London, England

Ultimate Guide to the Best Cafes in London

Let’s be honest – one of the best parts of traveling is going to some pretty awesome coffee shops in the cities that you visit. London just so happens to be a huge city, so it can be hard narrowing down the best cafes and places to get afternoon tea. That’s why I’ve compiled this list!

Enjoy this ultimate guide to the best cafes in London!

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The Attendant

The Attendant is one of the most original coffee shops in London as it is located in a restored Victorian public toilet. Although some elements of the original decor have been kept, the place has only in common with its original use the fact that it is small and that it is not a place where you can stay all day: you’ll get coffee, a light bite and then get out!

Don’t let that deter you though as the place has really delicious coffee and even healthy eats. It is a good place for breakfast or a snack. Make sure you try the avocado toast and the gluten-free toasts. The average price of a meal is around £15 with cookies at around £2.5.

It is located in the center of the Fitzrovia neighborhood, only a short walk away from Oxford street. It is not an easy place to find as it is literally underground, make sure you follow the directions online to get there!

Recommended by Lucile from Lucilehr.


The Breakfast Club

33 D’Arblay St, Soho, London W1F 8EU, United Kingdom and other locations

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image courtesy of Caroline and Neil from CK Travels

As the name suggests, this is a great way to start your dining day in London – although they are equally good for lunch and dinner!

The Breakfast Club is a small chain of American indie style deli cafes, with 11 branches in the capital including London Bridge and Hackney Wick. The interior decor in all their branches is always really fun with lots of nice retro touches and flourishes. More importantly, the food at The Breakfast Club is always really hearty (and possibly not always healthy) fare. 

Recommended dishes include the classic Cabbie’s Breakfast (bacon, eggs, sausage, chips and toast), buttermilk fried chicken with waffles and the Mexican benedict (a spicy twist on classic breakfast favourite). Make sure you arrive on an empty stomach as the portions are huge. Like American cafes, you can also opt for bottomless cups of coffee, something of a novelty in London. Enjoy!

Recommended by Caroline and Neil from CK Travels.


Brigit’s Bakery Classic Afternoon Tea Bus London Tour

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image courtesy of Fiona from Travelling Thirties

When I think of London two things come to mind, vintage double decker buses and afternoon tea! So, why not combine the two and take Brigit’s Bakery Classic Afternoon Tea Bus Tour.

Board the Vintage Route master bus and take a tour through the streets of Central London. During the tour you will pass some of London’s iconic landmarks all while relaxing and enjoying a wonderful afternoon tea from Brigit’s Bakery.

As with any tour, you will be welcomed by your tour guide and hear about the history of the famous London sites, including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park and the Marble Arch just to name a few. Your high tea will include a wide array of sandwiches, cakes and pastries. Oh, and don’t forget the Prosecco…make sure you hold tight, you’d hate to waste the wine. 

Do not eat lunch before you go! If you get too full on the tour you can always take home a wee box of treats.

Your tour will depart from Victoria Coach station or Trafalgar Square and lasts approximately 90 minutes, depending on the wonderful London traffic of course!

Tours leave every half hour from 12pm until 5pm every day. Tickets start at £45 per adult.

Head to the website to check out their upcoming themed tours and to book your tickets!

Recommended by Fiona from Travelling Thirties.

Be sure to check out Fiona’s guide to travelling London on a budget before you plan your trip!


Cafe de Nata

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image courtesy of Hanna from SolarPoweredBlonde

25 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 5JN, United Kingdom and other locations around the city

Cafe de Nata is a small chain of cafes specialising in Pastel de Nata – a Portuguese custard filled tart. Pastel de Nata is now widely available across London. However, these really are just like in Portugal and the best in London! There are now 3 Cafe de Nata locations, with Soho being one of the best locations.

Cafe de Nata is located close to Tottenham Court Road station on Old Compton Street, so it’s a perfect stop after a long day shopping on Oxford Street!

The best thing is that there are not only traditional Pastel de Nata, but some incredible varieties to try too. The raspberry, apple and cinnamon or coconut Pastel de Nata are a must try. Each Pastel de Nata costs £1.95 and there are special prices for a box of 6, 12 or 16.

More than one is definitely recommended, the are very moorish and absolutely divine. The great thing is that they are made fresh onsite and the oven is visible in the cafe, where you can have a coffee and a Pastel de Nata before venturing further around London. 

