If you are anything like me, you do your best and most productive work in cafés, and cafés with specific requirements. Due to the design of London shutting down at 10 PM every night, it proves a difficult task to find a café that not only has good wifi, but also consistently has seating, food, outlets, and won’t close before you have a chance to actually start your work. Of course you could go to your nearest Cafe Nero or Pret, but this is for my bosses who want to level up. I’ve tasked myself with finding the best cafés to do work around London to share with you all:
Don’t be turned off by the fact that this underground cafe was formally public restroom. This cafe has great wifi and seating with tables or stalls big enough to comfortably fit a laptop and a coffee. The “healthy fast casual” food is incredibly well priced (buddha bowls for 5ish pounds).
Downside? No outlets. If you plan on coming here to do work, make sure you come already charged up.
This was my SPOT to do work- I came here at least once a week and stayed for at least half the day. I’ spent a lot of my time abroad in London in this spot. There are always tables available with outlets and the food and drink options are amazing (food gets a bit pricey, though). If you go, try the Aussie Bowl!!
Downside? The wifi expires about every 2 hours so you need to get it refreshed by the employees. Can get awkward by the fourth time you’ve gone up in a day…
This hotel lobby serves as a great coffee working space and is filled with couches and tables. The wifi is fast and it’s never too loud or too quiet. Most of the seats have outlets (table has outlets under the surface) and it’s generally a comfortable space.
Downside? Always very busy- your best bet is to get here early for a selection of seats… you might even get lucky enough to snag a window seat with an outlet! There is only one traditional table, the rest are couches with smaller desks.
Multiple Locations: Notting Hill, Bloomsbury, Chelsea, Euston, Aldgate
I can only vouch for the Notting Hill location as this is the only spot I have used to do work, but there are usually a bunch of open tables and they stay open until 1-3 AM including Sundays. They also have a full menu and outlets. There are a few VQs around the city.
Downside? This is a functioning restaurant so they do turn the lights down at night. Might bother people who prefer brighter spaces to do work.
Google for Startups Campus
Finsbury/ City of London
Yet another spot I didn’t get to but I love the fact that you can do work here. Apparently theres tons of seating and (as one may expect) lots of outlets and incredible wifi. Note: you have to register to use the space.
Downside? Closed on Sundays.
The Locals Café
Damn!! Another incredible spot I discovered just too late. This place has Aussie-style brunch and the food is even more amazing than the beautiful photographs you’ll get of it!! I’d have to recommend the buckwheat pancakes. We just came for brunch but there were tons of people doing work here at their own tables. I would definitely go back if I could!
Downside? It’s kind of out of the way- about a 10 minute walk from the Sloane Square tube and a little confusing to get there. I promise it’s worth the trek!
Multiple Locations: South Kensington, High Street Kensington, King’s Road, Soho
I was so upset when I found this spot the last week I was in London… this would have been a great place to do work. They have a few locations around London and serve amazing food (and coffee) for a very fair price.
Downside: The other locations I visited were tiny with limited work space. One of the GAIL’s with seating/ wifi is in High Street Kensington.
Equilibrium Total Balance
This is a workout spot (happens to be my favorite workout class I’ve ever taken), but they also have a full functioning reception-café and a large open space to grab a table and get to work. If I were you, I’d take a class (you can use my ClassPass link to get either free credits or a huge discount), grab the “Gladiator” smoothie, take a seat, and get to work.
Downside? The space will close about 15 minutes after the last class, so it won’t be open too late and the hours will vary. Before you go, check the class schedule on their website.
The British Library
To be fair, this is not a café, however it is a beautiful space to do work in if you prefer the quiet. There are lots of quick bites/ coffee in St. Pancras International just a 3 minute walk away that you can bring with you.
Downside? They might yell at you if you bring food. I haven’t tried it. Good luck!
This is a smaller cafe but the food is killer and there are a good amount of outlets. They might not be the happiest with you if you snag a table with your laptop and camp for a few hours during their busy times but when the café is quiet, its the best place to do work. Get the “Portobello Pudding” and a coconut milk cappuccino!! Both are to die for.
Downside? The space is semi-small so either expect to work on a table outside (the wifi reaches) or wait for off-hours. There is a line out the door during brunch on the weekends!
This spot is in Shoreditch (East London) so I never found the need to go all the way there to do work, but my roommates said this is a great spot to hunker down due to the great wifi and cozy/ cool atmosphere.
Downside? Probably out of the way.
Joe & The Juice
Multiple Locations: (Pretty much every part of London)
Part of the reason this is such a great spot is because there’s so many of them located throughout the city. Grab a coffee or fresh juice and take a seat and enjoy the cool vibes of this chain.
Downside? Closes on the early side and can get expensive.
Multiple Locations: Brompton Cross, Notting Hill, Pimlico, Marlybone
This is a grocery store/ market/ home store/ restaurant, but they were very accommodating and let us do work in the restaurant area! The tables are large and the coffee was great.
Downside? They might be less accommodating if the restaurant is full.
“Grind” Locations: Shoreditch, Soho, Whitechapel, Royal Exchange
For you night owls, you might find it hard to find a spot that stays open past 11 to do work. I found this place online and it looks like a cool café which is usually open until 1 AM. They also have other locations but it looks like this one stays open the latest.
Downside? Not sure, haven’t been!
Locations: see here
This is an amazing health food store which also serves prepared food and coffee. At the locations I’ve been to there is ample seating.
Downside? Since this is not a café, it doesn’t really have the coziest atmosphere. The tables are usually located next to the isles of food, so it isn’t the most comfortable spot to do work.
It took me all semester to find these spots so I hope this is helpful to whoever needs to hunker down and get some work done in London! If there’s anywhere I’m missing (which I’m sure there is), please feel free to share!