London Cycle Cafés – who? where? what?

Originally published 12/07/2010, updated 22/05/2017

The number of cyclists in London is rising and these happy pedal pushers need fuel. More specifically, they need to find this fuel at a caffeine and sugar tainted watering hole. This helps explain the simultaneous rise of cycling cafes, something that Time Magazine recognised soon after the popular Look Mum No Hands opened.

But these cafes are so much more than coffee and cake. They bring cyclists together in a social environment, inviting people to workshops and events. Those who don’t even own a bike can enjoy relaxing in positive surroundings, ready to be inspired by the Lycra-clad pro sat next to them.

Whether you live north or south of the river, there are plenty of cycling cafes to call in at in your area. Take a look at our guide to see what’s near you.

North London Cycle cafes

Look Mum No Hands Cycle Café

Where? 49 Old Street, EC1V 9HX and 101 Back Church Lane, E1 1LU www.lookmumnohands.com

Probably London’s most established bike and beverage meetup spot. Look Mum No Hands Cafes can be found at two locations but it’s the Old Street site that doubles up as a fully functioning workshop. Friendly, knowledgeable staff are on hand to fix up your bike or train you up on one of their courses. Events take place throughout the year too, from documentary screenings to book launches to wine tasting. The LMNH burger is a must try and there’s plenty for the veggies out there! Closes at 10pm.

CycleLab Juice Bar

Where? 18A Pitfield Street, N1 6EY www.cyclelab.co.uk

Cycle lab

Located in the heart of Shoreditch, Cycle Juice Bar is as trendy as you’d expect it to be. Time Out named it one of the Top 100 Shops in London for its Square Mile coffees, rejuvenating smoothies and colourful juices. Enjoy sipping on one while perusing the selection of bikes and cycling attire on show. The workshop offers reasonably priced services and they offer support for you to ‘do it yourself’. And it doesn’t just stop at bike repairs and coffee; you can take part in a yoga class for cyclists too (told you it was trendy!).

Soho Bikes

Where? 26 Berwick Street Soho London, W1F 8RG www.sohobikes.co.uk

Soho bikes

A bike shop with a café or a café with a bike shop? Either way, they do both very well. Based in the heart of Soho (the name might have already given that away), it’s a great central spot. The café specialises in a bespoke coffee blend with equipment that’s so snazzy, they show the bikes up. The open plan workshop offers a full range of services and there are bikes of all ranges on sale.

Rapha Cycle Club

Where? 85 Brewer Street, W1F 9ZN www.rapha.cc

Globally renowned as a higher-end cycling retailer, Rapha also specialises in events and trips. Very fancy! This flagship store sits in the West End and is home to a huge cafe area where cyclists can meet and greet. The staff take their coffee just as seriously as the bikes, and will happily talk you through their blends. You might even be inspired to take part in one of the many major events that Rapha are involved with. If you in the east, there is a club house in Spitalfields Market too.

MachineSouth London Cycle Cafes

Where? 97 Tower Bridge Road  SE1 4TW www.machinelondon.co.uk

Machine

Bermondsey’s first cycling cafe, serving up Monmouth coffee. The attention to detail here doesn’t go unappreciated, from the saddle stools to the bike wheel tables. Treat yourself to cake while waiting for your bike to be repaired in the workshop or take a look at the products on sale. Staff will happily help you pick out a bike or construct a bespoke one. The handy location is just a five minute cycle from Tower Bridge.

Cycle PS

Where? 41 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8TR www.cycle-ps.co.uk

PS Cycles

Found along the Super Cyclehighway in Camberwell, this is a contemporary concept for bike cafes. It offers the full shebang: a services workshop, custom builds, pool tables and an N64. They also serve up great pizza in their fully licensed bar, which is open until late every night. Whether you have cycling needs or just fancy a cool hangout spot for the evening – this is the place to go. Look out for the site in Battersea too.

London Velo

Where? 18 Deptford Highstreet, SE8 4AF www.ldnvelo.co.uk

Deptford

Ok, we’re getting seriously cool now. They’ve got Brick Lane bagels on the menu, resident DJs for the events space and bike art for sale. It’s very veggie friendly and the coffee used is Union Coffee. You can also sign up to be in the London Velo Cafe Cycle club and join in on Sunday social rides. Membership also gives you perks including a discount card and a club tee shirt. The full service workshop aims to cater your every (bike related) needs within 24 hours. Check out the green garden too – it’s an excellent spot on a sunny day.

Cadence

Where? 2A Anerley Hill, London, SE19 2AA www.cadenceperformance.com

Cadence

Every level of cyclist is warmly welcomed to Cadence. It boasts a cycling studio where you can join in yoga and Pilates classes, or you can book in to get some physio or sports therapy. Otherwise, stick to the highly-recommended cake in the busy café, which is operated by Tandem Ciclo Café. As well as services in the workshop, Cadence also offers events such as ride-outs and seminars. Oh, and it has a large selection of bikes and gear in its shop too. Is that all enough for you?

