London’s coffee landscape has evolved significantly since Flat White
first landed in the heart of Soho, on Berwick Street, back in 2005.
Tag-teaming with sister café Milkbar, the pair instigated a new wave
of Antipodean-led, speciality coffee; today, both remain firm favourites
with locals and tourists alike, but many more establishments have
followed in their footsteps.
The proliferation of such cafés across the capital might have been
slow to start but it has accelerated in recent years. When this list was
first published in 2016 it was difficult to pick a top 12, but now it
is tough to select even 15 of the best.
In 2019 it feels as if we have come somewhat to the end of an era;
one where those few pioneers that fought to change the perception of
coffee have been usurped by the next generation.
A large number of those that first topped our list have now closed –
earning themselves something of an urban myth status in the process –
but this is not so much a negative as it is an opportunity for those
inspired by them to take London’s coffee scene forward once again.
Below, I’ve picked the 15 best cafés, dotted across a much evolved
coffee landscape that now reaches to the very corners of the capital.