Kensington is an upscale neighbourhood in London, and besides the usual “crème de la crème” of coffee shops, you will find plenty of warm and “down-to-Earth” cafes that fit any budget and taste.
If you are out and about the Kensington area, exploring the Natural History Museum or the Science Museum, or taking a tour around Kensington Palace and the grand Royal Albert Hall, chances are you’ll get tired and start craving coffee and food before you know it.
Here are the best Kensington cafes to give you the much-needed caffeine fix.
Best Coffee Shops in Kensington
Right in the heart of Kensington, on a quiet side street of Kensington High Street, you’ll come across Cafe Phillies. This warm cafe serves wholesome breakfasts, hearty salads, and succulent dishes to kick-start your day the right way.
With fresh homemade cakes and a unique blend of coffee, the upbeat and friendly Kensington cafe is the perfect breakfast or brunch spot for friends, family, and colleagues. Kick-start your day with an almond latte and Japanese matcha paired with a carrot cake or rosemary apple tarte tatin plus vanilla ice cream, and spend no more than £10.
- Location: 2A Phillimore Gardens, London W8 7QB
- Hours: Mon-Sun 7am-5pm
Italian Gardens Cafe
If you are looking for a little taste of Italy and a strong cup of espresso to start your morning right, head down to Kensington Gardens and near Queen Anne’s Alcove. Here you will find the Italian Gardens Cafe operated by Colicci.
What started as a food van in 1982 has now grown into one of the best Kensington cafes for gelato and breakfast with peaceful scenery. Not only will you get a view of the 150-year-old ornamental Italian Gardens, but you will be able to relax and enjoy a wide range of food and drinks to satisfy each palette.
From avocado sourdough toast with poached eggs to salads, sandwiches, French pastries, and fresh fruits. Top that off with a cup of their speciality tea or coffee and Gelupo gelato while soaking up the view, and you are good to go.
- Location: Kensington Gardens, London W2 2SD
- Hours: Mon-Fri 7.30am; Sat&Sun 8am
See Also: Best Things to do in South Kensington
Kensington cafes are known to draw inspiration from all around the world. One such cafe is the organic and artisan, Danish-inspired cafe Hjem Kensington, serving healthy dishes and beautifully crafted coffee right in the heart of Kensington.
If you want a simple and sugary breakfast, grab a cup of cappuccino and a freshly baked cardamom bun or delicious homebaked Danish. If you prefer savoury, then you can opt for a cheddar and parmesan cheese toast with avocado and kimchi, a crowd pleaser any time of the day.
Hjem Kensington prepares organic smørrebrød’s with traditional toppings daily. Prices are unbeatable given the quality and location. Expect to pay from £7.50 to £12 for their speciality sandwiches made on traditional danish, HJEMmade sourdough rye bread. Even better, their speciality coffee, The Baron, is a classic Brazillian from Climpsons & Sons. Don’t miss out on trying some!
- Location: 3 Launceston Pl, London W8 5RL
- Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30-17:00, Sat & Sun 8:30-17:30
If you’ve had too much to drink the night before, head down to Muriel’s Kitchen and order a cup of their activated charcoal latte. A delicious, antiinflammatory and detoxifying drink which topped off with a hearty breakfast, will surely help you cure that hangover. Everyone else who is just popping by for some delicious coffee with a twist, don’t miss out on trying their signature turmeric latte, a.k.a the golden milk.
Founded in 2010 by Charlotte and Sam Miller, the all-day dining bistro serves fresh and nutritious food from seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. If you prefer something savoury, try the sourdough toast with halloumi, poached eggs and roasted tomatoes or opt for some brownies and cheesecake to satisfy your sugar cravings.
- Location: Muriel’s Kitchen has relocated to the National Gallery but will also be launching two new sites.
- Hours: Espresso bar Mon-Sun 10am-6pm
Fait Maison is the perfect little coffee shop you see in magazines. Its bright and floral decor is enough to attract curious passers-by, and if that’s not enough, the smell of their delicious coffee should do the trick.
The story of Fait Maison began in 2001 when two good friends, food and coffee lovers Mohamed Osman and Mohamed El Banna, dared to live their dream. The first branch was opened on Stratford road, Kensington, which quickly became a locals’ favourite. Today there are two more locations in London, both on Gloucester Road and one in Doha, Qatar.
