F.Cooke’s pie and mash shop, Broadway Market

piemashcounterNOTE: Please read comments below from people who have visited recently. I haven’t been here for a few years, so this post is now out of date as far as restaurant reviews go. 

If you find yourself down at Broadway Market of a Saturday – filling your wicker basket (plastic bags are a major faux pas) with free-range eggs, lemon drizzle cake and smoked oysters, perhaps stopping for a flat white or a Vietnamese coffee, and then deliberating between a lunch of Creole prawns, African jollof rice, mushroom risotto or a couple of samosas – take a moment to consider the pie and mash shop, which has been there since 1900 and served the same food ever since. Here you can choose from eels – which are available hot or jellied for £2.50, or live at market prices – and beef or vegetarian pies, served with mashed spuds and liquor, which is a fresh parsley gravy made from the stock those eels were boiled up in.

Like the menu, the shop’s marble façade and ornate gold lettering above the door have not changed since it opened. Inside, a long metal counter runs down one side of the large canteen-like space, and customers take their time over newspapers and cups of tea at marble benches. Original yellow and blue tiles and stained glass brighten up the walls, sawdust is sprinkled over the floors, and a vat of eels steams away under the window.piemashinterior1

A row of framed family photos share wall space with a faded Princess Diana poster and ads for local filmmakers seeking locations, while a portrait of current owner Bob Cooke with his pit bull is given pride of place above the cash register. Bob’s customers vary from old regulars coming for lunch to local artists on shoestring budgets and curious tourists, drawn to peer inside by the charm of the untouched Victorian exterior. Bob’s greeting to all is uniformly civil: ‘Hello, Guvnor,’ he says to the young blokes, and ‘Hello, young man,’ to the older ones, while ‘Hello, young lady’ does well for any female that walks in, whatever her age. Unlike nearby Shanghai, which was once owned by the same family, the interior of this shop isn’t heritage listed. But it is beautifully maintained and, as Mr Cooke told me, recently featured in a Jack the Ripper TV series, The Whitechapel Murders. You can choose from a double or a single serve – that’s one pie or two – and it would be hard to find a more generous plate of food in the whole of London at this price. And, of course, this kind of hearty British grub is incomplete without a piping hot mug of builder’s tea. 

Broadway Market, London, E8 4PH, Tel o20 7254 6458

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35 Comments

Filed under Somewhere to eat

35 responses to “F.Cooke’s pie and mash shop, Broadway Market

  1. Hi!! Thanks for the mention! ^^

  2. Zoe

    You’re most welcome Tamami!

  3. Just like to say this is a great pie mash shop, I always enjoy popping in at weekends with the misses. Long may Bob & his family run this great place.

    Patrick

  4. Jeffrey Johns

    haven’t had pie and mash since 75 put sure would love to see that old pie shop

  5. Jeffrey Johns

    haven’t had pie and mash since 75 put sure would love to see that old pie shop i live in Detroit now

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  8. Bill Wilson

    Fantastic glad to see the shop still going after all these years, not been in since the very early 60′s with my old nan who lived locally near the old Bush Brooke & Allen factory, must make a real effort to get down to London to see you, please what ever you do, do not shut the shop up, good East End Tradition. Best wishes to you all.

    • Thanks Bill. When I was in the owner said his daughters would take over once he retired, so I’m sure it will still be here when you get down. Best wishes to you too.

    • June S

      Bill, was just taking a trip down memory lane when I saw your post and all I can say is me too! I used to go here with my nan in the 60s. My nan also lived near Bush’s – on Ash Grove. I live in Canada now but still miss pie and mash!

  9. David

    Just seen this place on BBC2, Googled it to see where to go, will pay a visit soon.

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  11. gaynro gooding

    i was born in london and used to go to cookes down hoxton, one of my favourite meals is pie mash n liquor and of course jellied eels, now living in the west country it would b good to know if u do an online ordering service ……..many thanks

  12. I don’t think that F Cooke’s does… you’ll have to come for a visit!

  13. lin

    Does Cookes do a delivery service. I have tried calling but no one answers the phone

  14. John O'Donnell

    Thanks Bobby for my Pie & Mash 60th Birthday Party two years ago
    All the family enjoyed.

