The British are well known across the globe for their love of a good old cup of English breakfast tea, but in the past couple of decades, London has become a hotspot for some more artisan coffee shops. Whilst it may not match the likes of Melbourne or some of the Scandinavian capital cities, coffee shops in London are going above and beyond your standard British café and bringing a highly competitive coffee culture to the capital. Seeking inspiration from all four corners of the world and presenting some innovative ideas, the coffee scene in London is continuing to rise. With so many to choose from and all claiming to have the best coffee in London, it can be hard to know which way to turn. Luckily, we have compiled a thorough list of the best coffee shops in London so you don’t have to do the guesswork. All you have to do is put your order in and enjoy!
1. Monmouth Coffee, Seven Dials
Originally opened in 1978 way before anyone had any idea about artisan coffee. Now, it has stepped into the limelight and has the best artisan coffee London. Monmouth Coffee workaround seasonality, having multiple small sources all around the world, so when one runs out, they move on to the next one. Because of this, they have one of the widest ranges of coffee beans, giving them unique blends and flavors. Baristas at Monmouth are meticulously trained in picking up on all the subtle flavor hints in the coffee, from hazelnuts and cocoa to dried apple and mandarin. Their extensive flavorful knowledge means they are able to find you the perfect cup of coffee, perfectly matched to your tastebud’s preferences. They also supply many of the best coffee shops in London with unique blends, in fact, some of the shops listed prefer the flavorful Monmouth coffee over everything else.
2. Mouse Tail Coffee Stories, Deptford
For those of you that aren’t aware, this seemingly unusual name for a coffee shop is top barista lingo. The sure sign of perfect coffee: a slight curve as the rich liquid is poured into the cup, much like a mouse tail. And that perfect liquid gold is certainly what you get at Mouse Tail Coffee Stories. Using locally roasted coffee beans sourced from all over the world, their Deptford branch is one of the best coffee shops in South London. But with five other locations, Mouse Tail Coffee Stories is a firm favourite for both locals and visitors alike.
3. Second Shot, Bethnal Green
This has to be one of the cleverest named coffee shops in London; all the individual elements that this artisan coffee shop prides itself on can be said to be a reference to the name. To begin with, everyone needs a second shot of coffee in the morning, despite whether it is generally an acceptable thing to do or not, the staff at Second Shot know that it is okay. Especially because they are all people who have previously been affected by homelessness. Here, they receive training not only on how to make excellent cups of coffee, but also many other useful and transferable skills to help them find long-term, permanent employment. It’s giving them a well-deserved second shot at life. The pay-it-forward scheme they have in place allows customers to pay for another coffee (a second shot) or slice of cake that someone living on the street can come in and enjoy later, for free. They’ve now opened a second shop in Marylebone, giving second shots in many different ways to a larger number of people. Whilst being one of the most ethical coffee shops in London, it is also some of the best new coffee shops in London, sourcing its beans from across the world.
4. Workshop Coffee, Fitzrovia
There are a number of Workshop Coffee joints dotted around London, but the coffee is the main character here. Their shops are more of a quick-stop-off pick the coffee up on the way to work kind of places. Not the cozy lose track of the time feels that some of the other artisan coffee shops offer. Although, this branch does have a communal space with benches for customers to use. However, the coffee is a completely different story. Their coffee is sourced from a huge variety of countries and continents, from Rwanda and Ethiopia to Brazil and El Salvador. Workshop coffee strive to create the best brew possible year on year. They work closely with the farmers who are willing to develop, grow, and continuously improve, and the founders take regular trips to each of the farms. They carefully roast the beans to unlock the flavors and have trained their staff to use the finest quality ingredients, consistently delivering their customers a quality cup of coffee. With a subscription to their coffee range, you can discover the tones and blends that make you the perfect cup of coffee every time.
5. Ozone Coffee, Shoreditch
Combining a sleek interior with the best specialty coffee London and an extensive menu beyond their signature blends, Ozone Coffee has it all. The roastery was first established in 1998, making it one of the original coffee connoisseurs. Focusing on sustainability in sourcing, packaging and serving to give you the best third wave coffee London, you will not be disappointed with a cup of sleek steamy coffee and a bite to eat at this establishment. Just to top it off, you can enjoy their responsibly sourced flavors at home with a coffee subscription that delivers specialty coffees from all around the world. Giving you the ability to personalize your beans, how they are packaged, and how often you receive them, Ozone has the best coffee subscription London.
6. EL&N, Mayfair
Dubbed to be the most Instagramable café in London, EL&N have now not only got branches all throughout London, including Selfridges, but they have gone international with their pretty in pink neon style coffee shop. Hosting huge floral walls, pastel pinks, enormous love hearts and sparkling lights, it’s easy to see why this Mayfair coffee shop has caught the attention of celebrities and Instagram enthusiasts alike. This dream-like coffee shops not only has people snapping pictures of the interior design, but the drinks, coffees, sweet treats and savory snacks look so good it’s hard not to whip your camera out. EL&N is the best place to get the best coffee in Mayfair London, serving not only your classic coffees but a wide range of specialties, all of which are obviously designed to match the extravagance of the interiors.
