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 2018 by Canvas Coffee and rewards those Coffee Spots serving great coffee to travellers 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…
This year has been particularly good for Coffee Spots at stations and I could have filled this shortlist at least twice!
You can see the shortlist after the gallery.
There are 15 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
Mammoth Espresso is in the Central Business District in New Orleans, a short walk from the Amtrak station. Now, admittedly, the Amtrak station, at it’s peak, has six trains day (three arrivals, three departures) but since I’ve actually gone to Mammoth for coffee before I caught a train (on my way to Tucson, Arizona), I think that’s good enough for a place on the shortlist.
One of two Intelligentsia Coffee’s in The Loop in Chicago, it’s not immediately apparent that there’s a station nearby. However, the Millennium Park Metra Station is just a block away, albeit several floors down, serving two lines bringing commuters into the city from the south side of Chicago, making it the perfect stop for coffee.
Staying in Chicago, Mojo is on the other side of The Loop, opposite Chicago’s Union Station, serving both long distance Amtrak trains and Metra commuter trains from all around Chicago. Originally a New Zealand roaster, where Mojo is still going strong, this is its first overseas location. Mojo has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Breakfast Award.
Workshop is located inside the Pilgrm Hotel, literally across the road from Paddington Station. In an area already full of good coffee options, it’s definitely worth your while popping into the sumptuously-appointed lobby to get yourself a coffee to go (which won it a place on the shortlist for the Best Takeaway Coffee Award) while if you have the time, head up to the balcony with views of the station.
Staying in London, Coffee Addict is just around the corner from Victoria Station. A recent addition to the area’s rapidly expanding coffee scene, it’s a lovely setting and definitely worth taking five minutes out to get some coffee. Coffee Addict has also been shortlisted for a further three Awards: Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting, Smallest Coffee Spot and Most Passionate About Coffee.
Still in London, Dudley’s is another new addition this year, this time in Walthamstow, a few minutes’ walk from Wood Street Station on the London Overground line. I’ve included it despite the line being closed due to engineering works when I paid Dudley’s a visit, which mean I went by bus! Dudley’s has also been shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
So far, it’s all been coffee shops near a station. The Espresso Station in Birmingham changes that. Located on the concourse of the lovely Moor Street Station, this is a true station coffee shop, albeit one which serves some excellent espresso based drinks from the nearby Monsoon Estates Coffee Company. Espresso Station has also been shortlisted for the Best Outdoor Seating Award.
Back to Walthamstow and another newcomer, Long & Short Coffee, which had only been open a few weeks when I visited this summer. This is the second location for the London coffee shop/roaster, and is around the corner from St James Street Station, also on the London Overground and also victim to the same engineering works that saw me relegated to the buses. Long & Short Coffee is also on the shortlist for the Smallest Coffee Spot Award.
Another coffee shop in a station, Maruyama is actually in a shopping mall above a station, Nagano Station to be precise. Not that there’s any reduction in quality here, with the full Maruyama single-origin range on offer (I counted I counted 23 single-origins, spread across nine countries, plus eight blends), plus a Syphon bar! There’s even a separate takeaway counter since the main coffee shop is table service.
Staying in Japan, but moving to Kyoto, we have the second of three Japanese station coffee shops, although to call Ogawa Coffee at station coffee shop does it a disservice. Like Maruyama, there’s full table service (and a separate takeaway counter) only this time it’s in a shopping mall below the station (which got Ogawa Coffee shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award).
Our third Japanese station coffee shop sees us back in a shopping mall over a station, this time in Shinagawa Station, Tokyo. One of multiple Blue Bottle outlets in the city, it has a more American counter service model, which lends itself better to the takeaway nature of the station coffee shop, although it still has the full Blue Bottle range. And, of course, I ended up sitting in. Blue Bottle has also been shortlisted for the Best Flat White Award.
Back in London, and another new entry around the corner from Victoria Station. This is Press Coffee, the roaster / coffee shop chain which started in Fleet Street and is slowly spreading across the city. Press Coffee has a large counter at the far end of Victoria Hall Market. You’re welcome to sit in at one the tables or, of course, get your coffee to go on the train.
Our next entry takes us to Dublin and Shoe Lane Coffee on Tara Street, directly opposite Tara Street Station, which you can see from Shoe Lane’s front window. Although close to the station, this is much more of a sit in place, particularly with the lovely upstairs room, good enough for a entry on the Best Physical Space shortlist. It’s also home to Dublin’s first KB90 espresso machine, my resulting espresso winning it a place on the Best Espresso shortlist.
Back in Japan, Blue Monday is our fourth or five Japanese entries on the shortlist, a sign that a country is doing station coffee shops extremely well. In this case, Blue Monday is a kiosk under a shopping mall opposite Kanazawa Station. Blue Monday has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Basement and Best Takeaway Coffee Awards.
Staying in Japan with the fifth entry, from five different cities, Breather Coffee is a lovely spot about five minutes’ walk from Zushi Station in Kanagawa prefecture. Run by a lovely, friendly Japanese couple, Kohei and Mizuho, Breather Coffee uses Melbourne roasters, Maker Coffee, with the Smith Blend and a single-origin on espresso and another single-origin on pour-over through the V60.
A special mention needs to go to the following:
Story Works, opposite Clapham Junction Station
Exo Roast Co. a short walk from Tucson Station (six trains a week)
Cartel Coffee Lab, Downtown Tucson, a short walk in the other direction
Doughnut Vault, Canal Street, across the road from Ogilvie Station, Chicago
Second Shot, Bethnal Green, around the corner from Bethnal Green station
The Beehive, around the corner in the other direction
640East Canary Wharf, by the back entrance of Canary Wharf tube station
Ngopi, just down the road from Moor Street Station
Le Cafe Alain Ducasse, Coal Drops Yard, a stone’s throw from Kings Cross, London
Madcap, Downtown Market, across the (very big) road from the Amtrak Station
Fortitude Bakehouse, tucked away behind Russell Square Tube Station.
Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2019.
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