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12 Brilliant Best Cafes in South Kensington

A few days ago, when I started writing about the best cafes in South Kensington, I had a great idea. That of writing about all the best cafes in London, from South Kensington coffee shops to Chelsea cafes, cute and pink cafes in London, and just about any place I could think of. It didn’t matter whether I’d start by writing about cafes in South Kensington where the French community in London gathers to get the best French pastries and coffee in West London. I just felt like writing, writing, and writing a bit more about any cafe in South Kensington that really had something a bit different to offer. 

The Best Cafes in London on The London Local

Lately, you might have read about the super cute cafes in Stoke Newington, as well as the best coffee shops in Covent Garden to get both artisan coffee and the best breakfast in Covent Garden. If you’re as much interested in coffee roasters in London as I am, then those reads might be your new fun ones:

In the meantime, we’re here today to unravel the mysteries of the best coffee shops in South Kensington. There are lots to go by, but I’ve selected a handful of the best cafes and restaurants in South Kensington. That means delicious artisan coffee, brunch, lunch, and breakfast in South Kensington, all in one place! 

PS. The French community in London is so large around South Kensington that you’ll find quite a few French cafes in London in this guide. Not only that, but I’ve decorated this list with some of the best Italian cafes in London as well. 

You might not know that, but being half French and having lived in Rome for a year before moving back to London really has toughened my expectations. That’s why you’ll only find the very best cafes in South Kensington here on The London Local today!

12 Brilliant Best Cafes in South Kensington

Muriels Kitchen South Kensington
Photo: Facebook

I’ve written enough about cute cafes in London for you to know by now that I’m all about the very best places for coffee in London. I don’t joke with coffee. I am half French and half Moroccan, and the coffee roaster culture is engraved deep in both my background cultures. Not only that, but after living for a year in Rome, and visiting many Italian cities and restaurants, I joke even less about Italian coffee. I’ve even actually written about the best Italian cafes in London a while back, and they know their coffee through and through.

After that, I told you about the cutest cat cafes in London, super instagrammable coffee shops in London of the likes of cute Chelsea cafes Feya and El&n, and some of the quirkiest coffee shops in Stoke Newington. Today’s all about the best coffee shops in South Kensington. Those are beautiful places to eat, for brunch, breakfast, a quick lunch, and even at times, dinner. 

Those are only the best cafes in London, in one of the richest areas of London, where pastries are warm and fresh, juices are tangy, and coffee is strong and freshly roasted. Ready? Let’s get down to business!

Best Cafes in South Kensington: Trevi Italian Tiramisu

It would only make sense that I’d start this guide to the best cafes in South Kensington with an Italian coffee shop. Trevi Italian Tiramisu is everything you’d expect the best places to eat in South Kensington to offer. Delicious Southern Italian pastries in London, with at the top of its range, the obvious and delicious tiramisu specialty.

Located close to the National History Museum, Science Museum, and Victoria and Albert Museum, Trevi Italian Tiramisu plainly is a cafe in South Kensington that you’ll want to visit for a real stop and stare at life going about. If cafes in High Street Kensington are the ones that seemingly steal the show every single time, wait till you taste their Sicilian cannoli and tiramisu. 

Of course, as in any Italian bakery in London, there’s much more than just delicious cannoli and tiramisu. You’ll be able to get the best Italian pastries in London, for sure, but also calzoni and tramezzini. And probably, if you’ve been looking for an amazing Italian cafe in South Kensington, the best caffè latte, cappuccino, and macchiato. A slice of Italy right in the heart of West London with this cute South Kensington cafe.

Italian South Kensington Cafe: Illy Caffè

I remember the first time I ever visited Illy Caffè on Old Brompton Road and thought that was the best coffee in South Kensington. At that time, I was learning Italian, and everything Italy-related was just a breath of fresh air, from Italian cafes in South Kensington to authentic Italian pizza in London. That’s all, I just felt I needed the sun, and getting the best breakfast in South Kensington with an Italian cornetto and espresso was just about the real deal to me.

There are lots of cute cafes in London, and lots are much cuter than the Illy Caffè coffee shop in South Kensington. But they’re far from being as genuine and authentic to Italian culture as Illy is. That’s a cafe where you can get amazing breakfast and lunch, and any 100% Arabica coffee blend from cappuccino to espresso, macchiato, and caffè latte.

