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.
There are twelve Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2020.
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