Need a break? Make a beeline for the city’s best cafes where you can sit back with a brew and a bite to eat.
Leeds has a slew of fantastic cafes, with everything from cheap and cheerful greasy spoons to Scandinavian-style hideaways where you can tuck into a plate of delicious food – but which should you choose? To make it easier to find your perfect pitstop, we’ve rounded up the very best cafes in the city centre and the suburbs.
The city centre
From French tearooms to coffee-loving cafes, the city centre’s independents have something for everyone.
Laynes Espresso may be famous for its coffee, but they also offer a splendid array of teas and a tasty menu of food, so it’s more than just a place to go for a quick caffeine boost. All their dishes are freshly made in-house each day with tempting options like sweet buckwheat pancakes, Yorkshire rarebit and shakshuka on the menu, as well as a range of sandwiches and salads which change each day.
Laynes Espresso, 16 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL.
This Scandinavian-inspired little cafe is a little off the beaten path, but Fettle is well worth seeking out. It’s a bright airy space with long wooden benches and cool light fittings. Grab a cup of Limini coffee, a special Ippuku Japanese tea or one of the special brew teas from Jeeves and Jericho, before poring over their food menu. They do cakes and pastries, but if you’re after something bigger, try one of their Scandi-style dishes, like Norwegian lapskaus or the salt beef brioche.
Fettle, 73 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BR.
The Kitty Cafe is one of the most unusual cafes in Leeds. They’ve got over 100 teas for you to try, as well as coffee, cat-inspired mocktails and a menu of simple eats like cake, jacket potatoes and sandwiches, so there’s something for everyone. But as the name gives away, it’s the felines that are the star attraction here. You’re encouraged to roam around the cafe and meet as many cats as possible during your stay. You book in for an hour, which will cost £6 for adults and £4 for kids.
Kitty Cafe, 8-9 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6BZ.
The Tiled Hall Cafe
The Tiled Hall Cafe has replaced the old reading room at Leeds Central Library, but its lost none of its original grandeur. It’s a beautiful venue with iconic tiled walls and ceilings, in fact, it’s almost an attraction in its own right. The cafe has a simple menu of sandwiches, salads and soups, as well as a few hot specials that change every day. But it’s not just a lunchtime destination, so nip in after a walk around the gallery for a cup of tea and a freshly made cake in a truly scenic setting.
The Tiled Hall Cafe, 16-18 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AB.
Sheaf Street Cafeteria
Sheaf Street Cafeteria is a cool, laid back cafe, full of stripped back charm with bare brick walls and industrial fittings. It’s run by the folk at The Grub and Grog Shop, so you can expect creative dishes made using locally-sourced ingredients. You can tuck into a range of dishes like smoked haddock kedgeree, organic meat hash and vegan oat cakes, as well as an ever-changing array of salads and sandwiches. Top it off with a North Star coffee.
Sheaf Street Cafeteria, 3 Sheaf Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1HD.
Le Chalet is a charming French tearoom in the heart of Leeds city centre, where
you can take a break in a pretty venue while trying one of 100 different teas. If you’re hungry, choose from a menu of baguettes, pastries and cakes, or go for one of their traditionally French dishes like the brie and bacon gallete or the tarte provençale. If you fancy being indulgent, their French-take on afternoon tea is a must-try.
Le Chalet, 31-32 Park Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5JD.
Global Tribe Cafe
If you’re looking for vegan food, Global Tribe is one of the best cafes in Leeds. You’ll find it tucked away on Swan Street, above the shop that shares its name. They specialise in vegetarian, vegan and raw food, with a creative and often surprising menu of dishes. You can get anything from sweet American pancakes to potato, kale and seitan chorizo soup, alongside a range of freshly made sandwiches and soups. Couple it with an ethically-sourced coffee or something from their special tea menu.
Global Tribe Cafe, 18 Swan Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LG.
Just Grand! Vintage Tearoom
Step back in time with a trip to Just Grand! Vintage Tearoom. It’s a retro cafe, full of 1950s charm. Old world music plays in the background as they brew up Yorkshire tea, or one of their 23 speciality blends, in a proper pot. The menu is full of classics like toasted crumpets, cream cheese & cucumber sandwiches and their homemade soup of the day. They’ve also got a daily selection of cakes and scones, but why not go all out? Their afternoon tea couples a plateful of tasty treats with unlimited tea.
