Thanks to Team GB’s two-wheeled success at the Olympics, cycling in the capital is bigger than ever. Meanwhile, so-called cycling cafés – pit stops where you can grab a coffee and a bite to eat while picking up some cycling accessories or getting a puncture fixed – are popping up all over London. Guest blogger Ben Holbrook maps out his top five…
Cycle Labs Juice Bar, 18a Pitfield St, N1 6EY
One of London’s original cycle cafés, this healthy little juice bar offers freshly squeezed fruit juices, smoothies, and, of course, coffee, tea and cake – us cyclists need our energy after a hard day on the road! Expert staff will be able to fix and tune up your bike, no matter what kind of riding you’re into. The Juice Bar’s near-city location makes it popular with couriers, while the cycle path outside brings in plenty of locals.
Rapha Cycle Club, 85 Brewer St, W1F 9ZN
Best known as one of the leading manufacturers of cycling clothing and accessories, Rapha have recently ventured into new territory and opened the Rapha Cycle Club in the middle of Soho. It’s a hub (pardon the pun) for everything related to cycling, sport and culture. As well as showing live races and screening new cycle-themed films and documentaries, they also produce some fantastic food, drink and coffee – all fresh and reasonably priced. It’s the perfect place to while away an afternoon or catch your breath before you get back on your bike.
Look Mum No Hands!, 49 Old Street, EC1V 9HX
Cycling has boomed on a massive scale in recent years, but nowhere more so than in east London. This huge interest and demand inspired the guys at Look Mum No Hands! to create a super-hip hangout for local cyclists. There’s secure parking, snacks, coffee, free wifi and a bike workshop where you can get your bike tuned and modified. It’s also a great place to grab a couple of beers in the evening.
Lock 7, 129 Pritchard’s Road, E2 9AP
A little taste of America, Lock 7 serves delicious and healthy muesli with yoghurt, fruit and honey, and some (not so healthy) pastries and cinnamon buns. The lunchtime menu offers toasted sandwiches and quiches, and there’s plenty of life-giving coffee to give you the energy for more cycling! As with all the best cycle cafés, Lock 7 is equipped to deal with all of your bike maintenance needs and staff will work on your bike while you wait. Thanks to its beautiful canal-side location, this is a great place to kick back and relax – with or without your bike.
Fullcity, 72 Leather Lane, EC1N 7TR
Fullcity is one of the most authentic cycle cafes in London. Its owner, Lawrence, opened the quirky little coffee kiosk with the intention of helping the city’s couriers keep their bikes in working order, but they now welcome cyclists from all walks of life. They serve coffee made from Monmouth coffee beans, widely considered to be London’s finest, and continue to grow as one of the most popular, friendly and efficient cycling hangouts in town. Stop by, say hello, grab a great cup of coffee, get your bike fixed and cycle some more!
When Ben isn’t out riding off his coffee buzz you’ll find him working at Hotel Club, reviewing the best of the many London hotels.