30 London coffee shops for freelancers

Here at MAF, we’re always on the look out for ways to help the freelance community – that’s why we set up The Life Hub, after all. Since the freelancers we work with have all told us how much they like to escape to a coffee shop with decent wifi, we thought we’d round up some of London’s very best.

The capital is full of wonderful little shops where you can get good coffee and wifi in abundance, as well as a plug socket or two. Here then, ordered only by region, are 30 London coffee shops for freelancers and contractors to call their own.

For the purposes of this article, we’ve very roughly split London into North, South, East and West. Most of these London coffee shops are still reasonably central, but in special circumstances we’ve reached out a little further. To scroll to the area of your choice, click below, or click above for our Laptops and Lattes video – we’ve been chatting to the baristas at some of our favourites.

Coffee shops in Central London

The Attendant

Arguably the most distinctive coffee shop in the capital, The Attendant is housed in a Victorian public toilet. Descending beneath Foley Street, you’ll find a talented barista, surprisingly strong wifi (isn’t technology a wonderful thing?) and the original, ornate urinals, all converted into little booths. If you’re finding space a little tight, head to the right of the room where there’s a table for slightly larger meetings. Be warned, you might find all the cubicles occupied if you turn up around lunchtime.
Cost of a flat white: £2.80
Address: 27A Foley St, W1W 6DY
Website: www.the-attendant.com


Arguably the most ‘hipster’ place in the West End, Timberyard is situated just off Seven Dials but feels like it just stumbled in from Shoreditch (there’s also one on Old Street, just for good measure). Great cakes, superb coffee and a kind of home-from-home for London’s wandering freelancers. Don’t be put off by the crowds you’ll see through the window – there’s more room downstairs, and even a private meeting area if you’re willing to pay extra.
Address: 7 Upper Street, St Martin’s Lane, WC2H 9DL
Website: tyuk.com  


The coffee’s excellent, the wifi’s strong and there’s a cozy basement area that is ideal for meetings. And if that’s not enough, it’s slap bang in the centre of Soho. It specialises in flatbreads and pizzas, too, so you won’t go hungry. Flatplanet is run by a man called Roger, ‘who has a lovely spirit and a very nice bag.’ What more could you want?
Cost of a flat white: £2.20
Address: 39 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7JG
Website: flatplanet.co.uk


If you’re not drawn in by the smell of freshly ground coffee beans, the piles of cakes and pastries in the window will snag you. Once you’ve placed your order, find a table in the widening room towards the back, where you’ll be sharing space with a heartening mix of media types and opera lovers (the ENO is just next door). One of our favourites, and part of a small chain that stretches out to Canary Wharf, Kings Cross and Moorgate.
Cost of a flat white: £2.80
Address: 31 St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4ER
Website: notes-uk.co.uk


It’s not a big place, but that only serves to inflate the sense of exclusivity. Kaffeine is a sleek little shop, part hipster (lots of open brick work), part designer chic (there’s a sense of minimalism here that must suit the surrounding businesses, this being design agency land). The coffee is prepared with an almost obsessive zeal, and the cakes… oh, the cakes! We had an autumnal apple and cinnamon muffin that was worth the trek alone. We like this place!
Cost of a flat white: £2.80
Address: 66 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7QJ
Website: kaffeine.co.uk


You’d be forgiven for thinking that a coffee-shop-cum-beard-trimming emporium would be more at home in East London, but here they are doing a roaring trade in the middle of Soho. Sharps is run by two very worldly design-minded gentlemen, Rob Dunne and Victor Frankowski, who have littered their coffee shop-cum-barbers with beautifully designed coffee trinkets. Laptops are welcome, the coffee is very fine, and their pursuit of hirsute perfection is to be much admired. Ideal for the busy freelancer – work, coffee and a trim, all in one sitting.
Address: 9 Windmill St, W1T 2JF
Website: Sharps Coffee Bar

Also on The Life Hub… 

Coffee shops in East London

HER (Haggerston Espresso Room)

Not a fancy spot – HER is more about simplicity, and its around similarly meagre motives that it has made its name. The owner likes to encourage local artists, so the walls are suitably adorned – creativity is on a par with simplicity – and guest blends are the order of the day. An inspiring atmosphere makes this an ideal place to stop off for a few hours of coffee and email catchup.
Cost of a flat white: £2.60
Address: 13 Downham Rd, Hackney N1 5AA
Website: www.herhaggerston.com

