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Ziferblat (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Cafés Old Street
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

‘Help yourself to coffee and biscuits!’ says Ziferblat’s impossibly smiley host, 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 seven pence every 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 quirkiest opening of the year. If not, I’ll eat those onions. Raw.


Address: 1 Vince Street
223a Old Street
Transport: Tube: Old Street, Shoreditch High Street Overground
Opening hours: 10am-10pm daily
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Users say (5)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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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. 


My new favourite hangout place!

Ziferblat is like your best friend's house. You can feel free to come anytime, to make yourself comfortable on one of the sofas and have an occasional cake and tea break while you are having fun. The decoration and the interior design has a quirky character, it's great to discover the little "easter eggs", unusual details (try to find all the googly eyes! ). They host various events here (I love the board game night on Saturdays. They are only a fiver!) so everybody can find something right up their alley. Also Ziferblat in general attracts a lovely crowd: you can always expect to meet nice people.

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.


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!

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