Restaurants , Cafés Shoreditch
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(4 user reviews)
5 Love It
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Sadly, Ziferblat's landlord - the Estate Office Shoreditch - has issued an eviction notice for breaching the terms of its lease, which designates it as a co-working space rather than a café. The company is now seeking £45,000 for relocation costs  which it’s hoping to raise via Kickstarter. – Time Out editors

‘Help yourself to coffee and biscuits!’ says Ziferblat’s impossibly smiley hostess, as she opens a kitchen cupboard. ‘Or I think we’ve got peanut butter and toast. Oh, and onions…’. I’m led to a kitchen, told to consider the place a ‘social space you treat like your home’, shown how to use the espresso machine and urged to bring in a meal or make one using the food in the cupboards (hence the onions).

This is no ordinary café, it's the UK’s first branch of this Russian chain of pay-per- minute hangouts. Everything here is free, but just being there costs three pence per 60 seconds.

People wander about, helping themselves to drinks, two students pore over books and on one table there’s evidence of flower arranging. As a record player softly pumps out Motown and fairy lights twinkle from the walls, it feels like a relaxed common room. But you don’t get many common rooms decked out in such an impeccable selection of cool retro furniture: it’s part living room, part vintage homeware store, a lovely place to hang out without pressure to buy stuff. We may only be a week into 2014, but this has to be a contender for best opening of the year. If not, I’ll eat those onions. Raw.

Reviewed by Alexi Duggins

Venue name: Ziferblat
Address: 388 Old Street
Opening hours: 10am-midnight daily
Transport: Tube: Old Street tube/rail; Rail: Shoreditch High Street Overground
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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

After one previous unsuccessful attempt to get there, I finally managed to visit Ziferblat during one of their events.  It’s very homey and welcoming from the entrance. You feel as if you’ve entered someone’s flat (most likely your grandma’s) and are invited to help yourself to free cakes, biscuits and drinks. Its’ the time you pay for and you can fill it up with games, reading (Ziferblat has both book exchange and a little library), or guitar playing. The place is filled out with positive affirmation walls inviting you to share the positive stuff you’ve done or plan to achieve the particular day.

It’s worth checking their website for events as there’s a great variety to choose from: performance, queer make-up to more gruesome - funeral options presentations -  there’s plenty to kill the time. 

tam b

Really love this amazing place where people are unusually kind and you make your own coffee and help yourself to cake. You never feel rushed out and there is always something interesting to do, instruments, board games, people having open discussions.

Diana T

Firstly! The concept is great, you pay for the duration of time you're there, and it is totally worth it. The couches and tables are great to get some work done or just grab a little coffee on your own away from the hustle and bustle of the Shoreditch streets. All the food and drink facilities are there for you to use, so if you want a coffee you need to make one yourself. The vibe is very relaxed, like a library kind of, everyone keeps to themselves. On occasion they host alcohol free networking type events to build a good working community. The longer you stay the more it costs, but this isn't really a problem considering that the maximum price caps at around £10. 


Time is money. Literally, in the case of Ziferblat.

It’s not ideal for those who, like me, like to order a latte in the morning, then surf the Internet for free until a cafe shuts. But Ziferblat is a perfect place for business meetings or to catch up with friends. The ticking clock keeps you organised and focused, while relaxing atmosphere means you are guaranteed a good time (as much of it as you can afford).

This is perfect for busy Londoners who like to keep an eye on the clock, while having a great time!