This South Kensington cafe certainly is one of the coffee shops around Kensington High Street that I feel the best at. To be honest, once you live in Italy, you’ll never eat Italian food or drink Italian coffee in London the same way, and that’s a fact. This is why of all the cafes in South Kensington, I feel most at home at Illy Caffè. 

Aux Merveilleux de Fred

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Photo: Nice Local

If you’re ever looking for a French bakery in London, Aux Merveilleux de Fred should be your next destination. When I wrote about the best cafes in Chelsea, I mentioned Aux Merveilleux de Fred as it’s definitely one of the best and most original French bakeries in London. Even if it doesn’t offer your usual traditional French baguette and croissant puff pastries. 

For the perfect breakfast in South Kensington, you could be checking out mainstream places. You could be going to the famous Illy Caffè I’ve just mentioned or Gail’s Bakery for cinnamon rolls. Or you could think out of the box and visit this amazing French bakery in London, located super close to High Street Kensington station.

As we’ve mentioned before, the French community in London is quite large. Around Kensington, Chelsea, Belgravia, Fitzrovia, and South Kensington, it’s even larger. That’s why you can find quite a few cafes in South Kensington named after French words, offering delicious brioches, navettes, croissants, and French bread. I don’t know if you remember Belle Epoque Patisserie in Stoke Newington? That’s one proper French bakery in London, with lots of amazing cakes and instagrammable pastries, all French-inspired. 

And while Aux Merveilleux de Fred can be qualified as a French bakery in London, it’s also one of the very best cafes in South Kensington. Not only is there a queue outside of the coffee shop slash bakery most days, but their version of the “merveilleux” is absolutely decadent. And I mean every word of it, with meringue and cream and chocolate all married and combined in a sweet pastry, unlike anything you’ve ever tried in your life. Certainly not the place for a brunch in South Kensington, but definitely a cafe where you’ll get delicious brioches, merveilleux, and chocolate treats. 

South Kensington Cafe & Bakery: Gail’s Bakery

Gail’s Bakery is one of the first cafes in South Kensington you see when getting out of the Tube station. Right across the street, in a beautiful little spot where you’ll find plenty of other restaurants. Gail’s Bakery is one of the first places to eat in South Kensington I ever visited. At that time, all I was really looking for was the European Bookshop, one of the best bookshops in London. Just wanted to buy Harry Potter in Italian to try and master the language as fast as I could. 

This South Kensington cafe is one of the best places to rest and just read a book when you’re in West London. Amazing coffee shop to bring the kids and make them discover some quirky foods, from their excellent cinnamon buns to delicious caffe latte. The cinnamon buns are really different from the ones you can find at delicious independent bakery Bread Ahead, by the way, and worth a stop and treat all the same.

I’m a sucker for anything related to coffee shops in South Kensington, and the vibe is so chill. So laidback. So posh, the perfect echo for luxury, cute cafes in London. It really just makes you want to settle down for a bit, maybe write down your daily/weekly/monthly goals in a notebook and keep on keeping on. 

And Gail’s Bakery just really is that spot where you can get artisan bread, instagrammable pastries, and probably the best hot chocolate in London. All wrapped up in the best South Kensington cafe. If you’re ever roaming around London sightseeing, there are quite a few branches of this coffee shop in London, with locations around Tottenham Court Road, Waterloo Station, colorful Portobello Road, and many, many more. 

Cafes in South Kensington: The Muffin Man Tea Shop

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Photo: FoodJunkieUK

I still remember the first time I ever visited the Muffin Man Tea Shop. I even wrote a review about this top-of-the-range South Kensington cafe on another blog of mine at the time. There are lots of cafes in South Kensington, and that’s a fact. But how many actually offer the possibility to have a delicious and affordable afternoon tea? 

I remember the delicious crumpets and scones I ate at the Muffin Man Tea Shop. The fact that it’s located so close to Kensington High Street just makes it that much more enjoyable to have a little sightseeing walk in the area before sitting down there.

If you’re just looking for amazing South Kensington cafes for a British bite, then the Muffin Man Tea Shop is your spot. I couldn’t imagine a better place to get a slice of delicious carrot cake, scones, crumpets, and English tea and milk. I’m not one who would usually travel all the way for breakfast or brunch in South Kensington. 

But I’ve always very much admired this coffee shop, and it will always remain one of the best cafes in South Kensington for any sweet bites you might be craving. Not a French bakery in London, but probably one of the best places for afternoon tea, a coffee, and a chat with friends.

