Our third shortlist today is the shortlist for the “Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station”, although it should really be called “Best Coffee Spot at or near a Railway Station”, except that was a bit of a mouthful, even for me. This was won in 2017 by Craft Coffee, King’s Cross and rewards those Coffee Spots serving great coffee to travellers on Britain’s rail network and, increasingly, on rail networks around the world.
When you’re desperate for good coffee, railway stations are rarely the best places to be. But what if there was a great Coffee Spot just outside the station (or even in the concourse!) or a few minutes’ walk away and you didn’t know about it? Then this award is for you…
You can see the shortlist after the gallery.
There are 15 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
Half Cup is a lovely coffee shop in its own right, one of several that have sprung up in the area around King’s Cross/St Pancras stations. On Judd Street, it’s just a short walk south of both and makes a great place for a quick coffee break, as well as serving some lovely breakfasts. Half Cup has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Cake, Best Breakfast and Most Popular Coffee Spot Awards.
From London to Kyoto and the wonderful Kurasu, a few minutes’ walk west of the main station, down a narrow tangle of lanes. Originally an on-line seller of some wonderful Japanese coffee accessories and cups, it’s now an equally wonderful coffee shop and well worth making a short detour for.
Once upon a time, almost every railway station had a buffet/coffee shop. Admittedly they weren’t always very good, but they’re sadly missed. Into this breach comes Canvas Coffee at Portsmouth and Southsea Station, occupying the old station buffet building just outside of the ticket barriers (and hence accessible even if you’re not catching a train. Canvas Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award.
In fairness, Chester Station does have a station buffet, but if you want great coffee, look no further than Moss Coffee, which is a short walk into town along Brook Street. Serving Dark Woods on espresso, along with a small selection of cakes, Moss Coffee believes in keeping things simple. It has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting and Most Popular Coffee Spot Awards.
Admittedly, The Good Coffee Cartel is near Kinning Park station, on the Glasgow subway, rather than a railway station, but that’s never been a barrier for entry to this Award. An amazing space and awesome roastery, serving some fantastic coffee, there really is no reason not to visit. The Good Coffee Cartel has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Espresso and Most Passionate About Coffee Awards.
Part of a new crop of coffee shops in and around Sheldon Square in West London, the Meal Ticket is a short walk from the rear entrance of Paddington station. This means that it’s a good option for a quick takeaway coffee (espresso-based or batch-brew). This was good enough to get the Meal Ticket on the shortlist for this year’s Best Takeaway Coffee Award as well.
Talking of Sheldon Square and Paddington station, in order to get to the Meal Ticket, you have to walk straight past Darcie & May Green, a pair of canal boats tied up directly opposite the station’s rear entrance. Part of the Daisy Green chain, the boats are more restaurant/coffee shop/bar, but also serve coffee to go from a window at ankle height by the towpath, which got them shortlisted for this year’s Best Takeaway Coffee Award as well.
The Onibus Coffee roastery and coffee shop is a few minutes walk from the Naka-Meguro station in Tokyo. In fact, it’s so close that it’s right next to the railway lines, with the lovely upstairs room having the perfect view. Onibus Coffee is also on the Best Outdoor Seating & Smallest Coffee Spot shortlists.
Staying in Tokyo, Switch Coffee’s second branch is across the road from the Yoyogi-Hachiman train station, another excellent spot to combine drinking great coffee with watching the trains go by. Not that there’s a lot of space either inside or outside Switch Coffee. Just hope that the solitary bench isn’t already taken! Switch Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Smallest Coffee Spot Award.
The third entry from Tokyo on this year’s shortlist, Sarutahiko Coffee’s flagship branch is not far from the bustling Ebisu station and well worth a visit. I’ve even gone as far as to deliberately break my journey just to go there for an espresso or one of the many pour-over options. Sarutahiko Coffee has also been shortlisted for this year’s Happiest Staff Award.
So far there are two branches of The Press Room, the original by Surbiton Station and this one, at the other end of London Road from Twickenham Station. It’s very different from the original, much larger, on a bright, sunny corner. However, the coffee offering is very similar, with some excellent options from Cornwall’s Origin.
You can’t get closer to a station than being on the station concourse (unless you’re on the platform, I guess). The Fifth Taste is just outside the ticket barriers at Ealing Common Tube Station on the District and Piccadilly Lines and is the sort of coffee shop that would make me look forward to my morning commute! The Fifth Taste has also been shortlisted for Best Takeaway Coffee Award.
There’s a definite correlation between Coffee Spots by stations and great takeaway coffee, as witnessed by Urban Baristas, opposite the lower entrance to Waterloo Station. A tiny spot, more of a short corridor with a coffee counter at the back, it too has been shortlisted for this year’s Best Takeaway Coffee Award as well as the Smallest Coffee Spot Award.
The third of three entries that have also been shortlisted for the Best Takeaway Coffee Award, My Little Cup is in Montréal’s Underground City, just outside the ticket barriers to the McGill Metro Station.Serving espresso-based drinks and batch-brew, it’s another coffee shop that would make me look forward to my morning commute! My Little Cup has also been shortlisted for the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Award.
Our final entry this year is the new Surrey Hills Coffee at London Square, Guildford. Ostensibly there to serve the offices, it’s handily placed across the road from London Road station, where I used to catch my train in the morning when I had to commute to Sheldon Square. In that respect it’s only three years too late! Surrey Hills Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Smallest Coffee Spot Award.
A special mention needs to go to the following:
Short Long Black, opposite Glasgow’s Queens Park station
CanDo Coffee, Merchant Square, midway between Paddington and Edgware Road
Beanberry Coffee, not far from Kingston upon Thames station
Woof Coffee, a similar distance from Teddington station
The Gentlemen Baristas Coffee Store, in Borough Market, near London Bridge
Escape the Daily Grind, not far from Balham station
Short + Stout, the other side of Chester station from Moss Coffee
Heart & Graft Coffee Shop, just down the street from Salford Central
Toro Coffee, just down the street from Glasgow’s Shawlands station
Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2018.
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