Just Grand! Vintage Tearoom, 8-9 Grand Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
If Coffee Bar
Call Lane is home to a real hidden gem in If Coffee Bar. It’s one of the coolest cafes in Leeds. Spread across two floors, decked out in all kinds of plants and greenery, it’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. They serve quality coffee and loose leaf organic teas, alongside a menu of tasty morsels. Their pancakes are to die for, topped with bacon, maple syrup and pecans, but if you want something savoury, they have freshly made sandwiches and hot specials that change daily.
If Coffee Bar, 43 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.
You’ve got the best of both worlds at Cafe 164 – it’s part-cafe and part-art gallery. It’s set within The Gallery at 164, so after browsing the latest exhibition, treat yourself to something to eat and drink. This is the perfect place to try something new because they serve guest blends from Northern coffee roasters, alongside a range of loose leaf teas. Hungry? They have fresh sandwiches, soups and salads on rotation throughout the week, but look out for their hot special which could be anything from buttermilk chicken to sriracha beef brisket.
Cafe 164, Munro House, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8AG.
Hepworth’s Deli is one of the most popular cafes in Leeds. It’s a small, intimate venue, but the menu packs a punch. You could nip in for their famous fish finger butty, enjoy a waffle stack covered in fruit or tuck into traditional platters like their Ploughman’s. It’s all made with quality ingredients sourced from local farmers and suppliers like Leeds Bread Co-op. They also serve a mighty fine cup of North Star coffee which you can enjoy with their freshly made cakes.
Hepworth’s Deli, 21 Thornton’s Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LQ.
Looking for a lunchtime escape? Head down to Cha Lounge. It’s a laid back venue that offers a little bit of peace amidst the hustle and bustle of the city centre. You can choose from a huge range of organic teas here, like the green tea with rose petals, or simply get a good cup of coffee. Hungry? They’ve got a full brunch menu, which promises favourites like a Full English or eggs Benedict, alongside a range of fusion dishes, like their Indian omelette.
Cha Lounge, 24-26 Dock Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1JF.
Arch Cafe is run by Age UK Leeds, a charity that helps older people in the community, and all the proceeds are ploughed back onto their great work. That means your cuppa, or your coffee if you prefer, comes with added feel-good. You can tuck into everything from avocado on toast to salmon pasta bakes, but the stars of the show are their incredible homemade cakes which change daily – will it be a traditional Victoria sponge, a slice of lemon drizzle or a brownie?
Arch Cafe, 15 Mark Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JA.
Sociable Folk is a modern cafe tucked away in Wellington Place, so it’s a popular choice with the city’s business folk. They do a cracking coffee, made using North Star’s finest beans, and there are plenty of tempting eats to pair it with. We’re talking wraps, flatbreads and ciabattas filled with the likes of lamb kofta, pesto chicken or 5-bean chilli. Want something light? You can build your own salads here (or just settle for a slice of cake).
Sociable Folk, 10 Wellington Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4JP.
If you’re looking for the best greasy spoon in Leeds, make a beeline for Riveresque. This is a no-frills cafe on the side of Leeds Bridge where you can get cuppa and a decent feed for a surprisingly affordable price. They have a menu of hot and cold sandwiches and salads, which are made to order, as well as soups and jacket potatoes (not to mention a Full English to start the day with). When the sun’s shining, head out to their small outdoor area, which looks out over the River Aire.
Riveresque, 15 Bridge End, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7HG.
Olive & Rye
Olive & Rye is Hepworth’s Deli’s big sister. It’s a rustic cafe with even more space and even more creative dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients. We’re talking chorizo baked beans on sourdough toast, buttermilk blueberry pancakes and homemade crumpets. They’ve also got a range of fresh sandwiches and salads, or you can just nip in for a brew and a slice of cake. It’s all available to takeaway, if you’re in a hurry, and they have a selection of deli goods, like jams and chutneys that you can pick up too.
Olive & Rye, 18-20 Queens Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LF.
Roots and Fruits
Roots and Fruits is one of the longest serving veggie and vegan cafes in Leeds. It’s a laid back, family-run venue with a vegan-first approach. You can get a range of light bites, sandwiches and salads, or go for one of their classic dishes like the jerk jackfruit in their spicy Caribbean marinade. Want a slice of cake? They have a new selection every day, delivered fresh from the vegan bakery That Old Chestnut.
