The city of London, the capital of the United Kingdom, is somewhat famous for its coffee, often referred to as the Seattle of the European world. Every day, the great citizens of Britain and beyond, as well as an onslaught of tourists, guzzle down a whopping 55 million cups of coffee, most of which is served by the city’s scores of great coffee houses, restaurants and cafes. So whether you’re a fan of straight, black coffee, espresso, lattes or even the sweet concoction known as the Carmel Macchiato, the city of London definitely has you covered.
To illustrate this point, below we will shine a light on several of London’s best and most well-loved coffee shops and cafes, including a full description of each place’s seating and décor and the various processes they employ to churn out cup after cup of this amazingly popular caffeinated brew.
Batch & Company
Although Batch & Company, which is located at 54 Streatham Hill in London, has only been in business but a year, it has already earned itself a “Best Coffee Shop in London” recognition—a testament to the great brews to be had here.
The Caravan coffee at Batch & Company has become legendary now in the neighborhood in which it serves, as have the café’s fresh sausage rolls whose aroma in the shop cannot be missed. Add to this a great lineup of hot and iced coffees, a full list of sandwiches and treats and comfortable seating and you have a place that just begs you to sit for a while and relax in the ambience.
The Steam Yard
Those who prefer a vintage visual experience with their morning cup of Joe will simply adore the Steam Yard, located at Unit 1-2 Aberdeen Court, 97 Division Street in the Sheffield region of London. Opened near the beginning of the recent coffee boom in London, the Steam Yard is housed in a Grade II old Silver Works building with bare walls, concrete floors and steel-framed leather booths, which together create a classic and hospitable interior that seems to point to early American décor.
However, the décor isn’t the only thing to enjoy at the Steam Yard. In fact, their in-house-made brew is perhaps the best in north London, and they also feature guest blends from different coffee houses in the city on a rotating basis—a trend that is becoming very popular in great coffee cities. And while you’re enjoying one of these delicious caffeine treats, make sure to sample the salted caramel doughnuts—you’ll be glad you did.
Quarter Horse Coffee
Located at 88-90 Bristol Street in the Birmingham section of the city, Quarter Horse Coffee is a bit off the beaten path but definitely worth any effort it takes to get here. Known as the only coffee house in this part of London to roast its own beans, thanks to a mammoth roaster that has to be seen to believe, Quarter Horse has rapidly grown in popularity for their no frills espresso that is guaranteed to put some pep in your step.
Quarter Horse Coffee also offers a full range of tasty pastries, sandwiches and other British favorites, and its ambience is very quiet and studious on most days.
Tina, We Salute You
Located at 47 King Henry’s Walk in London, this fabulous café’s name—Tina, We Salute You—is a reference to a popular 1960s painting, a bit of trivia that should give you an idea regarding the atmosphere at this throw-back coffee joint. The aura of this 1960s-styled coffee house is a bit artsy and quirky, but the coffee is simply terrific and includes compelling espresso, delightful lattes and many different flavored coffees so popular right now in the city.
If you’re looking for a fun place—one that doesn’t take its coffee making practice so serious—and you don’t mind sidling up next to some “creative” types, a trip to Tina, We Salute You may be the perfect way to start your day.
Black Douglas Coffee
Black Douglas Coffee is a wonderful, coastally-adjacent coffee house that is well-loved by local residents—and deservedly so. Located at 83 Beach Street, this café serves coffee that is guaranteed to wake you up, unless, of course, the salty beach air does it first.
The Black Douglas Coffee House is situated just a stone’s throw from the ocean but offers a much better cup of coffee than most seaside cafes that tend to just simply mail it in. It’s positioned right next to a charming old bookshop too, allowing you to browse your favorite authors while you slowly sip one of their house-made brews.
The Catalyst Café, located at 48 Grays Inn Road, has everything you would expect in a great coffee joint and so much more. In addition to the wide selection of coffees, beans, espressos and lattes, the establishment also serves up some great local and international craft beer and eats that will make you feel like you’re at a restaurant rather than a café.
The Catalyst’s Batch-brewed coffee is some of the best you can taste for miles, and the knowledgeable baristas are friendly, helpful, and take great pride in their work. In fact, they actually seem excited to serve customers—a trait that many of the stuffier, and more serious London baristas could learn from.
Bold Street Coffee
Although Bold Street Coffee is housed in a rather tiny space, its coffee is big and larger than life, satisfying customer after customer with every sip. The café, which is located at 89 Bold Street in Liverpool, has a friendly atmosphere and a personality of its own, highlighted by an ever-changing assortment of artwork lining the walls and an approach to making coffee that focuses more on taste than the process itself.
Although seating space is limited at Bold Street Coffee, the seats they do have are plush and comfortable, attracting customers of all ages and backgrounds who share a love of great coffee and friendly conversation.