London is thriving with locally owned businesses. Unfortunately, these local gems are often lost in a sea of corporations dominating every street corner (ahem, Timmies and Starbucks). As loyal Canucks, we can’t deny the warm feeling we get in our heart when we see a Tim Hortons after a long vacation abroad. But when it comes down to it, Tim Hortons just doesn’t cut it for a 3-hour study session, or a tasty brew of authentic, Colombian espresso. The team here at Santa Knows Best is VERY serious about coffee. It allows us to stay alert and gives us a satisfying treat any time throughout the workday. With our love of the energy-inducing drink in mind, and a firm mission to eat and shop local, we set out to find the best coffee shops in London. So without further ado, here is our compilation of the best coffee shops in the city – in no particular order!
Neighbourhood: Old East Village 1018 Dundass St. (map) https://10-eighteen.myshopify.com/10Eighteen is serving up more than just fantastic coffee. What sets this coffee bar apart from the others it is dedication to that perfect cup of joe every time. Rather than batch brewing their coffee, they have a pour-over bar. What’s a pour-over bar you ask? Once you order your coffee, they grind the beans right in front of you and pour you a personal cup every time – talk about fresh! While the coffee is terrific, the food is also something to write home about. They source their ingredients from local artisan bakeries and supply their customers with fresh and delicious meals every time. From charcuterie boards (vegan options, too!) to sandwiches of the day served on a flaky croissant – there is something for everyone to enjoy at 10Eighteen Coffee Bar. We can’t forget to mention that 10Eighteen isn’t just serving up coffee, but wine and beer too. That’s right, this coffee shop has a liquor licence. This ensures that 10Eighteen is the perfect spot to grab a quick breakfast a mid-afternoon pick me up in the way of a cold craft beer or a piping hot Americano! The options are endless here, and we can’t deny the warm and welcoming atmosphere 10Eighteen is providing for its patrons.
Neighbourhood: Downtown London, Old South & Old East Village (x2) 105 King St, 136 Wortley Rd, 630 Dundass St & 900 King St. (map) https://fireroastedcoffee.com/
With four locations in the city, and fifteen years experience under their belt – Fire Roasted Coffee has become a London favourite. They sell all the regular cafe fare such as baked goods and teas, but the star of the show is undoubtedly the coffee. What sets Fire Roasted apart from the rest is the continuous dedication to sourcing whole beans from around the world. From fair-trade, to direct trade and organic beans – Fire Roasted Coffee is serving up one of the largest coffee bean selections in Canada! Our personal favourite location in London is their flagship retail store at the corner of King and Talbot (kitty corner to the Covent Garden Market). If you’re looking for a place for a coffee date, or a cozy place to study, this location will surely meet your needs! An added bonus is their connection with Pulp & Press Juicery. These two shops are connected, so you can grab a juice for lunch then a coffee to go!
Neighbourhood: Downtown London 717 Richmond St. (map) https://thegroundupcafe.com/
Neighbourhood: Downtown & Old South 724 Richmond St. & 134 Wortley Rd. (map) http://www.blackwalnutbakerycafe.com/
Neighbourhood: Downtown 408 Pall Mall St. (map) http://www.locomotiveespresso.com/
Their commitment to providing London with healthy fare and delicious coffee hasn’t gone unnoticed. Picked up by Blog TO in their top ten coffee shops in southwestern, Ontario, you’d be delusional not to check them out. They keep their door open on warm days and write “WELCOME” in colourful chalk on the steps. This café oozes a sense of peacefulness and positivity. If it’s a beautiful day, definitely take a walk and head to Locomotive for your morning coffee. You won’t be disappointed!