Pearson

Where? 232 Upper Richmond Road West, SW14 8AG www.pearsoncycles.co.uk

Pearson

If it’s a quick fix you’re after and you happen to be in the south west, pop into Pearson for a service and a damn fine cup of coffee.  Named the ‘World’s oldest bicycle shop’ by Guinness World Records, you can enjoy a bit of history too.

What’s your favourite cycling café in London? Have you visited any featured in this article? Got any cake recommendations? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

See also:

Join 10,221 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.

, , ,

23 Responses to London Cycle Cafés – who? where? what?

  1. Angi 12/07/2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Meh…West London has no such thing…you’ll be lucky to find somewhere decent or nearby to lock your bike up round these parts…

    Nope…we are overpopulated with cafes for ‘yummy mummies’ with large gas guzzlers and equally oversized buggies.

  2. Reuben 12/07/2010 at 5:13 pm #

    Heh. I was about to make a “where are the West postcode?” comment. I smell a niche, sadly one I cannot fill.

    • Angi 12/07/2010 at 9:15 pm #

      Oh I’d love to have my own cafe/bakery/place for naughty delicious treats…and a cycling related/friendly one at that…Unfortunately I think I would be awful at working super early mornings :S

  3. Mike 12/07/2010 at 5:26 pm #

    There’s also the Towpath Cafe: http://projectmanageme.blogspot.com/2010/04/towpath-cafe.html

    • Andreas 12/07/2010 at 6:20 pm #

      Thanks for the addition Mike 🙂

  4. Craig 12/07/2010 at 6:29 pm #

    Still N1 though – wouldn’t mind something in Croydon or along route 21. Have a mad idea for one using an old Library which was a convent, but I reckon it will need millions to convert to purpose.

    • Andreas 12/07/2010 at 7:46 pm #

      Well, seems like a good time to jump onboard the bandwagon. Long as there are enough cyclists in that area. Though big library might be too big!

      • Craig 13/07/2010 at 1:10 pm #

        Small with a great facade, plenty of space for workshop and sales, and a good sized bistro/cafe. Probably room for a meeting room or similar as well. Any good chef and bike mechanics who want to think about a joint venture? 🙂

  5. John 12/07/2010 at 11:49 pm #

    I think there must be a spot for a cycle cafe any where in Britain myself that would take off really well.

  6. tajasel 13/07/2010 at 2:02 am #

    Where’s the south London love? 🙁

  7. Andreas 13/07/2010 at 9:13 am #

    Maybe we should pool together and open another cycle cafe for the areas not seeing the London cycle cafe Love!

  8. Mr. J 13/07/2010 at 11:05 am #

    These cafes are awesome, have not seen them in any other city. Seems like a great concept and a way to increase profits of two low margin businesses by combining them into one space.

    Look Mum No Hands is a personal favorite, in part because they serve beer as well. GBP12 for a flat fix. I’m the guy reading the Economist.

    Also, N1 uber alles.

    • Craig 13/07/2010 at 1:11 pm #

      The you’ve not been to the excellent Mud dock cafe in Bristol Mr J.

    • skyhighsi 05/05/2011 at 2:42 am #

      you should come to melbourne. i am from london but it is HAPPENING over here BIG TIME. and as you may or may not – best coffee in the world is right here and cycling is HUGE.

  9. Vivian 21/07/2010 at 9:21 am #

    Its a shame that woolwich, greenwich and everywhere else south east havent caught on to this lovely idea.. The frst step to make cycling socially acceptable in my view..

  10. Antonia 01/09/2011 at 11:08 am #

    Wouldn’t recommend going to Cycle Lab. Went there yesterday for a service and the one particular issue I wanted sorting – not only did they ignore but made it worse!!! I went back within 5 minutes of picking up the bike to discuss but since it was nearing closing time, they kept looking at the clock and very reluctant to give my bike a second look. Seems like their service does not extend one bit beyond money exchanging hands.

  11. cake my ride 17/04/2012 at 2:04 pm #

    You may want to add Pearsons Cycles Cafe on the Upper Richmond Road. This is a new cycle store concept where you can get your bike serviced, shop, watch the Tour and get a great coffee at the same time – http://www.pearsoncycles.co.uk/store/content/66/Pearson-Performance/

    There are some other good London cycling cafes at http://www.cakemyride.co.uk/london.html

    • Andreas 11/05/2012 at 3:08 pm #

      Good call – thanks for adding that one to our list!

  12. Tania 13/08/2013 at 10:15 pm #

    Really? Only east London and the inner north? How about Cadence at Crystal Palace?

  13. Vincent 24/05/2017 at 11:03 pm #

    > updated 22/05/2017

    What parts were updated?

    • Andreas 26/05/2017 at 8:51 am #

      We added: Rapha Cycle Club, Machine, London Velo, Cadence, Pearson. I’m sure we’ll need to update the list again as more are suggested by kind readers.

  14. Craig 28/05/2017 at 7:17 am #

    South-West London – bike friendly Roehampton Café has a hire shop next door. Unusual for a café, it has its own cycling area (30 minutes circuit with a couple of good up/down hill rides).

    https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond-park/food-and-drink/roehampton-cafe

Leave a Reply