Revealed: The best coffee shops close to London's Zone 1 tube stations for remote work

A deep dive into how coffee shops are changing the game in a world of hybrid working, covering everything from the best coffee shops for remote workers to the quietest times to take a meeting in a café.



Craft Author: Craft Team
Craft Team

A deep dive into how coffee shops are changing the game in a world of hybrid working, covering everything from the best coffee shops for remote workers to the quietest times to take a meeting in a café.

Coffee holds a special place in the hearts and routines of countless individuals worldwide. In the UK alone, we drink approximately 98 million cups of coffee every day, making it the second most consumed beverage after water!

While the majority of British households remain partial to a convenient instant brew at home, café culture still continues to grow on the high street. In fact, 80% of Brits visit a café once a week and 16% indulge in a daily visit to a coffee shop for their caffeine fix. Not to mention, an increasing number of people would consider themselves self-proclaimed ‘coffee connoisseurs’, craving the freshly-ground beans, alternative milk options, and latte art that come with shop-bought coffee.

The demand for artisan coffee even extends to the professional world. Previously, workers were satisfied making instant coffee using the office kettle. However, businesses are now expected to provide bean-to-cup machines or even on-site baristas as a job perk! But what’s caused this rise in coffee consumption and coffeehouse culture?

What’s included?

  • The rise of remote working and coffee house culture
  • A remote worker’s guide to independent and small chain coffee shops
  • Coffee shop etiquette for remote workers

Barista holding a latte in a London coffee shop

The rise of remote working and coffee house culture

The rise in coffee house culture can be attributed to multiple factors, notably the COVID-19 pandemic, which has permanently changed the way we work. Now, almost half of professionals work from home or opt for hybrid working. This has played a large part in the recent café culture boom, with an increased number of professionals seeking out coffee shops as an alternative workspace.

Although working from the comfort of your own home has its perks, this working style makes individuals more susceptible to feelings of loneliness and can make it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Not only does working in a coffee house provide a much-needed change of scenery, but it also serves as a social hub that offers opportunities for social interactions and collaborative work. In fact, it offers the ideal work environment, providing workers with comfortable seating, reliable WiFi, the gentle hum of white noise, and, of course, a steady supply of caffeine. What more could you ask for?

Big players like Costa, Pret A Manger, Nero, and Starbucks currently hold the largest market share in the industry and London is home to more than one-quarter of all of these branded coffee shops. Yet, that being said, the capital has also experienced a 700% surge in independent coffee shops over the past ten years. While many people think that independent coffee shops come in at a higher price point than larger chains, this is certainly not always the case. Besides, with the current cost of living crisis, it’s never been more important to support small chains and independent coffee shops!

In this study, we’ll give you all the ins and outs of the best coffee spots that are closest to London’s zone one tube stations, including the cheapest and most convenient shops to the best cafés for remote workers and quietest times to take a meeting.

Two workers taking a meeting in a London coffee shop

A remote worker’s guide to independent and small chain coffee shops

When it comes to choosing a coffee shop to work from, there are a number of considerations you’ll need to make. From comfortable seating and a quiet atmosphere, to reliable WiFi and plug sockets, there are some things you just can’t do without!

We looked at the independent and small-chain coffee shops closest to the stations in London’s zone one to reveal…

  • The most convenient independent coffee shops for remote workers
  • The most affordable breakfasts in London’s Zone one
  • The quietest times to hold a meeting or take a call in a coffee shop
  • Toilets are a must-have facility
  • WiFi has become a coffee shop standard

Coffee shop checklist for remote workers

The most convenient independent coffee shops for remote workers

Finding a coffee shop that is easily accessible to your usual workplace, home office, or commuting route can be extremely beneficial. It ensures that you can conveniently transition to and from workstations without losing valuable work time and keep your days as productive as possible. Choosing a coffee shop in proximity to your closest tube station provides just that!

We explore London’s most popular tube stations in zone one to find the most convenient small chain and independent coffee shops for remote workers, located closest to each station.

