[London] When it comes to the best cafes in London, a list of snug shops where you can curl up with a book in one hand, a cup of coffee and cookies in the other isn’t enough.
Thousands of cafés and coffee shops abound throughout London.
Instead, it is vital to explain that cafés offer a complex network of seasonal coffee beans in enticing tasting rooms, steaming cups of tea and smoothies, a pleasant atmosphere with local plants, and yummy snacks.
This list is about figuring out which locations are good for you when you need a coffee fix. Here are some 10 of London’s best cafes:
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Monmouth Coffee Company – Covent Garden
27 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9EU
Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Long Queues At Covent Garden and Borough Market
When I asked for café recommendations in London, Monmouth comes up tops frequently. And I can understand why after being there.
They source and roast coffees from single farms, estates and cooperatives around the world. After tasting a certain coffee they like, they find out where it comes from and who grows, picks and processes it.
Since coffee is a seasonal product, they buy small lots from many farms in each country. If one coffee runs out, then they have a back-up plan.
In the stores, you can ask the staff to grind your beans according to your brewer. There are 6 grinds available: ground for cafetiere, Aeropress slow, filter, stovetop, Aeropress fast, and espresso.
Try their signature Monmouth Espresso) using Fazenda Minas Fruta (Brasil) as the base, combined with Lo Mejor de Nariño (Colombia) for high notes and complexity, and Santa Catalina (Guatemala) for cocoa notes.
Overall, it had that flavour of toasted almonds with smooth body and balanced fruit acidity.
Read more at: Monmouth Coffee Company (Covent Garden, London)
78 Queen Victoria St, London EC4N 4SJ
Opening Hours: 6:30 am – 5pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 4pm (Sat), Closed Sun
Espresso, Tea, And Baked Goods Are Their Specialty
Rosslyn which opened in 2018, is a fusion of hospitality styles from Ireland and Australia.
It provides an Australian Cafe’s attention to detail and high standards, along with the warmth and community of an Irish Pub, blended in a way that best serves modern-day London.
The menu ranges from a pour-over Coffee (£4.50), Latte (£3), Plain Croissant (£2.20), and an English Breakfast Tea (£2.70). Rosslyn also has custom made mugs to improve the coffee drinking experience further.
I think this is one of the best coffee shops in the city (and believe me, I’ve tried a lot!). There is fast service and while you wait, enjoy your choice of still or sparkling water and great coffee.
It is a great place to sit and take instagrammable pictures because of the modern, clean almost minimalist decor.
Omotesando Koffee London
8 Newman St, London W1T 1PB, United Kingdom
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm (Mon – Sun)
Famous Japanese-Style Café Opens In London
Some background: Originated from Tokyo, the chic coffee stall first started off as a pop-up concept in the quaint neighbourhood of Omotesando Hills.
The coffee place propelled to fame, thanks to its minimal wooden vibes and distinctive ‘koffee culture’ which garnered much visitor-ship from coffee fanatics around the world.
The London outpost’s interior is done in a similar minimalist, woody style with limited seating.
Available drinks include the Omotesando Koffee (£2.80 for hot, £3.20 for iced), Cafe Latte (£3.50 for hot, £3.80), and Hand Drip Koffee (£4.50, £5).
Their famed Iced Cappuccino (£4) aka “Doppio” is the signature drink to have during hotter summer weathers, capped with layer of bubble foam and topped with cocoa powder, and with a foamy feel and creamy, milky finish.
Read more at: Omotesando Koffee (Tottenham Court, London)
66 Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7QJ, UK (Oxford Circus)
Tel: +44 20 7580 6755
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 5pm (Mon – Fri), 8:30am – 5pm (Sat), 9am – 5pm (Sun)
For Australian Style Coffee At Fitzrovia
Opened in 2009, Kaffeine is one of the busiest cafes in London, considered a pioneer of the UK specialty coffee scene.
Some online reviews commented, ”Best coffee in London”.
This independent New Zealand/ Australian owned café has two locations in Fitzrovia – of short walking distance from each other, and attracts both tourists and young office workers.
The interior is simple with white subway tiles and several oak benches where you can sit and enjoy your coffee. There is a simple black menu board and a yellow Kaffeine sign that gives this cafe a chic look.
You get a variety from Café Latte, Cappuccino, Flat White, Long Black (£2.60 – £3.00, SGD4.70 – 5.40); a Coffee Tasting Flight (£6, SGD10.85); or rotational Single Origin “Guest Espresso” (market price).
Besides professionally made espresso coffee, smooth latté, and loose leaf teas, they serve a variety of foods including salads, sandwiches, and baked goods.
Read more at: Kaffeine (Fitzrovia, London)
Flat White Soho
17 Berwick St, Soho, London W1F 0PT
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 6pm (Sat), 9:30am – 6pm (Sun)
Good Artisanal Coffee In The Heart of Soho
Flat White is a small café in the bustle of Berwick Street Market that has garnered a strong reputation for artisanal coffee in the heart of Soho.
Having opened in 2005, when Australian and New Zealand styled cafes were not as prevalent, and the mere notion of a flat white coffee was almost unheard of, Flat White positioned itself as a sort of pioneering force the brought some wonderful things to the coffee scene.
They source their beans from the award-winning Drop Coffee Roasters in Sweden, and offer all shots of coffee as doubles.
