An A-Z of London Coffee Shops Part 1

When it comes to coffee, London is one of the most exciting cities in the world. Since the first espresso-only coffee shops started to appear in the city around a decade ago, coffee shop culture has gone from strength to strength in the British capital, causing waves of new cafes to open all over the city. If anything, one could argue that there is too much choice: here I break down some of my favourites with an A-Z of London coffee shops. Mine’ll be a flat white, please!

A: The Attendant

The Attendant might just be the quirkiest cafe in London. To find it, you’ll need to descend a flight of steps on Fitzrovia’s Foley Street, as this cafe is actually completely underground, due to its former existence as a Victorian toilet. Yep, that’s right: this is a former loo, lovingly converted into a compact coffee shop serving up top-notch coffee and a great selection of snacks, too. It’s a great location for a coffee stop, just a stone’s throw from the busy shopping thoroughfares of Oxford Street and Regent Street, and also serves up a tempting breakfast and lunch menu, with very reasonable prices for central London. The Attendant now has branches in Clerkenwell and Shoreditch, too.

  • Wifi? Yes
  • Loo? Yes
  • Nearest tube? Goodge Street or Oxford Street
  • Instagram account? attendant_uk

B: Brooklyn Coffee

Located in the heart of trendy Shoreditch, just a short stroll from Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane, lies Brooklyn Coffee, a small cafe serving up some of the best coffee in this part of London. The cafe exudes Brooklyn vibes with a Scandi twist: decor is minimal, with nothing on the surface tops except a small number of cacti. The only tables are set against the large front windows, making this the perfect spot for some people watching. The baristas are friendly, and the soundtrack is upbeat – tracks by Cyndi Lauper and The Shirelles make it impossible to leave without a smile on your face. Worth noting: there’s no wifi here, and no toilet either.

  • Wifi? No
  • Loo? No
  • Nearest tube? Shoreditch High Street or Liverpool Street
  • Instagram account? brooklyncoffee

C: The CoffeeWorks Project

Tucked away on Camden Passage you’ll find The CoffeeWorks Project, one of the best coffee shops in Angel. Avoid the coffee chains on busy Upper Street and head here instead: it’s always bursting with loyal regulars and excited newcomers, and serves up excellent coffee alongside a range of treats. There’s lots of seating, though the popularity of this coffee spot still can make it difficult to snag a table, and the staff are friendly and helpful. As well as the Camden Passage location, you can find The CoffeeWorks Project on Blackfriars Road and in Leadenhall Market.

Coffee works project.jpg

D: Department of Coffee & Social Affairs

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street and Regents Street on Lowndes Court lies Department of Coffee & Social Affairs, a London mini-chain whose commitment to quality has meant that their brand has grown and grown, with branches in Bristol and Kingston Upon Thames as well as all over London. This cafe undoubtedly serves some of the best coffee in London, and this location offers up the perfect place to take a rest from shopping fatigue.

  • Wifi? Yes
  • Loo? No
  • Nearest tube? Oxford Circus
  • Instagram? deptofcoffee

dept of coffee

Photo credit: @eclecticeden

E: The Espresso Room

Near to Covent Garden you’ll find The Espresso Room, a tiny but beautiful spot serving up some of the smoothest, most delicious coffee in the area. The cafe is gorgeous, with a striking leaf print wallpaper taking up the right-hand wall, and a tempting array of sweet and savoury snacks on offer to go with your coffee, too. Be aware, the cafe is very small, and seats just a handful of people: at busy times, you might need to get your coffee to go. However, if you spot an open space, take it, and enjoy your coffee: it’s a great spot from which to people watch. The Espresso Room also has a couple more branches: you’ll find them in Holborn and Bloomsbury, too.

  • Wifi? Yes
  • Loo? No
  • Nearest tube? Leicester Square
  • Instagram? theespressoroom

F: Foxcroft & Ginger

Foxcroft & Ginger were originally located in the heart of Soho, but now operate from Mile End Road in Stepney Green. The cafe is spacious, with tons of seating available for groups, and serves up some of the best coffee in the East End with great latte art to boot. One of the biggest draws of Foxcroft & Ginger has to be their baked goods, which are baked fresh each day: the cafe were the first in the UK to launch the cruffin, a delicious muffin/croissant hybrid.

  • Wifi? Yes
  • Loo? Yes
  • Nearest tube? Whitechapel, Mile End or Bethnal Green
  • Instagram? foxcroftandginger

Foxcroft and Ginger

G: The Gentleman Baristas

At just a 5-minute stroll from the famous Borough Market, The Gentleman Baristas serve up some of the best coffee in the area. Yep, that’s right: the coffee at Monmouth, Borough Market’s best known coffee shop, might be delicious, but the queues are horrendous, and those in the know can avoid this by taking a simple stroll down to Union Street to The Gentleman Baristas. The coffee here is expertly crafted, the cafe itself is warm and welcoming, and the baristas are as friendly as the name implies. All in all, it’s more than worth a visit: swing by the next time you find yourself strolling through Borough Market.

So there you have it: the first part of my A-Z guide to London’s best coffee. Let me know what you think of these spots if you do decide to try them out, or if you’ve already been! You can get in touch via the comments below or on Instagram and Twitter. Enjoy!

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