If you’ve been following The London Rack, you probably know that the hunt for cafes in London is one of my favorite activities. Yet, since I live between London and Rome, it’s important to me that I get coffee from one of the best Italian cafes in London. After all, an almost creamy espresso that glides on the tongue is one of the best things that could happen to you before heading to work on a rainy day. I’ve listed the best coffee shops in London to work and study a while back. Now, I’m expecting to enlarge my list of the best cafes in London by area and type of coffee, and we’re starting with the best proper Italian coffeeshops in London.
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6 Best London Coffee Shops: Italian Edition
There are many more coffee shops in London than you could imagine. Everywhere you turn your head, you’re bound to find a Caffè Nero, a Starbucks, a Costa, or an Illy coffee shop. Yet, what I want to talk about today is specific. I want you to learn all about my favorite Italian cafes in Central London. Those are mostly cute coffee shops, and they boast an old-school or luxurious vibe – even when the price is more affordable than coffee shop chains like Pret or Caffè Nero.
Are we ready to discover the best London coffee, Italian edition? I promise you this – you’ll never go back to watery espresso, ever again. If you want to know more about the amazing Italian culture and cuisine, stick around!
1. Best Italian Coffee Shops in London: Caffè Vergnano Holborn
Back when I used to live around Bethnal Green and Mile End, I’d often walk all the way to Tottenham Court Road, up to Marble Arch. I’ve always had this thing with walking, and stopping along the way in one of the cool Italian coffee shops in London is a treat when you do that often.
Caffè Vergnano, on High Holborn, is an Italian cafe that probably serves the best coffee in London. Otherwise, would The Times have dubbed it “the best espresso in London”? I think not. I love the whole vibe that this Central London coffee shop boasts. It makes you feel at ease as soon as you pass the threshold.
In addition, Caffè Vergnano has been a supplier of coffee to the Italian embassy for years. Never underestimate what three generations of coffee enthusiasts can do, right? The family-run business is about coffee with taste – not latte-blended or water-diluted liquids that end up not being coffee.
Caffè Vergnano is one of the Italian coffee shops in London that has several locations, including Southbank, Charing Cross Road, and New Street Square. If you’d like to get a small treat along with your ristretto coffee in this figure among London cafes, just treat yourself. YOLO (just a way of saying).
Caffè Vergnano Italian Coffee Shop Address: Staple Inn, 337-338 High Holborn, London WC1V 7PX
2. Best Italian Cafes in Central London: Bar Italia Soho
Bar Italia is not only the best coffee shop in Soho – it’s one of the best coffee shops in London altogether. Lucky for me, I happen to spend a lot of time in Soho. And Bar Italia is open late. Like late late, so if you’ve had dinner with a friend at Rasa Sayang or the incredible Beijing Dumpling in Chinatown, you just need to cross Shaftesbury Avenue and you’ll be in Soho in minutes on foot.
Bar Italia is assembled and managed exactly like Italian coffee shops in Italy. It’s crazy – everything from the countertops to the tables looks old school. On the walls, you’ll find newspaper clips about Italian news, and the most incredible tiramisu in London. No, the most incredible tiramisu in the world. If you don’t get an espresso and the tiramisu, once again, you’ll have missed out. The 1949-established cafe is an institution in London, and you can definitely taste the tangy strength of the espresso there.
Bar Italia London Coffee Shop Address: 22 Frith Street, London W1D 4RP
3. Best Coffee in London: Prima Sapori d’Italia
Prima Sapori d’Italia is actually not a London coffee shop, but it does have the best London coffee on its menu. If you’re into Italian cuisine, I’ve written a full guide about the best Italian restaurants in London. I have not, on the other hand, included Prima Sapori d’Italia, and I’m happy to be presenting it to you in this list of the best Italian London coffee shops.
Located just off Covent Garden Market, Prima Sapori d’Italia is the perfect destination after a walk down Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus. Or after an afternoon of shopping at vintage shops in Covent Garden.
If you want to get some real, strong, and flavorful espresso, definitely go to this Italian restaurant in Covent Garden. No one is forcing you to go for dinner, but you’ll be happy you’ve booked when you try the first bites of bruschetta, or pappardelle alla bolognese. Of course, if you don’t end it on a high note with a delish tiramisu along with your espresso, you’ll have missed out on something big.