Recommended by Hanna from SolarPoweredBlonde.


Cereal Killer Cafe

192a Brick Ln, London E1 6SA, United Kingdom

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image courtesy of Krystianna from Volumes & Voyages

If you’re a fan of cereal, you 100% have to check out Cereal Killer Cafe in London! Basically, it’s a 90’s-style cafe that features dishes inspired by cereal.

Cereal is the main dish offered when it first opens, but don’t get it wrong – they have an abundance of amazing flavors! I personally suggest purchasing a bowl of Salty Balls, which is a caramel-lover’s paradise. They also have funky-flavored milks too that you could add in!

Later in the day, Cereal Killer Cafe serves up some great dishes like cereal-breaded mozzarella sticks. They also serve milkshakes and lattes inspired by cereal flavors!

There’s two locations, but I visited the one in Shoreditch on Brick Lane. While you’re in the area, be sure to explore the Shoreditch area to see some pretty amazing street art that you won’t be able to find elsewhere in London.

Oh, and if you don’t try Cereal Killer Cafe during your next time in London, you’re missing out!

Recommended by Krystianna from Volumes & Voyages.


Cutter & Squidge

20 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 0SJ, United Kingdom

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image courtesy of Wendy Werneth from The Nomadic Vegan

Cutter & Squidge is a wonderful place to stop by for cakes and tea while wandering around Soho. Their signature dessert is the biskie. It’s kind of a cookie sandwich, except that the two ends of the sandwich are more like a cross between a cookie and a cake. Squished in between two of these is a layer of decadent cream, handmade jam or salted caramel.

They also make delicious cakes and cake loaves, including some vegan and wheat-free ones. Try the vegan chocolate caramel cake; it will blow your mind! If you can’t decide and want to taste a bit of everything, order one of their selection boxes. A vegan mixed cake loaves box is £35, or for something smaller, a baby biskie box is £14.90.

Potterheads will have a blast at their Harry Potter-themed afternoon tea, called the Potion Room. It’s one of the best Harry Potter things to do in London. Note that, during the pandemic, the Potion Room is temporarily closed, but you can order their cakes and biskies to be delivered by London courier anywhere within the M25. Cutter & Squidge has two London locations, one in Soho and another at the Royal Exchange on Threadneedle Street.

Recommended by Wendy Werneth from The Nomadic Vegan.


Egerton House HOtel

17-19 Egerton Terrace, Chelsea, London SW3 2BX, United Kingdom

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image courtesy of Alysa from Voyaging Herbivore

You’ll find the Egerton House Hotel in Knightsbridge, an incredibly posh, pricy, and stunning area of London. Although you can stay in Egerton House Hotel for a pretty penny, I recommend heading there first for an afternoon tea experience like no other.

There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan afternoon tea options in London, but Egerton House Hotel offers one of the best. The tea flows endlessly, the cocktails are strong, the scones are perfectly crumbly, and the décor is every blogger’s dream.

The vegan afternoon tea is a set experience, but you’ll be able to choose from different types of tea and cocktails. I recommend choosing a beautiful flowering tea, which will appear in a clear pot, perfect for a photo! The cocktails are also worth a try. The tea-infused drinks are pricy at over $15, but you’re not skimped on the alcohol, so it’s easy enough to split it.

Egerton House Hotel is easily accessibly public London’s public transportation. Use Google Maps or City Mapper to find your way there from your accommodation.

Recommended by Alysa from Voyaging Herbivore.


Elan Cafe

42 Hans Cres, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 0LZ, United Kingdom

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image courtesy of Cristina from My Little World of Travelling

If you are looking for an instagrammable cafe, Elan Cafe is your place. Its floral and pink walls, marble tables and decorations are truly beautiful. Due to its success, they opened cafes in different locations across London, and every branch is unique as decorations change. However, I have only visited the one in Park Lane.

Since it’s so popular, the best advice I can give you is to arrive when they open, and if you happen to be in London on a weekend, Sunday mornings are even quieter.

I was concerned about the quality of the food since I had read some bad reviews. Others also said it isn´t worth the money. However, I was very glad I ignored those reviews because I had a really good experience.

Their menu offers a good variety of dishes – from breakfast bowls and delicious croissants to shakshuka and English muffins. My boyfriend and I ordered an Acai bowl, hot chocolate, English muffins and a croissant. The acai bowl is full of flavour and the portion is big enough to fill you up. The poached eggs served on English muffins with hollandaise sauce were on point, so I would definitely recommend these dishes.

