Everyone is capable of pulling together a list of London’s sights. Let us help you with a list of where to make your coffee, breakfast, cake, lunch, drinks and dinner pit stops during a day in London!
The Big Ben, London Eye and Westminster Abbey. You know about these even if you’ve never been to London. So we don’t need to tell you about the tourist sights. Instead, we’re helping you with a guidebook for your pitstops to fuel up during a day of sightseeing. From morning coffee to breakfast, cake, lunch, drinks and dinner, we’ll give you insider tips for a foodie-worthy day.
Not everyone wants their breakfast straight after waking up. Some prefer a good coffee and a moment of silence before the day starts. And in London, a day is long, so that moment to yourself might just be critical to making it through the day! And who drinks only one coffee per day anyway. Here are some of the best coffee places in London.
Kaffeine (2 branches in Fitzrovia) London has called many Aussies and Kiwis to the coffee scene, looking to open up a more independent and artisanal coffee scene than London was known for. Minimalist Kaffeine is one example of Aussie entrepreneurship. In addition to great coffee, they make great salads and seasonal options which are very popular with the young professional lunch crowd in the neighborhood.
Caravan (King’s Cross, Bankside, Exmouth Market) Known more for its globally influenced creative menu, Caravan actually serves amazing coffees, some of which are sourced directly from Africa, and all roasted locally. The breakfast menu is also quite creative, so it should cater for different tastes.
Nude (Soho and Shoreditch) Nude supplies roasts to a lot of high end venues across the city, and also has 2 cafes serving excellent coffee to go or with brunch or lunch.
Monmouth (Covent Garden, Borough Market and Bermondsey) With 2 branches that are open 6 days a week, and Bermondsey only Saturday, Monmouth is more independent than your Starbucks or Costa but may be a bit more convenient to reach than a single branch shop. It’s an old coffee company, famous for their quality coffees, and they also serve delicious pastries in case you’ve changed your mind about breakfast or need more fueling than just the shot of caffeine.
Wilton Way (Hackney) London Fields Radio is hosted from this café, and this is how a hip neighborhood café should be done. Art from local artists on the wall, Australian style coffees and artisan cheeses and meats sourced from excellent suppliers.
Coleman (Waterloo) After establishing a loyal following among high end cafes and restaurants, Coleman now serves coffees from a small industrial place in Waterloo, serving small pastries and snacks alongside expertly crafted cups of brown gold.
Fix (Shoreditch and Barbican) Serving a blend from Climpson & Sons as well as some locally roasted options, Fix know their coffee. They get good reviews, not only for their coffee, but also for their pastries and vegan options as well as their music choices.
Flat White (Soho) This Aussie/Kiwi owned and inspired store uses beans from Swedish Dop which are ethically sourced. They have a passion for serving the best coffee in town and ensuring the right vibe comes with it, and they’ve successfully done that at Flat White and at nearby Milkbar. They serve a Down Under fresh style menu of breakfast, brunch and cake options.
The Coffee Jar (Camden) Originally focusing on baking, cosy Coffee Jar now serves Monmouth coffee as well as changing guest coffees. It’s tiny so most regulars do to go, but it’s worth sitting down to enjoy the impeccably prepared flat whites and espressos.
Anyone can scramble some eggs and add toast. Great breakfasts are about being slightly more creative, or doing your scramble extremely well. And those are worth a little de-tour.
Beany Green (Broadgate Circle, Little Venice, Regent’s Place) Ozzies just do great breakfasts and Beany Green is a little Down Under in London. Eggs, fritters, banana bread and of course avocado.
Sunday (Barnsbury) Probably still an insider secret, Sunday is amazing. Breakfast and brunch options are mind boggling, from rich and savoury to sweet and decadent. From croissants to eggs to pancakes and French toast. Oh and cakes. By the time you polish off your breakfast or brunch plate you may not have space for cake but you will order some after seeing your neighbours ordering those delightful looking treats.
26 Grains (Covent Garden) This list wouldn’t be complete without a few very healthy breakfast options. Think porridge and birchers and kale and avocado. Scandinavian inspired!
