The Dalby Café is probably the oldest in Margate, first opening its doors in 1946, and it has a firm reputation for good food at decent prices.
For the last 20 years Mark Ezekiel has been at the helm, taking on the business when he was just 19-years-old. He has made the Dalby Road café a destination of choice for everyone from hungry families to Cliftonville’s resident musician Pete Doherty.
Boasting awards for the best breakfast in Kent and famed for its mega breakfast challenge, The Dalby Cafe has now scooped Tripadvisor’s Traveller’s Choice award – putting it in the top 10% of rated restaurants worldwide.
Mark, who lives in Westgate with wife Anne, says the ‘fantastic’ news just makes the team even more passionate about providing an upbeat service with great food.
And, what’s the café’s secret to success?
“Using really good ingredients,” says Mark. “We spend about £200 a week on good butter. We go that extra bit further with quality ingredients and all the little touches. We want to use the best of everything and have fresh deliveries every day.
“We have great staff who are all friendly and have a good time at work, no doom and gloom.”
The Dalby Café, which is known for its unique seating from Margate’s old trams, has undergone a complete refit during the pandemic.
The kitchen has been ripped out and replaced, there are new counters and the seating now has booths to make it covid secure.
Some £300 has been spent on a contactless hand sanitiser station and measures to ensure government guidelines are adhered to.
The café reopened on July 8 – once the refurb was completed – and is seeing signs of growing customer confidence.
Mark said: “It was a bit touch and go in July but the first couple of weeks of August has been busier with the Eat Out to Help Out scheme Monday to Wednesday. Thursdays and Fridays are busier anyway and then you get the weekend customers.
“It isn’t quite up to the level we used to get but people are becoming more confident and all the measures mean our customers can feel safe.”