The London coffee scene has been exploding for years now and it’s no secret that there are a million and one bars to cure your caffeine cravings. But beyond the heartless ‘can I get your name?’ global conglomerates hides a world of dedicated and highly trained baristas. They may not write your name on the cup, but they’ll make sure that it’s filled with the best darn coffee in London. Here’s your independent guide, from your buzzed reporter, Ben Holbrook.
The Bread and Bean – Let’s do brunch!
Fanatic and focused almost entirely on the ‘Revelation’ blend they serve, the team at Bread and Bean on rather obsessed with their “treacle-like” coffee concoctions. Standing proudly next to plethora of the usual big brand bullies, their American-style pancakes with bacon and fruit, and traditional filled jacket potatoes prove that there’s room for the little guy. Did someone say eggs benedict?
Address: Bread and Bean, 37 Junction Road, Archway, London, N19 5QU
Nearest Tube Stop: Archway
Milk Bar – Espresso without the frills
Best known for its unpretentious and no frills approach, Milk Bar has proved to be a refreshing haunt for local in-the-know caffeine fiends. Perfectly situated to enjoy the buzz of local life, their agreeable prices definitely stand out from other trendy Soho spots. Oh, and your tenth coffee is fee!
Address: Milk Bar, 3 Bateman Street, Soho, London, W1D 4AG
Nearest Tube Stop: Tottenham Court Road
Shoreditch Grind – Fuel your creativity
Representing much of what’s great about the creative capital of London, Shoreditch Grind is more than just a coffee shop. This is where the most discerning of London’s creative scene come to find inspiration, and make new contacts whilst getting high on nature’s natural buzz. Their coffee is freshly roasted exclusively for them, and their fanatical approach to freshness means you’re never left with a bitter taste in your mouth. Also available are freshly-baked pastries and all kinds of other delicious bites. Get your thinking cap on.
Address: Shoreditch Grind, 213 Old Street, Shoreditch, London, EC1V 9NR
Nearest Tube Stop: Old Street
Birdhouse Battersea – Why is coffee an art?
Insanely well-designed and beautifully thought out, everything about Birdhouse makes you feel relaxed and at ease. This modest space is filled with retro furnishings and considered art work; perfection surely is the aim of their game. Espresso is conjured up at the machine by waltzing baristas – this is why they say coffee is an art.
Address: Birdhouse, 123 St John’s Hill, Battersea, Greater London SW11 1SZ
Nearest Tube Stop: Clapham Junction
Fix 126 – The beautiful people
Another one of the ‘ditch’s clean cut coffee bars that seems to be constantly filled with beautiful people and fancy laptops. Fix 126’s prices are high, but so too is the quality – it’s simply just one of those places. Tasty treats such as their goat’s cheese paninis with spinach and a fig relish are available all day, and there’re plenty of cakes and pastries to keep you hanging around for longer than you really should.
Address: Fix 126, 126 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3PJ
Nearest Tube Stop: Old Street
Additional Information for Tourists
Getting Around London: The public transport system in London I fairly comprehensive, even if a little unreliable. Invest in an Oyster card and use the bus or tube for longer distances, walking is significantly quicker than you may think and it’s the best way to discover the nitty-gritty of London.
Sleeping: London’s not exactly the cheapest city on earth, but then again, it really is one of a kind, and that costs money. Look for London hotel packages. HotelClub seem to offer additional extras and their booking app makes it super easy to find somewhere in your budget.