    John & Margaret O’Donnell

  15. Jeff Harrison

    Came many years ago when kids were young. You had live eels in the left hand window one crawled out onto the pavement my kids have never forgotten it. I am pleased to know you are still going and will visit soon.
    Regards
    Jeff Harrison

  16. glen

    I miss this Pie & Mash shop, haven’t been able to get to London for a couple of years and NOBODY does Pie n Mash like they do.

  17. annie butterworth

    brilliant place recently spent a few weeks in the summer and returned for christmas to the uk from australia and just love the pie shop its history and its stories (also visited the orginal one in Dalston – also where the Dalston market is which inspired the series East Enders!!??) and would you adam and eve it was watching Silent Witness (tv show) in Adelaide last night and was I amazed when they ended up having a liason in the pie and mash shop my goodness what a surprise – keep on serving

  18. writerjane1

    Reblogged this on writerjane1.

  19. john osborn

    I spent most of my childhood eating Pie and Mash at the Dalston Shop, sometimes I missed school dinners to have it and went back later that evening for a top up, nothing like it, the best in London!, shame its now closed as a Pie Mash shop. I am now living in Cornwall and would love to eat proper pie and Mash with liquor again, pity they don’t do a postal service!.

  20. Ian

    My old Nan lived in Regents Row a short walk to Cooke’s, the best pies and eels in London. My Grandad and I used to eat two pies and two mash each before we went to watch the Arsenal play.
    Great memories long may the shop continue.
    Im sure the owner used to have a Pug dog in the 70′s when the live eels were prepared outside on a stall.

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  22. During my vacation to London from Highland, Indiana, one of the things I had on my itinerary was to eat at Cooke’s Pie and Mash. It was 1 of the places Andrew Zimmern ate at while doing his show. (Bizarre Foods) I was not disappointed.
    The food was wonderful and filling and had me wondering if I could open myown pie and mash shop here. I’d love to find out how its done, so I could gt started. I believe the people in this area would flock at a restaurant like that. Anywho, I plan to return one day soon and fill my belly again to the brim.

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  26. mary cain

    I HAVE ONLY JUST BECAME AWARE OF YOUR SHOP
    LISTENING A REPRESENTATIVE OF YOUR BUSINESS TALKING TO
    JAMES WALE ON THE RADIO…
    I FOUND YOUR COMMENTS OF ……WE DO VEGETARIAN PIES FOR THE
    WEIDOES EXTREMEMLY OFFENSIVE AND CAN IN NO WAY SEE HOW THIS
    WILL DO YOU BUSINESS ANY FAVOURS…THERE ARE OVER 5 MILLION
    VEGETARIANS IN ENGLAND…IN THE CURRANT FINANCIAL CLIMATE
    I DONT THINK IT IS WISE TO BE SO ARROGANT.
    I FOR ONE WILL NOT ENCOURAGE ANY VEGETARIAN WHO
    LINKS UP SOCIALLY TO VISIT YOUR SHOP.
    MARY

  27. Kate

    I can only think this place has changed hands since the review written. Visited today with my mother. Worst eel and pie shop we’ve visited….old pies and eels were left out from day before. Opened late and when asking for eels and mash got jellied eels on the plate with the mash! When explaining that we wanted stewed eels with liquor the girl took them out the back and washed the jelly off!! Behind the counter area looked dirty and the towel come dishcloth that was used to wipe looked as though it hadn’t been washed since the shop opened in the 1900′s. My family eat regularly in pie & mash and eel shops and this is not a patch on say Harringtons in Tooting. Food and certainly not hygiene wise. We left after the girl said she’d been told by the guy out the back to wash the jelly off the eels ….

  28. Jamal

    I’ve been to every pie an mash in London and this one is the worse I’ve been took one bite an fell sick never again will I go

  29. I’ve been to every pie an mash in London an I’ve never tasted something so horrible never will I go again

  30. Yazmin

    Went here on Friday with my friends and we all got the worst food poisoning ever.I only had the mash and liquor and my friend literally ate two spoonfuls of the food and couldn’t eat it because the mincemeat was so disgusting but we still woke up throwing up the next day! The worst place to eat ever,absolutely disgusting,very poor hygiene,will never go back or recommend to anyone.

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