7. The Gentleman’s Barista, Borough
For a truly polite British twist on artisan coffee, The Gentleman’s Barista are proud to be generous and well mannered, whilst making you feel at home and allowing you to indulge in the rich flavors of their hat-named blends. Don’t be fooled by the name – Gentlemen refers to the behavior, not the gender. They have an independent roastery in the heart of the capital which not only supplies their ten London sites, but also a range of restaurants, pubs, and other establishments across the UK. The Gentleman’s Barista is one of the best coffee shops near London Bridge and is sure to give you a quintessentially British experience.
8. Lo-Fi, Crouch End
This independent coffee house is an atmospheric infusion of local brews, espressos, and eclectic sounds. Even though this penny-sized establishment opened its doors right in the height of the pandemic, it has a larger-than-life personality and charm that has guided it through to success, despite the odds being against it. Lo-Fi Coffee focuses on sustainability in sourcing their coffee beans and within the store. They have created a friendly vibe and space that you can lose yourself in for at least a few hours. Especially as they regularly have DJs stopping in to play and a listening space where you can check out all the vinyl they have lying around whilst sipping on your coffee. This is one to keep your eye on too; they’re partnering with the Flashback record store that is due to open across the road. But what you really need to know is how good the coffee is. Be assured that the coffee is perfectly crafted to your tastes and preference. The coffee here is so good, it often has people queuing up outside. Chill vibes and amazing coffee, possibly one of the best coffee shops in London.
9. Crol & Co., Newcomen Street
This repurposed betting shop is full of authentic Victorian features celebrates a love for both antiques and coffee. The venue has been transformed into a cozy space to enjoy your coffee and treat yourself to a tasty pastry. Another favourite to pick up the best coffee near London bridge, but Crol & Co has expanded their menu to include creative cocktails, a handpicked selection of wines and local beers, doubling as the best coffee bar London.
10. Flying Horse Coffee, Hackney
Amongst the hustle and bustle of the fact-paced Mare Street Market, Flying Horse Coffee are on a mission to roast and deliver sustainably sourced beans of the highest quality. A pretty feature of turquoise tiles, towering plants in terracotta pots, and eye-catching neon signs in amongst mostly industrial buildings, Mare Street Market hosts a thriving food-hall scene. One of the best places to get high-quality specialty coffee in the area is Flying Horse Coffee. The beans are roasted on site, and produce super smooth coffee, serving Melbourne-style flat whites and all your usual coffee classics to an incredibly high standard. If you’re on the move, there is a hole in the wall to get your fix to takeaway, but otherwise, grab a pastry to accompany and enjoy the outdoor seating.
11. Chief Coffee, Chiswick
You’ll find this cute, cozy café where a Victorian bottling factory used to stand, and it serves up the best coffee west London. The interior of Chief Coffee boasts exposed brick, wooden ceiling and large windows to give it an open, welcoming feel. If the wide variety of creative coffee options isn’t enough, downstairs you will find a treasure trove of Japanese arcade games and pinball machines. This has to be one of the best new coffee shops London – great tasting coffee, friendly atmosphere, and a bit of fun excitement.
12. Algerian Coffee Stores, Soho
Never mind coffee shop, Algerian Coffee Stores would more be more aptly named Algerian Coffee Institute. This place originally opened in 1887, and whilst the coffee has been upgraded and developed since then, you still get the feeling that you’re stepping back in time when you walk through the doors. The signature red front of the street shops and the fact that it still looks like the old black and white pictures they put up on their websites shows how authentic this place really is. You’ll find beans from all around the world displayed in containers that are stacked all the way up to the ceiling and all the pots, filters, and coffee makers you can ever possibly think of. The centrepiece of this cramped little artisan shop is their old Astoria coffee machine, giving you the best cheap coffee London. A silky espresso is only £1, and a cappuccino or latte sits at £1.20. You either have to take-away or stand inside as there aren’t any seats, but with this much charm and for such an amazing price, there aren’t many complaints.
13. %Arabica, Covent Garden
If you want your coffee shops sleek and high-end, this Japanese coffee shop is the place for you. Its original store is located in Kyoto (and well worth the long journey), but the brand has infiltrated countries across the globe, with two shops in London. The clean and polished interior of %Arabica is exactly what you expect from a high-end Japanese establishment, with white being the featured color. The coffee is also exactly what you expect – the best specialty coffee London. These are people who are incredibly serious about coffee. The beans are roasted here in London, at their Broadway site, and have been handpicked by the founder, Shoji, who has been around the world to visit the suppliers himself. He has carefully selected the finest beans to give you the most outstanding cup of coffee imaginable. Whether you opt for a classic espresso or venture out and try the Spanish latte with sweet, condensed milk, it will be a cup of coffee to remember.
