People often assume that central London is the best location for businesses looking to prosper. In reality, though, the Shoreditch area is the actual tech-hub. It’s been blooming with a number of technological startups over the past few years. Old Street and others stations nearby have been nicknamed the Silicon Roundabout—it’s where it all happens. Today, East London overflows with innovation and technology-oriented businesses and individuals. From Web design and programming to marketing and graphics design, the East End’s got it all.
If you do happen to be around East London, then you won’t have to worry about finding a place to sit down, relax, and focus on your work. This article doesn’t mention the overrated Starbucks, Costa Coffee, or Nero type shops—they’re old, boring, and repetitive. True inspiration is found in non-corporate owned cafés which have a lot of pride in the smaller aspects. Here are three of my personal favourites.
The most bizarre coffee shops always turn out to be an enjoyable experience—friendly and welcoming. This is what Hurwundeki takes pride in; being strange, quirky and odd. You actually don’t even realize that this little gem is a café until you try to venture into the unknown. I used to ignore it all the time, but I fell in love after I stepped in to try their coffee. Brilliant.
Hurwundeki is owned by a Korean hairstylist Ki-Chul Lee, who has combined a coffee shop and a restaurant all into one big strange-looking thing. It’s perfect for the moments when you need to get work done but want to grab a bite to eat at the same time. Enjoy an Americano while relaxing on the beaten-up wooden benches and indulging in some pastries. Don’t forget about your work, though!
Insider’s tip: You should charge your laptop before you get here because it can be hard to find a power socket during busy hours.
Head down Kingsland Road in Dalston and you’ll end up hitting Café OTO, a Japanese coffee shop perfect for those who like quieter environments. It’s spacious and has enough room for your thoughts and creativity to run free. Whether you’re working on a novel and have writers block or you can’t think of your next social media campaign, Café OTO will have you sorted. The Wi-Fi is fast enough to stream HQ videos and any type of interactive media. Power sockets are spread throughout and you’ll always find an empty table to sit down and get to work.
Insider’s tip: I always find that refreshments help me work best. Try Café OTO’s fresh orange juice to give you a healthy dose of carbohydrates to get you going. Of course, you can always try their epic coffee for a quick fix!
You’re bound to run into Café 1001, a legend among locals in Brick Lane. In the Old Truman Brewery, you’ll find a coffee shop that is open into late hours making it perfect for people working flexible hours such as freelance writers and journalists. The atmosphere has a certain grunge to it; just a touch to allow your mind to ease up and relax. If you’re stressed about work, head out to Café 1001 for a few hours and it’ll all get better! Not to mention the BBQ burgers—they will definitely help with the situation.
The café is a peaceful setting during the day, filled with freelancers and students doing their own thing. The vibe is good for those looking to study or get some presentations together; dim lights, low music, and you’re set.
Insider’s tip: If you’re someone who gets easily distracted, don’t bother coming here. There’s always some sort of soft music/sound playing in the background.