Where I live in Mile End there is no Starbucks despite the large student population and the influx of professionals like me into the area. Instead we have an independent coffee shop instead. Its clientele is a mix of kids from the neighbourhood and students looking for a workspace.
It has a modern interior that is getting a little bit rough around the edges in places but well cared for and give the place a funky feel without trying too hard. They provide a creative mix of coffees that are cheaper than Starbucks and an interesting mix of accompaniments.
The coffee shop is about two minutes away from the tube station and seven minutes from my house so has become a regular haunt. If it has one fault its the lack of plug sockets, Wi-Fi is less of an issue now that you can get a 10 GBP per month dongle from the likes of 3 or T-Mobile to handle your connectivity needs rather than trying to peer with yet another wireless network.
389, Mile End Rd, London, E3 4QS
Tel: 020 8983 3137