best coffee south london

The Best Coffee Shops In South London

By Marcela Ferreira + Holly-May Cheeseman

When it comes to coffee spots, we all have our favourites.

But with so many new places opening in my area, I thought I would challenge myself to find the 10 best coffee shops in South London.

After some research and a lot of coffee (!) I thought I had my chosen 10 until I decided to reach out to some trusted social media friends and ask what their favourites were.

The response I got was unprecedented – people take their coffee very seriously – and I quickly realised that I would have to start all over again.

I can’t vouch for the rest of London, but the South has a lot of excellent coffee spots.  Fully trained baristas, locally sourced produce, hand roasted coffee and great service are just part of what they have on offer.

Throw in personal blends, individual décor, ethically sourced beans and socially responsible roasting and you find yourself in a sea of coffee houses abundant with choice, taste and personality.

The biggest thing I have learned during my research is that I can categorically say there are a lot more than just ten great places to have coffee in South London!

But for the purpose of this article, I included the ones that myself and other locals have been most loyal to, as well as trying to cover as much of the area as I could.

There is no doubt I will have missed a few gems (South London is a big place after all), and I expect there will be some people unhappy that I failed to mention an obvious spot.

So, I’d like to invite other locals to add to my list and let us know of the new (and old) places we should try next.

Before you look to see who made the cut, you should know that all the places listed already sell excellent coffee, so I have tried to highlight the extra things they have up their sleeve.

best coffee shops South London

The best coffee shops in South London:

Arlo & Moe, Brockley

A favourite amongst families and well equipped when it comes to high chairs, baby changing facilities, kids’ books and colouring pens. Its quirky décor (check out their salt and pepper pots) add to the relaxed atmosphere.

Delicious cakes and a three-time ‘Time Out Love London’ winner.

The Archie Parker, Forest Hill

A big hit amongst locals, The Archie Parker kept coming up again and again during my research. It’s beautifully furnished and has a seriously delicious menu with ingredients locally sourced.

You can also hire it as a party venue once it closes at 4 pm.  The place has been nominated ‘Best Coffee in Lewisham’ by local foodie LewishamLicks.

Café Prov, Herne Hill

A little on the eccentric side, but family friendly and award winning never the less. Most SE Londoners will either have been there or know of it.

It’s always busy, and next door to the lovely Brockwell Park. Win-win.

Mouse Tail Coffee Stories, Deptford

“In barista language mouse tail refers to the ideal shape of the stream of espresso.” Get ready to geek out on coffee here!

I also love their mission statement “to change the perception of really good coffee for at least one person a day.” We particularly like their gorgeous Deptford Railway station branch.

Monmouth Coffee, Bermondsey + Borough

Roasting and retailing coffee since 1978, Monmouth knows a thing or two about coffee.  If you haven’t got time to brave the queues, you can buy their coffee online.

monmouth coffee park street

Their website is excellent and full of information about their coffee, process and where it comes from.

Cafe Norris & Knight, East Dulwich

Delicious breakfasts and smoothies have made Norris & Knight stand out.  They also have a lovely outside space with real chickens at the back – a big hit with the children!

Dalhousie, Crystal Palace

This one was new to me, but it didn’t disappoint. Delicious cakes, coffee and a lovely place to relax in; take the paper on a Sunday morning for some quiet time.

Kids will love their afternoon tea.

Otter, West Norwood

Great food, inhouse made cakes, and fab ice cream sundaes. Also has a handy gift shop.

Old Spike Roastery, Peckham

It might be small, but it is perfectly formed.  Aside from its delicious coffee, the Old Spike Roastery is also a social enterprise providing training, job and housing support for people experiencing homelessness in the UK.

Young, hip and perfect for the freelancers in the area.  Make sure you try their café Spike & Earl for a modern brunch or cocktails (after 5pm) in Camberwell.

Scootercaffe, Lower Marsh

Quirky Italian-style coffee shop that was formerly a repair shop for motorcycles. Retro scooters, Vespas and 1950s memorabilia feature on-site.

Scootercaffe roast their own coffee beans and every brew is made in their vintage Faema espresso machine.

Chapter 72, Bermondsey

A grown-up coffee shop, where you can pop in for a coffee … or a cocktail. Their menu has a range of coffee-infused cocktails, with concoctions such as coffee and cucumber.

You can even book an espresso martini masterclass, a perfect treat for a coffee/cocktail lover.

Federation Coffee, Brixton

Cosy café situated in Brixton Village Market. Bespoke blended espressos and other coffee options change with the seasons, so you always have something new to try.

The food menu has plenty of delicious pastries, sandwiches and snacks that are freshly made by local bakeries.

Four Corners Café, Waterloo

Artisanal drinks and tasty lunches served in a setting with a wanderlust vibe, full of travel photos and memorabilia. 

The Rookery Café, Streatham

Another coffee shop with its own roastery. Their menu is extensive, with beverages like golden turmeric lattes to craft beers.

It’s the perfect place to go to for brunch with friends, or stop for a drink and a bite to eat after a walk on Streatham Common.

South Side Café, Clapham

Delicious range of speciality coffees and a gluten-free and vegan-friendly menu.

FCB Coffee (Blackfriars, Denmark Hill)

Great spot to grab a flat white and lunch on-the-go, serving rich house-blended coffee from their East London roastery.

The Watch House (Tower Bridge + Bermondsey)

Quality breakfast and lunch menu served in unique historic spaces. Excellent range of coffee sourced from three continents.

Lumberjack Café

A trendy spot in the heart of Camberwell that’s perfect for brunch. Profits generated help to support local and small businesses.

Other places worthy of an honourable mention:

Grounds and Grapes – wonderful coffee, doughnuts and a beautiful exterior.

Good Food Catford – wonderful coffee from an organic grocery store and fine foods deli.

The Broca – susatinable, local, organic and the staff are super friendly.

Plumstead Pantry – award-winning with a lovely view.

My Jamii Café, Honor Oak – non-for-profit social enterprise helping young people with training, work placements and wider opportunities.

Kanella & Co, East Dulwich – a coffee house and deli with delicious authentic Greek treats.  Modern, light, bright and family friendly.

Perks and White – great coffee just before you get on the train. What’s not to like? (Herne Hill and Tulse Hill station)

Anderson & Co, Peckham – delicious menu plus you can hire it for your own private party, there is also a real cool space at the back.

Blue Brick Café, East Dulwich – You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this place. Us meat-eaters, love it too.

Gail’s Bakery – amazing pastries, cakes and breads. A real treat.

The Lido Café, Herne Hill – Gorgeous view. You can go for a swim or a walk in the park afterwards.

Boulangerie Jade, East Dulwich – solid service, good food. Great for kids and flexible working.

best coffee south london

St David Coffee House (by Forest Hill Station) – delicious coffee and they sell craft beer and wine throughout the day.

Luca’s Bakery, East Dulwich – spacious, with plenty of room for buggies – popular with young families in the area.

On the Hoof Bistro, Sydenham – lots of space, with great cakes and an easy atmosphere. It’s also fully licensed if you fancy something stronger.

Have we missed anywhere amazing? Who do you think serves the best coffee in South London?

  1. Julia Jones
    3rd January 2020

    Hey we are another new cafe in Plumstead se181pp LAKEDALE COFFEE, we are child and animal friendly with a massive garden! Come and visit us to add to your list of good cafes.
    Thank you and Welcome!

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