“ 40 High Street / Llanberis / Gwynedd / Wales / LL55 4EU / Tel: 01286 870 117 „
Deep in the heart of North Wales, in a small countryside community, there is a legend that is growing and growing. Its a well kept secret that has only recently come to light. Now it is gathering force and momentum and becoming the subject of folklore. This legend is set to spring out of its small community and take the world by storm!
From that rather elaborate introduction you may wonder exactly what kind of review your reading! Well when I tell you its a local cafe, you may be a little surprised. But Petes Eats really is becoming the stuff of legends!
Petes Eats is a is a cafe which first opened back in 1978. The cafe is in Llanberis which is in the heart of Snowdonia. Llanberis has long been associated with the outdoor way of life. So Pete decided to aim his new cafe at walkers and climbers. Over the years Pete has expended his business and his reputation and now has a thriving business.
I spend a lot of time climbing mountains and often go to Snowdonia to go climbing with friends. Often we travel down do our walk and then find ourselves in Llanberis looking for somewhere to eat and relax. Its usually evening time and we always want a beer and a big meal, so we usually opt for one of the excellent pubs or the local Indian. Despite hearing rumors of Petes Eats its never appealed as a place to have an evening meal.
Over the years I have noticed Petes Eats crop up in various mountain magazines. It often wins awards and has been dubbed 'Britain's best cafe'. I've always wondered how anyone can claim to be the best cafe, whats so special about it. So a few weeks back as we travelled home from a weekend away we found ourselves in Llanberis at lunch time. So I suggest we try the famous Petes Eats! From the outside it looks just like a normal cafe and the six friends I was with said they wanted something more like a pub. However I said it is supposed to be the best cafe in Britain. My friend like proving me wrong so we decided to go and see how good this place really was.
As you go into the cafe you realise that its more than just a cafe. There are three different rooms all quite big and all with varying décor. We went into the biggest room which is very bright and colourful. We looked around for a menu but couldn't find any. So we went upto the counter to investigate. A very friendly lady on the counter directed our attention to a whooping great board above the kitchen. There were about a hundred meals on there to choose from! Everything from breakfasts to steaks.
After browsing for a while I decided to go for the mixed grill, a bargain at only £5.95. BY far the cheapest mixed grill I'd ever seen, I doubted it would be very big for that price. My other friends went for things ranging from burgers to liver and onions to chilli.
When it came to ordering I asked for a coffee. Large or very large I was asked. Unsure of the difference the lady showed me the two cups, a big mug or a bucket! She suggest I go for the bucket as it was only 40p more. Wanting to save face I agreed. She got me a fresh coffee in my bucket there and then and asked how I would like it. She gave me milk and offered me sugar, all very friendly and easy. Then she gave me a ticket with a number and told me my lunch would be about ten minutes.
We all went and sat down. Before long my curiosity got the better of me and I went exploring. The walls were littered with climbing photos, some for sale, some just there to inspire the people eating here. There was also a wall with a notice board with all the local events and suggestions of things to do in the area. There was a big shelf full of books that you could swap and take home with you, or just sit and read for a while. I noticed there was internet access if you wanted to log on and do some surfing.
Something else that impressed me was the Jukebox. Free! With a sign saying to consider other guests and not hog the machine. There were comfy seats to recline in, or benches to sit on if it gets to busy. The cafe was quite quiet at the time but there was still a warm and friendly atmosphere.
I also noticed Petes Eats is more than just a cafe. There are also rooms available upstairs, a kind of bunkhouse. Its just £13 a night for a bed or £32 a night for a double room. There is also a room you can hire out that sleeps 12 and that's only £150 a night, quite a bargain really.
Anyway as I explored I noticed our food was coming out so I retreated to our table. First came the burgers. Wow!! These were no ordinary burgers, they were huge. Massive homecooked burgers, with all the extras you could imagine, all on a nice wholemeal bun. The girl opposite me had trouble getting her mouth round the monster! The meal also came with huge chunky home made chips, some salad and a dish of coleslaw. Very impressive.
Next up came my mixed grill. I was amazed at the size of it. It included a burger, sausage, bacon, small steak, loads of chips, an egg and beans.
All this on a huge plate, what a feast. Everything was excellent, the burger was really nice, and everything else excellent. But the chips were out of this world. They were possibly the best chips I've ever had, crispy and chunky, absolutely delicious.
Everyone else was equally impressed with there food. The chilli look really good and the guy eating it said it was the best chilli he'd ever had. I was amazed at the size of the portions to say everything was so cheap. On top of the food being great the drinks were pretty good too. I'm quite fussy with my coffee but my bucket was excellent, really nice fresh coffee. My other friend was happy sipping her hot vimto, something she says very few places actually offer.
I can see why this place is so popular with walkers, either before or after a long trek this place is perfect for having a good hearty meal. It the kind of place where you can just relax with like minded people and soak up the atmosphere. It is probably what the phrase 'cheap and cheerful' was invented for as its very cheap and super cheerful.
Pete also tried to open a Bistro across the road from his cafe, but with the current financial climate that project has been put on hold. He was planning on opening up more accommodation that would be cheap and handy for walkers in the area. Hopefully as his business continues to grow he can make these expansions and really improve services in the area.
So on reflection could I say that Petes Eats is the best Cafe in Britain? Well I would have to say, yes! It was amazing. The whole experience was just so good. The food was outstanding, the prices were cheap, the atmosphere was warm, the decor fun and interesting, there was no faults to be found anywhere. I have been in hundred of cafes, bars and restaurants over the years and I would have to say Petes Eats is right up there with the best.
I also like the way Pete gets involved with his business. I'd seen a picture of him in a magazine so was quite surprised when he walked out the kitchen and said hi to us all. He really seems to love his business and takes a real hands on approach to it. This is something that a lot of owners don't do with there businesses.
So if your ever in Llanberis or even just in Snowdonia, go out of your way to find this place. Its right down on the main street and easy to spot, there is also a website giving information about the cafe and any accommodation you might want.
So yes there is a legend growing deep in darkest Wales. But its not some scary myth or rumour, it's something fun and exciting and if you ever get the chance I urge you to go and become a part of this wonderful experience! Petes Eats is simply, the best!