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An Independent Coffee Crawl of Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Food and Drink

Swap booze for caffeine with this trail of five independent coffee shops.

Laynes Espresso, Leeds

Take on five of the city’s finest coffee shops in one winding walk around the city.

You don’t have to hit the hard stuff to go on a marvellous crawl around Leeds – not with our independent coffee crawl. It takes in five of the city’s finest, giving you a whistle-stop tour of the city as you stop in for flat whites, lattes and cappuccinos, with all manner of cakes and pastries to soak it up. Worried you’ll be climbing the walls after 5 cups? Remember, you can always switch to decaf if you start getting the coffee jitters.

North Star Coffee Shop & General Store

North Star

Let’s start our crawl at the city’s first micro-roaster at Leeds Dock. North Star is a cool venue that takes inspiration from the places they source their beans from, namely East Africa and Latin America – expect a bright airy cafe full of plants and colour.

The great about North Star is the fact that you’re drinking coffee that’s been roasted next door, literally yards away. They serve up everything from straight black coffees to lattes, piccolos and split shots. They also offer loose leaf teas from Storm Organic, and you can pair your drink with a sweet treats or tasty brunch dishes from Noisette Bakehouse who have set up shop here too. While you’re there, see what they’ve got in their General Store, where you can pick up items made by ethical local producers, from candles to toiletries.

North Star Coffee Shop & General Store, The Boulevard, Leeds Dock, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1PZ.

Mrs Atha’s

Mrs Atha's

Next up, it’s a bit of a walk into the city centre, but one that you’ll be well rewarded for – Mrs Atha’s is a Leeds institution, with its vintage chic styling and dedication to barista excellence.

They offer up lattes, flat whites and Americanos using blends from their sister brand, Maude Coffee, as well as guest brews from their favourite UK roasters. If you’re not into coffee (are you sure you’re reading the right list?), you can always try one of their Postcard Teas. While you’re there, why not grab a bite to eat? They have sarnies, pancakes and avocado on toast at breakfast, with salads and specials at lunch, and homemade cakes all day long, including a medley of vegan and gluten-free options.

Mrs Atha’s, Central Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DE.

Single Shot

Single Shot Leeds

Credit: Ali Turner

You won’t have to go far for the next stop, but you might want to give it a little more time than the others. You see, Single Shot isn’t just a coffee shop – it’s also a record store.

You can browse racks jam-packed with classic rock, pop, metal and hip-hop vinyl before heading to the cafe in the back of the store to settle down with a cup of coffee and the latest music magazines. They serve up coffee from The Caffe Society in Sherburn-in-Elmet, as well as a range of Twinings teas and hot chocolate. Hungry? The cakes come from the Brown and Blond artisan bakery in York, so you’re in for a treat.

Single Shot, 30 Central Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DE.

La Bottega Milanese

From Single Shot you’ll have a short walk directly through the city centre to find your next port of call. La Bottega Milanese is inspired by the best Italian coffee, but their blends are made right here in Yorkshire.

La Classica is the main one, and it’s made from 100% speciality grade and ethically sourced Arabica beans, but they also team up with guest roasters from all over the UK. They’ve got decaf, which you may well need by this point, and if you haven’t eaten already, you can top it off with a range of freshly made salads and sandwiches – or even better, one of their Italian cakes.

La Bottega Milanese, 2 Bond Court, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2JZ.

Laynes Espresso

Laynes Espresso, New Station Street

Credit: Ollievision

The last stop on our crawl is a Leeds coffee legend. Laynes are coffee mad, making their range of brews from an extensive array of beans that change regularly – they’ve used the likes of Square Mile, Has Bean, Origin and Grumpy Mule in the past.

End the day in style with their Split Shot – an espresso and a piccolo, served together – or mix it up with their Canton Tea Co brews, hot chocolate or a range of iced drinks. To go alongside the drinks, they have an array of Noisette Bakehouse cakes as well as hot dishes that range from shakshuka to Yorkshire rarebit.

Laynes Espresso, 16 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL.