You know that time when you wander off to a new and unknown area in a big city, and there you are – desperately looking for a good coffee in the midst of kebab shops and pizza delivery places. I mean, pizza is absolutely great! But at that particular time there is only one thing on your mind – C.O.F.F.E.E.
So as a professional [aimless] wanderer, who loves exploring new and unknown areas in the city I’ve lived in for nearly 4 years, I decided to create this little list of coffee shops in each non-central, or even more like suburban areas in London. I have to add that I haven’t been in every area in London just yet, but it’s definitely on my list!
Lets start from the East and go towards the West.
If you find yourself near the Tower Bridge area and desperate for a good coffee somewhere more unique and away from crowds of overly excited tourists – head over to White Mulberries in St Katharine Docks. It’s just about 10 minutes walk north from the bridge, and you will enter the most beautiful marina with loads of private boats and restaurants.
Of course coffee is the main reason to go to White Mulberries. Their baristas serve a perfect cup of a creamy flat white without failing. To accompany your perfect cup of coffee get something from their large variety of delicious sandwiches and baked goods. Of course they serve everybody’s favourite too – smashed avocado on bread. I can never say no to a good avocado toast!
I must say that during summer and on the weekends this is not the most tranquil and quiet area, as loads of popular cafes are buzzing with people. This is the most central coffee shop location you will see in this post today. However, it is so much worth a visit. Grab a friend and get a perfect spot outside, facing the marine and a beautiful sunshine. Delicious coffee, deep conversations and some vitamin D in the process are guaranteed!
So if we are again wandering around the Tower Bridge area, looking for a great coffee and a treat spot (because how can one drink coffee without a nice treat?), head straight to the south and you will find this cozy Scandinavian style cafe in Bermondsey Square called Hej Coffee. What makes this place attractive from the very first sight is the flower display from Dante’s flowers, which you can get from the coffee shop itself. How awesome is that!
The inside of the coffee shop is decorated with wood, with the large wooden moose head as a centre piece. The large communal table is in the middle, and some tables located alongside the window which is perfect for people watching.
Hej serves their own brand coffee (roasted by Modern Standard). I personally am a huge fan of flat whites, so I will talk about my coffee experience according to the taste and quality of my personal favourite drink. But I must say that their batch brew coffee is great as well. Get a cinnamon bun (the Swedish kanelbullar) as an accompaniment to your delicious coffee drink, and you will get the best experience out of your visit!
I always visit Kentish Town area very briefly, when transferring to the National Rail, or going to the far away northern part of London. Conveniently enough, there is a wonderful coffee kiosk right outside the station, which serves one of the best tasting flat white in the city!
Be mindful though, as the lines get very long in the busiest part of the day. You might have to queue up before you get your perfect steaming cup of coffee drink. They do provide a couple of chairs right in front of the kiosk, so if you don’t feel like drinking your coffee on the go – sit down and enjoy the morning rush as people pass one by one in front of you rushing to their offices.
If you have no business in Kentish Town, I would still recommend visiting the area. Grab your coffee to go and walk towards the most adorable and colourful Kelly Street. Trust me, you will take some amazing Instagram pictures in this part of the city!
Lets travel south. I was taking Life in the UK test quite recently, and ended up at a coffee MUD coffee shop in Croydon Box Park celebrating afterwards. Basically, Croydon Box Park is where loads of London’s hip restaurants and coffee shops meet, all in one place in the south of the city.
MUD cafe has very nice and clean interiors, with loads of space to sit down and enjoy your coffee watching people pass by outside the window in the busy part of Croydon. They use beans from Ozone Coffee Roasters (another great cafe in East London) and do an amazing job at serving the perfect cup of flat white by enthusiastic baristas.
For the hungry ones MUD cafe has a great brunch menu and a nice selection of pastries. Choose between Eggs Benedict and Buckwheat pancakes, alongside with the “Flattie” (their version of flat white) – and you will leave happy and well caffeinated into the busy Croydon Boxpark area.
In addition to Croydon, check out their coffee shop in Tooting area, which is equally as awesome!
So you’re passing by the busiest trains station in the United Kingdom? Stressful, huh? I know that feeling, as I’m a frequent guest in that area! I’ve a coffee shop that I like very much in Clapham Junction, and I go there quite often to work on my laptop.
I used to live in the area close to this place, so naturally I discovered 2Love Tea and Coffee House soon after I moved in to the area. Well, the aimless wanderer I am, I had to get out during Christmas day when there’s literally no transport whatsoever, and wander the streets of Clapham and Wandsworth area, until I stumbled upon the only coffee shop that was open on that day! Hurray!
They serve Monmouth coffee, which is amazing, as Monmouth is one of my favourite bean brands! Though lately they do seem to interchange them with Exmouth Coffee brand, which is also very good tasting. The rustic atmosphere, a grand piano and jazz music create a wonderful and relaxed atmosphere. Your coffee will be made by skilful and kind baristas, who would also cater to your needs when it comes to milk alternatives in your perfect latte. They serve almond, coconut and soya milk on request! Oh and by the way, their flat white and lattes are really called Perfect Latte and Sexy Latte. Everyone giggles when they find out. (I did giggle too!) Indulge by getting a cake or a brownie, or opt for a gluten free option – there are so many to choose from. I would recommend getting a flat white (ask for a glass instead of a cup) and a vegan banana bread (heated up!) – this is my favourite combination.
This place is perfect to stay in for a bit longer, enjoy a great conversation or work alone on your laptop.
Which one do you like the most – coffee and cake or Thai food? Can’t decide? Well then you have to visit The Robin Craft Cafe in Richmond and you will get both (if you want to).
“You know something good will happen when you see the robin” is their motto, and truly only good things happen to you when you visit this quirky little cafe on your wanders through Richmond area.
Aside from very good coffee, the best part about this cafe is their fun crockery in which all drinks are served. This gives you not only the enjoyment of a good good morning spent over a cup of coffee, but a fun experience and a smile on your face when leaving this place.
Beware, you might get very very hungry if you come here during lunch time, as the smell of delicious Thai street food fills up every corner of this cafe. They serve Thai soups and curry, so if you like Oriental food – this is definitely a place for you.
This is the recent find of mine, and I absolutely loved this place after a very first visit! Friendliest staff, yummy cakes and a high quality coffee roasted right on the premises… What else is there to wish for?
As soon as I came in I knew that I’m in for a treat. The nice lady who served me described the flavours of a chocolate-beetroot-passion fruit cake and I was in imaginary heaven, right there, without even having bought anything! So I rushed to the till and got myself some passion…(fruit) cake and a flat white (the usual). They were so busy, but I managed to get a table at the back of the cafe right by the roastery. So I tried it all. And I fell in love. The coffee and cake were all so amazing that I forgot that I’m actually not consuming any sugar. Well.. That was a nice try, right?
I don’t know how the hell would anyone end up in Ealing area (unless you live there), but I traveled to Ealing specifically to go to Cafe Zee. On a Sunday. During all these famous rail engineering works… And I did not regret a second of it!
Going to an unknown area without a well researched
survival coffee guide can be very dangerous to all coffeeholics out there! I hope this post was helpful and you found a great new coffee shop to visit on your next wandering around London.