Best South Kensington Cafes: Over Under

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Photo: TripAdvisor

You know by now how much of a sucker I am when it comes to specialty coffee in London. Whether we’re talking instagrammable pink latte coffee, matcha latte, or bright orange turmeric latte, I’m collecting the places to get those instagrammable drinks. It’s just never enough. We know that in some famous coffee shops in Chelsea like Feya Cafe and El&n Cafe, we can get delicious specialty coffee. But what about cafes in South Kensington?

You’d get the perfect specialty coffee in London at Over Under, duh. This quirky South Kensington cafe is a coffee shop by day and a bar at night. I don’t really drink anything other than tea or coffee in London, and that’s why I’ll mostly highlight Over Under as one of the best coffee shops in South Kensington. Located under the South Kensington Station Arcade, it offers delicious bites for breakfast and brunch in South Kensington.

Eggs, instagrammable toasts, salmon, avocado, specialty coffee… One of the no-frill places to eat in South Kensington on your way to or from work, solo, with your other half, or with friends. In any case, you already know you’re about to get some of the best coffee in South Kensington, and that enough is enough to get me sold.

South Kensington Cafes: Ole & Steen

I’ve always very much enjoyed restaurants and cafes in South Kensington. However, the first time I ever came across Ole & Steen was absolutely not in West London. Rather, I was walking around delish Chinatown restaurants and Charing Cross Road (where you can find one of the biggest bookshops in London!) when I saw this Danish bakery and coffee shop in Central London. And I loved it from the get-go. The South Kensington cafe is just as amazing, if not more, than the branch on Charing Cross Road.

The atmosphere there is sober and really posh, even if the prices are kept very correct, even in the cafe in South Kensington. Located on Kensington High Street, Ole & Steen offers anything from tea to breakfast, and most probably the best coffee in London. It’s part of those really cute cafes in London that seem to come from another world. 

Every time I visit this bakery slash cafe in South Kensington, I order at least two pastries and a simmering hot coffee. It’s just normal for me to order many beautiful pastries when I visit the best cafes in London. I’ve always done so, and if you’re offering me cinnamon swirls and spandauer (puff pastry with delicious vanilla custard cream), I’m sure not going to turn it down. 

There are other locations for the Old & Steen cafes other than their South Kensington coffee shop and bakery. Canary Wharf, Chiswick, Leicester Square, or their delicious Hampstead cafe all offer the same level of service and deliciousness, so I can only urge you to try the Ole & Steen vibe!

Cafes in South Kensington: Fait Maison

Ah, Fait Maison – this South Kensington cafe on Stratford Road probably is one of the cutest cafes in London. There are quite a few addresses to the Fait Maison coffee shops in South Kensington, two on Gloucester Road, and one on Stratford Road. In all cases, the South Kensington cafes all enjoy a very nice Middle Eastern slash Turkish menu mixed with British elegance. For one, they probably rank among the most instagrammable cafes in London, with their cute flowery decoration.

One of the best places to eat in London, Fait Maison not only is a restaurant but a Salon de Thé where you can get delicious breakfast and brunch in South Kensington. Sweet or savory pancakes, tortillas, eggs royale, homemade scones… Lots and lots of treats to start the day on the right foot, or just to relax a bit in the middle of a visit to West London. Just one of the cutest cafes in South Kensington for whoever would like to snap a few Instagram shots while sipping their coffee or tea.

Best Cafes in South Kensington: Cafe Roma

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Photo: Zomato

Cafe Roma on Fulham Road probably is one of the best cafes in London. Not the cutest, but it certainly offers the best coffee of all the coffee shops in South Kensington. After all, it’s not been named Cafe Roma by chance! Whenever I’m looking for a quick breakfast in South Kensington and a real, Italian cup of coffee, Cafe Roma is an address I know won’t disappoint. Inside, it’s small and no-frill, and you know from the get-go that the food is going to be to the point and perfectly crafted.

Not many cafes in South Kensington are so bare and genuine. We’re mostly used to pink and cute cafes in London when it comes to South Kensington, Chelsea, and Belgravia, innit? Well, that’s definitely one of the coffee shops in Kensington that are playing on another chord. I’d definitely recommend checking out Cafe Roma before getting on with your day, visiting cute Japanese gardens and free rooftop gardens in London, for instance. That way, you’re sure to have an amazing day.