London tube map showing Zone 1

1. King’s Cross St. Pancras, Notes Coffee Roasters & Bar

Situated in prime location in the heart of the city, Kings Cross is easily accessible and a convenient transportation hub for commuters. As such, Kings Cross is a popular spot for remote workers to come for a change of scenery. Located just 162 ft from Kings Cross St. Pancras, the nearest small-chain coffee shop is Notes Coffee Roasters & Bar. Serving delicious, small-batch coffee, all-day brunch, and with plenty of outdoor and indoor seating, Notes is ideal for remote workers in the area.

2. Victoria, Notes Coffee Roasters & Bar

Victoria tube station is known for its bustling atmosphere, however, just a stone’s throw away, you’ll find another Notes Coffee Roasters & Bar. Boasting lots of natural light, ample seating, and delicious coffee, Note’s Victoria branch serves as another great place to work remotely, outside of rush hour. A coffee and a pastry at Notes Coffee Roasters & Bar costs approximately £6.

3. Kiss the Hippo Coffee, Oxford Circus

Kiss the Hippo Coffee may have a fun name, but this coffee house is serious about serving ethically-sourced coffees that not only taste great, but spread positivity into the world. Nestled in Fitzrovia, the bohemian area most popular with the artistic community, Kiss the Hippo Coffee is fantastic for those looking to mingle with like-minded innovators and get their creative juices flowing!

A large flat white and a pastry at Kiss the Hippo Coffee will cost you approximately £6.20, less than the average at top large-chain coffee shops, and an extremely reasonable price for ethical coffee.

4. London Bridge, Crol & Co

Crol & Co is a trendy coffee house with a fabulous selection of hot drinks and cakes, as well as a delicious breakfast and lunch menu to keep you fueled throughout the day. Adorned with rustic bench-seating and antique school chairs, you’ll be sure to find somewhere to perch for the day. There is plenty of choice at Crol & Co and a large coffee and pastry will cost approximately £6.20.

5. Waterloo, Scootercaffe

Scootercaffe is a family-run coffee shop in Waterloo that serves home-roasted organic coffee by day, cocktails and live jazz by night. A small, boutique café, Scootercaffe welcomes customers with a cosy and inviting space - just be sure to get there early to secure a seat! For a flat white and a pastry, you can expect to pay around £5.75.

6. Liverpool Street, Bloomsyard

Liverpool Street is a well-known financial district in the City of London, home to numerous financial institutions and serving as a major hub for professionals such as bankers, analysts, accountants, and consultants. If you work in finance, a café in Liverpool Street could be the ideal location for you.

A two-minute walk from the station, Bloomsyard Café Wine Bar offers the perfect environment to catch up on your to-do list, go for a casual business meeting, or schmooze your favourite clients. A coffee and pastry at Bloomsyard is slightly dearer than others on our list, coming in at around £7.50.

7. Paddington, Frequency Coffee

Frequency Coffee is a small chain with one popular branch located in Paddington. Featuring a sleek, modern design and a small seating area, Frequency offers a peaceful atmosphere to get stuck into work. A flat white and pastry at Frequency will cost around £6.50. Yet, best of all, Paddington is just a short walk from Hyde Park - the perfect place to take a stroll and unwind on your lunch break!

Although not available in Frequency’s Paddington branch, venture over to Angel or Kings Cross and you can make the most of exclusive meeting rooms, designed for board meetings, workshops, training, interviews - you name it. Most importantly, you and your delegates will be supplied with complimentary coffee throughout the duration of your booking! Starting at just £25 an hour, a Frequency meeting room is an incredible option for remote workers and small businesses.

8. Bank, The Cosy Coffee Corner

The Cosy Coffee Corner is a gorgeous independent coffee shop, located in the idyllic St. Mary Woolnoth Church near Bank station. While this friendly café offers a warm space, tasty drinks, and a prime location, with limited indoor seating, it’s best used as a quick meeting stop.  A coffee and a croissant will cost around £5.50.

9. Leicester Square, Cafe in the Crypt

As the name suggests, Cafe in the Crypt is a one-of-a-kind coffee house located in St Martin’s crypt in London. Cafe in the Crypt is a popular spot for remote workers looking to set up shop for a hard day’s work or hold a business meeting. There are plenty of seats available, including small tables for individual work and large tables, perfect for meetings and collaborative work.

