The Top 10 Cafes For Specialty Coffee In London

 

Now we could get into big trouble here.

Being the metropolis that London is, there will ALWAYS be arguments/heated discussions/disagreements about where to find the best coffee. Home to roughly 8 million people, including thousands of expats who we expect to be as snobby as us about coffee, we hope you enjoy this list.

But if you don’t, check out Time Out London’s recommendations here. And remember – we’re always open to suggestions!

Baristas behind the counter at Milk, Balham

10 CAFES WORTH CHECKING OUT FOR THIRD WAVE COFFEE IN LONDON

Federation Coffee

You’ll find Federation Coffee in one of our favourite parts of London.

Brixton is where cultures from around the globe gather and Brixton Village is a hub for vendors selling their wares in market stalls or under the train tracks. Nab one of the wooden tables outside the cafe to enjoy a latte or some smashed avo on toast with a friend and soak up the buzz of the village.

Opening Hours
  • Monday 8:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tuesday 8:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wednesday 8:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thursday 8:00am – late
  • Friday 8:00am – late
  • Saturday 9:00am – late
  • Sunday 9:00am – 4:00pm
Coffees and croissants at Federation Coffee, Brixton

The Black Lab Coffee House

The Black Lab in Clapham is a standout choice amongst the neighbouring cafes.

With a selection of coffees available, experienced baristas are on hand to help you choose the blend suited to your tastebuds. The pastries on the cafe counter are difficult to pass up too.

If the sun is shining, grab a takeaway coffee to enjoy on the Common.

Opening Hours
  • Monday 7:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tuesday 7:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wednesday 7:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thursday 7:00am – 5:00pm
  • Friday 7:00am – 5:00pm
  • Saturday 8:00am – 4:30pm
  • Sunday 9:00am – 4:30pm

TAP Coffee

We mostly frequented the Wardour Street location (off Oxford Street) and each time we return, we’re delighted to nab one of the wooden tables adorned with Lyle’s Golden Syrup tins.

Skylights give the room a bright airy feel where service is quick and the coffee served hot. You must try the chocolate caramel brownie but the gourmet sandwiches and delicious healthy salads are also highly recommended.

Opening Hours
  • Monday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Tuesday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Wednesday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Thursday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Friday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Saturday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Sunday 6:30am – 4:00pm
Hot coffess, sugar tin and delicious chocolate brownie, TAP Coffee, London

Alchemy Coffee

The ability to work closely with farmers is what pushes Alchemy Coffee to the top of London’s coffee club. The coffee is hand roasted with around 70% of their coffee imported directly from Central and South America.

You’ll find an excellent variety of traditional milk-based coffees and filter coffees which highlight the tasting notes of the respective regions.

Treat yourself to one of their brownies for only a few extra pounds (to your hips and hip pocket).

Opening Hours
  • Monday 7:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tuesday 7:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wednesday 7:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thursday 7:00am – 5:00pm
  • Friday 7:00am – 5:00pm
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed

Climpson & Sons

Having grown from a humble coffee cart, East London’s own coffee mecca now has three locations. Our favourite is the one at Broadway Market. Factor in a visit to the market on a Saturday morning then chill with a coffee pick-me-up.

Their coffee is sourced from sustainable farms and roasted in-house, meaning that the team oversees the strength of coffee flavour.

Opening Hours
  • Monday 7:30am – 5:00pm
  • Tuesday 7:30am – 5:00pm
  • Wednesday 7:30am – 5:00pm
  • Thursday 7:30am – 5:00pm
  • Friday 7:30am – 5:00pm
  • Saturday 8:30am – 5:00pm
  • Sunday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Holding a takeaway cup from Climpson & Sons in front of the Climpson & Sons cafe in East London

MILK

An institution in the SW pocket; the residents of Balham are darn lucky to have such a fine establishment in their hood.

Service is snappishly efficient and expect queues on the weekend but the line is worth the wait. Not just for their coffee, but also for their brunch.

No reservations for brunch served 7 days a week.

TIP: Check out their wicked website for a few belly laughs!

