Allpress Espresso Roastery and Cafe
As far as artisanal coffee goes, this place is the Oatly-creme-de-la-creme and a not so secret one. If the queue is contained to inside the building on a weekend morning, I’m genuinely surprised.
Allpress is a kiwi company, so this is where (apart from in my own flat) I’ll here that antipodean twang while I order a flat white and stumble the 100 meters back to my flat, in the more often than not hungover duress I find myself in.
The coffee is top-notch, they always have multiple types of single-origin and blends on offer that I pretend to consider before just going for the standard house. In the summer, sitting in their wildflower garden with an iced coffee, petting other peoples dogs remains one of my favourite past times.
N.B. If you’re accustomed to a double shot, you’ll have to ask for it.
The Dusty Knuckle Bakery
Tucked away down a back alley street in Dalston lives the best sourdough bakery in East London. Every day the locals come donning their bucket hats, and tote bags ready to snap up the morning’s freshly baked loaves and grab an equally impressive coffee.
We have been known to polish off a small loaf in less than 24 hours and it’s become a slightly habitual activity of heading over for a takeaway, picking up some bread and spending the day gorging guiltily.
If you love a no-frills local experience, delicious pastries and a pretty decent brew. Look no further.
I’ve found in London, you can find a lot of places that do great food or good coffee, but it’s a unicorn to find one that nails both. Cafe Route is such a unicorn.
The breakfast/brunch menu is a Mediterranean dream with every base covered, often accompanied by a banging salad bar (no, really) while the coffee is also fantastic.
During the day you’ll find East London’s freelancer community settled in with their laptops. The vibe is slightly upmarket-rustic for Dalston, where grime is usually vogue. They often have garlic and chillis hanging from the ceiling and serve their blends in perfectly unmatching coloured pottery.
Tina, We Salute You
Google “Dalston Coffee” and Tina will often be the first result you get. Adorned with murals, spars furnishings and serving almost no food, Tina is the OG Dalston coffee shop vibe.
The coffee lives up to its reputation, however, I find I frequent previously mentioned locales more commonly, simply due to laziness. It’s about 10 mins from my house rather than 5.
Aussie by name, Aussie by nature. I like to think because the kiwis were doing so well with Allpress, our louder, big brothers across the ditch set up shop nearby to offer up the friendly competition we’ve lovingly become accustomed to.
True to form, they serve much better food and slightly better coffee.
This is the place you must go if you’re hungry, hungover, need to impress someone or simply need a hit of avo-toast. The food is definitely the best on the block.