The original cafe on an industrial area of ​​Hull serving a slice of history and great food


It is not uncommon to find a restaurant in the heart of an industrial area. After all, there are plenty of hungry workers out there who need food.

But usually it will be a burger van or at best a very basic greasy spoon caff. But off Stoneferry is a gem of a cafe that offers so much more.

Of course, the tables and seats at Wilmington Café look like a canteen, and you won’t be able to order a soy milk frappaccino or coconut milk macchiato. But there’s a lot more to the Foster Street cafe than just full English and a cup of builder’s tea as a Hull Live reporter james campbell guess.

Read more: The hidden gem of Cafe Hull where you’ll feel like part of the family

Firstly, there are few more original places to house such a café. There is a lot of history behind the small building. The station was built in 1864 as part of the Hull to Hornsea Railway line and the site was once the terminus of the line. The building that now houses the cafe was once the waiting room and ticket office from 1912 until the line closed in 1964.

You can still feel the story and imagine passengers waiting for the train, perhaps families with excited children heading to the beach for the day. You can see that the kitchen was once the ticket office with the hatch issuing thick, card-like bills.

The decor of the café shows that the owners are also proud of history. The tables are labeled platform 1, platform 2, etc. There are also photos of how the station looked and a sign that says “Step into a part of Hull’s history – The 1867 Waiting Room”.

The Wilmington Cafe in Foster Street, Hull

There are no couches or comfy chairs, but this cafe is so much more than just a standard greasy spoon. There are inspirational quotes littering the walks on chalkboards.

I also need to come back in the winter when I can see the woodstove booming. It would create such a warm atmosphere.

What also struck me was the range of homemade treats – not your typical roadside caff fare. I was asked if I wanted some and I was certainly tempted.

But I played it safe and opted for bacon and a cup of coffee. The coffee was simple and you had to help yourself with milk and sugar.

The Wilmington Cafe in Foster Street, Hull
The Wilmington Cafe in Foster Street, Hull

The butty was in a standard roll – no fancy brioche or bagel options here. But the bacon was perfect. It was a real slab cooked to perfection.

I arrived just after 11am and followed an older couple who had clearly walked over to the cafe and ordered cakes. Once again, I should have tasted one!

What I also found reassuring was that the kitchen was open to all customers. You can sit and watch the food being prepared. Everything looked clean and orderly.

As I sat in the quiet cafe, I began to wonder if there was really enough custom. I scanned the decor and read the full menu. It was impressive for such a small operation.

I don’t need to worry about the activity rate. By 11:30 a.m., nearby workers were pouring in. Most were clearly regulars and the jokes were pouring in.

The Wilmington Cafe in Foster Street, Hull
The Wilmington Cafe in Foster Street, Hull

As the dishes were served, I regretted having had a simple bacon butty. Whether it was steak pie, burgers or omelettes, the food was stacked and looked delicious, again, more so than your standard greasy spoon food.

Spent about a very enjoyable hour there – you can’t stay longer if you want to leave your car outside as that’s as long as you can park.

It was a good job I did when I did. As I was leaving the rain started to fall and in no time there was thunder, lightning, hail and torrential downpours. Unfortunately the cafe later announced that it had to close early as the kitchen was flooded and needed a deep cleaning before reopening the next day.

The Wilmington Cafe in Foster Street, Hull
The Wilmington Cafe in Foster Street, Hull

The cafe has a very active Facebook page where it’s obvious how proud they are of their food.

Foster Street isn’t somewhere you really pass, but Stoneferry is a popular road and certainly worth taking the time to visit.

The cafe has only ten reviews on TripAdvisor, but nine of them give it a rating of five. It also has 28 Google reviews with a very impressive average of 4.8 out of five.

Can’t say when I’ll be back but I definitely plan to go back. It may never be a regular haunt because of where it is, but I urge anyone looking for something a little different, no frills, good food and a good slice of story to walk down Foster Street and take a walk.

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