With the Olympics rapidly approaching, all eyes are turned toward London. This constant barrage of sport will, however, certainly leave you weary and craving one thing: coffee. Though London may be known as a beer mecca, coffee lovers have never had more options in the capital. With cafés popping up on every corner, it can be difficult to discern the great ones from the ho-hum. Here is your guide to the must-visit cafés in London, perfect for when you’re exhausted after all that running around — or rather, watching the running.
Monmouth Coffee: One of the first artisan coffee roasters and cafés in London, it’s been an ever-present force in central London since the café opened in 1978. They’ve come a long way from their humble beginnings. Now, with a new stall opening up in Borough Market and a new roasting facility in South London, there couldn’t be a better time to visit this London institution.
What to order: Try the Kenya Kiandu single origin (or any of their many single-origin coffees), brewed to order.
Flat White: This Australian coffee shop opened up their Soho café in 2005 as an attempt to bring some good Australian style coffee to the London caffeine scene. The name comes from the Australian drink flat white, which is a halfway point between a cappuccino and latte. It has a little more milk than a cappuccino and a little more foam than a latte. With beans from gourmet roaster Square Mile, a full food menu, and spacious interior, you’ll want to spend all day lingering over your coffee. They also have a sister café, Milk Bar, near Bloomsbury for those who need a caffeine fix in the area.
What to order: The flat white, obviously
Kaffeine: A hidden gem that feels like an oasis off busy Oxford Street, this antipodean coffee shop serves up high-quality drinks and Australian style pastries. It’s a small shop, with bar-style seating, but what it lacks in space it makes up in quality. The drinks are served in small glasses as you sit at a high wooden table.
What to order: The latte is small, potent, and just the right size.
Prufrock Coffee: This East London café is a worthwhile destination for every coffee lover headed to the capital. Owned by 2009 World Barista Champion, Gwilym Davies, Prufrock offers top-notch espresso, a pour-over bar, and a variety of sweet and savory snacks. Though Davies had previously been pulling shots at a variety of carts and stands throughout London, this is his first proper shop. Go to get a coffee and stay to enjoy the atmosphere.
What to order: An espresso, or an espresso beverage. He certainly has the chops to deliver.
Workshop Coffee: This café opened last year as Melbourne import St. Ali. After receiving unprecedented praise, the shop changed its name and expanded business, but still offers top-notch coffee. There’s a proper restaurant in North London (the brunch is legendary) and an espresso bar in Marylebone. No matter which one you choose, you’ll be in for a treat. With high-quality drinks, served in lovely pale blue cups, and beans roasted at the shop in Clerkenwell, this is a London café that’s worth the wait.
What to order: The cappuccino is top-notch and perfectly paired with anything off the menu (don’t worry, they serve a variety of pastries at their Marylebone location).