5 of our favourite cycle cafes

Cycling and coffee go hand in hand – riders of skinny tyres, fixed wheels, knobbly rubber and basketed bikes are nearly always all partial to a good espresso (cappachino, Americano, or latte).

Cycle cafes bring together our love of bicycles and caffeinated drinks with a heady mix of new-tyre and alluring coffee bean aromas. Whether it’s a quick refuel on a 50 mile ride, or a relaxed lunch break with laptop in panniers, we all enjoy breathing in the cycle passion that is present in a bicycle themed cafe, and being surrounded by like-minded souls as our steeds sit safely outside.

If you haven’t already got a favourite cycle watering hole – here’s a look at some of  our top velo cafes:

Rapha Cycle Cafe

Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 11.06.01

Based at 85 Brewer Street, the Rapha Cycle Club promises fine coffee, and a menu which matches the pro racing cafe, plus of course a view of live action on widescreen TVs to keep you entertained.

A road cycling mecca, The Rapha Cycle Club organise rides weekly, on Saturday morning, Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, as well as playing host to events such as book signings.

If you’ve not been already, Rapha CC London is well worth a visit. We talked about the new opening of RaphaCC in 2012 here (see – we’ve been in this business a long time..)

Look Mum No Hands

look mum no hands

I am genuinely being genuine when I tell you that LookMumNoHands! serve quite possibly my favourite coffee. It could perhaps be that I bought a coffee from their stand when I was working at London Revolution – I had a press pass and £1.50 in cash, I’d been there for hours and I was starving – LookMumNoHands! was the only stand that took cards, so my dinner was a cappachino, a bag of crisps and a granola slice (and an apple). It was a damn good cappuccino it made up for the lack of real sustenance.

Based at 49 Old Street, LMNH also holds a special place in my heart because they sponsor a great racing club, LookMumNoHands RT. With 10 women and 5 men, I see them around on the scene quite a bit and they are fast… Must be something in the coffee.

But back to the cafe – LookMumNoHands! has excellent food, a big screen for showing bike racing, a team of mechanics who will fix your bike, and they sell some really lovely pieces of kit and trinkets.

Lock-7

lock7 cycle cafe

At 129 Pritchard’s Road, overlooking Regent’s Canal, this cafe meets workshop, meets second-hand-bike-shop, meets accessory merchants is a pretty spot of enjoy a beverage and a snack.

Lock-7 was formed in 2007, after its two founders visited Copenhagen and discovered a desire to sell beautiful and ‘more interesting’ bicycles. They opened in 2008, and they’ve built up a friendly community of like minded riders. They sell bikes you wouldn’t find on the high street (easily), and they’ve got a wonderful ‘make do and mend’ ethic.

Lock-7 describe their goals as: “Getting people on bicycles, keeping people on bicycles, having fun with it and making a difference” –we can’t think of many better reasons to visit than that.

You’ll find all of London’s cycle cafe’s in our free London Cyclist iPhone app. Get a copy here.

Just outside town…

Maison Du Velo

Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 11.02.42

Of course, if you’re putting your Saturday/Sunday best on to ride outside of town – where to go?

Maison Du Velo opened in Reigate last year. Not far from new-cycling-holy-place, Box Hill, it’s become incredibly popular, likely due to the management’s endless enthusiasm and desire to reach out the cycling community. If you’re taking yourself out of town, MdV is well worth a visit.

As well as selling parts, clothing, accessories and bikes, MdV organise regular weekly rides, Watt bike sessions, Yoga for cyclist sessions, hill climb sessions, and some friends of the cafe even meet for triathlon swimming training.

Of course, if you’re just popping by – the food is the most important thing – and you won’t be disappointed, with light sandwiches and panini’s, salads, and plenty of cake to accompany fantastic coffee.

Once upon a time, I lived quite close to this lovely cafe, so I had the opportunity to talk about their open day celebrations on my RideWriteRepeat blog here.

Velo Cafe

velo cafe brighton

Planning a London to Brighton run? Or perhaps just getting the train down to the seaside and fancy a coffee and lunch in familiar surroundings? Look no further – Velo Cafe is here for you.

