrilled piece of chicken and McDonald’s where you can find a gloomy semi-immortal burger and/or an offer of a good kicking, depending on what time of day it might be. But nestled in between these corporate giants can be found a dogged little independent cafe, showing them all how it’s done.

Cafun√© is the first South American coffee shop in the UK, and claims to serve ‘the best coffee and food that the continent has to offer in a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere’. Following a trip to Specsavers on Cheapside I intended to take my daughter, Ground Zero, for lunch at Nando’s. However, on our way we spotted this small, interesting cafe and decided to try there instead.

We first treated ourselves to a good old 40 minute hangry debate about who should have what, and who’s not eating avocado for love nor money. Reaching an impasse we went to order at the counter and ask the patient server what they’d recommend before returning to our table and having a good look at our surroundings.

The decor was clearly South American, with warm oranges and reds paired with chipboard walls and baskets of produce, as well as shelves where Cafun√©’s own ground coffee can be found to purchase. It was packed despite it being about 3.30pm on a Monday, and it had a relaxed, informal vibe that invited visitors inside.

Our order arrived quickly and smelled wonderful. I’d decided on a whopping Cafun√© breakfast, which consisted of Cafun√© sausage, bacon, two eggs, black beans, crumbled feta, tomato, fried plantain, avocado and toast for ¬£10.50.

Cafune breakfast
Bacon, sausage, beans and eggs, ganging up on some fruit that found itself in fried breakfast territory

It was all cooked to be crispy as requested, and everything went surprisingly well together. I even dipped a toe into avocado territory by mixing it with some of the beans, but then left that concoction because it was as stupid an idea as mashing a Brussel sprout onto a chocolate waffle in the hope that it would be a magical taste adventure. Apart from my avocado drama, and the waste of beans, the Cafuné breakfast was a lovely combination.

Ground Zero chose the milanesa sandwich Рbreaded deep fried steak with tomato, onion and pickle, for £8.

Cafune Milanesa sandwich
Everything tastes better breaded and deep fried. That’s science

The huge steak wasn’t even trying to fit on the poor, panicked bread roll, but was instead just lolling out all over the place like it was something special. Correctly, as it turned out, because the deep fried, well-seasoned breaded steak was fabulous once I got over it not being chicken.

We finished off with a slice of Brazilian custard cake – solidified custard that’s cake shaped and sliceable – for ¬£2.80 and a rolled ball of what seemed to be made up of mainly sugar, cinnamon and butter.

Cafune custard cake
Brazilian custard cake. It’s a cake made out of custard

Ground Zero loved it, but it was a little too sweet for me. However, I can imagine that it would be perfect with a cup of strong, Colombian coffee and will be trying that combination, along with numerous other interesting items on Cafun√©’s menu, next time I’m in the vicinity.

This dinky cafe is well worth a visit, bringing great value food with a hit of South American vibrancy to Preston City Centre. Anyone who’s visited Specsavers on Cheapside without stopping at this little gem – you should have gone to Cafun√©.

Have you ruined some perfectly good food by mucking around with an avocado? Let us know in the comments.

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