There’s a reason why going for coffee is such an obvious date choice: it can be spontaneous or planned, quick or slow, and it can be a great ‘add on’ to another date if things are going especially well.
The places on this list range from chic and modern to casual and cosy. Some double as cocktail bars as well, meaning you can easily transition from day to night!
Kipferl \ Camden Passage, Angel
Kipferl is a bright and airy Austrian café in Camden Passage where you can enjoy authentic Viennese coffee, desserts and lunch plates.
In true Viennese style, the coffee is served in small cups but very strong. Don’t be surprised when it comes with a little glass of water on the side – that’s the Austrian way!
Menu Get classics like schnitzel or spinach dumplings, or go to town on a sharing plate of kaiserschmarren (a dessert of shredded pancakes with a tasty apple compote).
Clerkenwell \ Exmouth Market \ Covent Garden \ Greenwich \ London Bridge
Grind is a modern London chain that achieves a great balance between café and cocktail bar.
The original Shoreditch Grind has kept a more unique vibe than the rest, with painted brick walls and a recording studio upstairs (Pixie Lott has been known to go there). Meanwhile, their other branches are great places are contemporary but not too conservative (making them a great place to take a date if you’re not sure of their tastes yet).
You won’t find any caramel frappucinos here, but all the classics are available and it’s a great place to get an artisan latte, thanks to their House Blend being developed specifically to complement frothy, milky drinks. Their Black Blend is for the purists who love their espressos and Americanos.
The Book Club \ Shoreditch
The Book Club is a casual, spacious café with a great full English on the menu as well as live music, theme nights, comedy and speed dating events.
Kick back on one of their sofas and enjoy a good-sized brunch, sausage and mash or a house burger, or head downstairs and dance until 2 a.m. at one of their R&B club nights or regular Friday event The Get Down.
Don’t have a date yet? Their speed dating nights run a few times per month and cost £15.
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium \ Shoreditch
If you or your date are crazy cat people, London’s first cat café is an adorable place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Their 14 cats – all rescue kitties with very individual personalities – wander freely around two floors that look like an Alice in Wonderland garden. They do a classic afternoon tea for any diet (gluten free, vegan, etc.) or a selection of light bites and coffees.
Keep in mind that they’re very popular and usually busy, so you’ll need to book your time there at least two hours in advance. This does mean it’s not a spontaneous date spot, but it’s worth the extra planning for the unique experience – great for a birthday or other special occasion!
The Roasting Plant \ London Bridge
The Roasting Plant takes freshly roasted coffee to a new level by roasting all their coffee in store – in the ultimate £1million coffee machine.
Visit their London café to see their Javabot: a machine of their own invention where you can watch the whole roasting process before your eyes. Raw coffee beans are blown through transparent tubes as they’re roasted (stopping them from burning and keeping the roast even), before ending up in your cup.
The coffee itself is extremely high quality, including single origin varieties from all over the world, Jamaican Blue Mountain, and their signature Roasting Plant Blend.
They also do a small selection of sourdough toasties (including a vegan New York deli sarnie), free range poached egg pots and smoothies.
Omotesando Koffee \ Fitzrovia
When it launched in Japan, Omotesando’s original goal was to bring the spirit of tea ceremony to coffee: each cup was carefully brewed by a single barista (in the first branch, this was actually the owner and founder) serving a single customer at a time.
Luckily, you needn’t be on your own when you visit their London branch, meaning it’s also a great date spot!
Try their signature iced cappuccino or one of their vibrant green matcha lattes. If you fancy a bite to eat, try their egg sandwich, complete with a kick of wasabi butter.