We put it to the people to find out the best places to get your caffeine fix on and around the Roman Road.
Like any good high street, there is no shortage of choice when it comes to coffee shops on the Roman Road. Whether you’re partial to an oat milk flat white or prefer a filter coffee with two sugars, our wide array of local cafes can do both. We put it to you, our readers, to tell us your favourite places on and around the Roman to have a coffee, and here is what we found…
Mae + Harvey
The people have spoken and it probably comes as no surprise that in top place is the Roman’s beloved Mae + Harvey. Behind its dark blue facade is an effortlessly cool, light and airy café, serving up a mouth-watering breakfast, brunch and lunch menu seven days a week. High quality food creatively combined, Mae + Harvey is not afraid to put its spin on classic recipes. A worthy winner that’s for sure.
BEST FOR: Brunches
Find Mae + Harvey at 414 Roman Road, E3 5LU.
Coming in at a very close second, Zealand Café is loved by locals and visitors alike, and there’s rarely a moment in the day that it’s not overflowing with customers. Hard wooden tables, grey brick walls, geometric paintings and loads of natural light make it one of the most Instagrammable spots on the Roman. But Zealand is not only good for your social media feed. Its friendly baristas give this café its infectious buzz, and they’ll sort you out with one of the best coffees around town.
BEST FOR: People watching
Visit Zealand Cafe on 391 Roman Road, E3 5QS (where the Roman meets Zealand Road!).
Targa Green Café
Another high scorer slightly off the Roman Road is Targa Green Café, an intimate and charming venue decorated with colourful tiles and serving homemade cakes. Its warm, Moroccan-inspired interior and traditional playlist gives the café a homely, community feel that’s bursting with life. If you’re in the mood for more than just a coffee, go at lunchtime and sample the plentiful daily buffet – we’ve heard it’s a favourite around here.
BEST FOR: A quiet coffee
Pop into Targa Green at 137 Tredegar Road, E3 2EU.
They say good things come in small packages and that rule definitely applies to Loafing. The tiny corner café has everything you need for a morning pick me up – delicious coffee, fresh croissants, and an outside space for people-watching. The deep brown shop front and rustic wooden interior create a cosy feel, perfect for settling in with a comforting coffee and tucking into one of Loafing’s sweet or savoury crepes.
BEST FOR: Coffee and crepes
Loafing is located on 407 Roman Road, E3 5QS.
Does what it says on the tin. Its delicious Turkish breakfast gives you an instant energy kick, as well as their fresh coffee and juices. It’s not unusual to see joggers and dog-walkers popping in as it’s one of the most favourite and affordable places to eat and recharge on Roman Road. Top tip? Try the homemade banana bread – it’s soft, it’s warm, it’s delicious.
BEST FOR: Latte art
Recharge at 140 Roman Road, E2 0RY.
Coffee and Fripes
This unusual blend of coffee shop and vintage clothing store is bringing a fresh new café experience to Roman Road. Opening in January this year, Coffee and Fripes introduced a taste of France to the East End, serving French patisseries, sandwiches and cakes good enough to transport you to the continent. We hear the raspberry tartlets are particularly tasty.
BEST FOR: Chai lattes
Find Coffee and Fripes at 512 Roman Road, E3 5ES.
The newest coffee shop on the Roman opening this September, Local Café is fast becoming a favourite in the Roman Road LDN office. Sandra Bajraliu is the owner, barista, chef, and everything in-between, and it’s hard not to catch her infectious smile when you walk in. Choose from two blends of coffee from Italy or Brazil or go for one of the many herbal teas on offer, and do so without breaking the bank.
BEST FOR: Your bank account
Local Café is located just at the end of Roman Road Market at 84 St Stephen’s Rd, Old Ford, E3 5JL.
This charming baby blue tuktuk has become a cherished part of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, run by 27-year old owner and barista, Emily Brausem. Sourcing her beans from Flying Horse Coffee on Mare Street, and using only biodegradable packaging, Blue Daisy is a fully sustainable business. All of the sweet treats on this seasonable menu are homemade with organic ingredients – watch out for the gooey black forest cookies with sour cherries – a popular winter favourite.
BEST FOR: A coffee on the go
Find Blue Daisy in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, just off Southern Grove, E3 4PX.
Found next door to the Nunnery Gallery on Bow Road, the Nunnery Café offers a fully vegetarian menu and sources its coffee from female-fueled specialty coffee roastery, Hey Sister Coffee. The sandwiches here are prepared in-house each day, and the walls are adorned with affordable art. With the gallery right next door, take the chance to grab a coffee and make an afternoon of it.
BEST FOR: A bit of culture
Pop into the Nunnery Café at 181 Bow Road, E3 2SJ.
This cosy cafe at the Bethnal Green end of the Roman Road has Italian style written all over it. Quarantacinque serves only Caffé Molinari, from an espresso alla Romana to a proper flat white, these guys take their coffee seriously. During the lockdown, owner Francesco Ragazzi sold coffee out of the window and took photos of all his customers, capturing a time in our lives when simple things like a cup of coffee were so precious.
BEST FOR: An Italian espresso
Swing by Quarantacinque at 45 Roman Road, E2 OHU.
Best of the rest
A few of our favourites didn’t get a mention by you, so we’d like to shout out to Cafe East, Sazzy & Fran, Victoria Park’s Hub Café, The Coffee Room and of course Mono.
If you enjoyed this article, you might like our round-up of the best vegan cafes near Roman Road.
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