Leeds-List: The Best & Most Insightful Guide to Leeds

Where to Get the Best Coffee in Leeds

· Andrew Emery · Food and Drink

Get yourself a cup of the good stuff at Leeds’ best coffee shops.

Kapow

Whether you’re in the market for a pour over, filter or flat white, there’s a Leeds coffee shop with your name on it.

A shot of caffeine on the way to work, a quick catch up with friends, a lunch with colleagues – whatever you need, the coffee shops of Leeds can provide. From Leeds city centre to the suburbs, these independent coffee shops are ready with hot drinks, tasty snacks and a bean-to-cup ethos that means there’s never been a better time to grab a cuppa!

Laynes Espresso

Laynes Coffee

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Laynes Espresso raised the bar for roasters when it opened back in 2011 and it has gone from strength to strength ever since. Their evolution has taken them from being the go-to place for great coffee in Leeds to being to go-to place for great coffee and killer brunch in Leeds. They haven’t just expanded their menu, they’ve expanded physically too, meaning there’s now more space to enjoy a brilliantly brewed espresso or flat white. Hungry? The fry-up is brilliant, the chorizo hash a thing of wonder and the beef shin and blue cheese toastie worth trekking there for.

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

Miles & Co. Coffee

Miles & Co

This dreamy Kirkgate market spot opened in 2021 and was an immediate hit with both coffee-lovers and those with a sweet tooth. Owned and run by a husband-and-wife duo, it dishes up artisan coffee from Dark Woods roasters. All the classics are present and correct – Americano, cortado, cappuccino and latte, and they’re also happy to make them decaf and with non-dairy milk. There’s tea, hot chocolate and chai, plus addictively oozy toasties including kimchi with spicy mayo and pastrami with mustard and gherkins. Add in some indulgent pastries and you’re on to a winner.

Miles & Co Coffee, Leeds Kirkgate Market, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DT.

Cafe 164

Cafe 164

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This colourful yet still cosy coffee spot might have an in-house gallery – one which doubles as an event and exhibition space – but it’s serious about its coffee. Get your caffeine hit from a flat white or filter, while you can sample the guest coffee blends in a V60 or pour over. If you’re feeling peckish, you’re in safe hands. The focaccia and ciabatta loaves are made fresh every day in their own bakery and they’re wrapped around such delights as chilli chicken with chorizo or halloumi with sweet potato pakora. Coffee, art, great sarnies – what’s not to like?

Cafe 164, Munro House, Duke Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8AG.

Mrs Atha’s

Mrs Atha's Leeds

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It might look like an old-fashioned cafe, with its exposed brick walls and vintage teacups, but the ever-excellent Mrs Atha’s is one of the best coffee shops in Leeds, serving up a cornucopia of house and guest blends from across the globe, with everything from piccolos to long blacks on the menu. There’s an array of teas and hot chocolates to sup too, plus food dished up from breakfast to mid-afternoon. The grilled cheese with tarragon mushrooms is a thing of beauty, as are the perfectly springy buttermilk pancakes.

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

Opposite Cafe

Opposite Cafe Leeds

Opposite’s brace of branches – one in Chapel Allerton, the other near the University of Leeds – tick every possible box you want in a cafe. There’s top-end coffees from celebrated roasters such as North Star and Grumpy Mule, while an array of sticky and sweet stuff will have you turning off the dieting app on your phone. Homemade Chelsea buns – both sweet and savoury – or maybe strawberry and rosemary vegan mini loaves might be on the menu, depending on the baker’s whim. The coffee range is second to none, and what’s not to love about a cuppa and a cake?

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

Out of the Woods Cafe Leeds

With homes on both Water Lane and at Granary Wharf, these rough hewn but charming cafes know how to make a mean coffee. Mull things over with a macchiato or ponder life with a latte, either way you’ll be enjoying aromatic beans from Dark Woods Roasters, paired with organic milk from the local Acorn Dairy. Breakfasts are both virtuous and sinful – the Superfood Bowl will set you up for the day, the bacon sandwich and CAWA Bakery pastries are an equally solid choice. If you’re planning lunch in Leeds with your coffee, dive in to sandwiches, wraps, toasties and and veggie pakora.

