REVIEW: Fausto Coffee, St George’s Terrace, Roker, Sunderland

Fausto Coffee shop, St George's Terrace, Roker

Fausto Coffee shop, St George's Terrace, Roker

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Cycling, it seems, is the new black.

Thanks in part to the Tour de France whizzing its way through Yorkshire last year, more Brits are getting in the saddle than ever before.

Lunch at Fausto

Lunch at Fausto

As the sport thrives, the wheels are set in motion for merchandise and venues where weary cyclers can rest their legs.

Fausto is so passionate about the sport that it has its own cycle club, Fausto Bici, and peddles its wares, including club kit and drinking bottles, from the coffee shop.

But you don’t have to be a cyclist to sit back and relax here. The last time I rode a bike it boasted an impressive collection of Frosties spokey dokeys, but I still enjoyed the cycling theme of this bespoke business.

Housed in the front room of a period property, it only seats around a dozen people, but you don’t feel like you’re sitting on top of each other. There’s also a handy side street to park your bike, not far from the end of the C2C, and you get a 10 per cent discount if you arrive on two wheels.

Coffee with a kick

Coffee with a kick

The independent coffee shop is named after Italian champion cyclist Fausto Coppi and his love of the sport weaves through the place. Much attention has been paid to the decor detail with a gradient map for an Italian cycle route spanning one wall and table tops decorated with sepia cycling images.

There’s also a sprinkling of outdoor seats for those who wish to sup a cuppa in the sun.

As the name would suggest, coffee is the business’s bread and butter. Brews are made with beans roasted down the road at Ouseburn Coffee Company and our cuppas, artfully decorated by a friendly barista, had a proper kick. Prices are cheaper than chain coffee shops and range from £1.50 - £2.50.

We visited on a leisurely Saturday afternoon so stopped for a light lunch. The menu is small, and offers little more than cakes, scones, sharing boards toasties and beans on toast, but if it’s just a snack you’re after it will perfectly suffice.

We chose two boards to share, the cheese board and the dipping board, both priced £4.50.

With the cheap as chips price, I didn’t expect much. I was wrong.

The dipping version had four pots, salsa, two types of houmous and a deliciously chunky guacamole. Dunking tools come in the form of vegetable crudités, bread sticks and crackers, as well as wedges of bread and butter. We mopped it all up with glee.

The cheese board came with the ubiquitous Cheddar, a fruit-studded Wensleydale, a blue cheese and, what I suspect, was a red Leicester. A sprig of red grapes, more crackers, chutney and a bowl of that old retro pub snack, pickled onions, proved the perfect accompaniment.

There was more than enough for two, in fact we couldn’t manage to wade through it all. Glad I didn’t have to get on a bike afterwards.

Sweet tooths will revel in a display of mouth-watering treats which looked lovingly home-made. Cakes change daily, and we toyed with the idea of ordering a slab of devilish-looking red velvet, before realising we’d been defeated by the cheese board.

With a couple of cups of coffee and two sharing boards, our bill came to just £14. I don’t think my moth-balled bike will be parked up outside the shop anytime soon, but I’ll certainly be gearing up for another visit sharpish.