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Cafés of the World: London

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

Though our cousins from across the pond are much better known for their love of tea, a rise in equal affection for coffee has steadily grown over the past decade. Just like Paris' legendary haunts (which we've explored here), London's modern take on café culture seems in constant conversation with the aesthetics of its historic surroundings, as well as within the intellectual and artistic milieus they shelter. Below are three such cafés taking on the coffee craze with equal amounts of tradition and ingenuity poured in.


THE GENTLEMAN BARISTAS 63 Union Street, Borough, London. SE1 1SG, United Kingdom

Dedicated to serving "well-mannered coffee," The Gentleman Baristas is a small London chain of coffee shops that harken back to the heyday of Victorian London, with locations in Piccadilly, Marble Arch, Mayfair, Borough, London Bridge, Holborn, Hammersmith, and East India. Replete with its 19th-century-style storefront signage, as well as its titular baristas decked out in bowler hats and newsboy caps, this café will have you wanting to order your flat white decked out in your Sunday best.

NORMAN'S CAFÉ 167 Junction Rd, Archway, London N19 5PZ, United Kingdom

Upon entering Norman's, one might feel like they've stepped back in time. With its checkered floors and mid-century furnishings, it's hard to believe you're in 2023 and not in post-war London. The time-capsule ambiance is reflected in its menu, which features classic British favorites such as beans on toast, fish and chips, and sticky toffee pudding. As for its coffee? A simple black with milk'll do, mate.

HOST CAFÉ 69 Watling Street, London EC4M9BW, United Kingdom

If you've ever considered good coffee as next to Godliness, then Host Café might just be the place for you. Set in the still-operative St Mary Aldermary Church, Host Café provides additional sustenance to nourish your weary soul. With their selection of coffees, teas, and cakes, you'll find that this café is one heavenly Host indeed.


All images via The Gentlemen Baristas, Norman's Café, and Host Café Instagram pages.

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