Best Coffee Shops in London

Exam season is upon us, which means most of us are taking a break from Richmond Row and hitting the books.

As great as campus libraries are for studying, when exam time comes, it’s basically The Hunger Games with students fighting to the death for a free spot. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve walked up and down all six floors of Weldon only to emerge unsuccessful, unable to find even one free seat in the whole building.

Sometimes it’s nice to change things up and explore study options beyond the confines of campus. Coffee shops are great study spots, especially for foodies because we can eat great local food and study at the same time – all while staying heavily caffeinated.

I’ve had several mental breakdowns in libraries, but I’ve never had one at a coffee shop. Coincidence? I think not.

In the spirit of exam season, here are some London coffee shops/study spots you need to try:

Commonwealth Coffee Co.

Located in the heart of downtown on Richmond, Commonwealth is an aesthetically pleasing coffee shop with tons of study space to accommodate both solo and group work. They brew Canadian coffee and have a delicious food menu of sandwiches, toasts, bagels or pastries.

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One of the many study tables at Commonwealth Coffee Co. Source: Savannah Hamelin
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Sara got the hot chocolate and a bagel with cream cheese, while I opted for a cappuccino and avocado toast (clearly I couldn’t wait to dive in). Source: Savannah Hamelin

Backroads Coffeehouse & Cakery

A quaint coffee shop with a relaxing atmosphere, located in the Old East Village. The crisp white space is beautifully contrasted with wood accents and greenery all over the shop. They have a great coffee list and an even better vegan-friendly food menu. Admittedly, not the best place for group work, but it’s great if you’re studying solo or with a friend.


Origins Co.

While they brew amazing local coffee from O-Joe in Mount Brydges, their real specialties are the smoothies and smoothie bowls. Origins is one of the few places in London that serve smoothie bowls (if you know of others, leave a comment). They have long tables, which are perfect for studying with a group of friends and it’s usually not too busy. In the warmer months, you can sit outside and soak up the sun on their patio. They serve baked goods and have a fridge with quick on-the-go lunch items. Their menu is mostly, if not entirely, vegan.


Plant Matter Café

I’ve mentioned Plant Matter on this blog too many times to count, but for good reason. Plant Matter Café is a vegan coffee shop, centrally located downtown on Richmond. Since it’s vegan, you don’t have to pay extra for non-dairy milk. Not only do they have coffee, but they also make fresh smoothies and juices and have a wonderful food menu with breakfast dishes, salads, wraps and even vegan pizza. Stay up to date with them on social media because they often serve special features.


Some places I haven’t been, but I hear are great:

Fire Roasted Coffee Co.
Odds are you’ve drank their coffee on campus, but they have physical shops all over London.

London Bicycle Café
You can kill two birds with one stone here (don’t come for me PETA) – grab a coffee and pick up an accessory for your bike at the same time.

The Black Walnut
Studying isn’t so bad when there’s homemade pastries and baked goods involved. They also roast their coffee in-store.

Locomotive Espresso
BlogTO named Locomotive one of the top 10 coffee shops to visit in Southern Ontario.

They brew Trebilcock Coffee from Pickering, Ontario (shout out to my fellow Durham Region people). They also serve craft beer and wine if you’re looking to spice up your studying.

What are your favourite study spots? Let me know if I missed any in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Best Coffee Shops in London

  1. Amazing post! Most Londoners settle for Starbucks and Williams, so I’m happy you highlighted some under-appreciated spots across the city. I personally like the cafe at Innovation Works because it is a good place to study and also a great place to catch up with a friend

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely love Starbucks, but for the same price, I could support local businesses instead! I’ve only been to Innovation Works once and the café looked really good, I’ll have to stop by one day– thank you for the recommendation!


  2. Locomotive is straight up my favourite place in the entire city. They import some amazing brews that I’ve never been able to experience anywhere else, even in trendy San Fran shops. A really, really cool spot I strongly recommend you checking out!

    Liked by 1 person

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