Fun London cycling cafés
I can’t help but notice all of the fun London cycling cafés that are popping up around the city. Not only can you get your daily caffeine fix, they also provide experienced mechanics in their bike repair workshops. It doesn’t matter if you are an amateur or pro-cyclist, these cycling cafés welcome all. So, here is my quick round-up of some of the most established and highly regarded cycling cafés in the capital. And if you aren’t much of a cyclist like me, they will still serve you some great-tasting coffee and perhaps a little inspiration to get active and take a cycle through London’s parks or streets.
This cycling café in Soho does a great latte and offers a small selection of baked goodies, made from locally-sourced produce. Think nut-based cakes (fuel for the road, right). Not only that, it also has a stack of board games for you to play, including Monopoly, so they clearly anticipate you’ll be sticking around for the afternoon. You can also peruse their (rather expensive) cycling and fitness gear as the café forms part of the shop, and there are often races being shown on screens. It’s a great location as it’s right next to Piccadilly Circus tube station, so a useful ‘meet in the middle’ place with friends. However, if you want to go more east, then check out Rapha Racing’s smaller sister in London’s Old Spitalfields Market, just a few minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street station.
This Shoreditch shop is always brimming with cyclists looking to use the bike repair service, as well as people like me, who are just there for the coffee. They also have a great selection of cakes and pastries to go hand in hand with your beverage of choice. I still remember how good my mocha was, which says everything as I last visited at least six months ago. I’d recommend taking the northern line to Old Street tube station and either walking, cycling!, or catching the bus down Old Street itself to the café. The décor is bright and quirky, with biking magazines to flick through whilst you sip on your coffee. This is one of the most popular London cycling cafés, so much so that a pop-up Look Mum No Hands! stand has appeared on the riverside between Tower Bridge and London Bridge. Perfect if you want to grab a coffee to go on your walk to Southbank; check out my recommended London walking routes. However, it’s only open from June-August, so get down there quick.
This Bermondsey-based cycling café has a fantastic reputation among the resident cycling community, not only for its friendly bike repair service but its inviting interior and superb caffeine offering. After all, it serves the locally roasted Monmouth Coffee. It also sells fresh hearty stews and delicious cakes. I think it’s great that every day when I walk past Machine on my way to work, it’s helpfully already open (at 8.30am) to serve any commuters. Perhaps it’s the bike hanging in the window but sometimes I think how fun it could be to cycle to work instead. Ok maybe not, I’m a dangerous enough pedestrian! Honestly though, I love that it’s an independent business. It’s also only a five minute walk from Bermondsey Street, where you can find a whole host of other restaurants, bars, cafés and galleries if you fancy doing a coffee or cake crawl.
This cycling café offers a full service workshop, so everything from minor repairs to brake bleeding and tubular tyre install (that sounds like serious stuff to me)! Aside from a great coffee selection, which is independently sourced and ground on site, they also serve great value and tasty breakfasts and lunches. I haven’t actually been but it’s been on my list for ages as it’s got raving reviews online. And, the bagels are sourced from Brick Lane! They host regular Sunday social rides, which if you already own a bike would be a great way to get a bit more active at the weekend. This one definitely looks worth the trip south to Deptford.
I hope that these overviews provide a useful insight into London’s growing cycling café scene. I would love to hear your experiences at any of the above cafés, whether for bike repairs or coffee sampling, and your recommendations for any others you’ve tried. If you are, perhaps like me, a complete newbie to cycling in London, I would recommend hiring a Boris (Santander Cycles) bike and pedalling around Hyde Park. It makes for a fun, cheap (around £2) and relatively safe introduction to cycling in London, just stay clear of Serpentine Lake!
**These are not my photos, so I’m looking forward to updating the post after my next round of visits!