Flat White pride themselves, like most cafes do these days, with having an approach to service and production that is both sustainable and ethical, aligning themselves with flavours that are not modified or tinkered with, but which are natural and of single origin.
Read more at: Flat White (Soho, London)
1 Barrett St, London W1U 1AX, United Kingdom
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Coffee Roasted On Site
Entering into Workshop Coffee is very much like entering a workshop indeed: a focused, pristine, with a demure space that clings to memory.
You would be greeted warmly not only by bubbly and infectiously upbeat baristas but also by a side showcase of fresh cakes, pastries and bread.
With it being a coffee bar, you soon find yourself sipping your cup of single origin filter coffee, espresso or other winning brews, shoulder to shoulder with people who are particularly enthused by a good cup of coffee.
I ordered an espresso, a Gitesi from the Karongi region of Rwanda, deliciously almost honeysweet, with a subtle ginger burn alongside a slice of fluffy banana bread.
But I must say I was thoroughly tempted by the chocolatey Bulega from Ethiopia that I have had before, or even the Colombian featured Finca Tamana which was citrusy and bright.
Read more at: Workshop Coffee (Marylebone, London)
Attendant Cafe – Fitzrovia
27A Foley St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 6DY
Opening Hours: 8am – 4pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 4pm (Sat – Sun)
Café That Was Once A Victorian Toilet
Never mind this café was once a Victorian toilet. It is an unavoidable fact that a part of Attendant’s allure is its subterranean set up.
Since its opening in 2013, Attendant has become known for its superior coffee, intelligent brewing and friendly service. Those who tend to visit this café, more often than not, find themselves to be regulars at a spot so close to Oxford Street.
If you ever need a welcoming place that is separated from the hubbub of the London streets, desire great coffee, or simply to spend quality time with your mates in a relaxed atmosphere, Attendant should be your destination.
Espresso blends are delectably made from Attendant’s Marzocco Linea, and the single origin filters through the ever-popular AeroPress for exceptional smoothness.
I ordered a robust Kenyan Espresso that had a dulcet feel to the palate, with a cocoa bitterness in aftertaste.
Read more at: The Attendant (Fitzrovia, London)
Roasting Plant Coffee London
4 Borough High St, London Bridge SE1 9QQ,
Opening Hours: 7:30 am – 5pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 6pm (Sat), 10am – 5pm (Sun)
Freshly Roasted Coffee Brew At London Bridge
While some of London’s famous cafes originated from Australia, Roasting Plant Coffee is set up by coffee lovers from the lower Eastside NYC.
This establishment’s welcoming ambience and friendly staff allow customers to unwind and enjoy themselves. Have a cuppa while taking in the sights of Southwark Cathedral.
After walking into the store, you would notice rows of “Javabot” so that they can roast the coffee in micro-batches, to ensure fuller, smoother flavour with little aftertaste.
Available are 8 delicious single-origin coffees, carefully selected from around the world. Get your caffeine fix of Flat White (£3.15), Americano (£2.50), Cappucino (£3.15), Latte (£3.15) and Mocha (£3.15). You can also order roasted coffee beans from different origins to brew at home.
2 London Bridge, London SE1 9RA
Opening Hours: 8am – 10am (Mon, Tue), 8am – 11pm (Wed, Thurs), 8am – 1am (Fri), 9am – 1am (Sat), 9am – 6:30pm (Sun)
Interesting Blend Of Coffee, Food, and Cocktails
Since its inception in Shoreditch in 2011, the brand has grown in popularity thanks to its unique blend of music, design, coffee, food, and cocktails.
It has since expanded throughout London, with cafés and a state-of-the-art coffee roastery.
What’s so great about this place? Simply put, its vibes and slightly quirkiness.
A hot cup of latte or cappuccino at £3.20 or an English breakfast tea at £2.80 provides a much-needed energy boost. Grind also has a wide range of menus divided into breakfast, brunch, evening, and weekend.
Although these prices are a bit pricey, their coffee offers a robust flavour and texture; the decor is industrial and comfortable, with a stripped-back atmosphere. The staff are also pleasant and chatty.
58 Redchurch St, (Shoreditch), London E2 7DP
Opening Hours: 8am – 4pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 4pm (Sat, Sun)
East London’s Best Kiwi Coffee Shop
Allpress is one of the East End’s original and best Kiwi coffee shops, with outstanding espresso and a minimalist design that feels like a model for its imitators. It is a beautiful little nexus for incredibly stylish Redchurch Street.
Almost all the coffee are of the same price. Long Black, Flat White and Cappuccino go for £2.70 each.
Food, such as toasted sandwiches or eggs and canteen dishes, are available. Granola Apple Yoghurt goes for £1.50, while Viennoiserie Pastries go for £1.80.
There is a lovely garden with plenty of company at the cafe. If you want to work for a while, the inside is impressive, plus they have an upper chamber that is equally huge.
* Written by DFD’s London Food Correspondent Leander Dias SaltyCritic and Daniel Ang @DanielFoodDiary. Leander Dias was born and raised in Dubai, a burgeoning city with diverse food culture. Since moving to London to read for his English MA at UCL, he has utterly immersed himself in the local food scene, writing extensively about everything he eats everywhere he goes. Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.