The Best Coffee Shops in London
I can’t function without coffee, MOB. I had to drink a big cup of coffee before I could even write this sentence and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a relatively terrible person when I’m under-caffeinated. When I’ve just had a buttery flat white and a flaky pastry, however, I’m an absolute ray of sunshine. You can’t get me down after I’ve had a really good coffee and I’m grateful that there’s a plethora of independent coffee shops, cafés, and espresso bars that make some truly exceptional coffee.
There’s the cosy, sit-down spots where you can pretend you’re hanging in Central Perk with your capital ‘F’ friends that are always shagging each other and use far too much hair product. But there’s also the hole-in-the-wall hatches that take their brew times as serious as German poetry and sling out some of the finest cortados and piccolos you’ll ever have the honour of drinking. London is, basically, full of brilliant coffee shops. But which are the best coffee shops in London? Well, I’ve done some research (by which I, of course, mean spent a few weeks going on a jittery coffee crawl) to nail down the best of the best for you, the MOB.
Whether you’re into low acid coffees with big, bold flavours or fruity coffees that taste more like a herbal tea, these excellent coffee shops should be able to cater to your tastes. I hope. If I’ve missed out your local, just hit me up. These are the best coffee shops in London, MOB – pour yourself a steaming cup of joe, settle down, and see if you can find a new fave.
Headed up by experienced barista Hiro Hamashita, Carbon Kopi is an independent, Antipodean-influenced coffee shop in Hammersmith and Fulham that serves thoughtfully good coffee. The beans are roasted by London-based roasters Square Mile and Carbon Kopi regularly showcases exciting guest roasts, available as whole bean or on batch brew. Non-dairy milks are available (this is London, after all) but the best way to enjoy a coffee at CK is by ordering one that’s been frothed with Estate Dairy milk to a cloud-like consistency. Proudlock from Made in Chelsea is also a regular. But don’t let that put you off.
11 Margravine Road, Hammersmith, W6 8LS
Coffee and sandwiches are the bread and butter of Lanark Coffee, and while the lure of a kimcheese grilled sandwich makes a visit to this tidy espresso bar essential, it’s earned its place on this list of the best coffee shops in London based purely on its java offering. Lanark only hosts coffee from locally based micro-roasters in small batches to ensure that everyone gets their moment in the sun. And a moment in your flat white. That constant rotation means you’re going to have to keep coming back to Lanark like one of those revolving doors you get in swanky hotels. Probably with a sandwich or two in tow each time.
262 Hackney Road, E2 7SJ
The Hoarder is a neighbourhood speciality coffee shop where you can get yourself a slamming cortado while you stock up on snacks, natural wine, and craft beer. Founders Michael Mulcahy and Jacob Pover have turned what could be yet another nondescript coffee shop in a nondescript location into a warm and inviting space; a spot where you’ll be desperate to become a regular feature and frequent for your daily caffeine fix. Don’t miss out on this one, MOB. It’s lovely.
16 Lillie Road, Hammersmith, SW6 1TS
Good As Gold
You’ve got the power to know that Good As Gold is one of the best coffee shops in London. Having only opened up their first permanent place in 2021, owners Tom Hibbert and Anthony Khouri were intent on providing Brockley with a quality, neighbourhood coffee shop. They’ve pretty much nailed that aim. Good As Gold boasts a regularly rotating stock of beans from different specialty roasters – always making sure they’re ethically sourced from sustainable farms to get the best deal for local farmers and the best coffee for you. Previous guest roasters have included the likes of Liverpool’s Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters, Oxford’s The Missing Bean, and Barcelona’s Nomad, to name just a few. Grab a latte from this excellent south London local.
209 Mantle Road, Brockley, SE4 2EW
Second Shot Coffee
Second Shot Coffee is a specialty coffee shop and social enterprise that trains, employs, and supports people affected by homelessness. Started by social entrepreneur Julius Ibrahim, Second Shot has got an aspirational aim to help combat homelessness one espresso at a time. They’ve also got a genius “Pay it Forward” system where you can prepay for an item, so that a local rough sleeper can come into the shop and receive a hot drink, meal, or hot water bottle free of charge. It’s a great initiative and a great coffee shop, MOB.
