Saturday 10 October 2009

Milk Bar (and other caffeine hits), London

Milk Bar. The very name calls to mind the halcyon days of big milk shakes, teeth lollies, freckles by the bags full and Return of the Jedi icy-poles. Buffalo Bill anyone?

For the Greedy Diva's money, her local Milk Bar in Soho is making the best coffee of the moment. The younger sister of another Soho old faithful, Flat White, Milk Bar is Dannii to Flat White's Kylie - not quite as famous, but it's having a good time anyway. As the name suggests, Milk Bar is another Antipodean coffee shop and it knows how to roast a bean.

Tucked away near near Soho Square, Milk Bar is a slightly more chilled option than Flat White and is usually a safer bet for a seat and larger groups than Greedy Diva's beloved Fernandez & Wells.

For breakfast options, Milk Bar knocks up a solid serving of avocado & tomato on toast with coriander and lime (Greedy's staple), Turkish bread with Vegemite for a Sunday morning Vitamin B boost, or wrap your lips around one of the scrumptious haloumi and bacon bagels (mmm...).

It also has lovely big fluffy pastries (love the almond croissant) and a range of tasty salads for lunching. All accompanied by the perfect flat white.

In the land of defiant tea swillers, few coffee shops in London have baristas in the same league - Flat White (Soho), Fernandez & Wells (Soho), the lovely Lantana (Fitzrovia, recent winner of Best New Cafe, Time Out Eating & Drinking Awards 2009), Monmouth (Covent Garden & Burough Market), Providores (Marylebone) & Leila's (Calvert Ave, Shoreditch - also love the eggs with sage in a pan, followed up nicely with a slab of ginger cake). In March of the Penguins style, Greedy Diva and her Antipodean-style coffee lovers tend to migrate around between these options as the best coffee of the moment randomly flits between them. 

The Greedy Diva, who always has her ear to the ground for word of a good flattie, has heard rumblings that Taylor Street Baristas (Bishopsgate) and Dose (Long Lane, City) are also up there with the big hitters - sadly, Greedy Diva has yet to try.

For reliable back up options, LJ's Coffee (Winnett St, Soho - coffee is pretty good but more of a gamble; the hot chocolate is great and comes with shaved rich chocolate on top) and Kaffeine (Fitzrovia) are also not bad at all for emergency hits. 

And no mega grande vanilla options in sight...

Milk Bar, 3 Bateman St, Soho, W1D 4AG
Milk Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. Postscript: Reliable sources tell me to steer clear of Lantana while the hype surrounding its recent awards die down - it's hard to get service and, worst of all caffeine crimes, coffees are being forgotten. Hopefully, things will be back on track soon....


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