An exciting coffee scene has emerged in the English capital in recent years, making London one of Europe’s best destinations for coffee addicts and aficionados. Whether you like it strong and to the point or poured over ice with lashings of sugar, there’s a coffee shop in London that will suit your taste. From Soho to Shoreditch, we’ve scoured the capital for the best coffee so you don’t have to.
If you have ever visited Borough Market then it’s likely you’ve seen the queue for Monmouth Coffee snaking around the block. It’s reputation precedes itself (mainly thanks to that infamous queue), but the coffee is well worth shouting about. The team travel the globe to find the best blends, sourcing them from single farms, estates and cooperatives and bring them to thirsty Londoners. You can buy many of their beans to take home with you and there is also a branch in Covent Garden which often has a smaller queue.
Source: Monmouth Coffee Company
Caravan was serving up Antipodean coffee and avocado on toast at Exmouth Market long before it was a trend. The cafe has its own roastery and takes care to make sure every single cup they pour meets their exacting standards. They have a few branches now, dotted around the city and they also serve one of the best brunches in London, giving you more than one reason to visit. (As if you needed it).
Source: Evening Standard
If you have an aversion to the cliches of hipster culture then we recommend you giving Grind a wide birth, but if beards and skinny jeans don’t bother you then pop into one of their branches for one of the most exciting coffee experiences in the capital. What started as a tiny branch at Old Street roundabout has grown to a chain of coffee shops in Soho, Holborn, London Bridge, and Clerkenwell among others. The coffee is fantastic but what we really love are the coffee cocktails. The espresso martinis have a reputation for being the best in London and who are we to disagree?
Under the arches at London Fields you’ll find the cozy E5 Bakehouse, one of our favourite places to while away a weekend morning. The in-house roasted coffee comes in many guises from cappuccinos to flat whites, and should be accompanied by one of their sweet treats. This is a bakery after all. Try the lemon drizzle cake if it’s there. And remember to take home a loaf of their famous sourdough bread.
Source: E5 Bakehouse
Chiltern Street in Marylebone is unassuming and very chic, making it the perfect home for The Monocle Cafe. It’s a relaxing space to spend a few hours, hidden away from the business of central London. The Allpress coffee is served outside in the summer or in winter you can find a seat inside to warm up. Read the latest issue of Monocle while you sip your coffee. Naturally.
Look Mum, No Hands was the first bike-shop-come-cafe in London and sparked a trend in the capital. It’s the place to go to get your tyres pumped up while you get a caffeine hit. We also love the healthy lunches they offer. Slap bang in the middle of the one of London’s coolest neighbourhoods, Look Mum, No Hands has been serving great coffee to the creative Clerkenwell crowd for almost a decade.
Ozone Coffee is our top recommendation for real coffee aficionados. Definitely not the place to ask for a simple americano, this Shoredtch stalwart offers single origin coffees through a range of different brewing methods including Aeropress and Syphon and it has its own roastery on site. The knowledgable staff will be happy to help you decide on a blend and won’t make you feel uncool if all this coffee stuff goes a bit over your head.
Source: Skin Flint Design
This isn’t really the place to come to enjoy a lazy morning but it’s more a grab and go kind of place. They have four branches around the city, and the Marylebone branch is perhaps the most popular. Their award-winning batch brew coffee should be tried at least once by every London visitor.
Souce: The City Lane
If you have been to Italy then you will understand the unique magic of the country’s espresso bars. Bar Italia is as close to that as you’ll get in London. The soho crowd have been sipping espressos here since 1949 and you can expect the same brusque service you’d find in the cafes of Rome and Milan.
Source: The Londonist
Shopping can be thirsty work, so Jacob The Angel, hidden on a backstreet of Covent Garden - one of London’s best shopping areas - is a welcome respite from retail therapy. The coffee comes from Square Mile Coffee and the bakery counter is heaving with sweet treats to get your sugar levels up for your next run around the shops.
Nude Espresso is one of London’s major roasteries, supplying cafes all over the city, so as you would expect, its own cafes serves up a particularly good cup of coffee. They have a few branches in East London as well as a training school if you’re really serious about your coffee.
Source: Nude Espresso
Is there anything that the Japanese haven’t perfected? It’s certainly not coffee. We’re obsessed with the chic, minimal interiors of this coffee house which feels so fresh compared to the tried and tested aesthetic we’ve been seeing in London for years now. You can expect all the markers of specialty coffee but on top of that it will be explained to you and served in a way that the Japanese enjoy. Surely the most zen place in the capital to grab a brew.
Source: Hot Dinners