There are numerous food and drink options available, including hot meals, but a flat white and pastry will cost around £6.60.

10. Tottenham Court Road, Crepes, Coffee & Chai

Crepes, Coffee & Chai is a quiet café on Tottenham Court Road that dishes up, you guessed it, delicious French galettes, a selection of coffees, and aromatic chai. Serving as a pocket of peace within the chaos of London’s busy shopping street, Crepes, Coffee & Chai is the ideal spot for remote professionals to get work done and take business calls in a quiet space. The average coffee and pastry costs around £6.30 here and crepes start at £5.

A work meeting for two in a London coffee shop

The most affordable breakfasts closest to London’s zone one tube stations

The cost of coffee can easily add up over time, which can make coffee shops an expensive office for remote workers. So, we decided to collate data on the cost of breakfast (a coffee and pastry) across independent coffee shops to reveal the most affordable breakfasts closest to London’s zone one tube stations. Although the cost savings may seem small, over time the pennies will be sure to add up! I

Since flat whites remain the UK’s favourite coffee order, preferred by 22% of coffee drinkers, we used the cost of a flat white and pain au chocolat, or similar pastry, to calculate our average prices.

For reference, at Starbucks, you can expect to pay around £2.50 for a regular flat white and £2.40 for a pain au chocolat pastry, depending on the location. That makes a quick breakfast from Starbucks a total of £4.90. So, how do you think London’s independent coffee shops square up in comparison?

At the top of our list for the most affordable breakfast, we have The Roasting in Pimlico, at just £4.60 for a large flat white and pastry. The Roasting uses a variety of the highest quality green coffee beans and a slow-cycle production processes to ensure authentic flavour in their espresso.

Next, we have Arro Coffee, a small-chain with coffee shops located in Bayswater in the heart of Notting Hill. Green Park, and Queensway. You can enjoy an ‘Instagrammable’ cup of coffee and a croissant for just £4.80.

The Coffee House in Embankment not only serves up an affordable breakfast, at £4.80 for a coffee and pastry, but offers an innovative space to collaborate and work together. Boasting multiple floors to work, bookable meeting spaces, small events venues, and the RSA library, this coffee power house is the perfect place for remote workers.

By day, St Paul’s Artigiano Espresso & Wine Bar craft delicious espresso drinks and freshly made baked goods and sandwiches. If you arrive before 10am, you can get a pastry and any hot drink from their menu for £5.

The Penny Drop in Goodge Street is a quaint coffee shop with an excellent reputation for serving specialty coffee, both espresso and batch brew. A flat white and a pastry at The Penny Drop costs around £4.90 - what a steal!

Also making it to our list of the most affordable breakfasts closest to London’s zone one tube stations is Grind in Old Street, Cafe de Nata in South Kensington, and Vanilla Black Coffee & Books in Kennington, all of which cost less than or in the region of £5 for a large flat white and pastry.

Independent coffee shops provide a unique and local experience with distinct character and high-quality coffee, something that big-name chains usually cannot replicate. When you choose a local café over a large chain, you’re supporting the local economy and receiving a more personalised experience in return and you can’t put a price on that.

Most affordable breakfasts near to London's Zone 1

The quietest times to hold a meeting or take a call in a coffee shop

The ambient noise of coffee shops has a unique appeal that attracts many remote workers. Although it may seem counterintuitive, the low hum of conversations, clinking of cups, and background music creates a pleasant and professional atmosphere to get work done. In fact, the white noise effect of coffee shops can create a consistent background that aids focus and concentration.

That being said, during peak times coffee shops can surpass this ‘low hum’ of noise and become quite loud and distracting, for example when accommodating the commuter or lunchtime rush. Remote workers should be able to tolerate this for a short period of time, but when it comes to taking calls or participating in virtual meetings, you’ll want to book these in for the quietest times.

We analysed 68 independent and small-chain coffee shops in London’s zone one to reveal the quietest times to visit. In the morning, anytime between 8 am and 10 am is ideal for taking a call in a café. Then again after the lunchtime rush, from 2 pm onwards, you can expect a quiet atmosphere. If anything, during these times, you should watch your own noise levels so as not to disturb others!

