London boasts a variety of different independent cafés, all with something unique to offer.
These amazing coffee spots are not only in the downtown core! These 10, from a variety of areas across town, are definitely worth checking out.
Note: As this was written during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit safely and follow each café’s protocol.
Black Walnut Bakery and Café
With two locations—Richmond Row and Wortley Village—Black Walnut is one of the most established independent cafés in London. And with good reason; its comfortable atmosphere immediately welcomes you in with the promise of great coffee. With seasonal drink options such as their mint-infused pink lemonade, this is also the perfect place to get refreshed. You can grab a light lunch as well—choose one of their delicious salads or sandwiches, or indulge in one of their pastries.
Visit: 134 Wortley Rd. or 724 Richmond St.
Reset Social Café
A newer but valuable addition to the downtown scene, the brightly-decorated Reset Social Café is one of a kind. It boasts great coffee alongside healthy meal options such as salads and fresh bowls. You can also forego coffee for one of their fresh juices or smoothies. It is spacious and bright, making it a cheerful place to meet a friend, or to recharge your own batteries.
Visit: 503 Talbot St.
Right along Southdale Road, this is a café that overwhelms you with choices! A combination coffee and gelato shop, Cream Beanery has flavours to suit anyone’s taste. From caramel to cookie dough, you can choose from an abundance of flavour shot options for your iced or hot coffee. Or for your sweet tooth, indulge in one of their featured gelato flavours. No matter what you choose, this café will hit the spot.
Visit: 825 Southdale Rd.
Commonwealth Coffee Co.
This up-and-coming café on Richmond Street shows a commitment to really good coffee, offering a wide variety of coffee drinks year-round. Its clean, bright atmosphere adds a breath of fresh air to anyone’s day. They also set the bar high with Boxcar Donuts being sold in-house, making it the perfect downtown destination to treat yourself.
Visit: 478 Richmond St.
Asmara Coffee House
Out by the Western Fair District, Asmara Coffee House prides itself on their coffee and their comfortable atmosphere. Patrons are greeted with signs encouraging them to disconnect from their laptops and connect with each other. It’s a great place to unwind and enjoy their house-roasted organic coffee (see: their antique roaster just inside the door) or feast on any of their abundant breakfast or lunch options.
Visit: 700 York St.
Hyde Park lacks in cafés, so D Delicious is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood! Boasting an extensive menu of both drink and food options, this is a great place to try something new. Alongside their coffee drinks and bubble tea, their house-made pastries and breads are the perfect pairing. This café proves that downtown London isn’t the only place to find your go-to neighbourhood coffee shop.
Visit: 1700 Hyde Park Rd.
Boasting two locations, this cozy espresso bar is a great place to refuel. Choose from their extensive coffee offerings and chill out on their patio, or even pre-order your Pilot Coffee beans online for pickup. They also take pride in their vegan food options, making it a place with something for everyone to love.
Visit: 408 Pall Mall St. or 350 Ridout St.
A bright blue awning sets the tone for your visit to this vibrant café. Also a self-proclaimed dessert bar, Happiness serves up delicious donuts in creative flavours, as well as macarons and even mousse cakes. Their unique coffee menu is the perfect complement. Living up to its name, discovering Happiness will brighten your day.
Visit: 430 Wellington St.
The Bag Lady Variety
Much more than what the name implies, The Bag Lady is the queen of vintage. With its quirky décor and delicious breakfast and lunch options, this “variety store” is a real gem. It may be tiny, but it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before in London. Enjoy their coffee and check out their daily specials in an atmosphere that takes you back in time.
Visit: 474 Pall Mall St.
Sidetrack: A Wortley Café
This bright but cozy little café is a proud Wortley Village staple. They serve up a variety of coffee drinks, as well as great baked goods and hearty lunch wraps. Fresh bread is available on weekends as well. Sidetrack is the definition of a friendly neighbourhood café, and it is always a treat to visit.
Visit: 136 Wortley Rd.
Feature photo by Oshi Rathnayake.