Coffee Travel

Vagabond Coffee


I have a long list of independent coffee places that I would like to visit in London. It keeps growing, as new shops open at a higher pace than my exploratory visits are made at.

I’m lucky enough to work in Clerkenwell, close to some of London’s best cafés. Soho and East London, where the highest concentration of independent cafés is, are also a short tube ride away, so I try to dedicate at least one lunch break a week to discovering new places.

Unfortunately North, South or far out East London usually remain out of my reach, unless I plan a brunch date or manage to squeeze in a quick coffee stop while out and about during the weekend.

Last Saturday I had the perfect occasion to try Vagabond Coffee in Finsbury Park, which I had heard about from Coming Soon two months ago. My friend Anna ran the 10k Race for Life in Finsbury Park and of course coffee and cake were the natural continuation to a morning of running.

Except that my friend doesn’t drink coffee (what?! I know…) and I didn’t run at all to justify the cake’s calorie intake. Oh well…I still deserved cake as a reward for standing in the rain and with my feet in the mud, cheering out for my friend. Right? Anna ordered a pot of tea instead of coffee, so there you go, obstacles overcome! :)

Vagabond is only a short walk from the station, straight up on Stroud Green Road, at the crossroad with Upper Tollington Park. I have walked this road many times on my way to the Italian pizzeria Pappagone, a fave within my circle of friends during our first years of living in London. The area didn’t offer much entertainment back in the day, but it is changing rapidly as the convenient location near the station, park and Crouch End Broadway attracts bigger crowds.

The espresso at Vagabond is carefully crafted with beans from Hasbean, using a La Marzocco machine.

I started with a Flat White – fruity and creamy, perfect to warm me up after the cold morning in the park. While researching for this post, I stumbled upon Liquid Jolt review, which I recommend you to read for a thorough overview on Vagabond’s espresso.

After slurping the Flat White and devouring half sandwich (quickly followed by the Halloumi & Roasted Veg Focaccia), I smiled, leaned back in my seat and relaxed. I ordered a Macchiato, to drink slowly and savour the taste of the blend.

Around me, happy people enjoying a lazy Saturday morning; I took my camera out and took some photos.

Vagabond is a cozy and welcoming shop with a raw decor of metal lights and wooden tables and benches. Walls are aptly decorated with photos of a bike journey to Ethiopia made by Anthony Watson, of Bean on a Bike, to explore the land of Arabica coffee.

There is limited seating inside, but on a nice day you can take advantage of the outside space. On each table you can find sugar, jam, Marmite and a bottle of water.

By the counter, a big selection of homemade sandwiches and cakes. We tried the Carrot Cake and the Guinness & Chocolate Cake and they were both delicious and flawless.

And if coffee is not your thing, you can try the different hot chocolates by Kokoa Collection, made with real chocolate and sourced from single origins.

The staff was friendly, smiley, chatty and made us feel very welcome. The food and drinks were all very good and reasonably priced.

Vagabond has been opened for a few months only and already has found the perfect balance between being a cool place to hang out and having a down to earth vibe to it. I loved it and I hope my weekend detours will take me back soon!

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» Friday: Vagabonds Festival of Mint
07/10/2012 22:25

[…] the Friday evening, at the fabulous Vagabond’s café, we launch the festival radio with a selection of the freshest acoustic talent that mint can […]

13/07/2012 17:44

This place looks great. I should move to London when I’m done with cafés in Stockholm ;-)

13/07/2012 15:30

Great find! Finsbury Park is right up my street :)

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