Quietest and busiest times to take a meeting in a coffee shop

Toilets are a must-have facility

Restroom breaks throughout the day are a must, especially when you’ve been sipping on coffee all day long. So, when choosing a coffee shop to work from, we recommend choosing a spot with access to toilets. This way, you won’t need to go home half way through a task and disrupt your work flow.

Luckily, in many cases, coffee shops are required by law to provide toilets to customers, such as those with more than ten seats and with a drinks licence. Out of the 68 coffee shops analysed, only 11 establishments did not provide customer toilets, so just make sure to search online before your visit.

WiFi has become a coffee shop standard

Without WiFi, remote working would not be possible. You need internet connectivity to access online collaboration tools, message coworkers, take virtual meetings, and more. And with so many people choosing to work remotely from coffee shops nowadays, it comes as no surprise that WiFi  has become a standard service. In fact, out of all the coffee shops reviewed, each and every one offers WiFi to customers.

Coffee shop etiquette for remote workers

1. Purchase from the establishment

When using a coffee shop to work remotely, it is customary to make a purchase from the establishment. It is highly frowned upon to bring your own food or drinks to a coffee shop, especially if you are spending a prolonged period of time in their space. After all, it’s a coffee shop, not a coworking space!

If you’re lucky, some coffee shops will top up your hot water to help you stretch a single tea bag, but remember to be respectful and not take advantage of this. There are no hard rules on how often you need to buy a coffee, but generally, purchasing either a drink or snack every two hours should suffice.

2. Respect seating and space

Be mindful of the available space around you, especially if there is limited availability. If the coffee shop is crowded, consider sharing your table with others or move to a smaller table if possible. Who knows, you may even connect with other like-minded professionals and find some networking opportunities!

Working in the same space all day, it’s only natural you’ll want to get comfortable - but don’t get too comfortable! For instance, it is not socially acceptable to take your shoes off in a space where others are eating and drinking, or put your feet up on chairs!

3. Keep noise levels in check

Aim to keep your noise levels as low as possible not to disrupt those around you. This means keeping conversations at moderate volume, avoiding speakerphone, and using headphones when listening to audio or participating in virtual meetings. You may not have noticed before but you could have a loud keyboard or mouse, so just be sure to check this beforehand too. Nobody wants to sit next to loud clicking and rapid tapping all day!

4. Be conscious of your devices

Double check that the electrical devices you are using are compatible with the electrical outlets supplied at the coffee shop. You should also be conscious not to hog electrical plugs for the entire day and consider that others may need to use these as well. If safety permits, consider bringing an extension cable with you to make better use of limited sockets.

5. Clean up after yourself

After a day of drinking coffee, you’ll be sure to have a few wrappers and used mugs around you.

Remember to leave the space as you found it, putting any rubbish in the bins provided, cleaning up any spills, and taking all your belongings with you when you leave.


According to research by Gallup, 52% of eligible employees in Britain are working in a hybrid model, with 54% of those not working in a hybrid style expecting to go hybrid in the near future. While there are many benefits to a hybrid model, such as saving money and having a better work-life balance, hybrid work can be isolating, as you do not have access to the social opportunities and interactions of a traditional office environment.

A favourite tactic of hybrid workers is using coffee shops, which allow you to focus on your work while also being around other people. With this in mind, we wanted to create an extensive list of the top coffee shops for hybrid working in Central London, to aid workers in fulfilling their social needs while getting their work done.

To do this, we used data leveraged from Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor to find the top-rated coffee shops within ¾ of a mile of the corresponding Tube station. Where possible, we avoided including large chains, in favour of small chains or independent shops, to do our bit to support small businesses. Information from the shop’s website, Google listing, or profile on TripAdvisor or Yelp was then used to discover how many seats were available on average, if the shop had customer toilets, if it was wheelchair accessible, and if it had customer WiFi. Google listings were used to discover the times you’d have the best chance of getting a seat, through the ‘Not so busy’ part of activity charts. Finally, pricing was based on menus that can be found online, the Google menu section, or visual confirmation through customer submitted photos of the shop that show the boards above or around the till.