2020 Awards – Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station

A classic espresso, made with the Monsoon Estates' seasonal blend, and served in a classic cup at the Espresso Station in Moor Street Station, Birmingham.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. And this year, since I’ve not been travelling much, I’ve expanded the criteria to include airports. Now that really would be a mouthful. Next year I will have to come up with a better, more concise name!

Whatever I call it, this was won last year by Espresso Station, Moor Street Station and rewards those Coffee Spots serving great coffee to travellers around the world. When you’re desperate for good coffee, railway stations, airports and other transport hubs 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.

  • Verve Coffee Roasters, just down the road from Palo Alto station on the Caltrain.
  • Ths year I've expanded the Award to include airports & Giant Coffee, Phoenix Sky Harbor.
  • Gourmet Coffee Bar & Kitchen, on an actual train platform (two, in fact) at Crewe.
  • Back to places near stations, The Press Room is across the road from Surbiton station.
  • A favourite pre-train haunt of mine: Notes King's Cross (works for Euston station too).
  • Moss Coffee, a hop, skip and a jump from Chester station.
  • Returning to London, Coffee Addict is around the corner from Victoria station.
  • Staying in London, Four Corners is just around the back of Waterloo station.
  • Faculty is another within striking distance of a station, in this case Birmingham New Street.
  • Over Under Coffee, opposite West Brompton station in Earl's Court.
  • And on the other side of West Brompton station, it's Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee.
  • And completing a trio from Earl's Court is Over Under Coffee, opposite the tube station.
Verve Coffee Roasters, just down the road from Palo Alto station on the Caltrain.1 Ths year I've expanded the Award to include airports & Giant Coffee, Phoenix Sky Harbor.2 Gourmet Coffee Bar & Kitchen, on an actual train platform (two, in fact) at Crewe.3 Back to places near stations, The Press Room is across the road from Surbiton station.4 A favourite pre-train haunt of mine: Notes King's Cross (works for Euston station too).5 Moss Coffee, a hop, skip and a jump from Chester station.6 Returning to London, Coffee Addict is around the corner from Victoria station.7 Staying in London, Four Corners is just around the back of Waterloo station.8 Faculty is another within striking distance of a station, in this case Birmingham New Street.9 Over Under Coffee, opposite West Brompton station in Earl's Court.10 And on the other side of West Brompton station, it's Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee.11 And completing a trio from Earl's Court is Over Under Coffee, opposite the tube station.12
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There are twelve Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

Bringing a new meaning to the phrase "well-balanced", it's a one-and-one (split-shot espresso and macchiato) from Verve Coffee Roasters in Palo Alto, with the espresso cup precariously balanced on the edge of the saucer.Verve Coffee Roasters, Palo Alto

Public transport in America isn’t great, but the Caltrain, linking San Jose with San Francisco, has a number of decent coffee shops near its stations, including this branch of Verve in Palo Alto. Just down the road from the station, naturally I caught the train when I went to visit. Verve Coffee Roasters is also shortlisted for the Best Outdoor Seating and Best Flat White Awards.

The sign on the wall at Giant Coffee in Terminal 3, Phoenix Sky Harbor.Giant Coffee, Phoenix Sky Harbor

I know I complain about the lack of great coffee at train stations, but airports are even worse. Unless you go to Phoenix, where Sky Harbor Airport has the excellent Cartel Coffee Lab in Terminal 4, and now, in the newly-refurbished Terminal 3, Giant Coffee, which has also been shortlisted for the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Award.

A flat white, made with Clifton Coffee Roasters' Suspension Espresso and served in my HuskeeCup at Gourmet Coffee Bar & Kitchen on Platform 6, Crewe Station.Gourmet Coffee Bar & Kitchen, Crewe

I’m a fairly frequent visitor to Crewe station, changing trains there on a regular basis. As a result, I’ve been to Gourmet Coffee Bar & Kitchen (always on Platform 5, never on Platform 6) many times for a flat white to go. However, this year was the first opportunity I’ve had to write it up. Gourmet  Coffee Bar & Kitchen also been shortlisted for the Best Takeaway Coffee Award.

