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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

Cafes are one of my favorite places in the entire world. Finding the right one can mean finding your favorite study spot, your favorite lunch spot, your favorite reading spot, etc. So when I studied abroad in London, I knew that I wanted to check out as many cafes as I could to find my favorites; these are the top five of that list. So, if you ever catch yourself in London, I think you should definitely check some of these out. 

Fair Shot 

Starting off strong, we have my ultimate favorite cafe in all of London; Fair Shot. This cafe is my favorite for many reasons, but the main reason is that it also doubles as a non-profit that helps disabled adults learn how to work in a public environment and is helping to lower the percentage of unemployed disabled adults in the UK. When I first found out about Fair Shot, I quite literally ran to try it out. Not only are they working towards an amazing cause, but they also have some of the best drinks I’ve ever had. 

Fair Shot has a very lovely menu including food and drinks. Their food menu changes seasonally and sometimes even weekly, depending on if they’re offering something new, but their drink menu stays the same year round. My personal favorite is their chai latte with oat milk, and I absolutely adore their almond croissant. There are so many different items to choose from, so I am quite confident that anyone can find something they’ll enjoy at Fair Shot. Another thing that I love so much about Fair Shot is its location. The cafe is located in Covent Garden, a very beautiful market style area filled with lots of other cafes and shops. It is also right in central London and for me was only one stop on the tube, aka London’s metro system, from my school, which came in very handy. 

I love Fair Shot so much and recommend it to as many people as I possibly can. I have converted my boyfriend into a Fair Shot lover and hope to do the same with more people in the future. 


Next up on the list we have a chain, but it is still one of my favorites nonetheless. Costa is a UK based, delicious and affordable cafe chain that you can find in various locations throughout London. What I loved the most about Costa was that there was one across the street from my school, which was very convenient but also great because then I wouldn’t be tempted to go to Pret, another chain cafe but with worse coffee and higher prices. 

Costa also had a great deal more options in their menu than other cafes that I visited. I also noticed that they had seasonal items, holiday themed items, and new items coming out quite often during my time in the UK. My favorite item of theirs, however, was a hot caramel latte. For so long, I couldn’t figure out why I loved theirs more than other cafes (even though it’s a simple drink to make). Then, my boyfriend told me that a key thing about Costa that separated other cafes from it was that they slightly burned their espresso beans. Now, I know that this is not to everyone’s taste but in my opinion, slightly burning the beans meant a richer, deeper coffee flavor that mixed perfectly with the caramel syrup. I was absolutely obsessed with these lattes and would get one at least once a day when I had class; it truly became an addiction. 

To anyone visiting London soon, I would definitely say to go to Costa more than Pret — mainly due to the better tasting coffee and cheaper prices. There are also US locations (although way less than there are in the UK), so I will definitely be checking out those whenever possible. 


The third cafe on this list is Mikel, a Greek coffee company that I found completely by accident one day — and I was so glad that I did. Mikel’s first location was in Larissa, Greece in 2008. Since then, they have opened over 350 shops worldwide in five different continents. What makes Mikel’s coffee so good is that they use a 100% Arabica coffee blend that they get from farms in Central America and Africa. 

Mikel’s menu is one of the best in any cafe I visited in London; for one, they take inspiration from famous coffee drinks across the world. I remember that the first time I went, I was incredibly shocked to see that they offered a Mexican inspired coffee (which was delicious, by the way). They also have Italian style coffee, South American inspired coffee, and of course Greek classics. This diversity of style is what made Mikel stand out to me and was definitely a reason why I kept coming back for more. 

I definitely recommend Mikel to anyone that has a passion for trying drinks from different places across the world. I also recommend it to anyone who enjoys a cafe with a mellow vibe, which was another reason I loved this cafe so much. The location I went to was on Tottenham Court Rd, which is a very famous street in Central London. I absolutely loved getting a coffee there before doing some shopping down Tottenham Court Rd. 