Prufrock Coffee

On the border between East and Central, this is a grown-up coffee venue, headed up by a world champion barista. Many believe it serves up the best Joe in London, although you needn’t feel intimidated by the seriousness of its offering. Specialty coffees are in abundance, including favourites, Cold Brew, and they even do barista courses should you feel the need to up your own grinding game. All in all, it’s a really friendly place with amazing coffee, superb sarnies and free wifi – something of a freelancer’s paradise.
Cost of a flat white: £2.80
Address: 23-25 Leather Lane, EC1N 7TE
Website: www.prufrockcoffee.com 

Shoreditch Grind

An article on London coffee shops for freelancers wouldn’t be complete without The Grind (officially the first UK shop to use Apple Pay). The Grind House Blend was developed especially for the café, and is roasted daily as an essential part of many an East Londoner’s morning commute. With the usual ‘anything goes’ aspect, common to so much of Shoreditch life, the iconic building has previously seen life as a mobile phone shop, while the upstairs houses a state of the art recording studio. Ideal for freelancers looking for an artsy holdup close to the action.
Cost of a flat white: £2.80
Address: 213 Old Street, EC1V 9NR
Website: www.shoreditchgrind.com

The Proud Archivist

A two-floored, open-spaced restaurant on the Regents Canal, The Proud Activist is well-known for promoting co-working, so the freelance, Macbook-tribe flock there on a daily basis. As you might expect, it’s a creative, inspiring space – plenty of wooden surfaces, and the occasional art exhibition sprucing up the walls. There are tables outside, so it’s a perfect spot for a sunny day – and you can stay there all day, too, as the food is every bit as good as the coffee.
Cost of a flat white: £2.80
Address: 2-10 Hertford Road, N1 5ET
Website: www.theproudarchivist.com

The Hoxton Hotel

A well-known spot in a popular area, the Hoxton Hotel is a great place for a meeting if you don’t have access to a private members club and want an upgrade on a coffee shop. In a suitably upmarket setting, you get all the necessary basics – free wifi, great coffee, well-positioned plug sockets, and even a decent smoothy for when you’re feeling a bit over-caffeinated and fancy a healthy change.
Cost of a flat white: £3.00
Address: 81 Great Eastern St, EC2A 3HU
Website: www.thehoxton.com

Look Mum No Hands

Half shrine to cycling, half coffee shop, Look Mum No Hands employs full-time mechanics to repair your bike while you enjoy a legal stimulant. For those days when you’re keen to combine caffeine, freelancing and bicycle riding, like some kind of multitasking, super-powered, Iron Man freelancing god. If you’re not into cycling, don’t worry – anyone’s welcome. They host plenty of other events – knitting seems popular! – so rocking up with your laptop, you’ll never feel out of place.
Cost of a flat white: £2.60
Address: 49 Old St, EC1V 9HX

Ozone Coffee Roasters

Possibly one of the busiest coffee shops in East London, Ozone – situated just behind Old Street roundabout – is a great spot for freelancer meetings. The espresso is a wonderful, fruity sensation, and the food choice is also excellent, so it’s a useful option for a working lunch. There’s nearly always a queue, but don’t be put off by that – there’s more space downstairs, where the decor becomes more interesting. In fact, if you’re there to work, the sense of being in some kind of working coffee museum might even prove distracting.
Cost of a flat white: £2.90
Address: 11 Leonard St, EC2A 4AQ
Website: ozonecoffee.co.uk

Also on The Life Hub

Coffee shops in West London

Coffee Plant

Connoisseurs in Fairtrade and organic coffees, this is the place to come for a decent cup when you’re around the Portobello Road area. In fact, Notting Hill wouldn’t feel the same without it. It has been here for yonks, attracting the kind of people who would rather support their local bean specialists than the multinational corporates. And if you’re interested in knowing more about how things are in the world of Portobello Road and independent coffee shops, their blog certainly makes for an interesting read.
Address: 180 Portobello Rd, W11 2EB
Website: www.coffee.uk.com


The looming presence of kangaroo steak on the menu ought to give you a clue as to the origins of this West London eatery. Billing themselves as a ‘coffee house and Australian kitchen’, food is as important to the clientele as the coffee (they use Caravan, in case you’re keen on knowing blends), although neither take a back seat to the other. Situated just a short walk from Parsons Green station, it’s a top spot if you’re in the area for a business breakfast.
Cost of a flat white: £2.50
Address: 277 New King’s Rd, Fulham, SW6 4RD
Website: barossafulham.com