475 Bethnal Green Road, E2 9QH
I’ve already shouted about Kapihan as one of the best bakeries in London, but it’s also one of the best coffee shops, too. The family-run business – founded by brothers David and Nigel Motley – is one of the few places in London brewing specialty coffee sourced from the Philippines. Those Filipino beans are then roasted and brewed in Battersea alongside a handful of guest coffees that have been selected from the team’s favourite roasters from around the world. Signature drinks like the barako coffee (a traditional Filipino coffee made from 100% liberica beans) and the Spanish latté (a sweet concoction of coconut caramel and double espresso) can’t be found anywhere else.
13A Parkgate Road, SW11 4NL
Browns of Brockley
Browns of Brockley is a lovely, quaint coffee shop where you can fuel up on great espresso and homemade sandwiches. Founder Ross Brown knows that the secret to an excellent coffee shop is plenty of froth and friendliness – with both of those being found in abundance at his Coulgate Street latte lair. The Square Mile coffee is impeccably roasted and the baked goods from Little Bread Pedlar don’t go amiss, either. Come for a takeaway coffee and you’ll inevitably end up leaving with a couple of bagels, a loaf of bread, and a big smile on your face.
5-6 Coulgate Street, SE4 2RW
Climpson & Sons
Broadway Market has a wealth of funky coffee shops but Climpson & Sons is one of the best of the bunch. Founded in 2005, they’ve been leading the way in London’s coffee scene for a good while now and all it takes is a cheeky sip of a Climpson cortado to understand why. Their impressive range of espressos, blends, and single-origin beans are all roasted in their East London roastery with the ever-present queue being a sign of the spot’s enduring success.
67 Broadway Market, Hackney, E8 4PH
Kiss The Hippo
Kiss the Hippo is a specialty coffee roaster dedicated to sustainable coffee. They ethically source their coffee lots from quality-focused producers before roasting them in-house using a Loring Smart Roaster. All that time and effort means that you can pick up a responsibly sourced latte that’s had its individual flavour identity and the taste of its terroir preserved for your enjoyment. There aren’t many better places for a cup in the city, MOB.
50 George Street, Richmond, TW9 1HJ
Yeah, like ‘caffeine’ but with a ‘K’. This independent café and espresso bar is directly inspired by Australia and New Zealand’s thriving coffee culture and owner Peter Dore-Smith’s time working in the Melbourne hospitality scene. Hit up Kaffeine for a silky smooth flat white or one of the finest cortados in the whole of London but don’t forget to grab a chewy, buttery ANZAC biscuit for the road. They’re dangerously addictive and the perfect partner for a well-made brew.
66 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7QJ
This café and coffee roasters in Holborn is all about quality coffee and building quality relationships with their suppliers. Whether it’s organic Mexican coffee from Oaxaca or beans gleaned from the highlands of Peru, everything that Catalyst roasts and serves in a filter coffee, espresso, and rich flat white is ethically sourced and made to the highest standards. Swing by to see what they’ve got on offer. It’s guaranteed to be grand.
48 Grays Inn Road, Holborn, WC1X 8LT
It's not always easy to pinpoint why some coffee shops end up becoming your favourite spot while others don't – sometimes it's because that's where you happened to go for a coffee after you'd slept with your partner for the very first time, other times it's because that's where you happened to go for a coffee after you'd slept with your partner for the very last time. Regardless, there's a few coffee shops in London that just feel right. Stone Bros is one of those places. The freshly roasted coffee from Allpress Espresso doesn't hurt but it's the friendly vibe here – and Insta-friendly tiled floor – that makes it one of the best coffee shops in London.
73 Chatsworth Road, Lower Clapton, E5 0LH
An excellent pitstop for coffee on Brixton Hill, Stir Coffee is one of the best coffee shops in London for a plethora of reasons. The quality of the coffee itself is obviously one of the main reasons but the friendly staff and all-around brilliant atmosphere are what makes Stir Coffee an exemplar of the capital’s growing café culture. Owner Anton Taratine has created a haven of coffee in Brixton where quality vibes and luxurious milk from The Estate Dairy flow freely.
