Next time you’re looking for a caffeine boost, head to Leeds’ best independent coffee shops.
There’s no shortage of coffee shops in Leeds – in fact, it is chock full of them. But which should you choose for your morning brew and what makes them stand out? We’ve rounded up the best independent coffee shops in the city to help you get your day off to a delicious start.
Mrs Atha’s is one of the most popular places to grab a coffee, so popular, in fact, that you might have to wait for a table – but it’s worth it. Their coffee is provided by their sister brand, Maude Coffee, who ethically source their beans from farms around the world, then roast them at their home on Railway Street. They have different roasts for espresso, filter and brewed coffee, and they often have guest brews from the likes of Roundhill in Bath and Dark Woods in Huddersfield. Their baristas are all extensively trained, so you know you’re in safe hands here, and the shop itself is a vintage chic haven.
Mrs Atha’s Central Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DE.
If you don’t mind going a little out of your way to find a great Leeds coffee shop, you should hunt out Cafe 164, in their little nook on the ground floor of Munro House. Expect all kinds of sandwiches, salads and cakes, which are the ideal accompaniment to their mighty fine coffee. They use a range of local and national independent suppliers, from Leeds’ North Star and Maude to Casa Espresso in Bradford and Bruce and Luke’s in Cumbria. While you sip your coffee, you can even take in the artwork on display at The Gallery at Munro House which is inside the cafe itself.
Cafe 164, Munro House, Duke Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8AG.
Laynes is the ultimate choice for coffee aficionados. They have a bean repertoire that includes the likes of Square Mile, Has Bean, Origin and Grumpy Mule amongst a slew of renowned European roasters, as they continue in their mission to brew the best coffee in Leeds. It’s because of this that they’ve become the benchmark for coffee in the city, from their small but perfectly formed spot on New Station Road. Be it the four-ounce Piccolo, the flat white or even the split shot tasting tray, you can trust Laynes with your morning caffeine injections. Throw in one of their renowned cakes or sandwiches for the full experience.
Laynes Espresso, 16 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL.
You’ll find two Opposite cafes in Leeds, each ready and waiting to give you a tasty caffeine boost. One sip of their Square Mile, Grumpy Mule or North Star coffees, which they change up on a regular basis, will show you why they’re considered one of the leaders of the indie coffee shop revolution. So whether you’re after a latte, a cappuccino or something a little stronger, nip into one of their venues for a mighty fine brew and a bite to eat.
Opposite Cafe, 26 Back Blenheim Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9HD. Cup and Saucer by Opposite, 4 Steinbeck Lane, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 3QY.
Out of the Woods
You may have to venture a little further out of the centre, but Out of the Woods is certainly worth the walk. Their experienced baristas serve up some of the best coffee in Leeds, using Dark Woods Roasters from Huddersfield to make everything from espressos to mochas. Need something to eat with your coffee? Chase your cuppa with a bowl of granola or porridge at breakfast, or one of their sarnies, soups and salads at lunch – you get the whole package at Out of the Woods.
Out of the Woods, 2 Waterman’s Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4GL & 113 Water Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5WD.
Irish pair Kyle O’Neill and Maeve Kenny are coffee lovers who’ve travelled the world and come to Leeds to show off their expertise at Episode One. It’s a charming cafe, decked out in minimalist Nordic style, but it’s really the coffee you come for. They’re inspired by the Aussie-Kiwi third wave of coffee culture, so you can sup Ozone Coffee for their house brew, but they also have guest roasters that change all the time. All their coffee is single-origin and you can even get tasting notes to go with it, as well as sandwiches, stews and salads.
Episode One, 83 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BR.
Sheaf Street Cafeteria
You can bag yourself a quality coffee at Sheaf Street Cafeteria. Alongside their delectable range of breakfast and lunch dishes, The Grub and Grog Shop have taken control of the coffee machines. They whip up everything from espressos and Americanos to lattes and flat whites using beans sourced from Leeds’ North Star. Open throughout the week from 8.30am and at the weekend from 9am, it’s the perfect start to the day, and with prices starting from £1.50, it won’t break the bank either.
Sheaf Street Cafeteria, 3 Sheaf Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1HD.
Corner House Coffee Bar
Corner House Coffee Bar is a rustic cafe where you can get a quality cuppa. Their coffee comes from from Bean Machines in Manchester. It’s ground and brewed in their top-of-the-range San Remo Cafe Racer to make your latte, mocha or flat white. Pair yours with a Full English or Smoked Haddock Kedgeree at breakfast, with sandwiches and Spanish tapas later in the day. Feeling adventurous? They do a range of alcoholic coffees, served in a hip flask.
