London is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, so it only stands to reason the city is at the forefront of the indie coffee scene, hosting over a hundred of these trendy cafes in the city proper alone, not to mention scores of additional shops in its surrounding metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in Western Europe.
The capital and most populous city in the country of England and the larger United Kingdom, London is one of the premier tourist destinations in the world, hosting thousands of great sites and must-see attractions. Within this heavily-visited visitor’s Mecca, the indie coffee shops play an important role in the city’s culture, serving as meeting places in which the topics of the day are discussed over a hot or ice-cold brew.
In the following article we have highlighted several of these great coffee shops—shops located in Central, Northern, Sothern and Eastern London—and described for you some of the drinks, fare and amenities offered at each shop, as well as the atmosphere and vibe you’re likely to experience when you visit these fantastic coffee destinations.
Workshop Coffee Company
Located in Central London, the Workshop Coffee Company is far from being a national chain, but it does have additional locations in the communities of Marylebone and Holborn. This location, which is by far the most regularly-visited, is located on scenic Wigmore Street, close to a number of the city’s landmarks and fun attractions.
At the Workshop Coffee Company, the baristas serve up only the finest Aeropress coffee, and a glass of carbonated spring water with each order to help clean your palate between sips. Espresso and Lattes, in a variety of flavors, are also offered in this unassuming shop, where the walls are artfully donned with paintings of London landscapes. The baristas are very friendly and knowledgeable and are always happy and eager to find out just the right drink for you based on your particular tastes.
In what is actually more of a bakery and brunch restaurant than your traditional coffee bar, Dreyfus has been serving the thirsty (and hungry) residents of East London for over a decade now and the café continues to rise in popularity. The corner café boasts both an indoor and outdoor space, the latter of which is always packed on those sunny London mornings in the summer. Its offerings include a full range of lattes, cappuccinos, and specialty drinks, and their generous shots of espresso sell for just 2 English Pounds.
Dreyfus can be found at 19 Lower Clapton Road in East London.
Located in the northern section of London, the Spoke is a very unique Upper Holloway locale, a coffee bar that also offers brunch and a wide selection of scrumptious burgers on its extensive lunch menu. An open and airy café, the Spoke is always flooded with natural night, making it a very popular locale for students cramming for their big test and for young professionals putting the finishing touches on their projects.
The Spoke’s claim to fame is their rich and frothy coffees and cappuccinos, but the vanilla latte is also a very trendy order. Their breakfast menu includes fluffy hot cakes and a number of UK morning favorites, all of which pair excellently with the extensive menu of coffees and teas.
St. David Coffee House
St. David Coffee House is rapidly becoming one of the most popular independent coffee houses in the southern section of London. Always busy—and often hard to find a seat—the frantic café offers reasonably priced espressos, cappuccinos, mochas, lattes and cortados, and their steaming pour over coffee is brewed from Square Mile Beans, one of the most oft-used brand of coffee beans in London and the surrounding area.
In addition to offering great coffee, the St. David Coffee House doubles as a book exchange and offers free Wi-Fi to all of its customers. Their food menu includes generous, affordably-priced salads and sandwiches, and the crowd ranges from young students to older couples to book clubs, all of whom stop by for the wonderful beverages and grub and the even better conversation.
The St. David Coffee House is located at 5 David’s Road in Southern London.
Algerian Coffee Store
The ultra-popular Algerian Coffee Store is housed in an historic red-colored structure that was originally built in 1877. Located in the Soho region of London, the independent Algerian Coffee Store is one of the most affordable coffee shops on our list, offering espresso shots for just one English Pound apiece, and £2 pour over drinks with a variety of flavored milks and creams. Lattes and cappuccinos are also very cheap and popular at this trendy café, which boasts a minimalist design and offers free Wi-Fi access to all of its paying clientele.
Tina, We Salute You
Tina, We Salute You is a very artsy café and eatery that is bustling seven days a week, particularly during the morning hours (from 7 AM until 10 AM). Their excellent hot and house-made brews are made with delicious Square Mile coffee beans, and the extensive variety of cakes and pastries they offer is very impressive for an indie café. Art, painted by local, national and international painters, adorns the walls at Tina, We Salute You—art that changes every seven-to eight weeks to give the café a fresh new look.
Tina, We Salute You is found at 47 King Henry’s Walk in Northern London.
Notes Music Coffee
Located at the corner of 31 Saint Martin’s Lane and 36 Wellington Street, in the heart of Central London, the café known as Notes Music Coffee offers up the very best in house- roasted coffee and bottled microbrews, as well as a variety of flavored hot and cold beverages. Decorated with a musical motif, the popular coffee shop boasts a large two-room space, the first of these housing the mahogany coffee bar and comfortable, black-leather seating; and the other hosting a small stage area where jazz jam sessions are regularly held a few nights a week.
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