The Kensington coffee shop serves delicious dishes with a Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean twist. In 2015, Fait Maison brought along famous chef Yvonne Osman, also known as Om Waleed, to be their Executive Chef and Creative Director.
So going to the Fait Maison for brunch and coffee will be a completely different experience in terms of ambience and unique flavours. Since it’s the best coffee shop Kensington offers visitors, prices are a bit on the higher side. Expect to pay around £10 for a falafel served with cauliflower, olives, mixed pickles and tahini. Their coffee costs as much as a breakfast dish or £11.95 for a cup of strong Turkish coffee.
- Location: Several locations
- Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-10pm; Sun 8am-10pm
If you are visiting Victoria & Albert Museum or happen to be nearby, make sure to stop by Coco Momo for a cup of freshly brewed coffee and mouthwatering desserts. Their speciality coffee is hand-roasted in London by the award-winning Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, grown by small farmers in Colombia and Brazil.
Modern at heart, with a bit of retro, pastel colours and green flowers, is what makes Coco Momo so charming. Their menu is packed with British and European favourites from baked St. Marcellin and apricot chutney and king prawn linguine to a vegan wild mushroom and chestnut Wellington.
Cosy, friendly, bright and airy, this Kensington coffee shop and British brasserie will become your favourite hang-out spot in no time.
- Location: 25 Gloucester Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 4PL
- Hours: Mon-Thu&Sun 9am-11pm; Fri&Sat 9am-midnight
If you are looking for afternoon tea with an Italian twist, this Kensington coffee shop with old-world Italian charm will fit the bill. Caffe Concerto is a luxury patisserie on par with Kensington’s upscale residents and affluent consumers.
Founded in 1996 with the original branch on Regent Street, today, Caffe Concerto has 18 restaurants/cafes all across London, as well as branches in Dubai, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The Italian restaurant/cafe is open all day, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea. There is something for everyone, including vegetarian, halal, vegan and gluten-free options. From freshly made homemade croissants, patisserie and celebration cakes to Shakshuka and spaghetti alla Bolognese, prepared by their talented head chefs daily.
While there, don’t miss out on their famous Cichetti Tower to share and a bottle of house wine. For a price of around £50, it is one of the best deals in the house.
- Location: 88 Kensington High St, London W8 4SG
- Hours: Mon-Sat 7.30am-11pm; Sun 8am-10.30pm
La Picolla Deli Pasticceria
If you are looking for the best cappuccino in Kensington, served with some of the tastiest desserts on Kensington High Street, head down to La Picolla Deli. You can sit down and enjoy a delicious meal, grab a quick coffee, or pick up some fine artisanal Italian food products.
If this place sounds familiar, it’s because they have a few more branches in West London. Known for the variety of pastries and desserts, it is one of the best Kensington cafes to pop by for breakfast or brunch.
At La Picolla, you will be served high-quality and well-presented food with beating prices on Kensington High Street.
- Location: La Piccola Deli Pasticceria, 270 Kensington High St, London W8 6ND
- Hours: Mon-Sun 7am-8pm
Ole & Steen
Not all Kensington cafes boast an Italian charm. Some of them are deeply rooted in the Scandinavian tradition. One such bakery/coffee shop is Ole & Steen, home of the Cinnamon Social. The Danish bakery on High Street has been Denmark’s favourite bakery for over 20 years.
Day and night, you’ll find delicious homemade bread, handmade pastries and cakes, slow-roasted and hand-crafted single estate coffee from Columbia and Brazil and more. If you’ve had your fair share of croissants and omelettes for breakfast, try their Danish open-faced sandwiches and freshly made baguettes.
- Location: 92 Kensington High St, London W8 4SH
- Hours: Mon-Sun 8am-8pm
There is a variety of coffee shops in Kensington. While some boast beautiful surroundings like the Kensington Gardens, others face the crowded Kensington High Street. From British brasseries and Danish bakeries to Italian patisseries and delis, Kensington has them all. One thing is true, whichever Kensington cafe you decide to drop by, you will not go wrong.