After telling you about a few of less obvious picks for London, I’m gonna share a short list of cafes I liked best. All of which are located in central, well known areas in the city.
I came across this place by accident, while I was trying to get to Farm Girl Cafe on Carnby street (more on that in another post) sometime in between Christmas and New Years, and the place was only serving coffee and no breakfast. I was starving and checked google maps for near by cafes, when it offered Nordic Bakery, among other options. I remembered vaguely reading about it somewhere, and as a fan of Scandinavian food, I decided it was worth a shot, and as you can imagine, I was quite glad I chose to visit this place. Located in Soho, just a couple of blocks from Piccadilly Circus, the Nordic bakery is a carbs lover’s heaven. The Scandinavian kitchen is known for its amazing bread and pastries, and this cafe/bakery, brings London the Nordic cuisine at its finest. Their sandwiches arrive on dark rye bread, which is to die for, and is topped with fresh and tasty ingredients (try their salmon for an authentic Scandinavian flared dish). Their sweets department isn’t any less impressive, with pies, tarts, danishes and other yeast dough pastries, and tons of berries. I simply loved their upside down blueberry cake! There are also some vegan friendly options. The coffee is good and quite strong, with a few (non dairy) milk options. The decor is also pretty Scandinavian, with a dark blue wall behind the bar (in which you order) as well as wooden walls. It’s not a very fancy place, but it’s definitely cute and functional – characterized by clean lines and minimalism, yet it is cozy. You can sit at a communal table or at their smaller tables, suited for 2-4 people. This place is straight forward and the food is spot on! Go try it on weekdays between 7:30am-7pm, and on weekend between 9am-8pm.
With its famous, super instagramable black and white facade, this coffee shop, is quite an establishment. It lies in the posh Marylebone neighborhood, and offers a full hipster experience. Monocle serves great coffee as well as some special savory and sweet snacks. I had their matcha white chocolate tart, which was both delicious and extremely intense (which made it impossible for me to finish). The decor is cozy, with a big lovely wooden bar at the front of the shop and some bar seats just across from it. At the back of the ground floor you will find some more seating options, in an area that has a sort of leaving room or nook feeling to it. This is a perfect spot to get some reading done (including the reading of Monocle magazine). You can also grab a spot downstairs. When visiting Monocle, you can tell this place takes itself quite seriously. The crowd is rather young and hip, and the place is very neat, decor wise and attitude. Note that this trendy coffee shop is quite pricey, but I would recommend it as a one time experience, at least.
This super cute cafe in Belgravia ended up being one coffee shop experiences in the city. Located just across the street (with a view) from Peggy Porschen Cakes, the pinkest establishment in London, and a block away from Dominique Ansel Bakery, this place keeps it simple, yet accurate. The decor is based on white and wood tones, but it also has bright color splashes. The shop is quite spacious, with different seating options, such as a round communal table, smaller tables and bar seating. If the weather allows you might prefer sitting outside on their lovely yellow chairs. When I found this place – it was a weekday and a couple of hours past lunch time – there were only a few people inside, most of them were working, which made Tomtom the perfect hideout for a freelancer. I ordered some great artisan coffee (with oat milk) and had a loaf of their daily vegan cake, which was yummy as well. The place also serves other types of pastries, breakfasts, and savory snacks. The service was friendly, and I felt right at home. For a laid back experience and good coffee, I would definitely go to Tomtom Coffee House. Note that they open rather on the late side (not before 10am on weekdays, and only at 11am on weekends), so perhaps this is not the best spot for early birds.