111 Brixton Hill, SW2 1AA
Dark Arts Coffee
Dark Arts Coffee is a small-batch specialty coffee roaster based out of Hackney. Brad Morrison and Colin Mitchell are the men behind Dark Arts and, in conjunction with head of coffee Jamie Strachan, they’ve turned the brand into a little mini merch-making empire. Coffees, made from specially selected seasonal beans, are available from the Rosina Street espresso bar and you’d be silly not to stop by if you’re ever in the area. In the words of Dark Arts Coffee: “Eat the rich, drink the pour”.
1- 5 Rosina Street, E9 6JH
WatchHouse Roastery & Cafe
WatchHouse’s aim – in all of its various incarnations across the city – is to offer the local community “quality coffee, food and service, in carefully considered and beautifully designed spaces”. It’s hard to argue with the fact that they’ve done just that. Each WatchHouse currently open in London (there’s now seven in total) slings out austere brews made by modern coffee creators. WatchHouse is dedicated to transparent, ethical coffee and food supply chains and has committed to sourcing seasonally from the best producers around the world. That dedication shines through in the quality of the end-product. This is fucking good coffee, MOB.
36 Maltby Street, SE1 3PA
Origin Coffee Roasters
Carefully sourced, single-origin coffees are what’s on offer from any of Origin’s London-based espresso bars. This independent coffee roaster is one of our faves here at MOB Kitchen and if you haven’t spent some time in the Shoreditch outlet then you’ve sorely missed out on one of the most London coffee experiences going. There’s so many Macbooks in there that it’s a bit like walking into a really well-caffeinated Apple store. Except with more single-origin, washed Kenyan coffee and a much greater care about sustainability and ethical product sourcing.
65 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3PE
Prufrock is one of the best coffee shops in London, and one that strives to support local producers and small-scale growers. The friendly Holborn spot serves perfect temp coffee from Square Mile as well as featured cult roasters like Tim Wendelboe, The Naughty Dog, Bonanza Coffee Roasters, and many more. Fluffy flat whites and a menu of delicious breakfast buns will have you hooked.
23-25 Leather Lane, Holborn, EC1N 7TE
A counter stocked with cakes and cookies; a buffet of brunches based on sourdough bread, organic eggs, and seasonal produce; coffee sourced from ethical roasters. Those are just a few of the choice excerpts from the list of “125 very good reasons to go to Esters” that I’ve been working on for the last few years. Not only is Esters one of the best coffee shops in London but it’s also one of its best places to eat and drink overall. Start your day off on a high with a caffeine buzz and some fantastic grub.
55 Kynaston Road, Stoke Newington, N16 0EB
Monmouth Coffee is one of the best coffee shops in London much in the same way that Rumours is one of the best Fleetwood Mac albums. Sure, it might not be the most exciting or interesting answer but it’s one that’s pretty hard to argue against. Monmouth source and roast coffee from single farms, estates, and cooperatives, having first started roasting and retailing back in 1978 out of the basement of their shop in Monmouth Street. The actual roasting is now done at Spa Terminus in Bermondsey but the flagship coffee shop is still going strong and remains one of the best places to pick up a coffee in Covent Garden.
27 Monmouth Street, West End, WC2H 9EU
Housed in an old joiner’s factory, this previously derelict building is the homebase for Allpress Espresso’s impressive roastery in Dalston. It’s a bright space, affluent with natural light, and a fine location for getting your hands on expertly prepared espresso or single origin filter brews. You’ll nary find a smoother coffee in London, MOB.
55 Dalston Lane, E8 2NG
A modern reinterpretation of a British caff, Norman’s Cafe is a no-frills ode to everything we love about greasy spoons. Classic dishes like beans on toast, chicken escalope, and even the humble chip butty are given a quick glycolic scrub and elevated by chef Richie Hayes. But what about the coffee, you ask? Well, it’s good stuff – sourced from the folks at Dark Arts Coffee – and it's cheap. Like, really cheap. A black coffee is £1.50, a coffee with milk is £2, and a coffee with oat milk is £2.50. Norman’s Cafe is a throwback in the best way possible.
167 Junction Road, Tufnell Park, N19 5PZ
Ozone Coffee Roasters
What started as three passionate people roasting coffee out of a small shop in a provincial New Zealand surf town has turned into a little mini coffee shop empire. Both of Ozone Coffee’s slick London locations (there’s one on Emma Street and another on Leonard Street) pride themselves on serving excellent coffee and fresh plates of exceptional food. Brunch fare like eggs benny on bubble ’n’ squeak and smoked cheddar cornbread don’t disappoint – they’re just the sort of dishes you’ll want to scoff(ee) with your coffee. Sorry.
