Cafés where you can work late in London

Back in the days of leaving the office to work on freelance, I put together a map of London’s best cafés and coffee shops that stay open in the evenings.

Whether you were looking for the best place to polish off an essay, add sound effects to a PowerPoint presentation, clatter through the final chapter of Queenie or steal 45 minutes to write a key connecting scene in your new novel, we have a spot for you.

If you’re missing that low-level hum of the beangrinder, or you want to support your local caff, the map’s still up and running. Just be aware that cafés that usually open until 8pm or later on weeknights – socially distanced, as per – may have changed their hours, so check the website (or ring ahead) rather than relying on Google Maps’ notoriously haphazard opening time info.

Late-opening cafés that qualified for this map were places that, generally:

  • would be convenient for someone to take a laptop to work on
  • would be OK for someone work for about an hour without feeling like he or she was annoying anyone or being a character from Nathan Barley
  • have laptop-friendly surfaces (tables or benches, for example, rather than sofas and shin-height furniture)
  • aren’t noisy (beyond the regular swearing of a scalded barista) and don’t host gigs
  • are good

Some of the cafés on the map sell booze but none of them are pubs or bars. I hadn’t considered whether these places have wifi or plug sockets – most have wifi, some are cool with you using their electrical power supply. If you need more certainty on the wifi, power or event situation, then call ahead – most places are happy to help and it only takes a minute. They’re not going to be silent, of course, but they might well be quiet.

And if not … Just bosh Nepenthe on again …

A shot of coffee and cake from a café in the sun on the tiles outside at the Barbican. You can work late here on weeknights

I often cover London stories for places like Munchies, Time Out and Eventbrite and have done so for about ten years. If you are looking for a blogger who knows events and venues inside out, please drop me an email. And lastly, if you know a good late night café or coffee shop that fits the bill that you want me to add to this map, just say hi. elliebroughon@gmail.com

Like this? I’ve also got a GCal for cheap cinema tickets in London.