5 Sustainable Cafes in London (you must visit in 2023)

It’s probably not something you automatically think of when you feel that caffeine urge and run into your nearest coffee shop or restaurant, but every time we buy a drink and use takeaway cups, we are unconsciously making a small impact on our environment. There are so many sustainable cafes in London and here are some of my favourites…

Public awareness is thankfully increasing over climate change issues, and whether it’s to lessen our carbon footprint or simply the effect of hidden chemicals on our body, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do more.

Did you know that even when a cup is deemed recyclable, only a small proportion of this material is fully recycled?

Me neither, so why don’t we all AVOID taking the coffee cup and bring our own? 


The Petersham

What is a sustainable cafe or restaurant?

So WHAT exactly constitutes an “eco-friendly” cafe or an “environmentally friendly” restaurant? Well, cafes and restaurants all around the UK are slowly recognising their coffee-print on the environment and are providing recyclable cups and cutlery but there’s a lot more they could be doing, like the below we’ve listed.

Aside from tobacco, coffee beans are actually sprayed with more chemicals than anything else we consume.

Swapping your usual coffee beans to organic at sustainable cafes in London (which means the beans aren’t sprayed with anything harmful to us or the environment) or fair trade beans (a trademark that ensures your coffee beans are grown in an environmentally friendly way) is the first thing you can do to give back to our planet with that espresso (whilst avoiding those nasty chemicals for yourself!)

Restaurants wise, anything from sourcing sustainable and organic food, recycling items or even providing furniture that has been repurposed can achieve that all-important sustainability star.

There’s actually a LOT more than cafes and restaurants could be doing from investing in low energy espresso machines (yes, these actually exist!) to reusing their coffee grounds as fertiliser, which is why we’re so happy to have discovered the below!

We wanted to find cafes and restaurants around the UK that you can visit on that staycation or simply in the morning before work starts.

These places have mother nature in mind from the minute you order to the minute you leave, and we would love you to let us know your experience there! Which one of these sustainable cafes in London is your favourite?

wild food cafe

Wild Food Cafe

1. Wild Food Cafe

Location: Covent Garden

Whether it’s a coffee or something a little more raw, vegan and substantial to whet your appetite, first on our list in incredible, environmentally-friendly eateries is the Wild Food Cafe.

They have two sites in London and place a huge emphasis not only on the food they make but mother nature that provides it in the first place, sourcing their organic products from local suppliers and small farms whilst promoting the use of using your own reusable coffee cup.

An added 99p is added to your bill which is used to plant a tree in the world. We love it there, what are your thoughts?


2. Paradise Plantbased

Location: Kensal Green

Located in Kensal Rise, this is the perfect cafe for a quick coffee and a lovely brunch. All food made here is raw and (you guessed it!) plant-based and wall hangings and cutlery trays have been upcycled to perfection! 


Paradise Plantbased

3. Petersham Nurseries Cafe

Location: Richmond 

Petersham Nurseries Cafe encompasses everything a sustainable cafe should aspire to be.

For starters, nearly all their waste, from coffee to food, organic to glass and paper are recycled with SRA approved Quantum Waste. This company uses lighter vehicles and collects locally to use less fuel and reduce their own carbon footprint.

The cafe’s coffee and food waste are made back into water and coffee logs (which they then go on to sell). If that wasn’t enough, the cafe has enrolled with Recorked, the UK’s leading natural wine cork recycling programme, which takes used corks and passes them to schools to use them for arts and crafts (whilst donating to a chosen charity).

With cling film made from compostable bio-film, imitation grease-proof paper created from sustainable forest paper and even their chef jackets created from recycled bottles, we think Petersham Nurseries Cafe is a winner!


4. Cafe Van Gogh

Location: Vassal

Have you heard of Cafe Van Gogh? If you haven’t, you need to. This vegan, non-profit social enterprise has an ever-changing menu every six weeks and has been featured in major news publications, showcasing some truly delicious, plant-based food.

Offering brunch (boozy or non-boozy), lunch, dinner and Sunday specials, all takeaway containers and coffee cups are fully compostable and food waste is recycled.

That’s not all, aside from the above, Cafe Van Gogh also works jointly with leading learning disability employment charity Toucan Employment, helping to run a programme of on-the-job training for those who suffer from physical or mental disabilities to support them in later life.

When a paid employment opportunity arises, these are also offered to the participants.

cafe van gogh

Cafe Van Gogh

5. The Duke of Cambridge

Location: Islington

Leaving aside the fact that The Duke of Cambridge is a 100% ORGANIC certified pub also serving mostly organic drinks – I know, very cool – it also ensures that their food waste is converted into energy and all items such as tins, paper, glass and cardboard are recycled.

And that’s not all! From their food sourced from small farms with high standards of animal welfare, to sustainably caught fish to even the very furniture you sit on being repurposed, previously owned or recycled, this is so much more than just a pub.

Make sure you pay them a visit when the lockdown ends!


Do you recommend any sustainable cafes or restaurants? I’d love to hear them!

the duke

The Duke

Author Bio: Emily runs the blog Emilys Eyes Explore. She has been travelling the world since September 2018, after finally being diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Determined to change her life and mentality around, she moved to Spain for two months to learn Spanish, flew to South America, travelled around India, explored Malaysia, ventured around SE Asia and started life in Australia. Emily blogs to raise awareness of travelling solo as a female who suffers from depression and anxiety and it is her hope that people in the same position will be able to relate to the stories she shares and in turn feel less lonely and isolated as she shares her thoughts, feelings and emotions along this journey. Check out her Instagram too! 


My Travel Tips and Recommendations


To book flights, I always use flight search engine, Skyscanner, I regularly use the Everywhere tool to find the cheapest places to travel. It’s how I get to travel so much all around the world. I find it the easiest way to compare flight prices across airlines and get the best deals. 


For accommodation, I usually book most of my hotels or hostels through I love using this platform as it provides me with some amazing deals for accommodation all around the world. Or if you prefer, I also recommend using Airbnb. If you haven’t signed up with Airbnb already, you can use this link to get £25 off your first visit!

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Travel Insurance

Picking travel insurance that covers you in all eventualities is an essential part of planning a trip for every single person. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. You never know what’s around the corner. 


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Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.

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Sophie X

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  • Lynn
    03/10/2021 at 10:40

    Love this article Sophie.