Corner House Coffee Bar, 378 Harrogate Road, Moortown, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 6PY.
At the heart of Wellington Place, Sociable Folk is a firm favourite. They serve up some of the best coffee in Leeds, particularly if you like yours deep and smoky. Their flat white is definitely worth a go, but if you want something that really packs a punch, go with the four-ounce cortado, all courtesy of North Star’s finest blends. But don’t enjoy it solo, because Sociable Folk has a menu of homemade food too, from healthy salads to wraps, ciabattas and pick and mix brownies.
Sociable Folk Cafe, 10 Wellington Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4JP.
If you’re after a coffee shop in Leeds that’s completely different from everywhere else, Casa Colombiana is the place to go. They have their own Casacol coffee, which is roasted, ground and brewed on-site in their Grand Arcade home, and the result is one of the freshest cuppas you’ll find at any of the cafes around the city. Taking their authentic approach even further, they’ve dressed up their home in impressive Colombian style and brought some of the finest South American dishes to Yorkshire, including arepas, enchiladas and ceviche.
Casa Colombiana Grand Arcade, 6 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
If Coffee Bar
If is a coffee lover’s heaven. Step inside this cool, rustic Call Lane cafe which is split over two floors, and get ready for a delicious cuppa. They’ve gone for Leeds favourites North Star, which they turn into their distinctive Australian-style serve – expect punchy flavour whether you’re going for a flat white or their signature long black. They also offer an Aeropress filter coffee, and if you fancy a bite to eat, try the pancakes at breakfast, a freshly made sandwich for lunch or one of their handmade cakes at any time of day.
If Coffee Bar, 43 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.
Coffee on the Crescent
Coffee on the Crescent is a cool, stripped back cafe from retired professional cricketer Tim Linley. He’s a self-confessed coffee nut, so it’s in good hands. He’s sourced the finest beans for his little shop – you’ll be drinking the wares of Maude in their regular coffees and North Star in their speciality brews. Enjoy yours with vegan savouries from The Jungle Kitchen, cakes from Tarte and Berry and pastries from Le Croissant D’Or in a venue full of original Victorian features.
Coffee on the Crescent, 2 The Crescent, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2NW.
San Co Co
San Co Co has plenty to offer, but their coffee, in particular, has earned them plenty of fans. Using Caffe Vero Italian coffee blends from Nottingham, they offer a slew of tremendous brews, including an awesome macchiato and a delicious iced coffee. Their little cafe is the perfect spot to stop for a brew, and watch the world go by, but don’t be surprised if you’re tempted in by the food. They offer a tasty menu of breakfasts, sandwiches and salads worth checking out.
San Co Co, 12 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
With two venues now open in Leeds, Kapow Coffee has become a favourite with caffeine-lovers. They like to do things their own way, so alongside the usual flat whites and lattes, made using beans from Union Coffee, you can expect a few intriguing options. They use Artemis Coffee to make the Nitro Cold Brew, which is laid on over ice while the Matcha Green Tea Latte is well worth trying. Alongside your brew, they do an enticing selection of sandwiches, salads and sweet treats so you might want to hang around to make the most of it.
Kapow Coffee, 44 The Calls, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7EW and 15 Thornton’s Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LQ.
Pump n Grind
The coffee at Pump n Grind comes with added feel-good. This charming cafe doubles as a micro-roaster and they ethically sources raw coffee from around the world. It’s roasted in-house before they whip it up into all your favourite brews. While you’re there, treat yourself to cakes from Love Rouge and The Barn, and enjoy, safe in the knowledge that 20% of their profits go to St George’s Crypt and all coffee excess is given to The Real Junk Food Project.
Pump n Grind, 52 Brudenell Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1BD.
North Star Cafe and General Store
North Star was the city’s first micro-roaster, and you’ll find their delicious, locally roasted beans in coffee shops across the north, but now they’ve opened their own little cafe at Leeds Dock. It sits side-by-side with the roastery, so you’ll be able to try two of their single-origin espressos, as well as one of their expertly made filter coffees, just metres from where they were made. They’ll also have loose tea, craft beer, gin and coffee-inspired cocktails – and they’re teaming up with Noisette Bakehouse to serve up a menu of delicious morsels.