In terms of price, hot drinks can be a bit pricey (from £3.20 to £8.50), but the rest of the food is the average London price.

Recommended by Cristina from My Little World of Travelling.


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image courtesy of Jamie from Travel Addict

Fortnum & Mason

4th Floor, Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1A 1ER, United Kingdom

A trip to London is never complete without a spot of tea. Afternoon Tea is a traditional social outing within English culture that dates back to the 1800s, and in modern London is a great excuse for an outing with friends or family.

Fortnum & Mason offer a delightful Afternoon Tea experience on the top floor of their Piccaddilly location (accessible via Piccadilly Circus Station), and it’s delightfully elegant and indulgent. F&M is known for their incredible tea selection and its high quality.

The tea room at F&M has an elegant feel to it, as one would hope to see for Afternoon Tea. The china is quality and in the traditional F&M teal colouring (and is available for sale downstairs). You can expect to be served unlimited tea or coffee, and a tray with 3 tiers – bottom with finger sandwiches, middle with scones (cream first, then jam), and petit-fours. The staff are fantastic and will replenish scones and finger sandwiches as you desire – there’s also a cake selection included!

Tip: Book your visit in advance, they are often busy and do not have much room for walk-ins (this is true for most Afternoon Tea places).

Recommended by Jamie from Travel Addict.


Hush Mayfair

8 Lancashire Ct, Brook St, Mayfair, London W1S 1EY, United Kingdom

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image courtesy of Nancy from Around the World at the Weekend

If you are looking for afternoon tea in a secret garden in the middle of London, two minutes from Oxford Street and Bond Street in a courtyard that looks like it’s straight from Harry Potter, then this is the place for you. 

Hush Mayfair is everything you could hope for with cocktails in tea cups for the grown ups and secret fairy doors for the kids. The gin and jam tea includes all the sandwiches, cakes and scones you could hope for with a gin cocktail and a cup of their own bespoke tea. If cakes aren’t your thing you can have an amazing Savoury Tea with a beer or a coffee or a class of Prosecco.

If time only allows for smaller snack then you can have a warm scone (cream tea). This place is the best kept secret in London – so enjoy it, but don’t tell everyone!

Recommended by Nancy from Around the World at the Weekend.


My Old Dutch

16 Kensington Church St, Kensington, London W8 4EP, United Kingdom and other locations!

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image courtesy of Sydney from A World in Reach

If you’re looking for a taste of Amsterdam while visiting London, why not visit My Old Dutch Pancake House for breakfast? This adorable café serves up Dutch pancakes (thin and crepe-like) as well as fluffy, American-style pancakes (known at the restaurant as “butterscotch pancakes”).

When ordering your pancakes, you can choose from sweet or savory options. If you have a sweet tooth, make sure to try the chocolate sprinkles pancake – it’s served with chocolate ice cream on top!  Not in the mood for pancakes? They also serve up salads and other healthier choices. They also have plenty of vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options! Most of the pancakes range in cost from £6-£14, depending on the toppings you choose.

My Old Dutch has three locations throughout London – one in Holborn, one in Chelsea, and one in Kensington, one of the best areas to stay in London. The Kensington location is a short walk away from the High Street Kensington tube station. The restaurants open between 9-10am (depending on the location and day of the week). At opening, the restaurant can get quite busy. If you want to avoid the crowds, consider having pancakes for lunch instead of breakfast!

Recommended by Sydney from A World in Reach.


Outsider Tart

83 Chiswick High Rd, Chiswick, London W4 2EF, United Kingdom

Outsider Tart needs to be top of your list if you like delicious homemade American style baked goods in a relaxed atmosphere. Located on Chiswick High Street, it’s a short walk from Turnham Green Underground Station.

The café is run by two Americans, both called David, they bake their delicious cakes onsite in the kitchens under the café. 

Make sure you’re wearing your stretchy waisted pants, as they don’t scrimp on using real butter, oodles of sugar and cream in American sized portions. They always have some layer style cakes for sale, but what you really want to take note of are their traybakes. The brownies are to die for!

They serve a range of coffee, the Cuban in particular is a great choice, which includes brown sugar and butter mixture into about three shots of espresso then topped off with milk! You’ll be on the ceiling for hours after.

