Bar Italia, London

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Contact: +44 20 7437 4520
Open Hours: 24 hours daily
Bar Italia is the most famous all-night cafe in London and a cornerstone of Soho nightlife since 1949. Located at the junction of Frith and Old Compton Street, a never ending stream of Soho characters makes it the place for late-night people watching, and if you can bag a pavement table you'll have the best seat in town. Busy by day, it gets manic after midnight with a seemingly endless queue of night-time revellers on a quest for coffee. Inside is the definition of bustling, with staff shouting orders across the counter, the banging and pressing of the coffee, the sound of steam and fast moving china, and coffees arriving with military precision. Crowds spill out onto the street which is often buzzing with flash motorbikes whose riders use the cafe as a meeting point. Bar Italia serves fantastic coffee super fast to keep up with demand, along with pastries and freshly-made ciabattas. This is genuinely as far from planet Starbucks as it gets, and a welcome change from the same old high street options.