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There’s more to a good coffee than hot water and milk. These 15 exemplary coffee houses do it just right, often roasting their own beans and creating their own blends on the premises. Let us know if we’ve left anywhere out - get in touch on Facebook and Twitter with your own suggestions!

1. Ziferblat London

There’s nothing like a coffee house that asks you to ring a buzzer before you get in! On trendy Old Street, Ziferblat’s is like a delicious combination of secret society and Victorian social club. It’s also a shared creative space - a ‘treehouse for grown-ups’ where like-minded folk can connect with people who care about the important stuff. Come for the atmosphere, stay for the coffee.

2. Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium

In the middle of one of the world’s busiest cities, it can be hard to find a space to relax. Not anymore! Lady Dinah’s is the ultimate answer to office stress: a shabby-chic teahouse in which lipsmackingly good sweet treats are complemented by 12 resident cats. For a small cover charge, you get 90 minutes in the company of feline friends. Purrrfect.

3. Flat White

London’s cafe scene originates in Soho, and Flat White is one of the first artisan coffee houses in the city. Try the drink for which the cafe is named - Flat White is an Aussie/NZ brew, a strong espresso with thick steamed milk. It’ll knock your socks off, bro!

4. Milkbar

Hectic city vibe getting too much for you? Repair to Milkbar, where the laid-back Antipodean atmosphere, chilled music and art are just what the doctor ordered! A bohemian cousin to Flat White, Milkbar also serves scrumptious brekkies and lunches, plus killer sweet treats for your smoko. Beaut.

5. New London Cafe

Vintage retro, cracking coffee, organic awesomeness on an ever-changing menu: what more could you want from a North London watering hole? Ah yes, a garden. The New London Cafe in Highbury & Islington has one of those too. Think tasselled lampshades, flock wallpaper, and a place in the sun.

6. The Proud Archivist

Modern history is made at The Proud Archivist, which combines the ethos of London’s Jacobean and Georgian coffee houses with the sensibilities of an art gallery. Situated on the Regent’s Canal, one of the most beautiful spots in the city, The Proud Archivist has it all: great food, outstanding drinks, and rolling exhibitions and events.

7. Prufrock

Jazzy artwork, proper milk and an artisan menu make Prufrock Clerkenwell’s most endearing cafe space. It’s also massive. Creative, friendly baristas serve up a fiendish selection of perfect drinks to patrons enjoying time and space over two floors. If the inspirational atmosphere proves to be your cup of Joe, you can even enrol in accredited coffee diploma courses here.

8. Look Mum No Hands

London’s best-named coffee shop has outposts in Old Street and outside the Southbank Centre. Pop along to the pop-up under Hungerford Bridge, or take your bike to the combination bicycle workshop and cafe in Old Street. Trained mechanics are waiting to fix your flat or give your machine a complete service, while you chow down on pies, sarnies and scotch eggs. Hey, a cyclist needs energy!

9. Haberdashery

The Haberdashery’s two locations at Stoke Newington and Crouch End have been winning all sorts of awards. Time Out gave the brand a big thumbs-up for its breakfast menus, while Grazia reckons it’s the best coffee shop in London. We love the combination of vintage eclecticism and incredible hot drinks. The mismatched tea sets are pretty ace, too.

10. Climpson & Sons

London’s coffee revolution is reputed to have begun in many places: Climpson & Sons is one of them. As it opened its doors in 2002, it might even be the first venue to craft artisan coffee on the spot. You’ll find Climpson & Sons in Hackney’s Broadway Market, and once you’ve sampled one of its signature blends, you won’t want to leave.

11. Arlo & Moe

Arlo & Moe inspires fierce loyalty from its customers - for its homely atmosphere, its occasional bingo nights and, of course, its coffee. In Crofton Park, between Catford and Dulwich, it’s a family friendly venue themed on a big slice of 50s Americana. Try the ‘sexy toast’, and be nice to the kids!

12. The Fields Beneath

Fancy creating your own coffee brews? After a delectable lunch at The Fields Beneath, you can grab everything you need to start some coffee magic in your own home. The Fields Beneath specialises in great cake, great coffee (obvs), and selling beans, grinders and brew kits. It’s also a lovely local gig space, right next to Kentish Town West overground station.

13. Alchemy Cafe

The Alchemy Cafe is the showcase coffee house for the blends roasted and created in London by Alchemy Coffee. As you’d expect from a place run by coffee-mad experimenters and bean scientists, the drinks are first rate. The cake isn’t bad either. Beans are bought in directly from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ethiopia and Columbia, and the list is expanding all the time.

14. Attendant

Of London’s many architectural features, one of the best-loved (and most overlooked) is the Victorian toilet! The Attendant is an inspired use of just such a space. Its W1 location makes it a must for city workers, busy shoppers - anyone whose day takes them to Piccadilly, Great Portland Street and Oxford Street. You have to see the restored urinal seating.

15. Amalfi Caffe

A taste of Italy just a stone throws away from Walpole Park. Expect amazing food served by super-friendly staff in a cosy environment. The Amalfi Caffé quite rightly has a reputation for authentic Italian pasta and fresh salads as well as a mouth-watering selection of ice creams that will transport you to the Mediterranean in no time!

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Looking for more recommendations for incredible eats and drinks around the UK? Take a look at our destination guides.

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