Other great items on their menu are the Pancakes and Chilli (they call it a ‘One-Eyed Monster’) served with egg. Everything on this menu is delicious., it’s not the cheapest place to eat (but then nothing in Chiswick is exactly cheap) however you do get served outstanding food in gigantic portions which more than makes up for it.

Recommended by Becki from Meet Me In Departures.


Peggy Porschen Cakes

116 Ebury St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9QQ, United Kingdom

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image courtesy of Krystianna from Volumes & Voyages

I’m sure that by now you have seen a picture of Peggy Porschen Cakes by someone on Instagram during their trip to London. That’s because it’s the perfect cafe to get an Instagram picture at. The whole place is completely pink, including the interior!

Peggy Porschen Cakes is more than just its beautiful building though. They serve some amazing food, especially around brunch. I recommend trying their avocado toast, iced lattes, and their cakes! This place serves some amazing cakes, which should be automatically known because of their name.

Pricing is pretty standard here – most meals will cost around £10, depending on what you order. I recommend going with friends, purchasing your own meal, and then splitting a dessert. The dessert is really the best part!

If you want to avoid the crowds, visit earlier in the morning like I did. I can only imagine how busy it must get later in the day when more people are awake!

Recommended by Krystianna from Volumes & Voyages.


Ting

31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9QU, United Kingdom

Traveling to London is always a wonderful experience. There are so many things to do and it can sometimes be hard to choose from all the things to do in London.

I have a unique tip: the afternoon tea at Ting. Why is this so special, you might ask? First, afternoon tea is a wonderful English tradition to try while in London and Ting is definitely the best place for it.

Ting is the restaurant of the Shangri-La situated in the Shard. It is an occasion to enter the iconic building and to admire the view from it. Indeed, Ting is situated on the 35th floor of the building so that you can admire the view over London while sipping your cup of tea.

From there you can see: Tower Bridge, the Thames, St. Paul’s and obviously all the city districts. Also, Ting offers a large range of organic tea as well beside the classic sandwiches and scones, and some pastries with an exotic touch. An absolute must-do! 

Recommended by Amandine from Beaux Voyages.


Yurt Cafe

St. Katharine’s Precinct, 2 Butcher Row, London E14 8DS, United Kingdom

Off the beaten path, a laidback afternoon spent in the Yurt Café feels a world away from the craziness of London. Created as part of a social enterprise project, it is a popular spot for visitors to Limehouse. The main attraction of the yurt its uniqueness: the chance to enjoy a tasty treat in a cosy spot within the tent.  The relatively unassuming  exterior is a stark contrast to the warm, homely atmosphere inside.

Their menu is centered around locally sourced food, and specialises in homemade cakes, bread & pastries. At the weekend, they offer a full brunch menu featuring everything from craft coffees to full English breakfasts. Putting a classic twist on a brunch favourite, their avocado toast topped with fresh pomegranate seeds is a winner.

As far as London prices go, the Yurt Café actually ranks towards the budget-friendly side of the scale. A tea or coffee will cost you less than £3, and a full breakfast just £9.

As the train tracks running behind it suggest, the Yurt is just a 5-minute walk from the Limehouse DLR station. It’s also within walking distance to some of London’s must-sees, such as Canary Wharf and St. Katharine Docks.

Recommended by Emma from The Hobby Traveller.


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6 Comments

  • Complete Guide to the Best Restaurants in London | Volumes & Voyages
    07.08.2020

    […] forget to check out some of the best cafes in London too during your […]

  • Jamie
    07.09.2020

    Thanks for sharing! This list is pretty awesome. As a London local several of these fall into my favorites category – Breakfast Club & Elan Cafe get some shout outs from me for sure (and obviously my F&M recommendation). What a great list!

  • Krista
    07.11.2020

    These places all look amazing to eat at! Will check some of them out the next time I’m in London!

  • Rhonda Albom
    07.11.2020

    So many options, where to begin. I think the My Old Dutch won my heart from reading, but I will have to try several of these next time I am in London.

  • Ultimate London Travel Guide | Volumes & Voyages
    07.18.2020

    […] Ultimate Guide to the Best Cafes in London | Volumes & Voyages […]

  • 22 Incredible London Photo Spots You Can't Miss | The Diary of a Nomad
    08.19.2020

    […] decorations every season and its creative aesthetic definitely makes it one of the most famous cafes in London. I recommend taking a walk in Belgravia as there are many other gorgeous shops around too, such as […]

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