East London is a stomping ground for coffee enthusiasts, and we've rounded up our favourite cafés. Be tempted by a light brunch at Leila's Shop, a connoisseur's brew at Prufrock Coffee or something more hearty at Albion at The Boundary Project. Try Time Out's guide to the best cafés in Shoreditch to satisfy those early morning cravings.
East London: stomping ground of the coffee connoisseurs. No-one should pass through Shoreditch without a pilgrimage to Prufrock. What’s the big fuss? Mainly that the shiny Victoria Arduino espresso machine has been operated by top coffee names, from the 2009 Swedish Barista Champion Mattias Björklund to the UK’s first World Barista Champion, Gwylim Davies.Read more
Albion describes itself somewhat self-consciously as a ‘caff’, but no greasy spoon in London was ever designed and owned by Terence Conran, and certainly none has its own maître d’. But in spirit, at least, it is something approaching a café for 21st-century Shoreditch – a place where locals can drop in for a casual breakfast, lunch or dinner, or just a cup of tea and a slice of cake.Read more
Lily Jones (aka Lily Vanilli) carved out a solid, celebrity-packed fan base well before opening her own bakery. Her foray into sculptural, macabre cake creations (roadkill cake, gingerbread gravestones, marzipan beetles) gave sweet treats a contemporary, anti-cute makeover and set her far apart from the mainstream cupcake clan.Read more
This original branch of Nude just never stops being busy, even at times of the day that should be quiet. The enduring popularity has a pretty simple explanation: quality and (relative) consistency. That, plus a sizeable local catchment area encompassing business as well as residential custom.Read more
Venue says: Own-blend coffee and an interesting, seasonal, all day menu. Lantana has been called 'a little bit of Australia in London'.
The eastern outpost of Fitzrovia’s Lantana is roomier and serves an evening menu as well as the lunch and breakfast dishes Lantana is known for. The stack of corn fritters with crispy bacon, spinach and roast tomato, with avocado-chilli-lime salsa and crème fraiche, is a must-try in both locations. More sizeable mains such as a moreish Asian sticky chicken salad with nuoc cham dressing generally hit the spot too. Good, own-made cakes are baked daily, and often reflect the café’s Antipodean heritage – you might see friands arrayed on the counter. Weekend brunch is popular, for the easy-going atmosphere as much as the near-perfect comfort food. Such dishes include delicious french toast (a dreamy toasted coconut version with ricotta, lime syrup and pistachio), inventive eggy combos, and specials such as grilled asparagus with black pudding, roast tomato, poached egg and hollandaise on sourdough. Add a generous bloody mary and you’re set up for the day. Noise reverberates around the industrial space (all exposed pipework and bare walls), but, visually at least, Salvation Jane is softened by a charming collection of mid-century modern bits and pieces. Staff are kept busy, working both the room and the outdoor terrace, but efficiency can tail off at night.