11 Of The Best Cafés In East London

East London’s best cafés can be found in Hackney, Hoxton, Bow and further afield. Here’s our pick of the area’s top coffee shops (pastries included)

the prowl for a great cup o’ joe? Head to east London, where
independent boltholes, brilliant bakeries and in-house coffee
roasters are serving up some of the capital’s best beans. Here’s
our favourites for a caffeine fix out east.

The 11 best east London cafés for a daily caffeine fix

Climpson and Sons Cafe, East London

Climpson & Sons


Roasting its coffee in London Fields, Climpson & Sons serves
up speedy service in its Broadway Market surrounds to fuel the
weekend crowds pacing east London’s buzziest neighbourhood. Ducking
in here is a morning rite of passage for Hackney residents, who
pick up strong espresso drinks to sip outside on the rough-cut
wooden benches attached to the old-school storefront. Take your
tote: the brand’s Midnight Oil range, which includes ready-to-pour
espresso martinis and a smooth, vanilla-infused coffee liqueur, is
an if-you-know-you-know addition to all east Londoners’ drinks


67 Broadway Mkt, E8 4PH

Ozone Coffee, London

Ozone Coffee


Coffee aficionados will leave this Leonard Street spot buzzing
(and not from a caffeine overload). Experts in the coffee game,
having worked the machines since 1998, these brewsters are some of
the OG Shoreditch coffee crowd. Their beans (which you can grab
bags of from their stores) supply London’s finest cafés. Various
coffee styles are on offer, from classic espressos to batch filters
and even syphon and AeroPress offerings. The denim-clad team also
serves breakfasts, lunches and all-day weekend brunches. Alongside
the Shoreditch original, Ozone also has outposts in London Fields,
Ludgate Hill and the City.


11 Leonard St, EC2A 4AQ

Cardamom Bun, Pophams, Victoria Park Village, London
Photo credit: Adrianna Giakoumis


Victoria Park Village

Pophams’ pastries walked, so Camberwell’s Toad Bakery could run. There, we
said it. Another independent brand that’s grown into a London-wide
operation, this cult café now has branches in Islington, London
Fields and, our favourite, Victoria Park Village. Alongside
larger-than-life bacon and maple pastries, moreish yoghurt bowls
and smooth brews, some branches offer ragù toasties and tomato
tartines on lunch menus. In the evening, the London Fields site
also plates up fresh pasta paired with natural wines. The
effortless interiors offer another feather to the brand’s bow, too:
Pophams devotees can shop for the clean-girl café aesthetic


110A Lauriston Rd, E9 7HA

Mae+Harvey, Bow, London

Mae + Harvey


In the fight for east London’s edgiest districts, Bow often gets
ignored – but the East End’s original heartlands hold their own.
Located on Roman Road, just a hop and a skip from Victoria Park,
Mae + Harvey is where to head for breakfast or a coffee before
exploring this lesser-visited corner of London. Take a seat in the
blonde-wood café to enjoy casual plates of scrambled eggs,
slow-roast tomatoes and in-house-cured salmon over toast, as well
as lunch dishes such as red lentil daal and chicken pie. At
weekends, the brunches take things up a notch: think, compot-doused
drop pancakes and picture-perfect breakfast bowls. Coffee comes
courtesy of Assembly, and there’s a mini larder of London-sourced
treats behind the counter, including Pump Street chocolate and
London Borough of Jam conserves. Note that laptop users aren’t


414-416 Roman Rd, E3 5LU

Third Culture Deli, Broadway Market, London

Third Culture Deli

Broadway Market

When does a café become a restaurant? In east London, the lines
frequently get blurred. So it is at Third Culture, a plant-based
deli spot on Broadway Market. The easiest way to describe this
Orangina-hued eatery is to use the café’s own window decals, which
read “vegan cheese, fermented foods, gourmet groceries and
speciality coffee”. It does what it says on the tin. Obviously,
it’s the coffee we’re interested in, specifically, the icy nitro
cold brew and hot pours of London-based Dark Arts beans. Take a
seat in the “groovy, baby” dining space (white tiled tables
included), sip a coffee and order a vegan Reuben sandwich, if you


29 Broadway Mkt, E8 4PH

Rastro, Bethnal Green, London


Bethnal Green

New kid on the block Rastro, in Bethnal Green, opened its
minimalist, pleasingly perfect coffee shop in April this year. Open
every day, the shop’s slick, simple offering is speciality coffee,
freshly baked goods and sandwiches inspired by the company’s
Madrileño roots. Food comes ready for Instagram, with jamón serrano
sandwiches tucked tightly into gift-like boxes and a smart showcase
of indie snack brands lined up along open shelving. If you’re a
follower of the Real Housewives of Clapton instagram account, you
(and your anxious sighthound) will feel right at home: the Torres
black truffle crisps associated with London’s hottest social
account are part of the shop’s £12 sandwich deal.