Hummingbird Cafe

A friendly, village-esque cafe that has been an important part of Shepherd’s Bush life for some time. Known particularly for their special way with banana bread and carrot cake, their menu is generally excellent (they’ve a brunch that’ll star in fond memories to come). But, as a freelancer, it’s not all about the food, is it? London coffee shops for freelancers need to be welcoming and patient, and we’re glad to say that that’s the Hummingbird all over (but if you really can’t stop with the eating, you should know that they own a deli, too.)
Cost of a flat white: £2.40
Address: 1C Oaklands Grove, W12 0JD
Website: www.hummingbirdcafe.co.uk

Grind Coffee Bar

Grind is on a mission. Not satisfied with being one of the best coffee shops in London, they’re determined to make ‘consistently great coffee accessible to the whole nation’. How are they doing that? By wholesaling packs of home-roasted coffee, training baristas, and even renting out coffee-related machinery. If you come here as a laptop-wielding freelancer, you may find that you’ve had a career rethink before you leave. Naturally, the coffee is as wonderful as you’d expect, given this kind of expertise (there are reviews out there that have said this is the best cup of coffee in London), but the breakfasts are something else, too. Top notch!
Cost of a flat white: £2.30
Address: 79 Lower Richmond Rd, SW15 1ET
Website: www.grindcoffeelondon.com

Lowry and Baker


If the sun’s out, you can take your laptop and latte out onto the street and pretend you’re freelancing in Paris. In fact, you’re right here on Portobello Road, taking in the atmosphere and (if you know what’s good for you) getting stuck into a ham and egg muffin. The coffee is always up to scratch, and in an area where good coffee shops are surprisingly few and far between, these beans have really put themselves on the map.
Address: 339 Portobello Rd, W10 5SA
Website: lowryandbaker.com

Also on The Life Hub

Coffee shops in South London

The Doodle Bar

The best thing about the Doodle Bar is the sense that you’re entering some kind of secret hideaway. If you’re looking for somewhere to have a get together – as either a one-to-one or as a bit of a gathering – then, during the day, the place almost feels like your own. As part of the larger Test Bed complex, you’re able to take your coffee and wander off for a spot of ping pong, a seat near the open air pizza ovens and street kitchen, or a riverside view, and there’s often an event on, just in case you didn’t have enough to distract you already. Is this the best London coffee shop for freelancers? Possibly, but you’d do well to explore it when you’re in the mood for fun and fames. Our tip to you, freelance here on a Friday afternoon and watch the week slowly melt away.
Cost of a flat white: £2.20
Address: 33 Parkgate Road, SW11 4NP
Website: www.thedoodlebar.com

Four Corners

The winner of the Coffee Stop UK Awards makes this, according to many thousands of voters, the best coffee shop in the UK. But is it right for freelancers? With its great location (just behind Waterloo Station), its welcoming staff and a commendation from Chris Ward (author of the freelancing bible, Out of Office: Work where you like and achieve more), the answer is a resounding ‘yes’! Notably, they put as much effort into their teas as the do their coffees, which goes a long way in this green and pleasant land, and we could spend hours browsing their website (for which we ought to deduct points – as freelancers, we don’t need the distraction). If you’re in Lower Marsh and you know what’s good for you, Four Corners ought to be the start of your day.
Cost of a flat white: £2.50
Address: 12 Lower Marsh, SE1 7RJ
Website: four-corners-cafe.com

The Riverfront

Tucked under the Waterloo Bridge, the Riverfront at the BFI is a much-loved fixture on the Southbank scene. The bar area features long, rustic benches at which you’ll often find rows of freelance-looking characters, all tapping away into well-used laptops. The wifi is strong, the coffee is dependable and the music choice is… interesting. If you grew up in the 1980s, beware the aural distractions – they tend to play the same tapes your dad had in his car way back when, with Brothers in Arms and Graceland monopolising the airwaves.
Cost of a latte: £2.80
Address: Southbank, SE1 8XT
Website: whatson.bfi.org.uk


A relative newcomer, Tempo isn’t easily spotted at first glance. The oddly corporate blue sign makes it look a bit like a temping agency, while the storefront has expensive-looking bicycles on display – quite what you’ll get inside is anyone’s guess. But pop your head around the door and you’ll find a warm welcome, free wifi, decent coffee and an excellent vegetable quiche. Mainly aimed at the cycling hoards that throng down the Borough High Street, Tempo is perfect for anyone in need of a puncture repair kit, an internet connection and a caffeine fix, all in one sitting.
Cost of a flat white: £2.50
Address: 282-302 Borough High Street, SE1 1JD
Website: tempo.cc

