It's a hard fact of life, but getting time off doesn't always happen, even when you're traveling. When you're in the UK capital, whether it's for business or pleasure, frequent some of the coffee shops, and you'll soon discover you're not the only one in need of a co-working space.
The London coffee scene isn't just about great coffee. It's also about laptop-friendly cafes with reliable wi-fi and accessible power outlets. Some of the best London coffee shops are geared towards making those who need to work away from home comfortable. Others are not, though, and won't make you welcome if they think you will be occupying a table for a few hours.
You can avoid the embarrassment of being asked to leave by knowing which coffee shops in the city you can work from and which you can't. There are some that are better situated than others if you want to go sightseeing or shopping in London after you've finished the work you need to do.
It's a good idea not to go to even the most digital nomad-friendly cafe loaded down with bags too. If you've checked out of your accommodation and need to store your stuff, you'll find that one of the Bounce luggage storage facilities in London is the ideal option.
You'll find Bounce luggage lockers in convenient locations throughout London. Even though they're security tagged and fully insured, using one won't cost you more than the price of a donut and a specialty coffee or a couple of espresso drinks and a slice of banana bread.
Best London Coffee Shops To Work In
If you're one of those people who isn't half human until they've had their first coffee of the day, you'll feel quite at home in the quirky coffee shop, Fuckoffee. You won't have to wait too long for it either, as Fuckoffee opens at 7 am, which is pretty early by anyone's standards.
This weird, wonderful, and brightly colored café is full of wall hangings with attitude and leather sofas which give it a real home-away-from-home appeal. If you like to work in an organized environment, this might not be your coffee shop.
You'll be missing out big time, though, if you don't give it a try, as their four-tiered red velvet cake and three-layer banoffee cake, let alone their award-winning sandwiches, are to die for. They also serve several types of soup, which are great when it's cold out.
Bermondsey Street, 167
Vagabond N7 is a coffee shop in North London that pulls out all the stops when making specialty coffee. Not only do they use high-quality artisan roasted beans to make their brews, but they also make them with love and passion too. Whether or not that alters the taste of the coffee is something that has to be left to personal opinion.
All the furnishings at Vagabond, inside and out on the patio, are vintage, so don't expect state-of-the-art, but more cable drums for tables and revamped wooden stools. If you're missing a Mediterranean ambiance, this patio area will give you the fix you're looking for, but only in summer.
At Vagabond, all the coffees and food are prepared with exceptional care. They have a superb breakfast menu that caters just as well to vegans as it does to meat-eaters who love a bit of Victorian sausage in the morning. This coffee shop gets a big thumbs up as one of the best cafes to work at in London.
Holloway Road, 105
If you've been accustomed to working in a library environment, then you'll love working in the coffee shop at Foyles Bookstore in Charing Cross, central London. There are books, lots and lots of books. This independent coffee shop is a huge place on the fifth floor decked out with long pine tables, so there's no shortage of working space. There are individual tables, too, if you prefer not to share.
Foyles is the sort of café where you can stay all day. They serve amazing breakfasts and even better lunches and have a big enough variety of cakes and pastries to keep even the sweetest tooth happy, plus, of course, high-quality coffee. The only setback to working here is the lack of easy access to power outlets, so make sure you get there with your phone and laptop fully charged.
You might need some earplugs too as, unlike a library, this café pipes constant jazz music through an all-around sound system. That has one of two effects. You'll either find it relaxing, or it'll break your concentration and totally get on your nerves.
Charing Cross Road, 107
Artisan Coffee has several coffee shops scattered all over London. They also run the Artisan Coffee School in Ealing, which is a barista training center as well as a café. All of the cafes have slightly different décor but expect an industrial-style look with bare brickwork, unvarnished wood furnishings, and high ceilings.
The main focus at Artisan is on the coffee, and the coffee beans are freshly ground for every cup they serve. It isn't just good coffee they serve here - it's great coffee, but on the downside, the food is pretty basic, so don't expect more than sandwiches and cakes.
If you're a persnickety coffee connoisseur, then any of Artisan's places will be the best cafes to work at for you. If you're low on battery, try to get a table next to a wall, and you should be able to reach a plug socket without too much trouble.
- Upper Richmond Road, 203. Putney. SW15
- King Street, 372. Stamford Brook. W6
- New Broadway, 32. Ealing. W5 - Artisan Coffee School
- Sheen Lane, 139. East Sheen. SW14
Spiritland King's Cross
Spiritland has three premises in London, but it's Spiritland King's Cross that's the best for work. This café in central London is totally geared to digital nomads and even has a recording studio if you want to make a podcast or broadcast a live radio show. You won't want to be too late getting your work done, though. In the evening, this hip coffee shop turns into a bar that's all about music.
