London is awash with cafes and coffee shops and you can barely move between Tube stops without lurching in somewhere for a latte. Clerkenwell and Holborn have some of London’s best, from hipster wooden affairs that roast their own beans on site to more foodie focused affairs.
This London roastery come cafe has spots in both Holborn and Clerkenwell. Workshop Coffee’s beans are sourced from Africa and South America, and the cafe in Clerkenwell is home to an enormous roaster with sacks of beans sitting scattered about. Both are hotspots for creative types, and their flat whites and the pastries are delicious.
If you’re after a short sharp pick-me-up rather than a long lazy latte, The Espresso Room consistently makes a fab smaller cup. It uses beans from Caravan and while there’s hardly room to swing a cat inside, the guys here really know their stuff.
This gourmet coffee shop has become one of London’s finest, a gleaming example of all that’s right with independent cafes. These guys live, eat and breathe coffee and arrange workshops, training and appreciation events for caffeine addicts. Split over two floors, Prufrock is always busy and there’s a bakery below churning out amazing sweet and savoury treats.
Fleet River Bakery puts the emphasis back on the food. Fresh salads, quiches and soups are made daily using seasonal and local ingredients. It’s a great spot for a weekday lunch or a more casual coffee experience.
J+A takes over a wonderful courtyard off Sutton Lane and the emphasis here is on Irish food and wholesome baking, so think gorgeous sponges, soda breads and plenty of tea. The cafe really evokes the feeling of a happy family well fed.
In the summer Bench Cafe is a prime spot to sun yourself, hidden away as it is in the Goldsmiths Centre in Clerkenwell. It has a lovely courtyard, lots of outside seating and is light and airy inside as well, so pop by for homemade rolls, avo on toast and lashing of decent coffee.
The Clerkenwell Kitchen has an ethical and organic focus, sourcing its ingredients and stocking brands that fit into its ethos. Open all day, it serves six lunch dishes, from Shepherd’s Pie to Duck Hash with Fried Egg, that are made fresh daily and a range of sandwiches. It’s simple food, beautifully presented and well made.
The Modern Pantry elevates the entire cafe experience to a more fine dining one. This is the Clerkenwell outpost of this fusion cuisine style of cafe. The redbrick Clerkenwell venue is open all day and even has a little roof terrace for cocktails in the evening. They also do a cracking cream tea and a weekend brunch, and you can expect the menu to be different every time.