Opening Hours
  • Monday 8:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tuesday 8:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wednesday 8:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thursday 8:00am – 5:00pm
  • Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm
  • Saturday 8:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sunday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Latte and menu at Milk, Balham - Coffee in London

Association Coffee

Worker bees gather at the foot of the Gherkin and it’s here that you’ll find them buzzing around (excuse the pun) Association Coffee. It’s also short walk from the Tower of London so if you’ve been beating down the tourist trail all morning, these guys serve top notch coffee.

Find a place on a large communal table, eavesdrop on a business meeting or sit back idly with your cappuccino and let the others get back to work.

Opening Hours
  • Monday 7:30am – 5:00pm
  • Tuesday 7:30am – 5:00pm
  • Wednesday 7:30am – 5:00pm
  • Thursday 7:30am – 5:00pm
  • Friday 7:30am – 5:00pm
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
A flat white on black and white table tiles at Association Coffee, London

Watch House

This tiny Bermondsey cafe is housed in a former 19th century graveyard watch house on the corner of St Mary Magdalen Churchyard. Limited seating inside with sketched artwork available for sale.

The coffee beans come from Ozone Coffee Roasters with your coffee available hot or iced. 

If the weather is lush, select from sausage rolls, cakes and pastries, grab your coffee and perch on one of the wooden seats outside or sit in the adjacent churchyard. There are now six Watch House locations across London. Check their website for details.

Opening Hours
  • Monday 7:00am – 6:00pm
  • Tuesday 7:00am – 6:00pm
  • Wednesday 7:00am – 6:00pm
  • Thursday 7:00am – 6:00pm
  • Friday 7:00am – 6:00pm
  • Saturday 8:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sunday 8:00am – 6:00pm
The Top 10 Cafes For Specialty Coffee In London | specialty coffee in london 1
The Top 10 Cafes For Specialty Coffee In London | specialty coffee in london 2

Photos provided courtesy of Watch House

Look Mum No Hands!

Cyclist and coffee go hand in hand. Chances are you won’t be dropping your Boris bike off for a quick service but that’s no reason to not visit this bike workshop and cafe.

Aside from an awesome name for their shop, they serve up excellent coffee within a space large enough to park a team bus.

If you’re lucky, you’ll catch the occasional celebrity passing through their doors.

TIP: Visit the LMNH Kitchen over in Whitechapel for a bite to eat!

Opening Hours
  • Monday 7:30am – 10:00pm
  • Tuesday 7:30am – 10:00pm
  • Wednesday 7:30am – 10:00pm
  • Thursday 7:30am – 10:00pm
  • Friday 7:30am – 10:00pm
  • Saturday 8:30am – 6:00pm
  • Sunday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Signage outside Look mum no hands

Story Coffee

Perched atop St John’s Hill, Story Coffee is a quaint corner café.

Serving third-wave coffee alongside sophisticated light bites and a lip-smacking pastry selection. For something a bit more filling, an all-day brunch menu is also available.

The café has high ceilings and is brightly lit with floor to ceiling windows. Coffee beans are sourced from Square Mile Coffee Roasters and accompanied by milk from The Estate Dairy. A small selection of Borough Market jams are also for sale.

Make sure to note that no Wi-Fi is available and it’s a no laptop policy. Open 7 days a week.

Opening Hours
  • Monday 7:00am – 4:00pm
  • Tuesday 7:00am – 4:00pm
  • Wednesday 7:00am – 4:00pm
  • Thursday 7:00am – 4:00pm
  • Friday 7:00am – 4:00pm
  • Saturday 8:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sunday 8:00am – 5:00pm

Where are your favourite London spots to grab a coffee? Make sure to tell us all the details in the comments below!

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A flat white at Look Mum No Hands, London, United Kingdom
A flat white at Association Coffee, London, United Kingdom

2 thoughts on “The Top 10 Cafes For Specialty Coffee In London”

    • You’re welcome! We hope you enjoy! This is only a few but make sure to let us know of any other cafes that you find which we haven’t mentioned 🙂

      Reply

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