Out of the Woods, 2 Waterman’s Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4GL & 113 Water Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5WD.

Wolfox

Wolfox

Wolfox isn’t just a cafe, they’re organic coffee roasters in their own right, and the peerless quality of the brews here makes it one of the best coffee shops in Leeds city centre. This is their only branch outside of the south – lucky for us – and they’ll make you up a mean mocha, doppio or V60 to either drink in or take away. Their own bakery handles the incredible cronuts and pastries, all of them organic, and a solid brunch menu will tempt you to stay for pancakes, Spring Hash or Le Grande Benedict. Vegan options abound at a place that manages the tricky balancing act of ethical and delicious.

Wolfox, 68 Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2EE.

Moose Coffee

Moose Coffee

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Coffee might be in the place’s name, but it’s not the first reason you might head to Moose Coffee. Nope, that’s for the massive menu of American and Canadian breakfast and brunch classics. We’re talking pancake stacks with a mini-waterfall of maple syrup, grits with cheddar and fried eggs, or chicken and waffles. Calorie counting be damned. Happily, they don’t phone it in on the coffee either. It’s Fairtrade certified, with high-quality Arabica beans going into reliable Americanos, flat whites and lattes.

Moose Coffee, Bond Court, Wine Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2JZ.

Stage Espresso & Brewbar

Stage Espresso & Brewbar

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Petite but oh-so-neat, Stage Espresso delights with brilliant coffee, top pastries and that clinching element – the cafe’s own, very friendly, dog. They only use single estate coffees from the finest roasters, so you can rest assured you’ll be sipping on a great cup of Joe. They’ve got a short but sweet menu too, to bolster the tempting treats on offer from the local Porterhouse Cake Co. Breakfast sarnies, sweetcorn fritters with halloumi, eggs Florentine – all are excellent and go perfectly with people watching and coffee in this corner of Leeds.

Stage Espresso & Brewbar, 41 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BB.

The Union Coffee House

Union Coffee House

This dog-friendly indie is well known for its cosy vibe, top notch drinks and vegan bakes – wrap your hands around a cup of coffee, take a pew and all will feel well with the world. The aroma of North Star roasted coffee hits you as you enter, while your eyes will be drawn to the home-made bakes – a panoply of pleasure that includes cinnamon swirls, sourdough croissants and custard danishes. Try them all, why don’t you? They keep it local when it comes to brunch too – the bread that sits underneath the Eggs Benedict is from Leeds Bread Co Op.

The Union Coffee House, 51 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BB.

200 Degrees

200 Degrees

It’s hard to miss this stellar coffee shop with its excellent location on Leeds’ bustling Bond Street. Even harder, perhaps, to think of drinking coffee anywhere else once you’ve availed yourself of their drinks menu. How seriously they take their coffee can be gauged by the fact that there’s an actual barista school on the premises. That expertise comes to the fore in perfectly brewed cuppas, with beans changing regularly, while sandwiches, breakfasts, porridge and pastries make it the ideal place to pop in for a much-needed drink all day long.

200 Degrees, 31 Bond Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5BQ.

Grön Kafe

Food and Coffee at Gron Kafe

There’s no corner cutting at Grön. It’s an unpretentious but high-quality affair from the moment you step in, with sleek, Scandi design and world-class coffee. The latter is a delight, with seasonal blends and, if you’re feeling indulgent, special hot chocolates with a shot of something strong to sweeten the deal. The food punches well above its weight too – beans on toast sounds simple, but the mix of smokey coriander butter beans, chive oil and herb crumb take it up a notch. The French toast, meanwhile, is best in class, the new take on a club sandwich without any chicken in sight is also a winner.

Grön Kafe, 454 Roundhay Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2HU.

