20 Great Coffee Shops in London

It’s almost time for the London Coffee Festival, which showcases the best of the UK’s coffee scene. Around this time a number of newspapers, magazines and websites will inevitably publish self-described definitive lists of London’s “best” coffee. The same names are rehashed and list members are incredibly predictable.  

This year, I’d like to break from the trend and highlight 20 coffee shops in London which I feel are often overlooked. These are twenty coffee shops which are either new, small operations or places which I think represent some of the best of London’s coffee scene. Big names and chains are purposely left out.

These are, in no particular:
  1. Lanark Coffee
  2. Footnote Café
  3. The Gentlemen Baristas
  4. Carmelite Café
  5. 119 Lower Clapton
  6. Fingers Crossed
  7. 56 St James
  8. The Wren Coffee
  9. Drink, Shop, Dash
  10. Craving Coffee
  11. Coleman and Co. (technically a stand)
  12. Coffee Affair
  13. Craft Coffee
  14. Four Corners
  15. Tamp Coffee
  16. Knockbox
  17. Silhouette
  18. Small White Elephant
  19. Wood St Coffee
  20. Brookes and Gao


Each of these bring with it their unique charm to the London coffee scene. From Lanark’s focus on great coffee, the Gentlemen Barista’s great focus on customer service to Four Corner’s commitment to… well, eccentricity. Big names like Caravan and Ozone will always be known as some of the best coffee shops in London, but there are some absolutely amazing and innovative coffee shops in the scene that deserve some attention as well. 
I have some exciting news. I'm really pleased to welcome Matt Winning (@Gladieater) as a partner to the blog! Matt and I have been exploring coffee shops together for a while now and it just seemed like a natural step forward. We've also managed to land our dream jobs recently, albeit in different industries.
Gladieater and myself
This means a change in direction for the blog. We're not interested in making money, nor do we want to compete with some of the great sites/guides out there such as the London's Best Coffee or the London Coffee Guide.

But we do want to carve out a niche within London's speciality coffee scene. Right now, we're just two guys passionate about coffee, who are willing to give anything a go.

So if there's any new openings, upcoming events, or quriky things you've found in London's Coffee Scene, we'd love to hear from you! Email us on CupsLondonCoffee@Gmail.com

5 More Spots: Peckham, Islington and Aldgate

More coffee! Here are five more spots we've found this week around London.

Three spots in Peckham. First, Small White Elephant serving Alchemy coffee along with a great brunch selection, snacks and bakes. Second, right next door is Southerden- the incredible patisserie and bakery of Mel who serves Monmouth coffee. A short walk down Peckham Road is the Pigeon Hole which was funded by a kickstarter. It used Volcano Coffee and turns into a bar later in the evening.

Back in Islington is Brown Bear, which opened last Tuesday and uses Coleman Coffee. A bit further east in Longshot, an eccentrically-decorated cafe serving Climpsons

SE15 Small White Elephant (28 Choumert Road)
 SE15 Southerden (46 Choumert Road) 
SE5 The Pigeon Hole (2 Datchelor Place)
 N1 Brown Bear (Cross Street, Islington)
E1 Long Shot (127 Leman Street)

Coffee in Tower Hamlets

The South side of Tower Hamlets hasn't received as much specialty coffee love as the North. With Love in a Cup, Exmouth Coffee Company and Vagabond E1 near Aldgate East and Urban Cafe, Foxcroft & Ginger, the Coffee Room and Carmelite Cafe on Mile End Road. 

However, there are two incredibly spacious locations with plenty of space and seating. Paper and Cup near Bow and Husk Coffee near Limehouse. They're excellent spots to host get togethers or to find a place to sit down and work. 

Husk is located just outside Limehouse station and is possibly one of the largest coffee shops in London. Like Timberyard, there are endless amounts of seating and plugs. There's even a roof terrace. Using Climpsons, it also serves as creative space and studio much like Craving Coffee or Scawfell

Paper and Cup is located on St. Paul's way, its a social enterprise run by the Spitalfields Crypt Trust which aims to help people who have suffered from alcohol and substance misuse get back into work. Using Union, they also have another location in Shoreditch. Both have the same theme of coffee and bookshelves, with books available to buy. 

 E3 Paper and Cup (83 St Paul's Way)

New Logo

The more eagle-eyed among you might have noticed a few changes to my blog and twitter accounts. Really happy to launch a brand new logo for "Cups of London Coffee," designed by Not Nat. It's a great showcase of London in a cup of coffee. With the Twitter and Blog getting increasingly more popular, I thought it was important to finally get a better logo! This forms a part of a series of changes I hope to roll out imminently. So watch this space! 

First Look: Watch House on Bermondsey Street

A new coffee shop has suddenly and quietly opened on the bottom of Bermondsey Street. There's been murmurings for quite sometime about what the local council would use this spot for since a planning permission was filed almost seven years ago. Aside from Brick Lane Coffee and Blacksmiths Hatch, there's not much for good coffee in the area- so it's definitely a welcome addition.

Called the "Watch House" its located in a small Grade II listed building which was once erected to prevent grave-robbing from the adjacent churchyard. It's a great throwback to the spot's history and a lot of work has gone into the design to provide a real rustic feel with wooden lampshades and a mock fireplace on the counter.

Serving Ozone Coffee, there's only espresso-based drinks for now, but there are plans to introduce filters as well as a greater food selection. It is small, with only a few places to sit but not exceedingly so. 

A Few More Additions

Just uploading a few more additions this morning. Near Newington Green is Highbury Arts Club which changes from a Cafe for Brunch on weekends to a wine bar during nights. Nearby is Lizzy on the Green, which serves Alchemy right in the middle of the park. In Hoxton, Fabrique provide fresh Nordic bakes alongside their coffee roasted in Sweden. In Northwest London, Wired offer Climpsons and Sons near West Hampstead station and have opened a second branch- Cable right in front of Kensal Rise station.

E5 Highbury Arts Club
 N16 Lizzy on the Green
 E2 Fabrique
 EC4 Carter Lane Coffee House
 NW6 Wired
 NW10 Cable