Best coffee shops in London – harpersbazaar.com
There is a lot to choose from when it comes to coffee shops in London, but who does it best? We round up our favourite coffee destinations, from Italian institutions to East End cafes.
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The Attendant started out life in a disused Victorian toilet in Fitzrovia and has since become so popular it now has three branches, with outlets in Shoreditch and Clerkenwell. Both its coffee and food offering have sustainability and quality as a key focus. Expect bacon brioche baps in the morning and sandwiches and salad bowls at lunch.
Department of Coffee and Social Affairs
Good coffee and friendly staff are two constants at Department of Coffee and Social Affairs. The baristas at each outpost (there are currently 11 with two planned openings) really know their stuff without the pretentiousness that comes with some more snooty coffee shops. The company’s coffee is made in its own roastery in Brighton and scores 80 or higher out of 100 as graded by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).
Monmouth Coffee Company
Now over 40 years old, Monmouth Coffee Company is a London coffee institution that deserves its hallowed reputation. Its two branches in Borough and Covent Garden still draw queues, but it’s worth it for a cup of its expert fresh brews and a delicious baked pastry.
There are few better places in London to watch the world go by than at Bar Italia in Soho, which first opened in 1949. Still a family-run business, Bar Italia is as popular for its convivial, warming atmosphere as it is its coffee. It’s the closest London gets to Italy (well, bar Lina Stores down the road on Wardour Street) – a bustling and warming cafe that draws Soho’s most colourful characters until the early hours of the morning when coffee is swapped for Birra Morettis and/or Negronis.
Pophams is an independent bakery that also happens to do do excellent coffee. If you’re looking for the perfect place for a mouthwatering pastry and a brew, then we recommend all three of its London outposts, whether Islington, Tottenham Court Road or London Fields. Its newly-introduced pasta menu means there’s now added reason to visit for lunch and dinner – with coffee to follow.
Climpson & Sons
Climpson & Sons’ was established as a tiny fixture on Broadway Market back in 2005, paving the way for numerous specialty coffee houses. Flavour, quality and sustainability are its buzz words, and it continues to thrive as a coffee mecca for East Londoners. In addition to the cafe, it runs two popular stalls, the original at Broadway Market, and also at Spitalfields.
Find a rare spot outside Federation Coffee in Brixton Village and take in the atmosphere. It’s a popular destination, and it isn’t easy to bag a table, but the coffee is worth it. The house espresso is a one-of-a-kind bespoke blend by Curve Roasters in Margate, and the cafe regularly seeks out interesting new coffees to serve as its guest filter option.
Bread & Butler
A hidden Deptford gem, Bread & Butler specialises in coffee and, as the name would suggest, bread. Sourdough and long fermentation are its specialities, but it also does well-made brews to wash it all down with. Its cauliflower cheese toasties and sunny courtyard are also enticing draws.
The Fields Beneath
The Fields Beneath might house only four tables, but it’s without doubt Kentish Town’s best-loved coffee shop. It runs off two key concepts – making good coffee, and make veganism normal. Everything available here is vegan-friendly from the hot drinks to the delicious pastries and freshly=made stacked sandwiches.
Whether you are a coffee aficionado, or want to know more, Prufrock Coffee will help turn you into a coffee enthusiast. Speciality brews are its signature – this is a coffee shop that takes cups of Joe seriously. Of course, you can just pop in for one of the best brews in London, but if you want to educate yourself on the art of coffee-making, its Leather Lane home also houses the London Barista Resource and Training Centre where the public can hone their skills and knowledge.
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