Two London cafes named on list of world's most beautiful places to grab a coffee

A motorbike parked in front of an Italian cafe with an elderly man siting on a table outside
-Credit: (Image: Aleks Marinkovic/Pexels)

Up against strong competitors across the world, from Vienna to Buenes Aires to Paris, two London cafes have made the cut in the Telegraph's list of the most beautiful cafés in the world. London is known for its ever changing food and drink scene with new spots opening up nearly every other week.

Some, however, are not known for the buzz of being new but rather for its longstanding history as a hub for people to meet, chat, and enjoy a coffee together. Bar Italia, one of the oldest cafes in Soho, became a home away from home for many Italians. Replicating Italian style cafes, or as they are known in Italy as 'bars', Bar Italia offered a taste of home, both in coffee and in style.

With neon lights welcoming people through the doors, and its vintage Gaggia Coffee Machine, Bar Italia teleports its customers out of Soho. Slotted on 22 Frith Street in Soho, the bar is open from 7am until 4am offering almost around the clock coffee and food for all; the early shifters and the late night party animals.

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In true Italian fashion, ‘bars’ offer a range of drinks and are not limited to just coffees or teas. Offering sandwiches, cakes and pastries you can pair it with your choice of beverage from an espresso through to an Aperol Spritz.

The competition however is tight and Bar Italia was not the only Soho cafe that made the list. Opened in 1887, Soho staple Algerian Coffee Stores has also bagged itself the title of one of the most beautiful cafes in the world.

Described by the Telegraph as 'an atmospheric rarity in Central London', the small and aromatic cafe operates as a takeaway store offering customers to stand and sip a single shot at £1.20 or a double shot at £1.50.

With its seemingly endless display of coffee beans, Algerian Coffee Stores sells 96 different types of coffee blends which can be bought in store or online. Each bag is freshly roasted and made to order. Depending on the blend, prices range from £4.70 up to £27. If coffee isn’t your thing, you have a range of speciality teas and confectioneries to pick from as well as tea or mocha pots to make your favourite drink at home.

A man looks at his phone outside a coffee supplies store
Algerian Coffee Stores on Old Compton Street has incredibly stood there since 1887 -Credit:Garry Knight

Operating through two world wars, the family run cafe has seen a change of hands since it first opened its doors in the 19th century. Originally opened by an Algerian man, Mr Hassan, in 1887, the shop changed owners in the 1920s and then again in the 1940s. It has been run by the same family ever since - three generations on.

Open Monday to Saturday from 10am - 6/7pm and closed on Sundays, the shop can be found on 52 Old Compton Street. Boasting character and coffee filled air, Bar Italia and the Algerian Coffee Stores have made a name for themselves as London cult classics.

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