TOP SIX SHOREDITCH CAFES FOR A TRUE COFFEE LOVER
Did you know that there are nearly 3,000 coffee shops in London? With new cafes opening every day across the city it’s easy to feel overwhelmed trying to figure out where to go for your daily latte fix. There is certainly no shortage of great coffee shops in Shoreditch which is one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in the city so I compiled a list of my favourite spots in the area (in terms of the offer, decor and atmosphere) that are definitely worth visiting.
DEPARTMENT OF COFFEE AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS
Department of Coffee and Social Affairs is a small chain specialising in single origin coffees roasted in their own roastery in East London. They currently have 14 branches around London along with a handful of locations in other large UK cities and four across the pond in Chicago.
My favourite is their cafe in Old Spitalfields Market which is such an incredible location and perfect for people watching. It’s definitely worth exploring the market itself where you can find all sorts of unique, handmade items from clothes, handbags, jewellery to prints and homewares. The street food offer is also strong. The best thing about the market is that it’s covered so you can enjoy the bustling atmosphere whatever the weather.
But let's get back to the coffee. A large, red coffee machine is the main focal point of the space which is very pared back with whitewashed brick walls and smoked timber boards. The space inside is very limited and the majority of the seating available is outside underneath the market canopy. The quality of the coffee is excellent and there is also a good selection of pastries and cakes. It’s worth making a quick stop here if you’re passing through the area.
6 Lamb Street
London E1 6EA
Monday – Friday: 08.00 – 17.00
Saturday: 10.00 – 17.00
Sunday: 10.00 – 17.00
The rotunda on the side of the Old Street roundabout has become a bit of an institution in this part of the city. The original Grind (there are now more than ten in London) is open from early morning serving freshly roasted and brewed coffee alongside all the brunch classics. Later in the evening it turns into a bar with music, reasonably priced cocktails and small plates. There’s even an international grade recording studio upstairs!
The black exterior and the signage remind me of an old school cinema or a concert venue. The interior was designed by an Australian design studio Biasol who kept the decor very industrial with poured concrete flooring, brick walls and exposed ductwork. There’s also a small outside seating area. You place take away orders at the bar whilst inside they offer a full table service.
I’d suggest you give the food a miss (I’ve eaten different dishes at different locations and they were all pretty average) and stick with the very good coffee. They have their own roastery in a warehouse in the heart of Shoreditch and they only work with environmentally responsible and sustainable farms to create their unique house blend.
213 Old Street
London, EC1V 9NR
Monday - Thursday: 7am - 11pm
Friday: 7am - 1am
Saturday: 8am - 1am
Sunday: 9am - 7pm
OZONE COFFEE ROASTERS
You could easily walk right past Ozone Coffee Roasters if it wasn’t for the grungy music coming through from inside. Hidden away in a side street not far from Old Street station these guys are serious about coffee. They started their roastery in 1998 in New Zealand before expanding to London in 2012.
The cafe space is large and industrial in style with a large island counter taking the centre stage and black and white artwork on the walls. There is a large variety of seating options from seats by the window, bar stools around the central cooking station, booth style seating at the back and large tables downstairs which are perfect for groups. During the week the place is bustling with creatives working on their laptops while tucking into avocado with poached eggs on toast. Weekends are equally busy with couples and groups of friends enjoying a more leisurely all day brunch.
11 Leonard Street
London EC2A 4AQ
Monday - Friday: 7am - 10pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8:30am - 5:30pm
PAPER & CUP
You can probably recognise the characteristic blue facade from Instagram as it seems to be a favourite of local influencers but there’s much more to Paper & Cup cafe than just looks. For one, they are run as a not-for-profit social enterprise supporting homeless and people with alcohol and drug addiction transform their lives. It’s a good chance the cute barista whipping up your flat white would be one of the people supported by the organisation learning new skills and gaining valuable work experience. They serve good quality, expertly made coffee and a good selection of teas alongside a wide range of sweet treats (have the banana bread, it’s delicious!). You can also buy second hand books and unique artworks.
Just a short walk away from the hustle and bustle of the main Shoreditch drag, Paper & Cup is an oasis of calm, a perfect little spot for a relaxing cup of coffee and catch up with a friend.
18 Calvert Avenue
London E2 7JP
Monday to Friday: 8am - 6pm
Saturday: 9am - 6pm
Sunday: 10am - 5pm
THE WATCH HOUSE
The Watch House is my latest find in Shoreditch and a new addition to the area’s coffee scene. Located pretty much halfway between Spitalfields Market and Shoreditch High Street station this place tempted me in with their beautiful display of pastries. The decor is very scandinavian, all rustic walls (paint and plaster artistically peeled), exposed white steel, white ribbed counter, pale timber and white tiled tabletops. There are two levels and I particularly like the attention to detail in the basement room with laptop power sockets and music system cleverly hidden from view to maintain the minimalist style.
They serve Ozone espresso blend and, for true connoisseurs, there’s a brew bar running between 3pm and 6pm where you can choose from a selection of single origin filter coffees to be expertly brewed to order. To accompany your coffee, The Watch House offers a full brunch menu (I haven’t tried it yet but everything looks delicious) and a good selection of fresh nordic style pastries (their cardamom buns are my favourite), sandwiches and sausage rolls.
139 Commercial Street
London E1 6BJ
Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 6pm
Saturday - Sunday: 9am - 6pm
HOLY SHOT COFFEE
This Antipodean style small, independent, specialty coffee shop is my favourite in the area. The dark green facade with white painted signage lettering is very photogenic and the interior is really nicely decorated too.
They have a small selection of vegan friendly food and pastries but I go there mainly for their specialty lattes which are awesome. My favourite is the red velvet latte but blueberry latte and ‘London Fog’ are also very good. If you’re a coffee purist you won’t be disappointed either as Holy Shot Coffee serves Caravan espresso blend along with filtered coffees prepared individually to order using aeropress, V60 or chemex method.
155 Bethnal Green Road
London E2 7DG
Monday – Friday: 7:30am – 5:30pm
Saturday - Sunday: 9am – 6pm
I hope you enjoyed this little roundup and it will come in handy next time you’re hanging out in Shoreditch. If you have your own favourites or recommendations please let me know in the comments as I absolutely love discovering new places.