The number of coffee shops in London is endless. There seems to be a Costa, Starbucks or Pret A Manger on every street corner, but it’s those small independents with a focus on the fine art of coffee making, impeccable flavour and innovative production that you need to seek out. There are new establishments popping up on a weekly basis, but here are our five favourite independent coffee shops in London.
Look Mum No Hands!
One of the first cycle cafés in the UK, Look Mum No Hands! was founded in 2010, with a bicycle workshop, bar, exhibition space and café all in one spot. Most beans come from Square Mile and the baristas know their stuff – plus there’s a large food offering, making it a great place for lunch that offers more than a sandwich or a croissant. Look Mum No Hands! can be found at 49 Old Street, EC1V 9HX. Visit the website here for more information.
No list of independent coffee shops in London would be complete without a mention of Monmouth Coffee. Since 1978 this tiny spot in Seven Dials has been producing some of the best coffee (and pastries) in the capital and is perfect for coffee enthusiasts. It’s rarely found without a queue coming out of the door, but it’s worth the wait. Monmouth Coffee is situated at 27 Monmouth Street, WC2H 9EU. Visit the website here.
Leather Lane knows good food (don’t miss the street food market that takes place every week day and crammed with office workers) but the best place for a caffeine hit is undoubtedly Prufrock. Co-founded by former World Barista champion Gwilym Davies, this is a place that serves exceptionally good coffee in a relaxed and spacious spot. Prufrock can be found at 23-25 Leather Lane, EC1N 7TE. Visit the website here.
With knowledgeable staff that will put an impressive amount of care and preparation into each cup, Workshop Coffee has four locations around the city – Clerkenwell Café, Fitzrovia Coffeebar, Holborn Coffeebar and Marylebone Coffeebar. All offer something a little different but great coffee in good looking surroundings is a staple. Visit the Workshop website for more information.
There are just four brews at Bar Termini, but that’s all it needs. Founded by head of quality for Illy, Marco Arrigo, and alco-alchemist Tony Conigliaro, this Soho bar specialises in coffee and cocktails, with a few aperitivi thrown in. With coffee that focuses on classics with a twist, this is the place to go for something a little more unusual yet impeccable. Bar Termini is located at 7 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JE. Go to the website for more information.
Words by Angharad Jones