London, like all beautiful cities, is home to hipster coffee shops and cafés galore. While I’m sure you could walk in just about anywhere and find a wonderful latté, the following were some of my favorite places to sit and sip in London.
Almost every museum and major gallery you explore in London will have a secret little coffee shop tucked away in a corner somewhere. White Chapel’s café was my favorite of all of the museum’s. While none of the museums served anything less than great drinks, White Chapel’s prices were a little lower (which is hard to find in tourist destinations), and their café had a local shop feel that none of the larger museums obtained for me. White Chapel is a great destination if you love modern art, and the café’s large windows allow for a great view onto the streets of the district.
Portobello Market is just one of the coolest places around London, with or without coffee. While wandering the street, your senses are consumed in street vendors offering you prints, antiques, touristy souvenirs, crêpes, fresh produce, and collectibles. Coffee and baked goods are everywhere: in the colorful buildings that line Portobello Road, on the streets with the other vendors, and even tucked away in basements unseen to the thousands of eyes that roam Notting Hill every Saturday. I snatched that latté and custard below an unsuspecting antique store, and I don’t even know the name of the café that they came from (I know, when don’t I take a photo of a cute café hidden in a basement?). However, Portobello Road’s many coffee shops all offer unique and adorable environments for the perfect cappacino. Just make sure to get to the market early in the morning, as walking the streets quickly turns into crowd surfing a little later in the day.
Tomtoms is the most adorable and neat little shop in London. I don’t say coffee shop, because the café is both a destination for coffee and a seller of fine cigars. Can you get any more English than that? (Well, I’m sure that they have tea, too.) After ordering in the tiny shop, customers find a table outside on the patio and overlook the little intersection that sits in front of the terrace. Tomtoms is the perfect spot for brunch as the food is just as amazing as the coffee.
Brick Lane Coffee is the ultimate edgy hipster coffee shop. The aura of the café is just as cool as the coffee. My flat white here was pretty amazing, but the environment is what really made this an awesome afternoon. Words can’t describe the cool vibe that Brick Lane provides. While some people find the area run down and dirty, an artistic community has sprung up in the district, and Brick Lane Coffee captures it so well. When I was there, some customers sat and drank their coffee and left, while others seemed like they wanted to stay on the shop’s giant black couches for the rest of eternity. I think if I had a nice supply of bagels from the 24/7 German bakery next door to accompany my coffee, I could’ve done just that.