Dom Bewley

Your London Cafe Guide

Whether you need a cup to warm them chilled bones, or a pick-me-up on the way to work after a...challenging...weekend, we all have our reasons for jumping on the caffeine train. Without coffee, the amount of duvet days would probably triple. Coffee and London go together like cheese and pickle, because the weekends can be especially challenging here. But you're bored of your usual spot, or sick of getting half-baked coffee from the high street brands. We get it. You want something new, something fresh. Something surprising. Well guess what? Read our London cafe guide to discover the coffee houses in the city. You may not have even heard of them.

Old Spike Roastery

Peckham Rye [caption id="attachment_3470" align="alignnone" width="1000"]

Courtesy of Old Spike Roastery[/caption] This special little place south of The River has tonnes going for it. Not only do they do great coffee that you can buy and take home with you. In some suave branded packaging, no less. They also use their coffee as a vehicle for change, by training and employing homeless people across the business. We're sure you're "woke" enough to know that there is a serious homelessness crisis in this country, which is painfully obvious in London. That's why Old Spike Roastery is so fantastic and unique. In fact, every cup you buy, and every bag you take home, is helping end homelessness in the UK. A coffee that warms you up physically and spiritually? Sign us up.

Department of Coffee and Social Affairs

Leather Lane, Holborn

There might be a few of these around town, but have you heard of them? No. So pipe down...with some piping hot coffee from this uniquely-named coffee house! Ah, words. Aren't they just great? You know what else is great? The coffee here at the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs. They have their own roastery in Brighton, so you know their brew is going to be banging. No blends round here. If you're a connoisseur of caffeine like we are, then you know what that means. It means it's good. Alongside their banging brews, they offer an assortment of cakes and sandwiches too. But what's most interesting about this gem is their social outreach programmes. This includes volunteering opportunities and the creation of humanitarian programmes, among others. Talk about guilt-free coffee.

Prufrock Coffee

Leather Lane, Holborn

Yeah, so another in Leather Lane. Hopefully, you're not already familiar with this area. If you are, we can only imagine how far you're turning your nose up right now. Stop that. Let others enjoy the fruits of your exploration. For the uninitiated, Prufrock operates much like a craft beer spot. They serve a variety of guest roasters from across Europe, along with their go-to, Square Mile Coffee. This is a coffee shop for the true coffee connoisseur. Not only do they choose the finest bean to go in your brew, they also run classes to train budding brewers on how to make a fantastic cup of coffee. Their courses run from beginner to advanced. So if you're just starting your joe journey, or you're a true bean behemoth (sorry), you'll find something to up your game.


Old Street Perhaps the most unusual coffee house in London. It looks suspiciously like a shop from the outside. It styles itself as a collaborative creative space on the inside. And it all runs on the clock. By that we mean, you pay per minute once you walk in the door. A Russian cafe chain - and trend - brought over to the West, this means that while everything is complimentary, be it coffee, food, and even the wifi, you effectively 'clock in' when you enter, and pay up when you leave. You could look at it as a social experiment of sorts. They way Ziferblat sees it, you become, in essence, a tenant of the space you take up. And really, everything and anything is game. That includes board games, musical instruments, collaborative art or performance pieces. It's up to you to make it what you want. If it catches on over here, spots like Ziferblat could well explode across East London. Their coffee is banging, too. They wouldn't be on this list if it wasn't, would it?

The Sanctuary Cafe

Sherriff Road,West Hampstead [caption id="attachment_3472" align="alignnone" width="1000"]

Courtesy of The Sanctuary Cafe[/caption] How about you take your cup of joe with a little taste of non-profit justice? Within the confines of The Sherriff Centre, formerly a lovely church, you'll find the Hullabaloo debt advice agency, and sanctuary. The Sanctuary Cafe, to be exact. They've got some of the best coffee in North London, combined with a delightful selection of bites big and small. And they tick all the V boxes too, so veggies, vegans, and gluten-vreers (a stretch but we're going with it) are free to roam and graze as nature intended. They even have a selection of alcoholic beverages, if you want to 'upgrade' your mug. Probably not a great idea, but feel free to grab a beer or wine if you want. Punters get free wi-fi, and children are welcome. If you dare bring your little ones to a cafe. You monster. And hey, if debt is getting you down, you can two-for-one it thanks to the aforementioned advice. What more could you want from your secret coffee location? No more. Them's the best coffee houses in London. Oh, you have heard of some of these before? Well good for you, winner. Go give yourselves a pat on the back. Why don't you tell us where you'd recommend, then? Just down there. In the comments. Or why not work off some of that caffeine-related adrenaline with an exhilarating bike tour?

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