A shot of Origin's Resolute blend in a classic red cup in The Press Room, Surbiton.The Press Room, Surbiton

Returning to places near stations, The Press Room in Surbiton is just across the road from Surbiton station. In fact, whenever I visit, I have to make a special stop (which is always worth it!) since my normal journeys see me whizzing by on a fast train. The Press Room has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting Award and the Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award.

Notes is back! Details of the online ordering system, displayed on every table at Notes, King's Cross.Notes, King’s Cross

Notes, King’s Cross, has long been a go-to spot of mine when catching a train from the nearby station. It also works when catching the train from Euston, which is just a short walk away. It’s one of those places where it’s worth turning up early for your train, just so that you can visit! Notes, King’s Cross, is also on the shortlist for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting and Best Outdoor Seating Awards.

A flat white, made with the Arboretum Blend from Dark Woods and served in my HuskeeCup at Moss Coffee, Chester, one of the few times I've been able to use my own cup during COVID-19.Moss Coffee

Moss Coffee in Chester is conveniently located midway between the city’s bus exchange and train station, but sadly I could only feature it once on this shortlist (although it’s almost made it onto the shortlist for the Best Takeaway Coffee Award). Many a time I’ve called into a get a flat white to go from the ever-friendly Daniel on my way to catch a train. Moss Coffee is also on the shortlist for the Smallest Coffee Spot Award.

Coffee Addict On Vauxhall Bridge Road, sporting its new, pink colour scheme. It occupies the site of the original Costa Coffee, which opened in 1978 (Coffee Addict, in contrast, opened in 2019).Coffee Addict

Just around the corner from Victoria Station is Coffee Addict. A tiny spot (small enough to get a place on this year’s Smallest Coffee Spot Award shortlist), it packs a lot in, including seating inside and out, plus decent breakfast and brunch menus. It’s had a full makeover since I first wrote about it last year, and now is pinker than ever!

 

A flat white, made with Ozone's Empire Blend, in my HuskeeCup at Four Corners.Four Corners

Just around the back of Waterloo Station is Lower Marsh, home to Four Corners, which I first wrote about in 2013. A cheery spot, which has reinvented itself to cope with COVID-19, it should be on this list for many reasons, not least because it’s very much a travel-themed coffee shop (the name, Four Corners, referring to the four corners of the world). Four Corners has also been shortlisted for the Best Outdoor Seating Award.

Faculty

Staying with Coffee Spots near stations, I have been a regular visitor to Faculty over the years when changing trains at Birmingham New Street. It’s close enough that you can pop out to get a coffee to go, while if you have longer, it’s definitely worth lingering over a pour over. Faculty has also been shortlisted for this year’s the Best Filter Coffee Award.

The front of Over Under Coffee, West Brompton, which is pretty much the extent of the store!Over Under Coffee, West Brompton

We round off this year’s shortlist with three entries from Earl’s Court in London. The first is Over Under Coffee which is just across the road from Brompton station on the London Overground. Effectively a cube with a counter inside, Over Under Coffee, West Brompton is also on this year’s shortlists for the Best Takeaway Coffee and Smallest Coffee Spot Awards.

Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee on the corner of the street, the door recessed in a cut-away at 45° to the windows.Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee

Sticking with Brompton Road station, if you turn right instead left, you’ll find yourself at Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee, a lovely, bright space on a corner. With seating inside and out, this is definitely somewhere you will want to linger if you can. Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee has also made it onto this year’s shortlist for the Best Cake and Best Flat White Awards.

A black and white line drawing of Over Under Coffee, as seen from the street, which is on the menu boards hanging behind the counter.Over Under Coffee, Earl’s Court

The last of the three Earl’s Court entries, which brings the shortlist to a close, is the original Over Under Coffee, tucked away down Hogarth Road, opposite Earl’s Court tube station. This is another tiny place, serving coffee and brunch by day and cocktails by night. Over Under has also been shortlisted for this year’s Smallest Coffee Spot and Happiest Staff Awards.


And the winner is Gourmet Coffee Bar & Kitchen, Crewe
Runners-up: Faculty and Notes, King’s Cross

Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2020.


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9 thoughts on “2020 Awards – Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station

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