St David Coffee House

Restaurants , Coffeeshops Forest Hill
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(48 user reviews)
243 Love It
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 (© Tricia de Courcy Ling)
© Tricia de Courcy Ling
 (© Tricia de Courcy Ling)
© Tricia de Courcy Ling
 (© Tricia de Courcy Ling)
© Tricia de Courcy Ling
 (© Tricia de Courcy Ling)
© Tricia de Courcy Ling

The locals of SE23 really dig this cheerful, homely café in the centre of Forest Hill – and the owners feel the same way about them (their Twitter feed is one big genuine love-in with customers, the artwork decorating the walls is by a local and all for sale, and freelancers see their usual spot as a home from home). Coffee is St David’s passion and Square Mile Roastery its bean of choice – fans swear theirs is the best cup in London. The eclectic, inventive menu, meanwhile, sees you through from breakfast to afternoon cake, with brunch options spanning the likes of homemade lemon and maple granola, herb-strewn poached eggs or rib-sticking creamed corn served with hunks of sourdough bread, and a range of lesser-known sandwiches and toasties available to fill you up at lunchtime (try the deep-fried kale paired with rosemary with oozing Sardinian cheese). St David’s opens until late from Wednesday to Friday, with a raft of residencies providing the food – laksa Thursdays, run by South East Asian street-food outfit Nyonya London, are particularly popular.

Venue name: St David Coffee House
Address: 5 David's Rd
SE23 3EP
Opening hours: Open 8am-6pm Tue-Fri; 9am-6pm Sat; 10am-4pm Sun
Transport: Forest Hill rail
Price: Main courses £2.50-£4.50. Coffee and snack for two with service: around £10
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Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:41
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
1 person listening
1 of 1 found helpful

Your quintessential local cafe, this place always hits the spot.

Karen A
1 of 1 found helpful

Not only does this place do THE BEST coffee in London they also have a menu of reasonably priced, healthy brunch type meals/snacks. GREAT cake-y treats too. Fast becoming THe place to be in the evenings with Van Dough Wednesday pizza nights and Nyonya SE Asian street food on a Thursday. Open on
Weekend nights too! It's teensy so get there early to nab a table from happy FoHo locals.

Rébecca B
1 of 1 found helpful

It's my little place of Forest HIll heaven. Great coffee, lovely Shan (the owner) and team, good grub and fab pop up nights.

Sareta P

Coffee shop by day, pop-up location by evening. I'd had some of my best meals in St David's, let alone enjoyed a lot of their super smooth coffee.

Roz M

Everything about this cafe is ace. The lovely staff, the decor, the quality of the coffee and food, and even the music choices.

Fabio D

Take all the best you can think of from a cool independent cafe (coffee food quirky interiors) and detract all the wanky stuff of Shoreditch that honestly make me cringe now. Please enter St. David, best cafe in South East London!

Rebecca H

The most amazing coffee house to relax in, meet friends, have a chat with staff and enjoy the wonderful flavours and aromas on offer, an all round fabulous experience.

Nicci M

Consistently great coffee, eclectic ambience, good music and friendly service

Melanie H

Quaint, low key and welcoming with great coffee, interesting by cakes and a delicious pop-up Malaysian laksa night.

Shelley H

Delicious coffee, cakes and yummy breakfast & brunches. Awesome decor, great music and chilled vibe - just an all round excellent neighbourhood spot.

Rainy D

Love this place. Best coffee, best vibe, interesting and varied menu, superb supperclubs. And Sian is a Goddess.

Chris B

Astonishingly good coffee, friendly service and a great relaxed atmosphere. Local gem.

Tom O

This is where to find the best coffee in FH. There is some top-level barista skill and passion for both the coffee and food.

Luke M

Great coffee, quality sarnies, yummy inventive desserts, good vibes - marked down 1 for not keeping the turntable and recordd!

Zoe B

Gorgeous coffee, wonderful seasonal food menu and great evening pop ups.

moderatorStaff Writer

Expert coffee, healthy lunches and reasonably priced. Cute décor too.

Luis C

Brilliant coffee and vibe make this the place to have coffee in Forest Hill.


Great coffee and sandwiches. The cappuchino is definitely the best in Forest Hill! Having now moved away from the area, missing their toasted Ogleshield cheese sandwiches most...


Really lovely coffee shop. Friendly staff, amazing sandwiches (their bacon sarnie is the only thing that can sort out my Sunday hangover) and the best coffee, certainly in Forest hill, if not SE London. 

Daisy Bowie-Sell

The one thing to say about this place is EAT A BACON SANDWICH. They are huge and tasty, made with lots of bacon and lovely fresh bread. The place is tiny and higgledy piggledy but has a lovely charm. It's very chilled out, so don't expect everything to run beautifully smoothly, but the coffee is very good as is the atmosphere. We love having Sunday breakfast here with the newspaper.

jane w

Lovely little coffee shop bringing high quality coffee to Forest Hill! The flat white was sweet and delicious & the egg and avocado dish was delicious!

Charlie H

Bringing the best of the London coffee scene to Forest Hill. Great little space full of character with really fun and friendly staff who clearly know a lot of the regulars. This has the feel of a real community hub with laid back vibes in the week, perfect  for getting some work done on the free wifi and more upbeat vibe at the weekends where the place buzzes with a great selection of music. The coffee is some of the best in London and the bacon butty will eradicate any hangover! Be warned though the cake and pastry selection won't let you leave without breaking a new years resolution! I'm hooked!


Most awful obnoxious service i have ever come across, the staff are rude, ignore you and give you products that you have clearly said you are allergic you with no apology. DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY!

Emma Alexis

Since it was taken over by the new owners this coffee house has upped its game, food is delicious, you won't find a better coffee in London and its one of the most chilled out spots in forest hill. Can't recommend it enough.


I adore this place! The coffee is superb and its my most favorite place to go in south east London to just read and chill out. The owners are lovely and trying out lots of new things. I like how they are rotating the art work too.


Forgot to put my star rating last time!! Was there again at the weekend and they'd really made the effort for Easter it was lovely watching adults intently painting their eggs!!


I have been in that coffee house few times however most recently the service provided by the owner was dreadful. He always seems grumpy and unhappy that he needs to bring the coffees to his customers. While being there last time (never going back) I had to wait good 10 minutes at the counter as the owner was not able to do the coffee and answer very simple and quick question (is lunch items being served yet?) at the same time. Left in the end as nobody from the staff seemed interested in two, miserably standing clients. Would never ever recommend this place to anybody and since started having coffee at Canvas and Cream where both service and food is much better!!


I think I've died and gone to heaven after just finishing a sublime passion fruit tart with an amazing flat white. The perfect coffee shop!!


Shortly after we moved to Forest Hill, St David opened. We try to go every weekend and feel very lucky to have this so nearby. Keep up the great work!!