La Bottega Milanese

Bottega Milanese

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When it comes to coffee, few nations have a passion for it like the Italians – and the Italian owners of La Bottega Milanese fly the flag proudly for their country’s coffee culture. Both the Bond Court and Park House branches deliver 100% specialty grade Arabica that’s roasted in Yorkshire. Love it? You can buy beans to take away, although you might not have the innate Milanese skill when it comes to brewing it up. Just as tempting is the patisserie, with pasteis de nata, canelé rich with rum and vanilla and cannoli stuffed just so with sweet cream.

La Bottega Milanese, 2 Bond Court, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2JZ and Park House, 24 Park Square West, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2PW.

Bare Coffee

Bare Coffee

You don’t have to be in Leeds city centre to find a great coffee shop – Bare are doing great things at their Headingley home. Step over the threshold and you’re entering a small but wonderful world of coffee, cakes and even organic groceries to take home with you. It’s a place that loves to think local, so drink deep on North Star coffee and get your laughing gear around sourdough from Nova Bakehouse. Grab yourself a healthy veg box, a less healthy but oh-so-mouthwatering brownie or pastry and pillowy doughnuts oozing jam.

Bare Coffee, Westwood Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 5LX.

North Star Cafe and General Store

North Star Coffee Shop

North Star’s beans can be sampled in cafes all across the city, so it’s only right that they’ve got their own outpost. With their knowhow, it’s no surprise that it serves up some of the best coffee in Leeds. Come for a casual cup of the strong stuff, or indulge in coffee connoisseurship as they treat you to seasonal filter coffee and micro lots all brewed to absolute perfection. Got questions about your drink? The staff are hyper-knowledgeable and helpful. Food is lovely and local too, with Lishman’s meat and Nova Bakehouse bread popping up on a short but succulent menu of goodies.

North Star Cafe and General Store, The Boulevard, Leeds Dock, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1PZ.

Kapow Coffee

Kapow Coffee Leeds

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

Kapow has been hitting us in the kisser with cracking coffee since 2013, and you can take your pick of their location on The Calls, or head to their Thornton’s Arcade spot. Either way, you’re in for a caffeinated treat, whether you choose to drink in, take away, or shop from the smorgasbord of beans, from roasters both local and national. Lacking in the gear? Their expert staff can guide you through what you need to take home to make the perfect brew. The counter is stacked with sweet stuff and sandwiches, so you can grab a quick bite too.

Kapow Coffee, 44 The Calls, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7EW and 15 Thornton’s Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LQ.

Coffee on the Crescent

Coffee on the Crescent

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Coffee on the Crescent is so much more than just a cafe. Owned by former pro-cricketer Tim Linley, it also has a bit of a story to tell. Part of that is about Tim’s passion for coffee and coffee-houses, something that translates into every carefully considered cup of filter, Americano, pour-over and more. But another part of that tale is about community. They sell art and gifts from local makers, contribute heavily to food banks and have even started a project to bring life back to a neglected part of Woodhouse Moor. All that, plus damn fine coffee!

Coffee on the Crescent, 2 The Crescent, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2NW.

Fika North

Fika North

A slice of Scandinavia seemingly stranded in Far Headingley, Fika North does the Swedish feel good thing very well indeed. Their specialty coffee range draws heavily on local roasters, with teas from Sheffield’s Birdhouse if you fancy a more sedate brew. The batch brew, piccolo, long black – in fact, the whole darn lot – are exemplary and keenly priced for coffee of this quality. The same goes for the toasted bagels, which start at £3 for simple sweet fillings before topping out at a paltry £5.90 for ‘nduja and avocado or pastrami with Emmental and pink pickles.

Fika North, 94 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 4BA.

If…

If Coffee Bar

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North Star coffee, bounteous brunch options, their very own resident baker – If… do all the good things just right at their trio of Leeds city centre locations. The beans may come from afar before they’re roasted in Leeds, but the rest of the produce is proudly local. That means meat from Lishman’s, salmon from Taylor’s and eggs from Whittaker’s. Pastries are lavish – the Croffle comes highly recommended – the toasties are tremendous and, if you want to graduate to the harder stuff, they also do cocktails at their Call Lane branch.

