Top 5 coffee stops near us

Tea is the quintessential English beverage. Just like our favourite alcoholic tipple is beer and our most loved dish is the good traditional roast dinner.

Or, at least, so you would have thought.

Gin is actually the leading alcoholic drink of choice for Brits. Going by the quantity we eat, we much prefer the humble sandwich, over a Sunday roast.

And when it comes to tea, well, although we invented the tea bag and are still up there with the Chinese and Turks in terms of cups consumed, we’re undoubtedly a nation of coffee drinkers. In recent years, we’ve been drinking twice as much coffee than tea — around 2 billion versus a measly 850 million.

Suprised? Probably not, considering the number of coffee shops in London alone and how many of us can’t even start our day without one.

If that sounds familiar, you’re in luck. Within a ten to fifteen-minute walk of our clinic on Harley Street, there’s a wealth of cafes to choose from — each with their own unique atmosphere, offerings, and, crucially, great tasting coffee.

For all you who prefer a good cuppa’, don’t worry, they also offer some wonderful tea too.

1. Nordic Bakery

Nordic Bakery is a lovely little Scandinavian-style café that has two branches located around a 10-minute walk from our door.

As per the tradition in Sweden, Nordic Bakery celebrates the concept of Fika — which means “to have coffee”, often with lots of cakes, pastries, or pies on the side, too. And with its minimalistic decor and tranquil spaces that offer a respite from the hustle and bustle outside, there couldn’t be a better place for it.

If you’re heading there for a spot of lunch, try their delicious open rye bread sandwiches. Or if you’re in need of a mid-afternoon snack, opt for one of their hearty cinnamon buns or cakes. All served with wide smiles and excellent coffee.

2. Istanbul Café & Bistro

At just a five-minute walk from our door, Istanbul Café & Bistro is popular with our clients due to its proximity. But the reason they love it so much is that it’s one of the best-kept secrets for Turkish cuisine in London’s West End quarter.

Pass by around lunchtime and you’ll see it packed full of locals, many of whom are Turkish, enjoying homemade Mediterranean dishes and the cosy, authentically-decorated interior. It’s ideal if you’re stomach is calling for a hearty kebab, steak, or burger, but just as suitable if you’re just looking for a smooth, Turkish coffee.

It’s also just a stone’s throw away from Great Portland Street tube and Regent’s Park, making it the perfect rest stop for a pre or post-lunch ramble.

3. Illy Caffè

Illy Caffè is a well known Italian coffee shop with cafés across five continents. It was founded nearly a century ago with the mission to bring the best coffee in the world to the public, and many people believe it has done precisely that.

At just a few steps away from the Oxford Circus tube station, Illy is one tube stop or 12 minutes walk away from our clinic. We’d recommend the walk, as you’ll build up a healthy appetite for their breakfast bomboloni pastries filled with vanilla cream and jam, or their lunchtime piadina wraps, or even one of their various pasta dishes.

Like many of the other cafés on our list, they also offer a takeaway service so you can pick up something on the go. Whatever you do, make sure you try what is acclaimed by many to be one of the best cups of coffee in London.

4. Benugo

With two branches situated just off Oxford Street and within a 15-minute walk from London Vision Clinic, Benugo is a great fueling station for clients who may also like to visit Europe’s busiest shopping street.

With its floor to ceiling windows and downstairs seating area, the Benugo on Wigmore Street is a particularly inviting place to escape to and indulge in one of their freshly-made offerings.

Some of our favourites include such breakfast delights as their apple and blackberry porridge and pomegranate, pistachio, chia yoghurt pot, and hearty lunchtime eats like their roast halloumi and harissa wrap, ham hock butterbean soup, and hot-smoked salmon & avocado bloomer.

5. Café Rio

As the name suggests, Café Rio brings a taste of Brazil to London — specifically the sophisticated and sociable Fitzrovia neighbourhood, just a 10-minute walk from our Marleybone-based clinic.

Portuguese owners run Café Rio, and you’ll certainly notice it by the generous portions of meat and fresh vegetables. Sitting on the corner of Grafton Way, it also gets great light and has a lovely arrangement of plants on the patio. Perfect for enjoying one of their coffees of cheap cocktails (as long as your surgeon permits it!)

The traditional feijoada stew, made with black beans and pork or beef is to die for, and their freshly squeezed berry juices are a must try.