Top 10 coffee shops in Shoreditch
Half my time and money is spent in coffee shops and when I’m not in them, I’m daydreaming about what my own would be like (book and art-filled, obviously). The thriving cafe culture in London means that soulless chains can be easily avoided. At pretty much every corner there’s a plant-filled, soya flat white-serving independent coffee shop, and nowhere are they more abundant than in east London.
So whether you’re after a freelancer-friendly spot, somewhere for a lazy Sunday catch-up or the best pre-work take away, this is a collection of some of my favourite spots in east to get your caffeine fix.
With three cafes, a micro-roastery and coffee school in east London, the guys behind Nude know a thing or two about good coffee. They serve up a huge selection, including the house ‘East Blend’, a single origin espresso bean and four single origins on pour over.
You’ll struggle to walk past this charity-run coffee stop on Brick Lane without dribbling at the cake selection in the window. Expect great coffee, life-changing salted caramel brownies and a chilled-out vibe perfect for getting work done.
I lived down the road from this place for six months before noticing it. Hidden away at the end of Hanbury Street just off Brick Lane, it’s easy to mistake Doppio for just an espresso machine showroom and barista workshop, but it has an in-house espresso bar, knowledgeable staff, and it’s extra quiet (because not many people know it exists)!
P.S. they also make the best iced coffee I’ve ever tasted; bold claim but very true.
Grind has now become a bit of a London establishment, with six coffee shop-by-day, cocktail bar-by-night venues and an in-house roastery across the city. My favourite by far is the original Shoreditch Grind; it’s located in the midst of it all on Old Street roundabout, making it a great people watching spot.
This not-for-profit social enterprise is hidden just off Kingsland Road, but despite its out-of-the-way location it’s gathered quite the following of caffeine hunters. Rickety wooden floors, a wall full of books (all for sale), a delectable selection of treats and friendly staff make for the perfect pit stop.
New kid on the block Bell Boi, located just off Brick Lane, offers up Melbourne-style coffee, a concierge service and aesthetically pleasing wallpaper, external street art and cup designs. If you’re after an on-the-go beverage while perusing Brick Lane’s vintage gems, or a handful of #edgy photo opportunities, this is the one for you.
From New Zealand to the heart of Shoreditch, the queue for this place is often out of the door – but don’t let the short wait put you off. Another firm favourite with its own in-house roastery, Ozone’s interior is raw and industrial and the food selection is diverse and delicious (think everything from full English and eggs-any-way to beetroot and cumin fry bread with crushed avo).
Just far enough from Brick Lane to catch a breather and escape the hectic weekend crowds, this light, cosy and plant-filled spot prides itself on only working with the finest ingredients, equipment and baristas. You can expect Caravan coffee and a range of vegan and gluten free snacks in an Insta-worthy setting.
Another recent discovery of mine that’s become a firm favourite, and another all-day café with classic industrial chic interior, Cream is probably my favourite place in Shoreditch for getting work done. Its simple, no-fuss canteen style draws a freelance crowd and it’s a bit off the beaten track so rarely gets overly crowded.
An all-in-one cycle repair shop and café with a no-frills interior, LMNH! is all about perfectly done Square Mile coffee and serious hearty food in an inclusive, friendly and laid-back atmosphere. Laptops are only welcome on certain tables and they turn off the internet for a few hours each day, making it a great shout if you want to escape the freelance buzz.