Mugs and hugs: What are the best cafes in Southbank?

If you’ve ever wandered along Southbank before, you know it’s not just a riverfront – it’s a coffee paradise. The place where the Yarra River meets the urban buzz, and each cafe competes for the title ‘best brew in town’.

But no more beating around the coffee bush! Grab your mug and let’s dive into Southbank’s coffee wonderland. We’re on a mission to uncover the coolest spots that make this riverside stretch a coffee lover’s paradise. 

Riverside Terrace Café

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Location: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7921 0758

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Tuesday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 8:30 PM

Website

Nestled along the Southbank strip, Riverside Terrace Cafe is a hidden gem offering riverside relaxation in the heart of London’s cultural centre. This cafe boasts one of the best outdoor seating areas in the area, with its spacious terrace stretching out towards the River Thames.

But it’s not just the terrace that makes this place a Southbank favourite. The cosy interior here exudes vintage charm with its distressed brick walls, reclaimed wood accents, and cafe tables made from old sewing machine stands. 

Their menu offers fresh locally-sourced dishes, from avocado toast to creamy hummus platters. Paired with the cafe’s signature lemon or lovingly-brewed coffee, it’s farm-to-table fare at its finest.

Three Wheels Coffee

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Location: The Retail Arcade, 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7450 896494

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday & Sunday – 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Website

At first glance, Three Wheels Coffee appears a simple pitstop for caffeine along the bustling Southbank walkway. But set foot inside and you’ll soon realize there’s more brewing here than just expertly pulled espressos. 

For one, there’s the decor. It abandons industrial chic for something far funkier. Expect mismatched velvet armchairs, walls adorned with vintage bikes, and a charming courtyard strung with fairy lights. 

And of course, the coffee. Three Wheels takes the magic trifecta of beans, milk, and water incredibly seriously. Can’t decide between fruity African beans or chocolatey Indonesian? Well, they’ll brew you a flight to sample.

Beany Green

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Location: Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3597 9908

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Tuesday – 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday to Friday – 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Saturday – 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Sunday – 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Website

Beany Green emerges as a caffeinated powerhouse housed within a 10-foot converted shipping container. This diminutive yet dynamic space defies convention by churning out exquisite coffee amidst a whimsical and quirky setting. 

A proud member of the Daisy Green Collection, this Australian-inspired gem has earned its stripes for delivering a stellar Aussie coffee experience. Be sure to try the homemade Aussie banana bread! It’s a snack that will elevate your coffee experience. 

But what makes this cafe different is that it switches from your ultimate coffee haven to a full-on bar. They’re the perfect spot for any time of day – whether you’re seeking a coffee fix in the morning or craving a cocktail to cap off the evening.

Black Sheep Coffee

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Location: Unit 4 & 5A, Southbank Central, Hatfields, London SE1 9PG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3988 6994

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Sunday – 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Website

In the coffee saga that is Black Sheep Coffee, the plot thickens with a backstory dating back to 2013. Established with a union of passion and excellence, this rebel stands as a testament to independence, despite its global triumph and thriving branches across the city. 

The brand treads its path by using some of the most delectable beans and blends in the coffee cosmos. Meet the four musketeers of their Arabica lineup – Love Berries, Blue Volcano, Rebel Decaf and the ever-enticing Seasonal Limited-Editions. 

Monmouth Coffee

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Location: 2 Park St, London SE1 9AD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7232 3010

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

While the city is filled with trendy new cafes, Monmouth stands out as an institution since they have served coffee and tea since 1978. 

Aficionados rave about their single-origin espressos and rich, chocolatey mochas. But for us? Well, we can’t resist their Gentleman’s Blend. It’s a medium roast with hints of caramel and toasted nuts.

Plus, their atmosphere is cosy but never crowded. You’ll still see customers who linger for hours reading the newspaper or in friendly conversation. It truly feels like a neighbourhood cafe. 

Terrace Bar at the Tate Modern

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Location: Bankside, London SE1 9TG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7887 8888

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 9:45 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

Perched on the level of the striking Tate Modern museum, Terrace Bar offers incredible espressos and jaw-dropping views of the London Skyline. The coffee may lure you in, but the vista will make you linger.

The coffee matches the stunning scene – it packs a punch without being pretentious. We highly recommend their rotating single-origin espresso. It pulls nuanced notes from beans like the fruity Ethiopian Ardi or floral Guatemalan Atitlan. 

On sunny days, the terrace fills with a buzzing mix of tourists, artists, and hipsters. And in true London fashion, you can pair your coffee with craft beers, wine, or cocktails too.

Draughts

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Location: Arch 16 Leake St, London SE1 7NN, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7903 441976

Opening hours:

  • Sunday to Thursday – 11:00 AM to 12:00 AM
  • Friday to Saturday – 11:00 AM to 1:00 AM

Website

With over 800 board games available, Draughts is a charming cafe in London that’s also a haven for gamers and hobbyists alike. But don’t let the shelves of Cluedo and Scrabble fool you – Draught takes their coffee just as seriously as their gaming. 

The slick mod interior juxtaposes clean lines with splashes of colour from the games and locals who gather around the table. But the star of the show is their top-notch coffee program that proprietor Argyrios Zisimatos, a World Barista Championship finalist, oversees. 

The house express blend packs a rich, chocolaty punch that’s beautifully balanced and expertly pulled. And their creamy Cortados in iconic yellow mugs have become something of an Instagram sensation.

Hayward Gallery Cafe 

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Location: Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3879 9555

Opening hours:

  • Wednesday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 AM
  • Saturday – 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Sunday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

Nestled within the beloved Hayward Gallery, this cafe offers so much more than your average art museum fare.

Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the crisp, modern space with natural light, illuminating the carefully curated artworks adorning the walls. But the true stars here are the rotating displays of some of London’s most talented baristas whipping up caffeine creations right before you.

The filter coffee is what draws coffee connoisseurs here. It’s lovingly prepared by using methods like v60 pour-overs to coax out unique flavours. 

Cafe del Marsh

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Location: 44 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7RG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7976 226905

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 2:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Sunday – 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Website

Cafe del Marsh is a riot of mismatched vintage furniture, exposed brick walls that hold the city’s stories, and fairy lights twinkling like constellations against the night sky. It’s a haven for creative souls seeking refuge and friends catching up over frothy lattes.

They don’t mess around with beans here. Their coffee is like a velvet cloak for your taste buds that’s sourced from ethical farms and roasted to perfection.

Must-try? Definitely the “Marsh Blend”. It’s a smooth and dark roast with hints of chocolate and caramel that’ll kickstart your days like a London cabbie navigating the rush hour. 

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