Duck & Waffle (St. James) This is decadent breakfast with a view. The menu has all the breakfast options you would expect (eggs, sausages, granola) and waffles in every flavour, sweet and savoury. There are also breakfast cocktails (hello mimosa!). We hear the duck waffle is to die for.
Apres Food Co (Clerkenwell) This is more the place for your full plate of English breakfast. And when we say full English, we mean full English. Supposedly healthy and wholesome, it’s mainly delicious and rich, and tastes like comfort food.
Brother Marcus (Balham) Insta-worthy creative breakfast and brunch are served at Brother Marcus with influences from around the globe. Breakfast and brunch come with very good coffee and cocktails, but there are also turmeric and chia-seed type breakfasts on the menu.
Granger & Co (Chelsea, Clerkenwell, King’s Cross, Notting Hill) Not only does he write cook books but he has cafes in London as well. Everything on the menu makes us drool: brioche, frappe and hotcakes. There’s also healthy options although we wouldn’t know why you would order those after you’ve seen the less healthy ones at the table next to you…
The Modern Pantry (Finsbury Sq., Clerkenwell) Either order a few of the amazing pastries or donuts, or look at them longingly while you wolf down equally delicious waffles or eggs. There is also a list of cocktails that will help cure your hangover.
Whether you’re looking for a quick and tasty sandwich or salad or for a true holiday style glass-of-wine kind of lunch, London of course has it all.
Towpath (Hoxton) Sometimes all you want is a grilled cheese sandwich. And boy do Towpath understand grilled cheese sandwiches. And then they have outdoor seating and amazing cakes. You come in for lunch but end up staying the rest of the afternoon.
Bar Remo (Mayfair) Away from all the tourists, Bar Remo still looks a bit touristy. But their pizzas and pastas are a whole lot better than the average red and white checkered place. So if you’re in the area and looking to avoid a tourist trap for lunch, head to Remo.
Sub Cult (Bermondsey) Looking for a quicker lunch, but not a supermarket sandwich? Sub cult take subs to the next level with ingredients that you won’t find in the supermarket version: scallops, calamari, pulled pork, and so on.
Nusa Kitcken (Central London) Nusa is famous for its soups. With influences from all over Asia, your bowl will be filled by anything from lentils to kung pao. There’s also rice boxes and salads and little pots of dessert that will be hard to skip. You can make it as healthy as you like, and thankfully they have lots of gluten free, dairy free and other free from options.
Battersea Pie Station (Covent Garden) When in London you have to eat pie. And we’re not talking about cherry pie, we’re talking about chicken and leek pie or beef pie. With mash and gravy and peas. It makes for a filling lunch that will keep you going for a few hours, and Battersea at Covent Garden makes award winning pies.
Butifarra (Chinatown) Not so impressed with the smells wafting your way from all the Chinese restaurants but still have a rumbling tummy? Butifarra is a Peruvian steak sandwich and not a bad way to spend your London lunch, at all. It’s like a gourmet burger but with slow cooked beef and salsa.
La Gourmandina (Clerkenwell) This is more to get you into the French or Italian holiday mood but at affordable prices. You can sit outside when the weather is good and enjoy that glass of chilled white wine to go with your long lunch. Make it a set lunch or start with some antipasti and see where the menu takes you after. Holidays are not only about sightseeing.
Daylesford (Notting Hill) Popular with the well-to-do in the area, Daylesford brings in produce from an organic farm to cook fresh and tasty dishes. Slightly more expensive and upmarket but with great juices and smoothies we like spending a lunch here.
Balls & Company (Soho) This is next-level meatballs. Made with different types of meat and fish, mixed with herbs and other ingredients, and they’re all delicious. With creative sides (champagne and granola salad?) and a wonderful cocktail bar downstairs, this is balls done well.
Whether it’s a mid afternoon glass of wine or proper cocktails before dinner, London has no shortage of watering holes. You can find your own way to the pub on the corner, but we think there are a few other places that are worth a visit.
Worship Street Whistling Stop (Shoreditch) This is a romantic drinks kind of place. If you’re in London for a romantic weekend or looking to take someone for a more intimate evening, Whistling Stop is the place to go. Experiment, the cocktails may not be your classic ones, but they are even better.
