Looking for the best places in London to get your next caffeine fix? From quirky to community, retro to modern chic, here are some of the best coffee shops in London. Enjoy a cup of java with the experts.
A favourite with office workers in Clerkenwell, Prufrock has strong ties to the coffee community. In a minimalist setting, the café serves up delicious homemade dishes and sandwiches as well as fine espresso-based and filter coffee. With a great selection of beans to try, they feature the three top scoring filter coffees each week on a brew-bar which is dedicated to hand-brewing.
The café is also a one-stop shop for any budding barista, selling equipment such as the Aeropress, and offering coffee tastings, barista courses, talks and special events.
Where: 23-25 Leather Lane, EC1N 7TE
Nearest Tube: Chancery Lane, Farringdon
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 8am-6pm, Sat-Sun: 10am-5pm
With both Great Titchfield Street and Eastcastle Street locations, Kaffeine is inspired by coffee culture in Australia and New Zealand. Its minimalist décor is complimented by deli-style breakfasts, sandwiches and baked treats which are popular with the office workers who flock here during lunchtimes. Coffee fans will enjoy the espresso based coffees from the Synesso Cyncra Espresso machine.
Where: 66 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7QJ
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 7.30am-6pm, Sat: 8.30am-6pm, Sun: 9am-5pm
Modestly tucked away under a bridge in Shoreditch, this café captivates visitors with its unique Bohemian glamour. In the downstairs bar you’ll find many old curios, including an antique cash register, and upstairs is lavishly decorated with plush sofas, ornate mirrors, and antiques.
It’s as close as you can get to sitting in a Victorian coffee house, as you lounge on the fine upholstery with a slice of cake and good coffee.
Where: 15 Kingsland Rd, E2 8AE
Nearest Tube: Hoxton (Overground)
Opening Times: Sun-Wed: 12pm-2am, Thurs-Sat: 12pm-3am
Located on the ground floor of Amazon's Headquarters, Workshop’s chic interior features comfy Mad Men-style seating and a horseshoe-shaped bar clad in Calacatta marble. With twin La Marzocco Linea PB espresso machines, their espresso offering is available either brewed to order using the AeroPress, or batch brewed.
Where: 60A Holborn Viaduct, EC1A 2FD
Nearest Tube: City Thameslink (Overground)
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 7am-6pm, Sat & Sun: Closed
Elaborately decked out like the inside of a pirate ship, this café offers a magical experience. Their coffee is excellent and a selection of homemade breakfasts, sandwiches, soups, and salads are available to ensure you won’t go hungry. There’s also a book and gift shop which makes for great present ideas.
Hackney Pirates is also the home of an educational charity which offers support to young people in developing literacy, confidence and perseverance by delivering motivating learning projects in a dynamic environment. It’s a weird and wonderful out-of-school learning environment complete with secret passageways, an underwater cave and a ship’s cat.
Where: 138 Kingsland High St, E8 2NS
Nearest Tube: Dalston Kingsland (Overground)
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 8.30am-6.30pm, Sat-Sun: 11.30am-6.30pm
Another café with quirky surroundings, The Attendant is located in a former late-nineteenth-century gents’ toilet. Wonderfully restored (and deep-cleaned, of course) this tiny café retains many of its original features from the Victorian era, including the wall tiles and the urinals themselves which are now incorporated into tabletops.
In addition to hot and cold sandwiches, soups, and salads, Attendant serves a fine brew with citrus overtones, made from London’s Caravan roastery.
Where: 27A Foley St, W1W 6DY
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 8am-6pm, Sat: 9am-6pm, Sun: 10am-6pm
Not only can you enjoy good coffee at Second Shot, you’ll also be contributing to a great cause. The café employs and supports London’s homeless. The staff employed here are given food safety and barista training and then helped to transition into permanent jobs. In addition to partnering with homeless charities, the café runs a “pay it forward” scheme where customers can choose to purchase a coffee or food for those who need it.
Where: 475 Bethnal Green Rd, E2 9QH
Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm, Sat-Sun: 9am-5pm
Doppio Coffee Warehouse is a one-stop shop for all coffee experts and retailers. Its chic warehouse shelving hosts all the coffee equipment you could ever need, such as machines, grinders, and many blends of Italian coffee and they also offer barista training.
The cosy café at the front of the store serves delicious specialist pastries and a fine selection of coffees to suit all tastes.
Where: 177 Kentish Town Rd, NW1 8PD
Nearest Tube: Kentish Town West (Overground)
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 8am-6pm, Sat-Sun: 9am-6pm
Tucked away inside a corner deli in Stoke Newington, Café Muisca is a hidden gem and a local haunt of this author. The coffee bar here serves a delicious blend of coffee, imported from the owner’s family plantation in Colombia
The food counter at Booth’s also has a fine selection bagels, pasties, pizzas, and sweet treats, all freshly made on the premises. We recommend taking a seat with a coffee and a pilavuna pastry and watching the world go by.
Where: 228 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7HU
Nearest Tube: Stoke Newington (Overground)
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 8am-3pm Sat-Sun: 9am-2pm
Just under the arches by Deptford Station, The Waiting Room is a cosy little vegetarian/vegan café and coffee shop giving morning commuters their caffeine kick. In addition to Union coffee, hard shakes, and cocktails, they also serve a mean bagel and have a well-stocked book exchange. Take some time to sit in and appreciate their super-cool playlists.
Where: 142 Deptford High St, SE8 3PQ
Nearest Tube: Deptford (Overground)
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 8am-6pm, Sat: 9am-6pm, Sun: 10am-4pm
A landmark of Old Street Roundabout with its iconic cinema-style marquee sign, Shoreditch Grind is open up to 18 hours a day for all your coffee needs.
If cocktails are your thing, they make a mean Espresso Martini or Flat White Russian and there is a great selection of home-made sandwiches, salads, rolls and soups to choose from.
Where: 213 Old Street, EC1V 9NR
Nearest Tube: Old Street
Opening Times: Mon-Thurs: 7am-11pm, Fri: 7am-1am, Sat: 8am-1am, Sun: 9am-7pm
First opened in 1887, this store is a Soho institution and a must-visit for coffee lovers. Complete with the original wooden counter, shelving and display case, the shop is steeped in history and offers a large selection of bagged coffees, either as beans or freshly ground.
You can also get a takeaway coffee of the house blend for a very modest price, to be enjoyed either in the shop or as you stroll through Soho.
Where: 52 Old Compton Street, W1V 6PB
Nearest Tube: Leicester Square
Opening Times: Mon-Weds: 9am-7pm, Thurs-Fri: 9am-9pm, Sat: 9am-8pm, Sun: Closed