Prima Sapori d’Italia London Coffee Address: 1-13, Jubilee Market Hall, Tavistock Street, London WC2E 8BE
4. Best Italian Coffee Shops in London: Quarantacinque Bethnal Green
In East London between Bethnal Green, Globe Town, and Mile End, you have this amazing Italian coffee shop. It’s unmissable. No joke, this is, as they describe it themselves, “the home of serious Italian coffee in the heart of the East End”. The coffee used by Quarantacinque is Caffè Molinari, and it’s declined in amazing caffè latte Italian style, espresso, and many other kinds of coffee you only really find in Italian coffee shops.
Okay, you will have to get off at Bethnal Green station, so it’s not exactly one of the best coffee shops in Central London. But, if you think of it, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Bethnal Green, and down Bethnal Green Road at Brick Lane and Shoreditch.
So really, if you start your day at 10 in the morning, you can have an amazing half-day – or even full day – in East London. There are some amazing halal restaurants in East London where everyone can eat, and you can admire all the street art in London after your cuppa.
Oh, and if you’ve ever been to Italy, you know the amazing croissants they eat for breakfast (cornetti). Those are filled with custard cream, pistachio cream, Nutella, and various jams all more delicious than the previous ones. Well, you can get those exact same croissants at Quarantacinque Bethnal Green. With excellent service on the side, that’s one of the best Italian coffeeshops in London.
Quarantacinque Italian Coffee Shop London Address: 45 Roman Road, London E2 0 HU
5. Best Italian Cafes in London: Caffè Napoli
Caffè Napoli on Goodge Street is a real gem in the heart of fancy Fitzrovia. The flavorful coffee is one of the best London coffee, strong enough to wake you up straight away for the day to come. What I love most about Italian coffee shops in London is the array of Italian pantry products they usually sell along with their coffee. Since Caffè Napoli is anchored so deeply in Southern Italian culture, it’s only fair that most products, including the jams, chocolates, mozzarella, and dried tomatoes would be from the Amalfi Coast.
If you’d like to visit famous London landmarks like the British Museum, you know where to get your cup of Neapolitan coffee before (or after). I highly suggest you order a proper Neapolitan pastry, the sfogliatella, to fill in your stomach a bit before your walk around London.
A delicious shortcrust pastry with jam, cream, ricotta cheese, or chocolate, it only leaves you one thing to think of: which flavor to get. In any case, don’t miss out on that famous espresso of theirs. It truly makes Caffè Napoli one of the best Italian cafes in London, and you’ll understand while you’re there sipping it.
Caffe Napoli Italian Coffee Shop London Address: 31B Goodge Street, London W1T 2PP
6. Best Italian Cafes in London: Caffè Tropea
Once again, Caffè Tropea is not a proper Italian cafe in London, but rather, it’s a full-on Italian restaurant in London. If you like Fitzrovia, Bloomsbury, and that kind of fancy area in West London, you’ll love Caffè Tropea. It’s been in activity since 1981, and it focuses on homemade, fresh recipes.
If you’re looking for an Italian London cafe, you can go to Caffè Tropea in the morning, while they serve their Full English breakfast and famous brunch. There are some vegetarian options if you don’t eat meat, too. You might know by now just how fond of tiramisu I am, and again, I have to urge you to try that of Caffè Tropea.
Cannoli and sfogliatelle are also available on their menu, the ultimate Italian must! Their Italian breakfast is interesting too, and it’s not that much different in budget than other surrounding cafes in Bloomsbury and Russell Square. So why not try this institution of Italian coffee shops in London?
Caffè Tropea London Italian Cafe Address: Russell Square, London WC1B 5EH
6 Proper Italian Coffee Shops in London
My work here is done. If you’ve been looking for the best Italian coffee shops in London, chances are you’ll love all six options presented on The London Rack today. I’ll always be crazy about cute coffee shops in London, and most of them have that Italian vibe of easygoing personalities and sunny service. They offer proper Italian coffee – the best coffee in London – and you can trust them with your eyes closed.
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