Caffeine fiends should motor on over to Scootercaffe.
With Vespas, espresso machines, and an adorable resident cat, it really looks like Scootercaffe is living la dolce vita. Which it definitely is – although rather than hiding in the backstreets of Rome, you’ll find it a stone’s throw from Waterloo station. Fiercely independent, and enjoyably offbeat, you’ll notice this place’s vintage vibe from the moment you spot the scooter in the window.
Indeed, Scootercaffe started life as a vintage motorcycle repair shop, one which just happened to own a 1957 espresso machine. Somewhat predictably, given the city’s thirst for caffeine, demand for coffee quickly outstripped demand for moped parts, and the workshop relocated to Bermondsey, leaving behind an adorable shabby-chic cafe.
As you’d expect from a pseudo-Italian joint (the owner is actually a Kiwi), the coffee is superb. They roast their own beans, and that ancient espresso machine is still pressed into service, churning out espressos for £1.50 a pop. Reviews of the cafe frequently shout about their excellent hot chocolate, and we know you aren’t going to say no to that.
Because nothing says the good life like coffee and a cake, Scootercaffe also bakes a range of sweet treats in house. The red velvet cake is reportedly excellent, and the homemade custard tarts have proved to be a crowdpleaser. They don’t serve anything more filling than a snack, but they’re quite happy for punters to bring their own food (so long as you clean up after yourselves).
When night rolls around, the cafe acquires more of a late-night vibe, serving up beer, cocktails, and spirits to those regulars and casual passersby. The downstairs area has the aura of a speakeasy, and serves a mean Amaretto sour, amongst other libations, whilst there’s a cute courtyard out the back. Scootercaffe also operate a cracking playlist, lending the cafe some serious laidback charm.
Apart from the retro decor, the cafe’s biggest draw might just be the resident cat, who draws in just as many people as the coffee. Handily, it’s also located right next to this charming bookshop/cocktail bar, meaning a trip to Waterloo will be a wonderfully quirky (if a little boozy) affair.
Location: . Nearest stations are Waterloo and Lambeth North. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: 8:30am-11pm (Mon to Thu), 8:30am-midnight (Fri), 10am-midnight (Sat), 10am-11pm (Sun).
Price: coffee starts from £1.50, beers and glasses of wine are £4.
More information: from their Facebook page.
Featured image: @mario.sl