If Coffee Bar, 43 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT, 18 York Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2EX and Kirkgate Market, Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7JF.

Sheaf St.

Sheaf Street Cafeteria

Sheaf St has so many strings to its bow that you might not know it offers some of the best coffee in all of Leeds. This multi-disciplinary event space hosts DJs, gigs, parties and more, but also finds room for a team of crack baristas prepping Dark Woods coffee. Get your cortado, cappuccino or your flat white with a dash of fabulous foam art, then march yourself through their breakfast menu. The Eggs Caprese is a winner, but if you’re truly hungry then treat yourself to their trademark breakfast – all the regulars, but with halloumi, garlic mushrooms and smokey beans.

Sheaf Street, 3 Sheaf Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1HD.

Archive

Archive, Leeds

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Another versatile multi-use space, Archive doesn’t mess around when it comes to a cup of coffee. They utilise beans from local roasters and can leave you smiling with a perfect macchiato or a peerless pour-over. There’s likely to be something going on while you’re there, whether it’s a film screening or pop-up vintage market, and the kitchen will keep your tummy happy too. The house breakfast comes with hash browns, wild mushrooms, kale and black garlic, with both vegan and veggie versions available. Croissants, pastries, brunch dishes galore – it’s hard to leave.

Archive, 94 Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 1HD.

92 Degrees

92 Degrees

While most coffee shops are content to employ baristas, at 92 Degrees they employ Caffeine Dealers – after all, lots of people call it their caffeine fix. These award-winning coffee roasters hail from Liverpool, and have cemented a firm following since crossing the Pennines. Go and meet your dealer close to Leeds Beckett University, where perfectly extracted coffee awaits at a place that’s perfect for a quick cuppa but is also ideal for taking your laptop and getting through some work. Delectable cruffins and cronuts also vie for your attention, and you can take coffee home in bean, ground and pod form.

92 Degrees, 100 Clay Pit Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8EU.

Ethiopian Organic Coffee

Ethiopian Organic Coffee

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Much of the coffee we drink in the UK comes from Ethiopia, so why not go straight to the source? The husband and wife team of Terefe and Denenesh have imported their brewing know-how to this fuss-free place that just happens to serve some of the very best coffee in Leeds. As the name suggests, the coffee is organic, roasted and packaged in Leeds, and you can grab some to drink in or takeaway before falling in love and plumping for the beans. There are cakes, snacks, sandwiches and more available too, because coffee always loves company.

Ethiopian Organic Coffee, 1 Cypress Point, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7LB.

The Bowery

The Bowery Leeds

Allpress Espresso are the people who supply The Bowery with their coffee, and you can taste the decades of experience in every sip – this is the good stuff. The space itself is a gallery-cum-workshop with happenings, well, happening, but it’s just as good for a quick drink or a meet-up. They’ll just as happily rustle you up a decaf, or a coffee with soya or oat milk. As well as the exceptional coffee, there are homemade cakes and savouries, quiches from Otley’s acclaimed Bondgate Bakery, generously stuffed sandwiches, salads and the sweet delights of Northern Bloc Ice Cream.

The Bowery, 54 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2AL.

Oscada

Oscada

A pair of former Leeds Rhinos players have shown that there’s life after rugby by joining together to open up this coffee shop in Oakwood. If you’ve had a wander around nearby Roundhay Park, its the perfect place for a restorative brew, with high-class coffee pastries and brownies that redefine the word ‘unctuous’. Toasties, bagels and cakes provide further sustenance, but the real deal here is served in a cup – the espresso is a jolt to the system, the latte and mocha more of a soft embrace, the V60 allows the notes of the Ozone beans to sing through. And not a scrum in sight.

Oscada, 478 Roundhay Road, Oakwood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2HU.