475 Bethnal Grn Rd, E2 9QH

Breakfast, Long White Cloud, London

Long White Cloud


Those en route to pick up bunches of eucalyptus and lilac blooms
from Columbia Road Market should stop by Long White Cloud for a
Sunday brunch. Located between Hoxton overground station and the
famous flower market, this cosy café pairs the familiarity of
London’s old-school caffs with the aesthetics of the city’s
speciality coffee scene. Brunch dishes are colourful, flavourful
and piled generously high: a full English starts from just £8, and
there are ample vegan options, too.


151 Hackney Rd, E2 8JL

Pavillion, Victoria Park

Pavilion Café and Bakery

Victoria Park

It’s not often we recommend a national chain on SUITCASE, but
then Pavillion is a bit of an anomaly. The success of this
independent east London coffee shop has seen it open branches
across the city’s edgiest areas, starting in Victoria Park, and
expanding into Broadway Market, Columbia Road, Leyton and
Spitalfields. Then, they opened a yellow-awning-covered spot down
in Newquay, Cornwall. At all, the promise is the same: excellent
bakery items and some darn good coffee. Make like London’s
Dickies-wearing crowd and head to any of the cafés to grab a flat
white and moreish cardamom bun, or stock up on pantry essentials
such as organic eggs, sourdough bread and city-made honey. The
Victoria Park site also serves salads, toasties and larger plates
of Sri Lankan-inspired food. The best seats in the house? The
tables on the lakeside terrace.


Victoria Park, Old Ford Rd, E9 7DE

Dusty Knuckle Bakery, London

The Dusty Knuckle Bakery


A social enterprise, bakery and café? It’s got east London
written all over it. Bread connoisseurs claim that The Dusty
Knuckle’s sourdough is some of the best in the capital, but it’s
the do-good mentality of the team behind this Dalston bakery that
makes it a shoo-in for our favourite east London cafés list. The
bakery hires young people facing significant barriers to employment
in its kitchens and cafés (there’s a second Dusty Knuckle in
Haringey). In Dalston, an airy, industrial dining space – with
ample seating inside and out – is open all day, serving buns,
coffees and thick sandwiches. It’s also got a wood-fired pizza oven
that the team fires up every Thursday to Saturday for evening
sourdough slices. Can’t get to the café? Keep an eye out for the
bakery’s roving milk float, which visits numerous locations
throughout London, delivering bakery favourites and pre-ordered
loaves. Oh, and you’ll notice plenty of other cafés in the capital
serve Dusty Knuckle baked goods, too – they’re just that good.


Abbot St Car Park, E8 3DP

Well Street Kitchen, London

Well Street Kitchen


Homely Well Street Kitchen plates up café classics: smashed
avocado, breakfast baps and pastries from The Dusty Knuckle.
Distinctly un-urban (in a “we’re not painting the walls off-white
and installing globe lighting” way), it’s the kind of café where
you can nurse a hangover, linger over a long Sunday breakfast, or
read a book while sipping a black filter without feeling the
pressure to move along. The neighbourhood café serves brunch, lunch
and Allpress espresso, and the food menu keeps things interesting,
with regularly changing dishes such as pikelets with sage butter
mushrooms and egg, cornbread and fried chicken, and breakfast
daals. It’s open from 8am to 4pm every day, but keep an eye out for
the killer chef-led supper clubs that go down occasionally here,


203 Well St, E9 6QU

E5 Bakehouse, London
Photo credit: Carlotta Marangone and Florencia Bertram

E5 Poplar Bakehouse


This Docklands coffee shop, which opened in 2017, is the sister
café to E5’s original London Fields café. Tucked away on the edge
of Bartlett Park, the airy second iteration keeps the socially
minded ethos of the first micro-bakehouse going, with the same
refugee training programme in collaboration with Hackney Council
running at the Poplar address. Beans are ethically sourced from
producers that put all profits back into the supply chain. And the
pastries? Two words: cinnamon buns. Pick up some sourdough while
you’re here, too, and location-specific recipes, such as the
Hackney Wild loaf, are top-notch.


8A Cotall St, E14 6TL

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