19 Great Places To Drink Coffee In London
For that person in your life who won’t make do with a Nespresso.
Coffee. Where would we be without it? Probably unemployed with a sleeping pattern that echoes Batman’s. But as much as we’d like to personally thank coffee for all the assistance in those 7am alarms and 2am deadlines, we’re the first to admit that not all coffee—or coffee shops—are equal. This guide is full of places where you can rely on getting a great cup of coffee, as well as spots with excellent cold brew, and even the odd state-of-the-art situation that’s worth travelling for.
Omotesando Koffee started out as a one-man boutique coffee shop but they now have locations in Singapore, Kyoto, across Southeast Asia, and importantly, in Fitzrovia. The spot is decked out in contemporary Japanese pine architecture, and grabbing a coffee here feels both relaxing and achingly cool. They have an extensive selection of single origin beans, cold brew options, plenty of matcha on the menu, and their iced cappuccino with bubble milk foam is one of London’s best iced coffees. You’re also going to want to get involved in their kashi, a stupidly tasty custard-based snack.
Flat White is a Berwick Street stalwart and one of London’s original specialist coffee shops. It’s always friendly, it’s always busy, and it should definitely be your destination when you’re strolling around in this part of Soho.
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photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
Bar Italia is a sliver of an espresso bar that’s just about as classic an establishment as anywhere else in London you could go for a cup of coffee. Seating is limited, but you’ll feel like you’re part of something when you’re here, even if you’re only here for a few minutes. They’re also open until 3am most nights, so it’s perfect for a coffee after you’ve done pretty much everything else Soho has to offer.
Prufrock isn’t one of our coffee go-tos because their mascot is a tiny, freakishly adorable lop-eared rabbit. No. It’s because Prufrock’s mascot is a tiny, freakishly adorable rabbit and because they serve some of the best coffee in town. One of London’s OG serious coffee spots, this place is pretty permanently busy, but given its size and great service, you shouldn’t have to wait for long.
Rosslyn Coffee on the corner of Queen Victoria Street in the City isn’t somewhere you’re going to want to linger for long. It’s the kind of place you’re going to stand and drink while reading the financial pages that they pin to the walls every day. Yes, it might be cramped. And yes, they might play fairly awful four-on-the-floor music some of the time. But they also serve the best coffee in the City.
Kiss The Hippo
This clean and tidy Fitzrovia spot is perfectly located for when you need to escape the crowds on Oxford Street. The coffees—brewed from beans roasted at Kiss The Hippo’s other branch in Richmond—are uniformly excellent, with a special shout out to their pour-over options.
North London’s Crouch End isn’t short of coffee shops, but this is our pick of the bunch. It keeps long hours and the coffee is always great. While the bench seats at the front are perfect when you’re just stopping in for a quick coffee and pastry, or to read for a while, the glasshouse area at the back has plenty of space and is far more comfortable when you want to spread out.
Don’t mistake this tiny coffee shop next to Harringay railway station for a commuter stop. Sure, you can grab a takeaway cup for the ride from this leafy north London hilltop to the City, but you’d be missing out. What you should really do is squeeze in around the single triangular table and get involved with a different side of London—one where strangers become friends over good coffee and excellent toasted crumpet sandwiches.
Monmouth Coffee The Borough
Monmouth Borough Market is a popular coffee shop in Borough. It’s the perfect place around the market for coffee and a light bite. Arrive here early in the morning or mid-afternoon if you want to avoid the peak times queues.
Coleman Coffee Roasters
Coleman Coffee Roasters near Waterloo is that perfect-looking coffee shop where you might accidentally get talking to a stranger in. You’ll become firm friends over your shared love of terrazzo, smooth espresso, and Vichy Catalan sparkling water. You might also share something from their selection of pastries, sweet things, and snacks. Warning: if you’re planning this kind of scenario you should know that they close at 3pm.
photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli
We’re entirely on board with the sentiment of F. Mondays and we’re entirely on board with this Brixton spot’s coffee too. Cool and casual, this place has a pretty impressive collection of miniature cacti inside, but our favourite thing is the area out back: their cute hidden garden.
Juliet’s Quality Foods
Although Juliets looks pretty similar to countless other cool, unassuming coffee spots in London—read: distressed wooden floors, indie soundtrack, bearded customer guarding a plug socket armed with a caffeine addiction and a MacBook Pro—it’s also one of the best cafes in the city. From their excellent single origin coffee to the run-a-mile-for pistachio slice, this Tooting spot is somewhere you want to spend all week.
Allpress Espresso Roastery & Cafe
You can get Allpress coffee from many spots around London, but their two-storey Dalston Lane coffee shop and restaurant is the mothership. Not only is there a coffee lab where you can learn all kinds of nerdy things, they also have a spacious and secluded patio which is perfect when the sun is shining.
Climpson & Sons
Climpson & Sons is a coffee shop on Broadway Market that’s pretty much always busy, especially at the weekend. It’s worth it though. The coffee is some of the best in town and you’ll be the envy of east London if you can actually nab a seat. Know that if you can’t face the queue on a Saturday, they also have a stall down the street where the wait might be shorter.
What % Arabica lacks in seats, it makes up for in style. This Kyoto-import on Broadway Market serves excellent espresso-based drinks, as well as pour-over. It also offers a pretty good party trick—pick a bean and they’ll roast a bag of it in your preferred style while you wait.
Ozone Coffee Roasters
Ozone is mostly known for its coffee and rightly so—they make some of the best in London. You might not know that their big Shoreditch and London Fields spots also serve some pretty great food from early until late, making it as good for a quick coffee stop as it is for a bit of solo working, a working breakfast, or a lazy weekend brunch.
photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
Allpress Espresso Bar
Follow the trail of shoppers and locals grasping coffee cups on Redchurch Street and you’ll end up at Allpress Espresso Bar. It’s one of the original and best Kiwi coffee shops in Shoreditch, has a minimal and cool feel, and even serves a bit of food like toasted sandwiches and eggs and soldiers.
Dark Habit is a stylish and calm coffee shop in Queen's Park. Seating is limited and it can get quite busy during peak times, but for most of the day you’ll easily find space at one of their larger tables, or at the window. It’s the perfect place to spend a few hours, partly because of the great-quality coffee, and partly because of the excellent soundtrack.
The area around High Street Kensington is a bit chain-y, so it’s worth taking a 10-minute walk down to Hjem if you’re after a seriously good cup of coffee. This Danish cafe at Launceston Place is in one the prettiest corners of London. There’s a bench for two out front, but it’s also worth knowing that there’s a tiny and kind of secret patio out back.