Located along a stretch of Oxford Street that has seen more exciting days, Crate Bar & Pizza is a new pop-up cafe and pizza joint that's bringing a bit of fun (and the scent of baking dough) to Paddington.
Inside, sturdy four-tops line one wall, while the other side houses - you guessed it - a collection of wooden crates that serve as both seats and tables. Decks of cards are on hand, so you can get in a little Snap while waiting for your pizzas to come out of the oven. A collection of crates and colourful stools are scattered about outside if the weather's agreeable.
Things start early at Crate. If you do too, then it's best to fortify yourself with some Campos coffee. Then you can tuck into quinoa porridge, granola and raison bran or heartier fare like the brekkie roll, which is a fancy take on the tradesman's special and has bacon, eggs, spinach and chilli relish.
For lunch, it's all about Italian sambos. The Pig (unsurprisingly) contains smoked ham, horseradish mustard, fontina and tomatoes stuffed between soy and linseed bread. There's paninis as well, such as The Lot (roast vegetables, pesto and ricotta) and The Boss (smokey pork and homemade coleslaw).
At five they get the pizza oven cranking. They do tasty versions of standards such as Margheritas and Napoletanas, as well as saucy numbers like the Salsiccia which is topped with tomato, mozzarella, Italian sausage and hot salami, and which is probably not the best option if you're on a date. The Supreme has everything on it (including pineapple) and would probably make an Italian wince, but it's good fun just the same.
Despite the bar in the name, Crate is BYO at the moment, so grab a bottle on your way. Then just pull up a crate and tuck in.