Emma Street, E2 9AP
% Arabica’s founder and director Kenneth Shoji has set out with the aim of helping people to “See the World Through Coffee”. As the first % Arabica store in the UK (and the 43rd in the world), this Covent Garden coffee shop helps to fulfil Shoji’s aim by delivering cup after cup of exceptional coffee. The minimalist interiors and considered design of the shop is reflected in the sourcing of the coffee, too. You won’t find any burnt beans on the premises here.
King Street, West End, WC2E 8SD
Old Spike Roastery
Not only does this Peckham café and roastery sell (and serve) some of the finest coffee in town, but it also offers job training for the homeless. Old Spike Roastery are also super ethical when it comes to their sourcing, too – seeking out speciality grade green coffee from countries of origin based on the principles of direct trade, quality, and seasonality. The coffees are therefore as fresh as possible and you can genuinely taste the difference when it comes to your cup. The fact that 65% of profits go directly towards training and employing those experiencing homelessness? Well, that just makes it taste all the sweeter.
54 Peckham Rye, SE15 4JR
This Australian coffee bar is packed with coffee, natural wine, pastries and a host of brunch and lunch options. Antipode hasn’t got the largest of spaces but you can always expect to find some well-poured flat whites of various single-origin and microlot coffees. Definitely one to hit up if you’re in the Hammersmith area and you can feel a caffeine deprivation headache coming on.
28 Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, W6 9PH
West Hampstead’s Intermission Coffee is on a mission to change the coffee industry for good via its commitment to sustainable coffee. The team has made every effort to verify that everybody along their coffee supply chain is treated and paid fairly for their time and that not one ounce of their coffee causes unnecessary or undue harm to the planet. It’s a pretty noble aim and the cute little cups that the various excellent piccolos, macchiatos, and cappuccinos come served in certainly helps to sell the cause. Their in-house roasts are the bee’s knees and Intermission also rotates their guest filters regularly to highlight the best of the best of the international coffee scene. Drinking good coffee can feel really good, MOB.
Unit 2 The Hardy Building, Heritage Lane, NW6 2BR
Coleman Coffee Roasters
Coleman Coffee Roasters was founded by Jack Coleman in 2010 after he successfully restored a 1950s Viennese coffee roaster in his west London flat. The rest, as they say, is history. Just a hop, skip, and jump from Waterloo Station, Coleman Coffee Roasters is a small-batch coffee roastery and a prime spot to patronise for anyone that wants to upgrade their commute with a sublime cup of coffee. Coleman’s high-quality arabica coffees are sourced from all over the world, simply waiting to be sent down your gullet with a splash of thick and creamy milk.
20 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, SE1 7RJ
The Espresso Room
They don’t mess about at The Espresso Room, MOB. This serious coffee shop chain has built a serious reputation of one of the most well-regarded specialty coffee shops in London thanks to their meticulous attention to detail and highly knowledgeable staff. Whether you’re after a long black or a matcha latte, you can rest assured that The Espresso Room will provide you with a definitive version of that drink.
71 Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2A 3JH
Look mum no hands!
Coffee is essential for any sort of physical activity (like, for example, getting out of bed) but it’s especially essential if you’re the sort of person whose favourite physical activity is donning lycra and going for an inordinately long bike ride. Look mum no hands! Is a multi-faceted café/bar/bicycle workshop that can fix your bike and fix you up with a perfect piccolo at the same time. The Square Mile-roasted coffee is the absolute dog’s bollocks but it’s the space you can drink that top java which makes LMNH a worthy entrant on this list of the best coffee shops in London. I haven’t ridden a bicycle in over a decade and I still love the place dearly.
49 Old Street, EC1V 9HX
Over Under Coffee
Over Under Coffee is an antipodean-inspired collection of coffee shops that act as an unpretentious (and environmentally conscious) alternative to high street chains. The coffee selection is solid as a rock and, unlike most night-fearing cafés, they're even open post-5pm as the shops transition from being cappuccino-serving coffee bars into negroni-slinging cocktail bars. Visit Over Under at any time of the day for a pleasant surprise.