Whether you live here or are just passing through, finding the perfect London cycling café is an important business.
It’s all about finding that perfect combination of somewhere you can get your bike fixed while drinking an expertly poured coffee. Frankly, even if you can’t get your bike fixed, somewhere you can get a coffee, feel welcome (despite the lycra) and get your bottle filled without frowns, is enough.
In this article we share our favourite cycle cafés in London.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will spot that there are 14 London cycling coffee shops listed here, despite the title mentioning nine. That’s because sadly, five places have closed in recent years. We’ve still included them here because they’re mentioned in other articles that haven’t been updated; so here we confirm they’re no longer open – we’d hate for you to turn up and be disappointed.
Look Mum No Hands
This is London’s best-known cycling café. Founded in 2010, it’s home to live talks and one of the owners even runs a podcast. Decor is “Old Street industrial”, with high ceilings, plywood tables and well-worn parquet flooring. A large TV sits at one end of the café, screening cycling events, cycling posters and items for sale adorn the walls. In the window bikes and tall green plants vie for space. Outside is a terrace with bright chairs, perfect for warmer days or post ride coffees.
The welcome is warm, the vibe friendly and unpretentious. A high bench faces the window offering a nice space for those alone and/or working (the menu includes a £5 fair usage ticket for using wifi/just hanging out, which is a nice touch). There are plenty of normal tables too and a soft seating area at one end.
As you’d expect, the coffee is great, serving Square Mile beans. The menu is healthy and delicious, with all manner of egg and avocado confections together with porridge and more traditional English breakfasts. Gluten free bread is available. On the drinks side, joining the coffee, are a delicious range of cold pressed juices (everything from standard orange to jazzy mint, lemon and kale combos).
Look Mum No Hands is also a cycling bar and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights opens until 10pm.
It’s easy to see why Look Mum no Hands is so well-known and continues to be so popular.
On Old Street. For those not local to London, be aware that this is not prime touristy London. It’s close to the City and quieter at weekends than during the week.
Rapha Café London
Two thirds shop, one third coffee shop, this is Rapha’s HQ in the UK. As you’d expect, it’s glossy and high end. The decor is nice, if unremarkable, and the selection of food and drink is limited but tasty. Lots of coffee available plus pastries and simple lunchtime fare such as potato tortilla and sausage rolls.
Seating is a combination of high bench tables designed for collaborative work and smaller tables. Seating is on circular stools; they look nice though aren’t overly comfy. Two TVs promote Rapha’s brand and events, with clubhouse meet ups also advertised on the walls.
Heart of Soho, buzzy and busy at all times of day and week.
Machine appears on lots of lists of “London’s best cycle cafés” so I decided to check it out. I was a bit suspicious before I arrived as none of the recent Google reviews mentioned coffee or cake. Suspicions were confirmed on arrival when it was patently obvious this was a small local bike shop selling and servicing bikes.
Friendly service but no sign of a café!
In better news, just around the corner is Hej (see photo on the right!), a café housed in an old warehouse building with stripped wooden floorboards, white walls and great coffee. Not cycling-specific but friendly service, bench tables for those working collaboratively and quite a youthful vibe.
South of the river, close to London Bridge. Useful if your bike breaks while you’re this side of London but don’t come for the café!
Peloton + Co
This closed in 2016.
This closed in 2018.
This closed in 2020.
South West London
I doubt the owners of Coliccio set out to create a cycling café; there’s no visible nod to the cyclists that throng here in the basic decor and the café attracts all sorts of park visitors, not just cyclists.
Despite this, Coliccio is unquestionably at home on this list of London cycling cafés just because so many cyclists come here. There’s a bike hire station next to the café, there’s somewhere you can fill water bottles and there’s not only an indoor café but an outside food and drinks hatch too.
It’s location means it’s a favourite with cyclists doing their laps of Richmond park and you’ll find a contingent of cyclists here throughout the week.
The café itself is pricey but the food is undeniably good. Freshly pressed pink grapefruit juice was a painful £3.50 but delicious. Likewise a cold sausage roll unceremoniously served in a paper bag tasted great, but so it should for £5.75. I guess that’s what happens when you’re in a cycling mecca and have no other competition at hand…
Roehampton Gate, Richmond Park
Another café with questionable cycling credentials but great coffee: Artisan Coffee in Putney.
The only reason I can think it comes up when you put “bicycle café London” into Google is the fact it’s on the main route to Richmond Park from central London and so gets hundreds of cyclists past its door each day.
Likely a fair number of them stop for a coffee (though none were visible inside the café when I visited). It’s a decent sized place which could be useful if you’re with a group.
Be aware that this is a coffee and cake kind of a place rather than coffee and food café.
That said, my cortado was delicious, as was the decadent flat white muffin I treated myself to.
Upper Richmond Road, Putney.
Dynamo is more of a restaurant than a café, but it embraces the cycling theme. From multi-coloured bicycles on the roof, to cycling prints on the walls and a bike hanging in the window, cyclists will feel at home.
As well as brunch favourites such as avocado toast and fry ups they serve brioche baps and pizzas. Drinks-wise, there’s coffee, soft drinks and wine, beer and cocktails too.
Note that Dynamo in Balham closed in 2020.
Putney Bridge Road, Putney.
La Ciclista is still on our must-visit list, but we’ve heard great things about it.
It’s a cycling café and cycling hub in East Sheen, close to Richmond Park.
They serve up breakfasts and food throughout the day, including freshly squeezed orange juice, double-shot coffees, porridge and toasties.
There’s also bike parking.
East Sheen, near Richmond Park.
South East London
Cadence Performance is a well-known cycling hub in south London. Its large premises offer everything from bike fitting to sales, servicing and training sessions too.
The premises also include a café which has a friendly reputation and is a popular pre/post ride destination due to its secure bike parking outside.
Our last visit was way back in 2018, so it’s time we visited again!
A café and bike workshop in Deptford with a cycling club too.
London Velo is at the top of our must-visit list due to its delicious looking bagels and Union coffee. The smoothies also look worth a try.
Deptford, south east London.
This closed in 2018.
Brixton Cycles’ café
Pop ups at Brixton Cycles run by Look Mum no Hands and Tandem Ciclo café have ended. However the bike shop continues to operate.
What’s your favourite cycling café in London?
Have you visited any of the London bike cafés we’ve listed here? How did you find them? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
Looking for a cycling café you can ride to? Check out our article on London’s best cycling cafés you can ride to from southwest London or head direct to our pick of the cycling cafés near Hampton Court, Woking, Windsor and the Surrey Hills.
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