After the disappointment of the new cafe at the reopened Photographers Gallery, I’ve found myself back in Ray’s Jazz Cafe a lot more recently.
Conveniently located just off Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, the popular cafe can be found on the first floor of the legendary Foyles book shop in Charing Cross Road, WC2.
Although the coffee has always been good here (you can’t really go wrong with Monmouth Coffee), there seems to be some new baristas on the block as the last couple of cups I’ve had there have been truly excellent – as good as anything else you’ll find in the area, in fact.
And I’ve certainly tried a few!
Although the cafe has expanded to take over most of the floor space in recent years (previously, the area was shared with racks of jazz records – see Jan 2007 photos), finding a seat can still be a bit of a challenge at busy times, particularly on weekends and lunchtimes.
As well as the top coffee, there’s a good selection of teas, tasty snacks, nibbles and cakes available (albeit a bit pricey).
Although they can, not unreasonably, get a tad stressed when the place is jam-packed full of impatient customers, I’ve always found the staff to be chatty and friendly whenever I’ve visited. It’s a nice place to visit.
As the name suggests, this place is all about jazz, so you can expect to hear some quality tunes of that genre playing in the background.
There’s also a small stage in the corner for occasional live performances.
If the great coffee isn’t enough for you, there’s also free wi-fi available (although this can be a tad flaky at times) and you’ve also got all of Foyles huge book shop around you, making this a great place to visit if you’re in the west end. If you can get a seat, of course.
Ray’s Jazz Cafe At Foyles
13-119 Charing Cross Road, Soho, London WC2H 0EB
Contact us: 020 7437 5660
Monday – Saturday: 8.00am-9.00pm
Sundays: 10.00pm – 6.00pm
Public holidays: 10.00am – 8.00pm