The next cafe on this list is the beautiful Attendant cafe that has six locations across London. However, the reason why I wanted to try out Attendant is because I found out that one of their locations is inside a former Victorian era men’s public restroom — how freaking cool is that? When I found this out, I knew that I had to go check it out because seriously, how many cafes do you know are in a former bathroom? Not many, I’m assuming. Now, just as a disclaimer, it is no longer used as a bathroom and hasn’t for a very long time, so it is clean and I promise there will not be toilet water in your coffee. 

Attendant is also a very well known cafe chain in London and has some of the best coffee in the city, according to the people I asked. Also, looking at their website, it says that they use beans that are then roasted at their very own Attendant roastery that also uses their own seasonal espresso blend. I don’t know much about coffee, but I do believe it is pretty rare for a cafe to have their own espresso blend and roastery besides major chains. Their menu also includes breakfast, pastries, lunch, and brunch items. Personally, I only tried out their pastries and coffee, which were delicious, but I never indulge in their full meals. I will say they make a very good cappuccino, and their carrot cake is to die for. 

This cafe will make you feel like you’re living in luxury, which is alway a plus. And you will be able to say that you went to a cafe that is located in a Victorian public toilet, which I think is pretty cool. This location is also a small walk from Oxford Street, another famous shopping district in London, so you can always go for a little shopping spree and then get your coffee at the nearby toilet, a win-win situation. 

Layla Bakery 

The final cafe on this list is Laya Bakery, and concerning the name I’m sure you noticed that this one is more of a bakery than it is a cafe.It sells coffee as well though, so it’s being put on the list. The beautiful, quaint, and delicious bakery is located in North West London, in an area called Ladbroke Grove which is very close to the infamous Notting Hill. They serve amazing, freshly made pastries that you can actually watch being made in the cafe, and they also are quite famous for their pastries as well. I quite literally found out about Layla Bakery through TikTok after searching “best London cafes” so I have TikTok to thank for finding this gem. 

I think my favorite thing about Layla Bakery is just the fact that their space inside is very small, with very limited seating because so much of it is taken up by the kitchen where they prepare their pastries fresh everyday. I loved watching the bakers at work making sourdough, sausage rolls, cookies, and so much more. I loved their cinnamon buns and their buttery soft croissants. When I first arrived at the bakery, there was a long line out the door which just made it very clear to me that I was indeed at the right place and that I was just about to have a pastry that would change my life — and I did. I loved going to Layla Bakery to get some work done and just sit inside, watch the bakers bake and drink a lovely cappuccino at the same time. It was truly a magical experience. 

I absolutely recommend Layla Bakery to anyone visiting London soon. Due to its proximity to Notting Hill, you will most likely be in the area anyway, so why not pop over for a quick little sweet treat? I also think that their pastries are some of the absolute best in all of London. 

One of the greatest things about London is their love for coffee and pastries. I think that the coffee and pastries I had in London were some of the best that I possibly will ever have for the rest of my life. I love sharing this beautiful city with people and hope that one day this article might help someone visiting London also find these amazing cafes so that they may have the same wonderful experiences that I did. 

Adamari Ruelas

CU Boulder '26

Adamari Ruelas is a contributing writer for the Her Campus chapter at CU Boulder. Her job within Her Campus is to write at least two articles a month, one contributing to a theme week. Outside of Her Campus, Adamari is a first-generation college student who is currently a sophomore at the University of Colorado Boulder, majoring in English Creative Writing. During her spring semester of freshman year, Adamari studied abroad in London, wanting to learn about different cultures while also being able to study in a Literature-rich city. Adamari also interned at the Aurora Public Schools Communications Department during her senior year of High School, where she learned how to write articles, interview subjects, and create social media posts for the department under the guidance of multiple professionals. In her free time, Adamari enjoys reading and writing, at least when she isn’t hanging out with her friends or playing Overwatch with her little siblings. She is a very proud Mexican-American who loves sharing her culture as long as Mexican history with anyone who lends an ear. Adamari is also a massive nerd, especially with Harry Potter (she’s a Ravenclaw btw) and Marvel. In the future, Adamari hopes to become a published author, sharing her works with the world and hoping they help people the way books have helped her.