North Star Cafe and General Store, The Boulevard, Leeds Dock, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1PZ.
Stage Espresso and Brewbar
Stage Espresso and Brewbar is a brainchild of Martyn and Matt Jakeman, two brothers who wanted to share their love of coffee with the masses. They specialise in single-origin coffee, so everything you order, whether it’s a flat white, a split shot or a cappuccino, will be made with beans from an individual or small group of farms. The venue itself is petite, with just a small amount of seating, but it’s a cosy place to while away the hours – and if you get hungry, you can indulge in fresh sandwiches or cakes from Tarte and Berry.
Stage Espresso & Brewbar, 41 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BB.
Flamingos Coffee House
Flamingos is the first late-night LGBTQ+ friendly cafe in Leeds and you can be sure of a great cup of coffee here. Take a seat inside this vibrant venue and treat yourself to one of their North Star brews. Whether you’re going for a short, sharp boost with an espresso or a classic like a cappuccino, you can get it just the way you like it, with lactose-free and vegan milk alternatives. Peckish? They serve an all-day brunch menu, as well as a regularly changing line-up of sweet treats.
Flamingos Coffee House, Central Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DX.
200 Degrees has become a real favourite since making its way to Leeds from Nottingham, where they have their own coffee roastery. That’s one of their biggest pulls – they handpick the beans before roasting, grinding and serving them, which means they have total control over the quality. You can try their signature Brazilian Love Affair blend at their Bond Court shop, alongside a range of seasonal brews, and they’re coupled with freshly made sandwiches, salads or cakes.
200 Degrees, 31 Bond Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5BQ.
Bare is one of the best coffee shops in Leeds. It’s a small co-operative and they know how to make a proper good brew. They use local favourites North Star for all their beans, so next time you fancy a latte or an Americano, they’ve got you covered. Enjoy yours alongside one of their homemade dishes, with everything from gourmet sandwiches to chorizo hash and scotch eggs. The cakes are just as good and they change daily.
Bare Coffee, Westwood Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 5LX.
La Bottega Milanese
La Bottega Milanese has got two homes, one at Bond Court and another in The Light – and both offer some of the best coffee this side of Milan. They use their very own custom coffee that’s roasted right here in Yorkshire. La Classica is the main house blend, it’s a 100% speciality grade and ethically sourced Arabica coffee, but they also team up with various UK roasters for guest coffees that highlight the country’s burgeoning coffee scene. Pair your favourite brew with one of their delicious pasticcini sweet treats and if you need lunch, their selection of handmade piadinas are a winner.
La Bottega Milanese, Unit 11a The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL.
Fettle is a slice of Scandinavian serenity in the heart of the city and it’s the perfect place to while away the hours with a coffee. They serve Limini coffee from Cleckheaton, and each cup, whether you go for an espresso, cappuccino or latte, is made with a double shot for a deeper, darker flavour. They also serve Sandows’ renowned cold brew coffee for something different, and you can tuck into a range of tasty Scandi-inspied morsels.
Fettle, 73 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BR.
This one’s a little bit different – Taste is a cafe created by the business community, for the business community. Founded by Ian Hargreaves, Managing Director at local marketing agency Your Engine Room, it was born of a need for quality coffee and on-the-go lunch options. Stop by for a brew, made with beans from local roastery, Maude Coffee, or nip over on your lunch and pair your cuppa with freshly made sandwiches, DIY salads and cakes.
Taste, 3 Butcher Street, Saw Mill Yard, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5WH.
The Union Coffee House
The Union takes a collaborative approach to business. They made it their mission to work with local independents and charities, which is why their coffee comes from North Star, their bread comes from Leeds Bread Co-op and much of their furniture comes from St Luke’s Cares. Look around while you sup your brew, because everything is for sale. Whether it’s a bag of coffee beans, your favourite chair or the art on the walls – if you see something you like, you can take it home.
The Union Coffee House, 51 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BB.
Wolfox Coffee Roasters
Wolfox isn’t your usual Leeds coffee shop – their roasters is right next door. They brew their own organic coffee fresh each day, which you’ll be able to smell as soon as you walk into their stripped back, leafy venue. They have a number of different blends on offer, from Mr Fox house espresso to Wild Cat speciality arabica and Guatemala single-origin. If you like what you taste, you can buy a bag of beans to take home with you, and if you get peckish, you can tuck into anything from pancakes to pastries.
Wolfox Coffee Roasters, 68 Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2EE.Feature image © Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Ollievision.