Based at The Level Velo cafe aim to be a meeting place for cyclists that provides great food, great coffee, plus beer and wine of you want to really wind down. They host rides on Wednesday and Sunday, and also have a workshop with a full “bike service menu”.

Want more? Andreas has been to a few places I haven’t – here are his top London Cycle Cafes…

Those are a few examples of amazing places to grab a cuppa surrounded by all things bikey – but where do you like to get your coffee fix?

Join 9,241 fellow cyclists who are subscribed to the London Cyclist newsletter

Sign up for our free newsletter to get...

  • Advice on the best cycling gear
  • A Friday roundup of all the latest London cycling news
  • Exclusive content not available on the blog

Subscribe today, and get exclusive access forever! (It's free)

*No spam, ever!

As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

13 Responses to 5 of our favourite cycle cafes

  1. alua 30/05/2014 at 10:57 am #

    You might want to mention that LMNH has a second outlet, on Mare Street. The other fantastic thing about both of them are the late opening times – 10 or 11 pm, depending on the day. A rarity for cafés in London in general.

    Will check out Rapha, had no heard of that one before!

  2. Andrew 30/05/2014 at 11:15 am #

    Further out of town, in Ashtead Surrey, I’d recommend http://www.bikebeans.co.uk. Some of my cycling buddies also like Giro in Esher, but I’ve not had the opportunity to visit yet.

  3. Ted 30/05/2014 at 11:28 am #

    There’s bike cafe’ Cycle PS (41 Camberwell Church Street, London SE5). Good coffee, home made pizzas and cakes. Plus, large screen for viewing cycling events, video juke-box, pool table, bike magazine stand, classic three rider tandem on the wall as part of the decor. Best of all, a welcoming atmosphere from both the staff and customers. Great stuff!

  4. Ted 30/05/2014 at 11:36 am #

    I forgot to mention, Cycle PS is also a bike mechanics store, where you can buy a range of accessories, or get your bike fixed while you drink your coffee or eat your snacks.

  5. Anna 30/05/2014 at 3:26 pm #

    Great to hear of a fab sounding cafe in Camberwell Ted.
    BIRDHOUSE in st Johns Hill Wandsworth SW18 is delightful and bang next door to an excellent cycle repair shop. Delicious breakfast, cakes and coffee I and good atmosphere too.
    It’s on the route down to Surrey, Box hill via Richmond Park.

    • Ted 30/05/2014 at 4:10 pm #

      Thanks for this info about Birdhouse, Anna! I’ll check it out next time it’s on my route (I like to ride to Richmond a couple of times every summer).

      • Patrick 30/05/2014 at 10:13 pm #

        +1 for Birdhouse. Try the salted caramel brownies.

  6. Anna 30/05/2014 at 3:29 pm #

    Add for Birdhouse is
    123 St Johns Hill
    SW11 1 SZ

  7. Louise 30/05/2014 at 9:33 pm #

    If you’re attempting the Olympic route and pass through Dorking, try us at The Dorking Deli. We get plenty of cyclists in for our coffees, bacon sandwiches and homemade cakes. And should you need a repair or friendly advice, we’re just 100m away from Head for the Hills bike shop! We’re both open 7 days a week!

  8. Ordinary Cycling Girl 01/06/2014 at 9:14 pm #

    I’m not London based but I am familiar with a couple of these cafes. I love the Rapha Cycle cafe and next tie I’m down I really want to go to LMNH – I’ve heard so many great things about it! Nottingham is seriously lacking in cycle cafes.

  9. Sean 06/06/2014 at 4:07 pm #

    Love LMNO, but the service for food and drink is painfully slow.
    Attitude of the staff is we really don’t value you as customers, but if we really have to, we will serve you food but boy, expect to wait around……;((

  10. M Ashrit 09/06/2014 at 11:49 am #

    Hey Michelle,

    I have heard about “Look Mum No Hands” and looks like its a treat being there.

  11. Marc 20/06/2014 at 11:46 am #

    LOCK 7 is unfortunately no longer a cafe…. The bicycle side of things has taken over…. Apparently it has recently been bought out.

Leave a Reply