Danny McCance 4 Jan 2018 04:04pm

The best cycle cafés

Whether you're after a sneaky mid-workout coffee, a meeting place for you and your biking buddies, or simply somewhere serving good grub, cycling cafes are quickly becoming a popular choice around the globe. So why not stop by one near you? Danny McCance names some of the best bike-friendly eateries worth knowing about.
Caption: Look mum no hands!


The Brown Cow Café, Melbourne, Australia

What Strava calls the “Mecca for Melbourne cycling”, the Beach Road offers plenty, including the Brown Cow Café. With an extensive menu, available between 7am and 2pm, offering everything from toast and granola to gin-cured salmon gravlax, the café provides ample opportunity for pre-ride fuelling or a late post-ride breakfast.


Look Mum No Hands Shoreditch, London, UK

You can’t have a conversation about cycle cafés in London without mentioning one of the capital’s best-known and best-loved cyclist haunts. “Luckily, Islington Council took a punt on us,” says Lewin Chalkley, co-founder of Look Mum No Hands. “We were three people with a new concept, we’d found this brilliant location that’s got outside space and great footfall, and they let us do it.”

Upon entering the café, you’re confronted by a wide open space, full of patrons talking, typing, or just relaxing in the light of the wall-length window. The café, while modestly furnished, is packed with all things bike-related. One’s eyes are drawn to the decorative bikes along the wall and the vibrant patterns of the LMNH apparel, which is available to buy, alongside other useful pieces of kit.
“We had people in Australia and the States trying to order the T-shirts that we’d made for staff,” Chalkley says.

Look Mum No Hands opened eight years ago between Goswell Road and the Old Street roundabout. The original site – the brand now boasts a specialist kitchen space in Whitechapel, LMNH Kitchen – includes a workshop and the adjoining shop.

Besides the array of sweet treats, alongside the kind of top-notch coffee you’d expect from a dedicated cycling café, is an expansive lunch menu with selections both hot and cold. A daily variety of freshly-made salads are listed on the café’s chalkboard.

For those wanting something hot there is a choice of of gnocchi or pasta, wraps, toasties or burgers – including the protein-packed LMNH burger, a combination of aged beef patty with bacon, cheese, a fried egg, avocado and crispy onion. There are vegetarian and vegan options too, including a succulent vegan chocolate cake for dessert.

And for those times when a beer is required while watching the Tour de France, LMNH has four taps that showcase a rotating selection of craft beers from around London and the UK. A vast-inventory of other bottled beers, ciders and organic wines supplement the invariably excellent tap choices.


Pedalers Fork, Calabasas, US

In the Santa Monica Mountains, north of Los Angeles, is the town of Calabasas. With a huge variety of climbs in the local ranges, a day’s cycling will build up a decent appetite. The Pedalers Fork is on hand, with a range of wholesome foods, including a selection from the in-house smoker, pizzas and tacos and a large selection of post-ride tipples.