Whether you need a caffeine fix to make it through the rest of the work day or you need somewhere to refuel after a busy day shopping or sightseeing, these are the Covent Garden cafés and coffee shops to head to.
Covent Garden Grind
Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, Coffee Shop, European, $$$
One of 10 Grinds in London, Covent Garden Grind is a café by day and bar by night. Their bold signature Grind blend is perfect for a caffeine hit during the day but come night time, you should go for their famous espresso martinis; it really is one of the best in London. With their all-day menu, modern interior complete with a neon Bowie quote and cool soundtrack, it’s easy for a quick coffee stop to turn into dinner and drinks.
The food, particularly their brunch offering, is the main draw of The Black Penny but they serve up a mean coffee too, which is sourced from Alchemy in South London. As a nod to the 17th-century penny universities (places where a penny got you a cup of coffee and access to a debate or discussion) from which the café takes its name, they have a space that hosts events in the basement as well as a communal seating area.
Formerly known as New Row Coffee (as it’s located on New Row), The Espresso Room serves up an impressive espresso menu alongside a regularly rotating filter coffee. They’re pretty serious about their brews so don’t come here looking for fancy syrups and cream toppings – it’s proper coffee with no compromise.
Cafe, Coffee Shop, Contemporary, Central American, South American, $$$
Monmouth has been roasting coffee for over 30 years and has been one of the standard-bearers for great coffee in London. With blends coming from across Central and South America and Kenya, the brews are consistent in their quality, and they work hard to keep everything fair trade. The Covent Garden café is tiny, so you’ll probably be faced with a queue but for coffee this good it’s worth it.
Notes is about three things – coffee, wine and music. Notes has their own roastery so you can rest assured that the coffee, made with a V-60 pour-over, is always good. The wine list is full of organic and biodynamic bottles, which go down well with their sharing charcuterie and cheese boards, and there’s always something unusual yet relaxing playing over the stereo.
The Coffee Island on St Martin’s Lane is the first London outpost of this Greek chain and they’ve brought all the expertise and gear over with them. The staff really know their stuff and you can get your coffee brewed a variety of ways, including Aeropress and V-60. They also brew Turkish coffee the authentic way using a hot sand tray, which you don’t see too often.
Primarily a creative workspace, Timberyard Seven Dials also happens to serve speciality tea and coffee. Their tea is sourced by Good & Proper Tea and their coffee includes a single-origin roast from The Barn and a blend from Climpson & Sons as well as a rotating filter batch. Even if you’re not looking for a place to work, it’s worth dropping by TY for a drink.
Set up by the people behind Scotchtails, Nordic-inspired café Lundenwic sells top-notch fast-but-healthy food (think avocado on toast and porridge for breakfast and countertop salads and sandwiches for lunch) as well as juices and smoothies made in-house daily. Their espresso comes from Workshop and they also serve a changing single-origin brew, so make sure you pick up a coffee to go with your food.