Roots and Fruits, 10-11 Grand Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
San Co.co is a cheap and cheerful cafe that prides itself on being a fuss-free eatery. You can start with a Caffe Vero coffee or one of their huge range of Twining teas, before choosing something from the menu. They make an early start here, so you can grab a bacon butty on the way to work, but if it’s lunch you’re after, you can choose from a vast array of sandwiches, salads and hot dishes, made fresh each day. If you’re just stopping by for a cuppa, their home cooked cakes are all too tempting.
San Co Co, 12 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
You can have a cuppa in an art space, take your pooch for a bite to eat or visit a pop-up tearoom in the suburbs.
Squirrelled away in the maze of Holbeck Urban Village, Taste is an independent cafe that serves locals and nearby businesses. If you need a caffeine boost, their coffee comes from local roaster, Maude Coffee, but they also offer a range of homemade smoothies. And the food? It’s made with locally sourced produce from Swillington Organic Farm and includes a range of sandwiches, salads and soups.
Taste, 3 Saw Mill Yard, Holbeck, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5WH.
The Tiny Tea Room
The Tiny Tea Room is unique – there really is no other cafe like it anywhere else in Leeds. You’ll find it in an old stone shed on the side of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in Rodley. If the sun’s shining, it’s a wonderful place to take five as you look out over the water. Their cream teas are incredibly popular – it gives you a Yorkshire or herbal brew, with a scone, jam and cream. They also do freshly ground coffees, alongside a range of cakes and Yorkshire Dales ice cream, which the little ones will love.
The Tiny Tea Room, Calverley Bridge, Rodley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS13 1NF.
Woodlawn Coffee Co.
Woodlawn Coffee Co. is a cool, Scandinavian-inspired cafe in Horsforth. It’s perfect for whiling away the hours with a cup of North Star coffee or Storm Tea. If it’s breakfast you’re after, you can start the day with buttermilk pancakes or slow roasted on-the-vine tomatoes on sourdough, but lunch is just as tempting – they do a range of gourmet sandwiches, as well as homemade favourites like smokey beans on toast.
Woodlawn Coffee Co, 60a Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 4AP.
Bare Coffee is a charming coffee shop out in Far Headingley. It’s small but perfectly formed, with a focus on proper good coffee. They use North Star beans for everything from lattes to Americanos and serve a menu of homemade food made with locally-sourced ingredients. Alongside gourmet sandwiches, you can choose from cafe-favourites like chorizo hash, mushrooms on toast and loaded buddy bowls. Of course, you can also get a lovely slice of cake.
Bare Coffee, Weetwood Lane, Far Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 5LX.
Pride and Produce
Pride and Produce is one of Garforth’s most popular eateries. You can take a seat in the spacious cafe or order to takeaway – either way, you’re spoilt for choice. Start the day with classics like a Full English, pancakes or eggs Benedict, alongside a cup of Yorkshire tea or North Star coffee. Or come at lunchtime for Lebanese flatbreads, grilled sandwiches, salads and deli boards.
Pride and Produce, 33a Main Street, Garforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS25 1DS.
The Little Bookshop
The Little Bookshop is the only independent children’s bookshop in Leeds, but it’s also home to a great cafe. Pick up the latest and greatest kids books or attend their daily storytime sessions, before enjoying a menu that’s great for grown-ups and kids alike. You can sup on a North Star coffee alongside one of their homemade sandwiches, filled with the likes of roast Yorkshire ham or beetroot humous. The little ones can enjoy teddy bear toast or a children’s lunch plate, which comes with a ham or cheese sarnie, a fruit biscuit and a veggie critter.
The Little Bookshop, 47 Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 3PD.
House of Koko
House of Koko is a cool, family-run cafe on the southern edge of Chapel Allerton and it’s a must-visit. You can get a cracking cup of North Star coffee or try one of their loose leaf teas, but don’t just come for the drinks – they have a creative food menu that’s worth checking out. Start with rhubarb compote & crème fraîche pancakes for breakfast or come later in the day for eclectic dishes like their chicken & avocado salad or homemade baked beans on sourdough.
House of Koko, 62 Harrogate Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 4LA.
White’s Cafe Bar
White’s has won itself a legion of fans in Headingley, thanks to its laid-back atmosphere, comfy seats and tempting treats. Kick things off at breakfast with the likes of smashed avocado on sourdough or their vegan full English – they pair well with one of their boozy breakfast cocktails if you’re going all out. At lunch, they’ve got an array of salads, pies and wraps to choose from, or you can kick back with a Casa Espresso coffee.
