Sydenham might not be the trendiest of Londons neigbourhoods but it’s a great place to live and has some great independent coffee shops to hang out, meet friends, work and most importantly enjoy good quality coffee and food. Here are my 4 favourites:
On the Hoof Coffee Station – Sydenham Station
There are On the Hoof Coffee Stations at Sydenham, Forrest Hill and Honor Oak Park overground stations. The On the Hoof Bistro is located on Sydenham Road. I have only frequented the Coffee Station at Sydenham station and therfore cannot write about the other On the Hoof locations.
The Sydenham Coffee Station however has “saved” me many times – from early morning caffeine fixes, “I-forgot-my-work-lunch” sourdough (which tastes amazing) to the “cheer-me-up” chocolate-twist. Unfortunately, when I was living in Sydenham, I wasn’t in the best situation financially and couldn’t afford the On the Hoof coffee everyday, but when I did splurge it was AMAZING.
Cobbs Corner Cafe (formerly Blue Mountain Cafe)
When I frequented this cafe, it was still the Blue Mountain Cafe, but gathering from the cafes social media, apart from the name and the owner, nothing much has changed. On the cafes website it says “Welcome to Sydenham’s second home” and that’s what this place was for me (at least on weekends when I had the time to go ;)).
Cobbs Corner Cafe offers great coffee and contemporary British food with a Jamaican twist. I very much enjoyed the sandwiches and the cakes. The employees are friendly and I always felt very welcome there. The indoor space is comforable and great for meeting friends, journaling or just relaxing. A visit to the Cobbs Corner Cafe is very much recommended if you’re in the area. (Yes, I know, I have used “very” quite a bit describing this cafe – but it’s for a good reason.)
The Journey Cafe Kirkdale
I have to admit, I have only been to The Journey Cafe a couple of times as it had just opened a month or two before I was leaving London for good, but the coffee and the cakes were very good and the staff (I believe in the beginning it was just the owners running the cafe) were very nice and welcoming. The only thing I didn’t like very much (but that can’t really be changed) was that the only outdoor seating is right next to a busy street.
According to their facebook and instagram, they also offer foods such as soups, sourdough bread and salads but I have not tried them.
Brown & Green – Mayow Park
Brown & Green is almost a coffee chain in SE London as their cafés are all over Sydenham, Crystal Palace and Gypsy Hill. The Brown & Green Sydenham branch is conveniently located right at the Mayow road entrance of the park. Partly because of that, B&G Mayow Park is very much a family cafe as a lot of parents take their kids to the park to play and at some point end up having coffee and some food at the cafe.
The location was also the main reason for me to visit the cafe in the spring and summer months. I really enjoyed sitting in front of the cafe on weekends, enjoying my coffee & having breakfast there. Especially since the other cafes in Sydenham only have outdoor tables right next to a very busy street. Yes, it can get a bit loud as well and if children playing bothers you, it might not be the best place to go to, but personally, I don’t mind that.
The coffee itself always tasted very good and I enjoyed their selection of breakfast food a lot. The cakes were not my favourite as they were too “heavy” and fatty for my taste.
You might also be interested in: Things to do in Sydenham