The Black Penny

The Penny University
34 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden WC2B 5AA

The first wave of coffee shops to arrive in England were as much a place of revolution as comfort; the intelligencia’s destination choice for meetings of minds, where the seeds of an idea were as likely to be planted as the fruits of a coffee plant. The crunch of beans and cries of debate fuelled one another as naturally as sugar and cream. Anyone was welcome in the Coffee House; whether you were an aristocrat or a soot stained street hustler, your voice would be heard. All you needed to be welcomed in and smell the coffee was a penny. Ever since, coffee shops the world over have been known as Penny Universities.

The Black Penny continues to carry the torch for heated debate and daring creativity, downstairs in The Seminar Pit. From spoken word poets to lectures on the weird and wonderful, our guest speakers inspire, educate and entertain. As well as enjoy some delicious free coffee.

Just don’t forget your penny.

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Our Coffee


The birth of a high-class coffee happens long before the milk is steamed and beans are ground; that’s why we roast with Alchemy. While Alchemy’s traditional methods can be traced back through coffee history, an innovative approach means their dark beans are tempered with distinctive flavours and textures that make for a unique taste experience. The quality and ingenuity of their stock has put them in a field of their own.

Alchemy’s Opus roast delivers warm, chocolaty base notes, paired with a gentle tang that cuts through to a delicate fruit aroma; an ideal flavour combination for milk lovers. Alchemy Elixir makes for a perfect foil to Opus; this vibrant Ethiopian blend delivers a bright, fruity hit that balances with a sweet or chocolaty coffee to form layered texture and mouth feel.

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 From the infamous Confit of Duck Hash to Frittatas with Pineapple & Chilli compote, breakfast at The Black Penny is as flush with inventive café cooking as it is fresh, organic ingredients – that are delivered to the cafe daily.

Open Menu



Black Penny salads are arranged from a fresh assortment of seasonal ingredients, hand-picked from the market daily. From heritage tomatoes with bocconcini to butterbeans blended with sumac, George layers each salad to conjure the perfect herb, vegetable and garnish balance.

Salads are complemented by seasonal fare of meat and fish, presented fresh on the counter for the diner’s selection.

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Contact Us

Are you interested in holding an event at The Black Penny? Perhaps you’d like to want to know what blend of Coffee we use, or what was in that fantastic marinade on your salad. Or you simply left your umbrella. We love to hear from you, for all kinds of reasons. Drop us a line by phone or email.



020 7242 2580


34 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden WC2B 5AA


Monday – Saturday: 8am – 6pm
Sunday: 9am – 5pm

We now take reservations in our downstairs Seminar Pit, for parties of six more. Please contact the number above to book.


Our Food and Coffee suppliers

The Blog

we keep you posted

See event pictures, new additions to our food and coffee menu and much, much more.

Peak (Whisky) Coffee, For A Penny

January 21, 2016Comments are OFF

A taste of “The Black Mountain” at The Black Penny We’re excited to announce we have teamed up

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A Matcha Made In Heaven

December 8, 2015Comments are OFF

Craving a healthy beverage? Matcha is the tasty tonic of choice for Zen Buddhists. Packed with

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Illustration by Rachel Nills, whose work will be available for viewing at our upcoming "Night Shrine" event

Just The (Meal) Ticket

November 27, 2015Comments are OFF

Treat someone special at The Black Penny this Christmas Struggling to think of a gift for your

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