At Spiritland King's Cross, you can sip a good coffee while sitting at one of the individual tables and gorge on one of their tasty sandwiches when you're hungry. If you want to spoil yourself because you've worked hard all week, go back for the salt beef hash that's on the weekend brunch menu, but leave your laptop in the hotel.
Lewis Cubitt Square, Stable Street, 9-10
Brewdog - Desk Dog
Brewdog is an independent craft beer company that opens its bars for remote working. They have around a dozen smart modern sites in London, where for a small ten-pound fee, you can work all day. The fee is for the use of the table space but comes with unlimited refills of tea or coffee and a refreshing pint when you're done for the day.
To be able to work in such comfortable surroundings for as long as you like without being made to feel uncomfortable at that price is an absolute bargain. If you're going to be in London for a month, then you should get a season pass which is a hot desk and unlimited coffee, tea, and water for 28 days, which is 60 percent off the regular price.
Whether you're in central London, east London, west London, or north London, you'll find a Brewdog not too far from you.
- Brewdog Soho – Poland Street, 21
- Brewdog Seven Dials – Shaftesbury Avenue, 142
- Brewdog Outpost Tower Hill – Great Tower Street, 21
- Brewdog Paddington – Harbet Street
- Brewdog Shoreditch – Bethnal Green Road, 51
- Brewdog Chancery Lane – Plough Place, 1
- Brewdog Clerkenwell – Clerkenwell Road, 45 – 47
- Brewdog Camden – Bayham Street, 113
- Brewdog Brixton - Coldharbour Lane, 419
- Brewdog Canary Wharf – Churchill Place, 2
- Brewdog Shepherds Bush – Goldhawk Road, 15 – 19
- Brewdog Clapham Junction – Battersea Rise, 11 – 13
- Brewdog Ealing – Dickens Yard, 19
- Brewdog Waterloo – Waterloo Station, Unit G
The Wren is probably one of the more unusual coffee shops you can work at in London. Housed in an old church, this place is spacious to the extreme with high ceilings, stained glass windows, wood paneling, and even the original pulpit.
Tables here are small and well-spaced, but if you're having a very private communication, be aware that the acoustics here carry more than the hiss of the steam machine. Voices bounce around too, but you can always retire to the garden seating area if you don't want to be overheard.
There is an availability of power outlets, but they're next to sofas which are not the best spots for working. Food is limited to croissants and sandwiches, while on the lunch menu, there’s a choice of salads. Not great, but okay for a light breakfast or quick snack.
Queen Victoria Street, 114
Redemption Roasters are a coffee house company with numerous premises spread across London. The most central are the ones in Covent Garden, King's Cross, and Islington. All of the premises are light and bright with white-painted walls, pine and metal furnishings, and lots of potted plants for added ambiance.
As far as cafes to work at, these are some of the best as they almost have an office feel to them, or they would have if they didn't serve such great food. The cafe in Covent Garden is split into two levels, so has both an upstairs and downstairs area where you can get down to business. Another bonus is they stay open later than many other coffee shops, so if you're a late riser, no worries, here you can work away until they kick you out at 6 pm.
They're one of the few coffee shops that have a bonafide brunch menu, too, so any craving you have for eggs benedict or avocado toast can be satisfied here. For remote working, Redemption Roasters, whichever location you frequent, really is the perfect coffee shop. Better cafes to work in London are hard to find.
- Bloomsbury - Lamb's Conduit Street, 84b
- Covent Garden – Drury Lane, 40
- King's Cross – Stable Street, Unit 109
- Farringdon – Long Lane, 55
- Moorgate – Eldon Street, 8
- Broadgate Circle – The Pavilion, Broadgate, 3
- Islington – High Street, 96 – 98
- Holborn – Lincoln's Inn Fields, 71
- Hampstead Heath – South End Road, 53
- Dulwich Village – Dulwich Village, 29
If you're one of those remote workers who needs some well-prepared solid food to keep you energized, drop by Caravan in King's Cross. Housed in a renovated granary warehouse, this coffee house and restaurant is all industrial chic with long bench tables where you can work to your heart's content if you're waiting to catch a train.
They don't serve all-day breakfast, but there's a great lunch and dinner menu as well as brunch at weekends. Think tempting dishes like pork and chive pot stickers and lamb meatballs, as well as a large variety of vegetarian plates and, of course, good, strong coffee they roast themselves.
Granary Square, 1
So now you know that no matter which part of the British capital you find yourself in, be it central London, north London, west London, or east London, there's a coffee shop where you can sit and work without interruption. In London, there's no such thing as an average coffee shop; they're all great, and many are more than happy to welcome remote workers.