Electric Elephant

A bright spot in an area not brimming with good coffee shops. Inside it’s a ’50s-style greasy spoon – all formica tables, all-day fried breakfasts, home-made cakes and preserves. If that doesn’t sound too freelancer friendly, the main draw (when the weather is good) is the large Victorian workshop area (Iliffe Yard) with trestle tables and free wifi. Friendly staff and good coffee make it a natural place to head for, once you know it exists (and you do now).
Cost of a flat white: £2.50
Address: 186A Crampton St, SE17 3AE
Website: www.electricelephantcafe.co.uk

Cable Cafe

Completely free wifi is the pull here – they don’t even ask for passwords – so it’s thronged with lap-top toting freelancers. The ’40s-style decor is complemented by music hall tunes, a piano, wartime prints on the walls and old-school snacks like Tunnocks teacakes and caramel wafers. The cafe roasts their own coffee and is also licensed, should you need something a tad stronger. It hosts jazz and funk nights on Tuesdays… so you might as well move in.
Address: 8 Brixton Rd, SW9 6BU
Website: Facebook page


Let’s face it, Fuckoffee was always going to get noticed with a name like that, and complaints eventually forced the owner’s hand (only slightly – it is F*ckoffee these days). But with a decent coffee and an excellent hot chocolate on the inside, Fuckoffee – part of the Brick Lane Coffee empire – is much more than a shocking moniker. Elsewhere, the shop has been described as a ‘Shoreditch coffee shop outside Shoreditch’, and it’s true that the creative vibe is strong in this one. All the better for the itinerant freelancer, then. Get your laptop out. You won’t feel out of place.
Cost of a flat white: £2.40
Address: 167 Bermondsey St, SE1 3UW
Website: www.bricklanecoffee.com

Coffee shops in North London

EZ & Moss

Vegetarian-friendly, vegan-friendly (they’re the inventors of the vegan doner kebab!), dog-friendly… EZ & Moss are just damned friendly to all and sundry – and that obviously includes freelancers. The cafe has a great community vibe, tending to stock the work of local artists, and is a regular haunt for the local self-employed looking for a warm place to catch up on their laptop labour. Pull up a pew while you can.
Cost of a flat white: £2.40
Address: 183 Holloway Rd, N7 8LX
Website: EZ & Moss Twitter page

Cafe Vintage

If you like your coffee shops to have a nostalgic twist, then Cafe Vintage is likely to tick many of your boxes. The jazz-loving owners keep the aural atmosphere suitably subdued, while the attached retro clothing boutique swings you even further back into the past. Just walking past the cafe will have you pining for your grandmother’s apron, the smell of freshly baked pastries luring people into what, for some, may be North London’s best little comfort zone. All of which may have you wondering if they’re modern enough to know about the internet. Not to worry, you can use their wifi, and it’s likely you won’t be the only one doing so.
Cost of a flat white: £2.50
Address: 88 Mountgrove Road, N5 2LT
Website: www.cafevintage.com

Vagabond N7

“Like the ripening red cherry on the mother Arabica tree, our journey into coffee is only at the start of our collective adventure. We live and breathe the spirit of the nomadic soul.” So says their website, and if that sounds a bit heavy, don’t fret – it’s the ‘nomadic soul’ part that makes Vagabond ideal for the itinerant freelancing community, and the large room in the back of the shop is as good a place as any to get your head down and get some work done. You’ll find a real welcome here, not to mention a mean espresso.
Cost of a flat white: £2.60
Address: 105 Holloway Rd, N7 8LT
Website: www.vagabond.london

Cafe Z Bar

‘‘One neither desires coffee nor a coffeehouse. One desires to talk with others, coffee is merely an excuse.’ Forgive us, Time Out, for stealing this lovely Turkish proverb from your review. It just sums up this coffee shop-cum-Turkish restaurant-cum-chat stop so perfectly, and it is in fact the reason we ventured there in the first place. The big distraction to any freelancer is going to be the food. No matter the time of day, there’s something sublime to chew on, and if you’re in the area for a meeting, you’re in the right place. Long and lazy meetings are what this fantastic little nook of North London was made for.
Address: 58 Stoke Newington High St, N16 7PB
Website: Facebook page

Caravan King’s Cross

As the King’s Cross development takes shape, you can be sure that the already popular Caravan will get even busier than it already is, so stake your claim while you can. You can book a table via their website, so you needn’t worry about queues, but it isn’t the kind of place that you can lounge around in, supping coffee and tapping away to your heart’s content. A good spot for meetings, and a great gathering point if you’re about to jump on the train for a meeting in Paris (which means you must be living some kind of freelance dream! Do tell us more…)
Cost of a flat white: £2.60
Address: 1, Granary Building, Granary Square, N1C 4AA

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