Now, I have to admit first that I haven’t been to any cafes in London since lockdown started. So apologies, if you get there and things are not quite as I remembered. But this is me hoping that the next time I’m in London some great cafes still exist so this is my attempt at doing anything I can to support all great London cafes out there as much possible. With rent high and everyone working from home business in certain commercial areas must be really really tough for cafes owners right now…
My list below contains my favourite go to places for great coffee in London by area. There are loads more out there, so feel free to comment below what your favourite hangouts are. Just remember – key criteria is amazing coffee. So your favourite sandwich place on Sloan Square does not qualify! 🙂
Best coffee in central London
#1 Sourced Market – it’s rare that a train station cafe makes good coffee. This is why a special shout out goes to sourced at St Pancras International. No idea how I would have survived many boring half an hour waiting for my next train without you. And thank you for using either bonsoy or hello happy soy boy.
# 2 Kaffeine – I only know the one on Great Titchfield street and make a point of going there for coffee and their lovely salads and sandwiches for lunch. Never disappointed, except it’s small, so table space is very limited. So it might be takeaway only if you were hoping for lunch.
# 3 Fernandez & Wells – A great place for lunch and coffee near Tottenham Court Road station, and let’s be honest there isn’t much out there worth visiting so a bit of an oasis in central central London. Google maps says it’s temporarily closed – let’s hope they are able to reopen soon.
#4 Fleet Street Press – If you’re stuck near City Thameslink and would like a great coffee this one won’t disappoint. Again, tiny space so not necessarily the place to meet a friend for a two hour lunch but great for a quick catch up coffee.
#5 Milkbar – “a little coffee bubble in soho” and I agree.
Best coffee in East London and Shoreditch
#1 Fix 126 – oh fix… how I miss you. I’ve spent eyewatering amounts of my wage here when I worked at RY and it got me through pretty much most days. Great coffee and atmosphere although I don’t think I’ve ever had any food other than delicious gf orange cakes. Hands down one of my favourites.
#2 Ozone at Leonard Street – the quality at Ozone is simply outstanding. That goes for both coffee and food. Ok, it is very Shoreditch pretentious, it’s a bit pricey and staff can be a bit hmmm, but even if coffee isn’t your thing the smoked haddock kedgeree alone is worth a visit.
#3 Shoreditch Grind – a landmark in its own right just as you leave one of the 15 exits at Old Street Station. Coffee never disappoints, always busy before lockdown, good lunch menu too.
Best coffee in North West London
My old stomping ground from when we lived in West Hampstead.
#1 Wired – I spent hours in this place and was probably their first best customer when they first opened a few years ago. It was one of the first really cool cafes on West Hampstead High Street (I know it’s not on the High Street now, but the original wired was this tiny place next to the old overground station) Great coffee, brilliant little place to work with your laptop. Will always be a special place to me.
#2 Ginger & White – This is a lovely little cafe in the heart of Hampstead. There are two of them actually and both are equally as good. Great coffee and good food options for lunch and cakes are nice too. A regular when we’re in Hampstead.
#3 Loft coffee – Tucked behind Finchley Road station is this rare find on Finchley Road. Coffee wise it’s good and it has a nice atmosphere. Best place to be if you’re stuck waiting for someone near Finchley Road.
#4 The Elgin, Maida Vale – This is technically more of a pub than a cafe. Hard to tell what to call it to be honest. Bottom line is, coffee is pretty good and it has that relaxed avocado brunch menu that you’ve been looking for all your life. A great place to waste away a Saturday morning with friends.
Best coffee in South London
#1 Federation Coffee – This is a brilliant small cafe inside Brixton market. Great food and atmosphere. Brixton market is one of my favourite spots in South London.
Best independent coffee chains
There are a few independent chains popping up all over London (please come to Kent!). One of my all time favourites (The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs in Leather Lane and other locations) has unfortunately announced liquidation. Covid had no mercy… Her
#1 Taylor St Baristas – There are a quite a few of those peppered throughout central London. Usually in some suspicious back alleys. The steep coffee price is worth it and make sure to get a loyalty card to get every 5th coffee free.
# 2 Grind – I’ve mentioned Shoreditch grind earlier and they’ve slowly been expanding their coffee empire across London. The one near London Bridge station is nice and does good food as well as nice cocktails which is always a bonus.
# 2 Nude espresso – Nude espresso make a decent cup of coffee and have quite a number of locations around London. Their cafes area usually good places to go with a laptop to work.
#3 Gail’s bakery – Despite focussing on delicious baked goods Gail’s make a surprisingly decent coffee. And who doesn’t like chocolate cake or macaroons with their coffee.
There we have it. My favourite spots with the best coffee in London. I hope this list will be useful when you’re able to have your next coffee.
Sorry for not providing more options in the south or west. And if you have any great coffee and cafe tips then please feel free to leave them in the comments below!