Artesian (Marylebone) This is more the posh-before-dinner-cocktails type of place although they have lunch cocktails as well. At the swanky Langham, expect nothing less than chemistry in a glass, presented with a flourish.
Sager + Wilde (Bethnal Green) If you’re hunting for a good glass of wine instead of a cocktail, try out Sager + Wilde. Ever-changing long lists of wine by the glass that are reasonably priced and they do good snacks and food to match your chardonnay or shiraz.
Skylight (East London) Looking for a little fun to go with your cocktails? Head to this rooftop bar with a lawn club to play croquet or petanque and have a little streetfood with your cocktail.
The Permit Room (King’s Cross) Below Dishoom, this colonial-style atmospheric bar dishes out a right G&T. It doesn’t open until 5 unfortunately, but makes for great pre- or post-dinner drinks.
Beaufort Bar (Charing Cross) If you’re happy to splurge then Beaufort may be the place to try a few different champagne cocktails. Also quite intimate and romantic so perfect for an evening with that special someone.
Cocktail Trading Company (Bethnal Green) Now we’re talking. A place that serves amazing and wacky cocktails that opens at 2 pm on weekends to get you into that real holiday mindset. Don’t blame us if you don’t make it out of there until 2am.
Sisu (West End) This is a well-kept secret – it’s small, it has cocktails and it has a rooftop that opens in summer. What more could we ask for? They open at noon and also serve great food. So maybe it’s also a lunch option?
Terroirs (Covent Garden) A very casual wine bar that doubles as a French bistro. Sometimes that is all you want. Lots of lesser known wines on the list, combined with excellent cheese, charcuterie and basic mains.
Don’t fall for the tourist traps around Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. Take some of the smaller streets and get lost, and find the places that Londoners go to and come back to.
The Hour Glass (Kensington) Although it may look like the average pub on the corner, the food here is a large notch above pub food. Expect staples like fish and chips, but with better produce and more attention to detail and flavours.
Jose (Bermondsey) We’re a sucker for tapas. And Jose makes us a sucker for Jose’s tapas. Forget albondigas and patatas bravas and instead try cuttlefish and seabream.
Blanchette (Soho) We love French bistros. And Blanchette is a great bistro. Choose from a long list of cheese and charcuterie or consider grilled tuna, cod, duck breast or lamb shoulder. Finish off with some decadent French desserts or cheese and an after-dinner cocktail.
8 Hoxton Square (Hoxton) London is good at neighbourhood restaurants. Even when you are in an area that seems uber-residential, there’s a neighbourhood place that surprises you with imaginative and wonderful cooking. 8 Hoxton Square is even better than that.
Bernardi’s (Marylebone) Despite its central location, this feels like a neighbourhood Italian. With small plates to the full Italian multi-course, Bernardi’s food is fresh and tasty. They now also have a small cocktail bar in the basement.
The Abingdon (Kensington) This lovely neighbourhood secret is well worth a visit. Combining a more chic restaurant with a casual bar and restaurant, it caters to the Kensingtonians as well as families who happen to be in the area. Cuisine is European, and of better-than-gastropub standard. The cocktails also get very good reviews.
Frescobaldi (Mayfair) Frescobaldi brings Tuscany to London with a faux-rustic décor and ivy covering the walls. Seafood and meat, pasta and desserts, everything is rich and fresh and will keep you wanting more.
J Sheekey (West End) J Sheekey is a London institution. It’s noisy and brash, it’s always full and there’s too many people milling about. But it has a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it romantic and fun. It’s all about seafood so make sure your partner in crime doesn’t have any allergies.
The Port House (West End) A personal favourite, Port House is super central and yet often overlooked. It’s a small intimate rustic bar and restaurant that serves amazing tapas and cocktails and have a very good wine list on top of it. And of course a G&T menu.
40 Maltby Street (Tower Bridge) Maltby Street is foodie heaven so come with an empty stomache. And in foodie heaven there’s a few places that taste like heaven. Strong flavours but ultimately the dishes are balanced and prepared with a talent for authentic cooking techniques.