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5 Cozy Coffee Shops Near Uni

Whether you want to settle in for an afternoon of work, catch up with a friend or just read a couple more chapters of your book, there’s nothing like a cozy coffee shop to soothe your soul.

Good coffee is important, but so is having plenty of choice, decent WIFI and just all-round excellent vibes. All five of the coffee shops on this list are within a stroll’s distance from the university campus and all of them have everything you need to relax, socialise or work.

Briki, Exmouth Market

On the corner of one of the most charming streets in the area, Briki is a Greek coffeehouse and deli with a menu so wide-ranging it’ll suit even the most pretentious of coffee snobs.

Briki is noticeably different from your average coffee shop, with rich, punchy coffee and a vast array of unique plates, snacks and pastries. Cult favourites include the classic pain au chocolat or the chicken and avocado toasted sandwich.

These aren’t your bog-standard lattes or cappuccinos… Coffee connoisseurs and tea aficionados can take delight in the unique teas and coffees served here.

Briki also offers an impressive selection of freshly pressed juices, named by colour rather than ingredients which include fruits and vegetables such as kale, celery, spinach and grapefruit.

The vibes in Briki are immaculate and the baristas are lovely but it can get pretty busy. There is a lovely outdoor seating area though, so you usually don’t have to loiter around for too long and you can find a seat pretty quickly.

On a sidenote, if you haven’t been to Exmouth Market, it’s well worth a trip. A street market with delicious food during the day and a vibrant ‘sidewalk cafe’ vibe in the evening, it’s easily one of the most delightful streets in the whole of London.

Redemption Roasters

There are various Redemption Roasters across the city, but the one closest to uni is a ten-minute walk away, on Islington High Street just before Camden Passage.

Redemption is no hidden gem, and it gets very busy on weekends. A real draw in the summer is the ‘secret’ courtyard out the back, with ornate patio furniture and large umbrellas which make it pleasant even during the drizzly British summertime.

The food is delicious, though pretty basic - eggs or mushrooms on toast kind of thing - but the incredible pastry counter which includes fancy sandwiches means you’ll hardly give the menu a second thought.

The coffee is delightful and it can honestly be said that it’s one of the best filtered coffees out there. Their tea has subtle ‘floral’ notes and comes in nice glass mug, complete with a strainer for that DIY feel.

Let’s not beat around the bus, it is quite expensive. Even compared to other coffee shops in the area but this blow is softened when you realise that your money is going toward bettering society.

Redemption’s roastery is at HMP The Mount, where ‘residents’ are trained as baristas, roasters and coffee producers, and produce the coffee for their London shops.

They run barista academies at 9 other UK prisons, with the overall goal of reducing the UK’s re- offending rate.

Redemption believes ‘exceptional speciality coffee can come from places and people you wouldn’t expect’ and aim to prove this by offering offenders the chance to embark on a new career, and therefore a new life, upon their release.

It’s hard to resist the good vibes, excellent coffee and it’s for a great cause…

Look Mum No Hands

Bright and garish, Look Mum No Hands (LMNH) is part bike repair shop and part coffee shop. That’s certainly an ambitious crossover, but the result is a quirky cafe with an almost retro feel.

As well as various cycling paraphernalia and witty merch, LMNH’s coffee is really good AND it offers an excellent selection of cakes, pastries, sandwiches and brunch-y options.

The iced lattes won’t leave you disappointed and the breakfast sandwiches come complete with oozy-yolked eggs. The cafe is open from Wednesday to Friday until 10pm, and usually from around 4pm the place transforms into a bar, perfect for after work (or study) drinks.

Students will appreciate the designated laptop bar to reserve space for socializing or group projects and keen cyclists will enjoy cycling races projected onto the big screen.

Goswell Road Coffee

An option for the more hipster among you, just down the road from uni is Goswell Road Coffee (GRC).

The Café is easy to find as it’s hard to miss the ‘Fuckoffee’ and Tesco logo styled ‘Tories, very little help’ signs in the window. Inside you’ll find even more quirky coffee-related décor and merch that’ll make you chuckle.

Big enough to get a good group together, the interior is kitted out with a mix of squashy sofas and regular tables, meaning it’s the perfect place to get on with some work or relax with friends.

The staff have been nothing but friendly and you know a place is good if you notice regular people coming back for more.

There’s a more limited selection of food here, but it’ll get you through and the great coffee is reasonably priced, including every alternative milk you can think of.

Overall, if it’s a more alt vibe that floats your boat, GRC is the one for you.

Jimmy and the Bee

The closest coffee shop to uni on this list is Jimmy and the Bee. It doesn’t look like much from the outside.

But, if ever you needed a reminder that it’s what’s on the inside that matters, this is it.

From the off that the first thing you will probably notice is that Jimmy’s is a little more expensive than you might be used to, even in London, but it was worth it.

The food is definitely an advantage! Even if you skip the coffee give one of their homemade toasties a go. You might not think that hummus would work in a toastie but this place will convince you otherwise.

The baristas are very keen to tell you about the various types of coffee they use. Coffee philistines, who only know good and bad coffee might not really get a lot of what is being said but it’s certainly nice to see such passion passionate and refreshing to be served by people who know their stuff.

Jimmy’s is also a great one for the vegans. While all the coffee shops on this list do vegan options and stock alternative milks, most of the offerings at Jimmy’s are vegan and non-vegan options can easily be modified to suit all diets. It’s always great when staff are more than happy to help.