London Coffee Shops: Starbucks, Coffee Republic, Cafe Nero

Bar Italia
Caffe Vergnano
Flat White
Starbucks, Coffee Republic, Cafe Nero

The real question is: Where AREN’T they?

Starbucks. Photc Credit: rudolf_schuba. CC.LicenseShould I go?
They’re not the same. Café Nero is much better than either of the others. Starbucks is maybe slightly better than Coffee Republic. I hear Coffee Republic’s muffins are really good, though.

When can I go?
Respectable hours. Generally, if your grandma is awake they’re open.

What’s it like?
Bland. Sterile.

How’s the coffee?
I concede that none of these, the massive brood of consumerism, are especially bad places to get coffee. You know what you’re getting and you get exactly what you want. As a hasty detour on your way to work, any of these is probably your best bet. Infinitely better than the instant coffee in your office’s break room and almost certainly better than what you can make at home, there’s a place for some faceless coffee in everyone’s life.

– Kiernan Maletsky