An Instagrammer’s guide to the best coffee in London
Because snapping your coffee break is like, so chic…
Whether you’re a casual drinker or a coffee expert, London’s thriving coffee scene has something to offer. From light and airy places to park your laptop or a cosy corner for drinks with mates, these coffee shops are worthy of your time, taste and of course, your Instagram account.
Nearest station: Clapham Junction/Sloane Square
284 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 3BT
This unassuming and humble coffee shop is the place to pick up a drink this weekend.
Only five minutes from Battersea Park, Il Molino is an unfussy, unpretentious Italian coffee shop that is well-known to locals.
Every Saturday and Sunday, you’ll find a cool brunch crowd and a bustling takeaway queue, while weekdays it’s the preferred location for casual local business meetings.
What it lacks in size, it makes up for with a cosy, relaxed atmosphere – the rustic decor has been created with mismatched furniture and Italian produce – and friendly, attentive staff.
The coffee, from £2.50, is always delicious, the croissants are huge and it’s the perfect place to drop by for an early breakfast on a morning walk.
If your visit is mid-afternoon, you must order a slice of cake. From orange and chocolate to the several gluten-free options, it’s the red velvet cake, £3, that’s the star of the show. It’s even better than the much revered red velvet cupcake at London’s idolised Hummingbird Bakery. Seriously.
Best for: #cosychats #redvelvet #quirkycharm
Nearest station: Oxford Circus/Leicester Square
17 Berwick Street, London W1F 0PT
Away from the crowded scenes of Oxford Street and Soho’s Old Compton Street is Flat White.
Famous for, er, the Flat White of course. Behind the boring stuff, the owners hail from New Zealand and after 10 years of trade state their Flat White is a simple thing: a damn good strong coffee.
With slow, precise service, each drink is given the proper time and care which suits the very laid-back vibe in their small but functional coffee shop.
A milky, dramatic taste and a proper caffeine buzz means this is the place that people come from across the city to visit.
While obviously its namesake is a popular choice, coffee lovers are also treated to several different versions of the infamous Swedish Drop Coffee and the baristas – who genuinely seem to love what they do – are able to guide you towards something new.
It’s also a haunt for several celeb coffee fiends. DJ Zane Lowe, model Lily Cole and TV star Karl Pilkington have all been spotted here getting their fix. What are you waiting for?!
Best for: #celebspotting #flatwhites
#Coffee Works Project
Nearest station: Angel
96-98 Islington High Street, Islington, London N1 8EG
Based in Camden Passage in north London, Coffee Works Project is always busy. But the good kind of busy.
Bustling with business men dropping by for a mid-afternoon boost, au pairs stopping off for a babyccino or laptop loners who like the background noise.
Light and airy, it’s a lovely place to spend the afternoon people-watching with a really incredible latte and a slab of gluten-free lemon cheesecake brownie, £2.50. And yes, it does sound odd but somehow that flavour combination works very, very well.
Posh marshmallow cubes, rosemary and lemon muffins and petal covered cakes mean that you might need to buy a few bits to takeaway.
The drinks here are simply amazing. Coffee Works Project uses a unique hand-generated coffee espresso machine which in non-fancy terms make it each coffee taste different and incredible.
The company are also committed to ethical, fair practices. Their roaster trades directly with independent farmers and ensures a competitive price. Good coffee + ethically sound + cake = winning.
Best for: #businessmeetings #specialitysnacks
#Tea and Coffee House
Nearest station: Clapham Common
87-89 St Johns Road, Clapham, London, SW11 1QY
The Tea and Coffee House might have a simple name, but this new shop has only been open for about six months and already it’s making waves in Clapham.
Using Monmouth coffee beans, the extensive menu is home to your usual cappuccinos but it also goes that bit further to cater for the fussier coffee connoisseurs. For example, a Sexy Latte, £2.70, arrives foam-less but totally tasteful. Want something very specific? Single origin beans are available, try Mexican (flavours of caramel and pecan nuts) or even Ethiopian (flavours of black tea and citrus) for something a bit different.
Wifi is available which lends itself well to the crowd of chilled hipster freelancers who frequent the shop but if you’re visiting in a big group, there’s a huge grand piano to sit around. The novelty hasn’t worn off yet.
And if you’ve already reached your daily caffeine limit, one of the hundreds of teas on offer should suffice. T e unusual Russian Caravan has a sweet, smoky taste and it’s definitely worth at least one pot. It’s also worth mentioning that the staff will offer you a choice of cups or glasses for your drink and something about the handle to sip ratio means it’s the perfect coffee drinking mug – if you really care about that sort of thing.
Best for: #fussydrinkers #freelancers