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Kaffeine, Fitzrovia 

Kaffeine has been setting the benchmark for speciality coffee in London since 2009 when Peter Dore-Smith noticed a gap in the market for a Melbourne-style café. Good coffee, quick and friendly service and fuss-free interiors make it a favourite with both residents on the go and passers-by. A weekly changing menu of pastries, sandwiches and salads keeps things fresh, and the coffee tasting flight is not to be missed. Pair it with a slice of toasted banana bread. 

66 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7QJ
+44 (0)20 7580 6755
kaffeine.co.uk
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Prawn on the Lawn, Islington

Perched at the rear of St Paul’s Road in Islington is the splendidly named Prawn on the Lawn. This humble restaurant is an unfussy affair that operates as a fishmonger by day before pulling out a few seats and firing up the hob by night. The fish is as fresh as it gets (in landlocked London at least), delivered daily from the UK’s southwest coast. Scallop ceviche, monkfish-and-chorizo stew and split langoustine are some of the highlights of the ever-changing menu – paired with homemade soda bread and a manzanilla sherry, of course.

220 St Paul’s Road, N1 2LL 
+44 (0)20 3302 8668 
prawnonthelawn.com 
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Westerns Laundry, Highbury

Chef David Gingell and restaurateur Jeremie Cometto- Lingenheim worked for big operators and in West End kitchens for some 20 years before opening their first restaurant, Primeur, in 2014. Westerns Laundry followed in 2017 and a third outpost, Jolene, joined the fold the next year. 

The name refers to the building’s past life as a laundry that serviced nearby Pentonville Prison. Today the stripped-back space, which overlooks a courtyard of olive trees, offers an altogether different kind of service. The seasonal menu of small plates, which has a focus on fish, is etched on a chalkboard; items are crossed off as the daylight wanes and candles flicker.

34 Drayton Park, N5 1PB 
+44 (0)20 7700 3700 
westernslaundry.com
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The River Café, Hammersmith

Launched in 1987 as a canteen for her architect husband’s next-door studio, Ruth Rogers’ café is an ever-popular Thames-side restaurant in the West London suburb of Hammersmith. Despite being self-taught, Rogers won a Michelin star in 1997, which the River Café retains, so booking in advance is advised. Inside the 120-cover space are colourful and crisp interiors – including an open oven with a bright pink cover – all designed by Ruth’s husband, Richard Rogers. The menu changes daily depending on the produce available but whatever’s in stock, the pasta dishes are London’s most inventive. For pudding we’d suggest pitting your appetite against the signature Chocolate Nemesis, an indulgently rich dark-chocolate torte.

Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, W6 9HA
+44 (0)20 7386 4200
rivercafe.co.uk
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The Monocle Café, Marylebone 

The Monocle Café first opened on Marylebone’s Chiltern Street in 2013, just steps from our nearby HQ and our shop on George Street. Our in-house design team transformed the two-storey space, furnished with tables and feather-upholstered sofas, where you can make yourself at home with a cup of Allpress coffee, pick up the latest issue of the magazine and enjoy the company of fellow readers. The team serves global cuisine – from bagels to bento boxes – to the tune of Monocle 24.

18 Chiltern Street, W1U 7QA 
+44 (0)20 7135 2040 

Images: Patrick Dowse, Victoria Cagol, Tina Hillier, Patricia Niven

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  • The Curator