White’s Cafe Bar, 9 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3AA.
From their home in a converted textiles mill to the local produce they use to make their food, Mill Kitchen celebrates everything that’s great about Leeds. They serve their breakfast menu all day, so you can treat yourself to coconut French toast, Turkish eggs or a Full English. Come lunchtime, you can also enjoy a range of sandwiches, soups and savoury bakes, all made in house. Thirsty? Have a cup of North Star coffee or Birdhouse loose leaf tea. And before you go, why not pick up a few things to takeaway from their deli counter?
Mill Kitchen, Sunnybank Mills, 83-85 Town Street, Farsley, Pudsey, West Yorkshire, LS28 5UJ.
Monsieur Dejeuner is a French-inspired cafe in the heart of Headingley. Their coffee comes with a sprinkling of chocolate in the shape of the Eiffel Tower, as do their pancakes, but you can also choose from a range of Twinings teas or go for one of their authentic French dishes. We’re talking French onion soup, baked camembert and fresh baguettes which you can enjoy in a relaxed venue designed to give you a little taste of Paris.
Monsieur Déjeuner, 3 Gateway House, 15 North Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3HG.
Salami & Co.
Salami & Co. is a dog-friendly cafe in Otley and they’ll treat your pet as well as they treat you. They do special puppicinos, doughnuts and venison sausages for your furry friend, and you can treat yourself to their all-day brunch menu, which includes dishes like peach melba waffles, baba ganoush and grilled cheese sandwiches. Finish it off with their bespoke blend Maude coffee and a Dumouchel sweet pastry.
Salami and Co, 10 Market Place, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3AQ.
Haley and Clifford
You’ve got the best of both worlds at Haley and Clifford – it’s a deli where you can pick up the best Yorkshire produce to take home, but it’s also a smart cafe where you can stock up for breakfast and lunch. There’s everything from a red cabbage, orange and walnut salad to leek & potato soup, Moroccan beef parcels and Yorkshire pork pies. They’ve also got a range of homemade cakes that will pair nicely with a North Star coffee.
Haley & Clifford, 43 Street Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 1AP.
Brown’s Greens is something of a hidden treasure – it’s a warm and friendly cafe tucked away in Rawdon that specialises in vegetarian and vegan dishes. Their ‘on toast’ menu promises everything from simple peanut butter to halloumi and baked beans, but they also offer tasty treats like filo pies, DIY salads and their homemade curry of the day. To drink, they’ve got loose leaf teas and coffee made with beans from local roasters, Maude.
Brown’s Greens, 3b Harrogate Road, Rawdon, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS19 6HW.
Sebby’s Deli is a charming cafe in an old cottage in Headingley. You can take a break with one of their Tea Experience loose leaf teas or a North Star coffee. They’ve also got a menu of tempting dishes – their breakfast menu is served until 4pm, so you can get your mouth around the Mexican corn hash, cinnamon toast or a granola sundae. And come lunchtime, they serve an array of freshly-made salads, sandwiches and wraps.
Sebby’s, 90-92 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 4BA.
Tandem is one of the more unusual cafes in Leeds. It’s a gallery and shop all rolled into one. Take a moment to look through their collection before you order your brew – they showcase the wares of local artists and makers, which you can buy to take home. Afterwards, treat yourself to giant crumpets, smoked salmon on toast or spicy chorizo beans for breakfast, or enjoy soups, sandwiches and salads at lunch.
Tandem, 574 Meanwood Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 4AZ.
The Bowery has a gallery and a creative space where you can take all manner of interesting workshops, but it’s the cafe we’re concerned with today. They make their own salads and small plates in house each day, and serve them alongside Cryer and Stott pies and Bondgate Bakery quiches. Their homemade cakes include a banana and walnut loaf, Oreo brownies and cherry bakewell tarts, which you can wash down with one of their Allpress Espresso coffees or Brew Tea Company cuppas.
The Bowery, 54 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2AL.
The name tells you everything you need to know about Cafe Lento – it translates as ‘slowly’ in English and with good reason, they wanted to create a space where you could escape your busy life for an hour and just relax. You’ll do it in a colourful venue, with a mish-mash of furniture. Sup a Lavazza Tierra coffee and choose from an array of straightforward dishes made using ethically-produced ingredients, from their breakfast butties to the Ploughman’s lunch. And if you’re there on a Friday afternoon, stick around for the live jazz band that plays every week.
Cafe Lento, 21A North Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3HW.