Tinderbox – N1 Centre, Angel


This espresso bar has recently relocated from the busy Upper Street to the N1 Centre. Looking at it from the outside, Tinderbox looks like a small takeaway coffee shop. But if you walk in and up the flights of wooden stairs at the back end, that is where the real coffee shop is!

Tinderbox interiorTinderbox interior2Tinderbox

The Tinderbox Espresso Bar is quite a trendy cafe! The main counter is situated in the middle section, with seating areas on both sides. It even has a little balcony area where you can sit and enjoy your drinks outdoors. Good for a hot sunny day but not on the cold spring day that we visited!

There are little alcoves where you can be tucked away in your own little world! These reminded me of American diners. There are small spotlights and a lack of daylight in these areas! If you feel like watching the world go by, then go and sit in the upstairs area. It’s a little like being in a library with the seats being close together and quite a few people were using it as a study/work area!

The drinks that we had were not great. The latte did not have a smooth flavour to it. The steamer – hot soya milk with almond syrup, was not that nice. It may have been due to the type of soya milk that Tinderbox uses. I found it a struggle to finish this drink as it wasn’t that moreish.

As for food, there were cakes displayed openly on the counter but they also had them in the display fridge. The service was good and I was impressed that the staff kept clearing up the tables and taking away empty cups even when you were still just sitting there relaxing.

Tinderbox has a quirky feel to it! On the ground floor level, there are two random airline seats and neon signs! Quite retro in one sort of an aspect!

Tinderbox, N1 Centre, Parkfield Street, London, N1 0PS

Rating: ★★★½☆
Tinder Box on Urbanspoon

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Mzungu says:

    The airline seats were in the old shop in Upper Street, which I have to admit was a hell of a lot better.
    The customer service is hit and miss these days and it is always so busy. but it is the best place around to make a cup.

  2. stanley smith says:

    Shocking and poor service being sold cold coffee. And the assistant not understanding what a spoon was totally unacceptable service

  3. Paul says:

    Lovely space, shame about miserable Michela upstairs. Is it too much to ask for him to use a Please or Thank you at any point? Perhaps it was the Alice Band griupping his head that distracted him.

  4. Mary says:

    It's quite a nice place but I know what you mean about the soya (although I haven't been there for a while now)….unfortunately lots of cafes stock soya milk believing that, like regular milk it pretty much tastes the same – when it really doesn't. Soya milk can be absolutely disgusting (especially the cheap watery stuff which lots of places then make you pay extra for so they get more profit). Alpro/Provamel are the best by a mile and I'm a fan of any coffee shop who stock them.

  5. pete says:

    Hi, you can let me know what you think at

    tinderboxcomments [at] gmail [dot] com

    feel free to pass this on to anyone who would like to pass comment. Thanks


  6. Dina says:

    Hi Michael,

    Since I did the review on Tinderbox, I also have been looking for their email address. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find one for them.

    If you do (or if anyone else finds one), would you be able to pass it onto us here at Rate my Bistro!


  7. Michael says:


    Anyone know if they have an email? I want to send them some feedback on their customer service?


  8. Jemima says:

    I think the coffee is the best in the area, but the customer service is horrendous. And what’s with the ban on small lattes? (you can get every drink in ‘small’ except a latte.) Totally bizarre.

  9. Tony says:

    Their coffee is average to good. Their customer service skills are lacking, lacking, lacking. Food is generally quite nice.

  10. Dina says:

    Tinderbox was pretty full the first time we visited, and just seemed to get busier as the afternoon went on. They must have a good following of regular customers. I think that the fact that you can access it from the upper level of the N1 centre has also worked in their favour.

    Still haven't managed to get service with a smile!

  11. Krista says:

    I'm curious how their business is holding up since the move. When they were on Upper Street, they were packed all the time. Not many people look up, so I wonder if they're getting the same number of walk-ins that they used to get…

  12. Lee says:

    If you need somewhere to study and use your laptop, this is by far one of the cosiest places I’ve found. Get in early though, as people tend to take root at Tinderbox. Wireless Internet and plug sockets are provided.

  13. Dina says:

    The Portuguese style little egg custard tarts are really delicious if you have a sweet tooth. They had just been baked on the day that I had them, so were still warm. Layers of crunchy buttery puff pastry with the sweet egg custard filling. Even though they are small, one of these gems is enough!

    One thing to point out is that the outdoor balcony area is non smoking.

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