Best South Kensington Cafes: Caffe Musetti

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Photo: Marriott

We’ve worked out that I love having breakfast in a South Kensington cafe, and that if it’s Italian or French, it’s even more appreciated. Caffe Musetti in the Marriott at the Sheraton Grand London is one of my favorite cafes in South Kensington. All Italian, with delicious coffee and a really high-end experience for coffee, breakfast, or brunch in South Kensington. An atmosphere that would almost remind you of romantic restaurants in London with a view, am I right?

Caffe Musetti is that delicious Italian coffee shop where you can just stop and relax. Contemplate the day passing by, wait for the Natural History Museum or the V&A to open, or just, you know, stop during the weekend for the fun of it. Not only will you get some of the best Italian coffee in London, but also delicious pastries and sandwiches tainted with Italian culture. 

By the way, if you’d like to discover the very best Italian cafes in London, I’ve written a full guide about them a while back. I’m a lover of anything Italian, so you can always check out The London Local guides to the best authentic pizza in London and the best Italian restaurants in London. You know those won’t let you down.

Best Cafes in South Kensington: Muni Coffee Company

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Photo: Muni Coffee

I think Muni Coffee Company on Fulham Road probably is one of the most underrated cafes in South Kensington. The German-based coffee company creates absolutely delicious coffee, and since it’s been brought to life by a couple, you can easily understand the extent to which they’re working to bring up Muni Coffee Company to the top of South Kensington cafes.

If you’re a regular customer of the Filipino bakery Panadera Bakery in Kentish Town, yam and purple cakes in London shouldn’t be a secret to you. Muni Coffee focuses on delicious coffee from the Philippines, as well as delicious Filipino ingredients that make up delicious treats and cakes. We’re far from being onto a French bakery in London with Muni, that’s for sure. 

However, we’re definitely onto one of the very best cafes in South Kensington, and that’s a fact. Very sober, with delicious ingredients, rice bowls, sandwiches, and cakes in London, Muni Coffee is a one-stop-shop for any relaxed moment you might need.

Best South Kensington Cafes: Muriel’s Kitchen

I don’t really know how to go about with Muriel’s Kitchen. Beyond ranking as one of the really cute cafes in London, it’s one of the coffee shops in South Kensington where you’ll just feel amazing. Fresh food served since 2010, delicious moments between friends, and most probably the best coffee in South Kensington. And there are no two ways to go about it, to be fair – when you’re at one of the best cafes in South Kensington, you need to acknowledge that. 

If you’re looking for the best places to eat in South Kensington – restaurants or coffee shops, Muriel’s Kitchen is built on a very interesting concept. The core belief was that fresh and fast food shouldn’t cost an arm, a leg, and an eye in this South Kensington cafe. So, in 2010, founders Charlotte and Sam Miller set out to find the freshest local produce in London. 

Today, the South Kensington cafe offers a plethora of delicious foods from Eggs Royale to Brioche French toast and fresh avocado on sourdough toasts. Muriel’s Kitchen has since opened other branches aside from their restaurant and coffee shop in South Kensington. But to be honest, that’s the one I love the most. Why? Because it reminds me of the posh Britishness that goes hand in hand with famous sourdough toasts and English cakes in London. I just feel amazing whenever I visit Muriel’s Kitchen, and if you’re looking for the perfect brunch in South Kensington, that’s a place to markdown.

12 Brilliant Best Cafes in South Kensington

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Photo: Deliveroo

There you have them, all the South Kensington cafes that really are the real deal. I am always stopping at cute cafes in London, as you might have seen when I wrote the guide to the best cute cafes in Chelsea some time ago. There’s a different vibe to cafes in South Kensington, however. Although they’re still located in one of the richest areas of London, they’re more laidback. Less out there compared to coffee shops in Chelsea. And I love that kind of really chill elegance, that sophistication that you can find in French cafes in London like Aux Merveilleux de Fred.

But brunch in South Kensington is not enough for me. I like the vibe of aesthetic places in London to work and study. I’m quite a workaholic (always looking for the best cafes to work in London!) and it’s hard for me to stop, even just for a day. And cool cafes in London will always be the background for my writing work. So…

If you’re a huge coffee lover as I am, you might want to read this next, as you will find your new favorite cute cafes in London in there: 

Until next time!

PS. Did you know there are super relaxing cat cafes in London?

Sam

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