Ah, coffee. Some mornings we cling to our cups for dear life, to nurse us through particularly hairy hangovers or early boardroom slogs. But at other times, this sweet giver of caffeine can be enjoyed at leisure – a cappuccino at brunch, or a long iced coffee on a long summer’s day. However you enjoy your joe, however, the most important thing is that it’s well-made. So we’ve rounded up the 5 best coffee bars in the capital to ensure that whatever you’re drinking it for, it’s a mug of the good stuff.
Monmouth Coffee Company, Borough Market
Monmouth began roasting and retailing coffee in 1978. At the beginning, they roasted in the basement of their shop on Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, using old‑fashioned, direct-flame machines. But, almost forty years later, having opened another shop in Borough Market – better than the first, we hasten to add, their central London roastery has relocated to three converted railway arches in Bermondsey – to ensure every cup is as fresh as it could possibly be.
Meeting there may be a nightmare – just remember to turn auto-correct off before you text – but, after opening 8 years ago with the idea to provide an Australian style café that focuses quite simply on excellent coffee, great food and hospitable service, Kaffeine has become a hit for London coffee lovers. The space itself is designed to be comfortable, warm and atmospheric, but without sacrificing service or efficiency. Bare brick? Check. Personable people? Check. Great coffee? Check. Check. Check.
Caravan, Exmouth Market
An in-house coffee roastery makes Caravan one of the go-to location for coffee connoisseurs in London. And, located in the vibrant, pedestrianised Exmouth Market, the bar itself is a bright and airy space that will feel awake even on the drizzliest of winter mornings. Chill out with the morning paper, or enjoy one of the many delectable small plates that pair wonderfully with the coffee – but just remember to make it to work on time…
Shoreditch Grind, Old Street
‘Sex, Coffee & Rock N Roll’, reads the sign outside Shoreditch Grind, the Old Street establishment straining at its leash to make coffee cool. And, for the most part, they’ve succeeded. After first launching this retro cafe space in 2011, the Grind team have added an international-grade recording studio upstairs, a full kitchen and source their coffee from Grind HQ in the heart of Shoreditch. If you can think of a coffee order, the likelihood is that the team can fill it – and there’s nothing cooler than good coffee.
The Attendant, Fitzrovia
This may be a little misdirecting, as The Attendant is currently closed for a facelift, but a coffee bar located in an underground Victorian toilet in Fitzrovia – and, what’s more, one that serves some of the best coffee in the capital, couldn’t be overlooked. And not only is the coffee amazing, you can also buy a bag of the beans they use in the bar to take home. A super fun idea, underscored by super good coffee – and not too far from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street – this is that rare example of a gimmicky establishment where the product doesn’t suffer as a result.
Want to enjoy your joe a little further afield? Here’s where to find the best coffee in the world