14. The Towpath Café, Haggerston
This quirky coffee shop sits right by the canal, so you can enjoy a peaceful cup of coffee whilst watching the swans glide along the water and the narrowboats chug by. They only have a small space to work with, so expect to be seated on the tables that spill out onto the towpath. When closed, all you see is a string of shutters along the canal side, but the area is full of hustle and bustle, people wanting their famous toasted cheese sandwiches and after a warming cup of exceptional coffee. The Towpath Café is full of unique charm and character, which it relies on to spread the word of their delicious dishes and silky coffee. Kiera Knightly is a firm fan, and you’ll find this cute artisan coffee shop featured on many London Instagram pages.
15. Grind, Shoreditch
Found on the corner of the roundabout on Old Street, this quirky coffee bar often entices its customers in with clever innuendos and other light-hearted sayings or phrases displayed outside. Despite their fun and playful attitude, their cups hold some of the best coffee east London. Whilst they have created a perfect sophisticated yet homely vibe inside, they take their coffee seriously. You will not taste coffee like this anywhere else, literally. The blends they use have been roasted especially for them under the most specific requirements, to give you the unique flavors of Grind. As the name suggests, this is some of the best ground coffee London. Not to mention the array of sweet treats available, and the fact that the place slowly transitions into a popular bar after coffee hours.
16. Kaffeine, Fitzrovia
Channeling elements of the Australian and New Zealand coffee culture, Kaffeine is a buzzing artisan coffee shop whose red brick walls and box-crate tables give it a friendly and welcoming feel. The counters and teeming with a huge range of treats and freshly made specialty sandwiches and snacks. The sophisticated look of the interior and the creative food selection tells you that the coffee is some of the best artisan coffee in London. The skilled baristas consistently serve strong, silky-smooth coffee. This place is highly popular and their limited seating means you often find yourself sharing a table with a stranger. But it is worth it for the indulgent flavors and satisfying eats.
17. Vagabond N7, Islington
You are guaranteed a quality cup of coffee in this rustic, yet chic coffee shop that boasts reclaimed wood and exposed brick to create a friendly hipster feel. Nestled in between second-hand shops and little knickknack stores, Vagabond N7 could be one of the best coffee shops to study in London. You feel at home, but are given a complete sensory experience, from the perfectly brewed coffee to the range of brunch options with a menu that is consistently changing and updating. Of course, the tastiest vegan and vegetarian options are available on each menu they develop.
18. Alchemy, Ludgate Broadway
If you find yourself near St. Paul’s Cathedral, you have to make a pitstop at this specialty independent coffee shop. Viewing coffee as a science and an art, as suggested by the name, Alchemy sources exclusive delicious coffee which is roasted on a reconditioned 85-year-old roaster to give you the best coffee St Pauls London. Their clear passion, enthusiasm, and drive to deliver their customers the most exceptional coffee possible, makes them one of the best coffee shops in London England, and they have now opened a new branch in Shoreditch.
19. Kiss the Hippo, Richmond
At Kiss the Hippo, coffee is art. The coffee they serve is perfectly brewed each and every time. Ethically sourcing coffee from around the world, Kiss the Hippo roast the beans themselves and deliver the deep, rich coffee flavors to their customers at their Richmond store. The baristas have coffee down to a fine art, and it is definitely the best coffee Richmond London. If you fancy perfecting your brewing skills, they run training labs to teach you the top secrets to produce the finest cup of coffee using the best specialty coffee in London.
20. 10eighteen, Ontario
Now, you have London, the capital city of England, and you have London, a smaller city in southwest Canada, which also has an up-and-coming artisan coffee scene. For the best coffee London Ontario, this quaint and quirky coffee shop is the place to go. Whilst slightly on the smaller side, they really place a lot of pride, emphasis, and attention onto the coffee itself, specializing in hand-crafted, fresh pour-over coffee and espressos. This independently operated coffee shop has a passion for local: locally roasted coffee and locally sourced produce are the only way to go here. Craft beers and carefully selected wines have made their way onto the 10eighteen menu to give you everything you could ever want. This is one of the best coffee shops in London Ontario, but seating is very limited. Due to its popularity, you may have to wait your turn to taste the fresh food and sleek coffee.
Coffee is an integral part of life, and the artisan coffee scene in London is definitely taking off. From the best coffee Angel London, comforting artsy cafes to slick sophisticated establishments, there are so many places to get yourself a quality cup of specialty coffee in London. Download the best coffee app London for your trip so you can find the best specialty coffee shops near you. Coffee by Trotter also shows you their Instagram feed, but Best Coffee is a free alternative that allows you to specify your needs, highlight reviews, and save your favorites.