The 10 Best Cafes and Coffee Shops in Leeds

Best Cafes in Leeds | © Michał Parzuchowski  / Unsplash
Best Cafes in Leeds | © Michał Parzuchowski / Unsplash
Photo of Emma Lavelle
21 September 2017

Looking for the perfect place for a light bite, a cup of coffee or a delicious cake in Leeds? There are so many amazing cafes in and around the city centre that you’ll be completely spoilt for choice. Whether you’re looking for a cosy spot to enjoy a pot of tea and slice of cake, or you’re seeking a delicious vegetarian brunch, here are 10 of the very best cafes in Leeds.

Layne’s Espresso

Bar, Cafe, Coffee Shop, Contemporary, $$$
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The number one spot in Leeds for coffee addicts, Layne’s has recently undergone a renovation to double its size, meaning that you’re more likely to find a seat in this popular spot. Whether you’re a coffee snob or simply enjoy a good quality brew, you’ll be impressed by the array of coffee sourced from roasters all across Europe. There’s also an impressive vegetarian friendly brunch menu and an impressive selection of cakes to choose from.

Outlaw's Yacht Club

Bar, Contemporary, $$$
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If you like your coffee served in a hip hangout with cool decor and even cooler fellow drinkers, then Outlaw’s is sure to be your favourite spot in Leeds. Firmly welcoming freelancers, this is a welcoming and friendly space that encourages visitors to make themselves comfortable on the sofas and plug in their laptops. Own-blend espresso (roasted by North Star) and their very own pale ale (brewed by Northern Monk) accompany a menu based around healthy breakfasts, sandwiches, salads and tasty cheese platters. Keep an eye on their upcoming events to stay in the loop with DJs, book clubs and poetry readings.

Opposite Café

Coffee Shop, Cafe, Contemporary, Coffee
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Opposite Café’s name refers to its original location, situated directly opposite Leeds University’s Parkinson building. If you don’t fancy hanging out with students, there’s also a branch in the Victoria Quarter where you can sample their delicious homemade food and impressive selection of Fairtrade coffee. The perfect place to head for lunch, their menu focuses on sandwiches, Paninis and soups for fuss-free meals. Don’t leave without trying one of their famous chocolate brownies.

Mrs Atha’s

Coffee Shop, Cafe, Contemporary, Coffee, $$$
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Located close to Kirkgate Market, Mrs Atha’s has a strong focus on ethically sourced coffee, making it a firm favourite of many locals. Their coffee is produced by Maude Coffee who carefully source their beans from all around the world before roasting them right there in Leeds. Inside, the café is small and snug, filled with mismatching tables and chairs that give it a distinctly vintage appearance. The all-day brunch menu is displayed on a blackboard behind the counter, offering everything from American-style pancakes to traditional sausage sandwiches, making this the perfect place to start a lazy weekend morning.

Single Shot

Cafe, Contemporary, $$$
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If you’re looking for somewhere a little bit different and just so happen to be a music lover, Single Shot is the place to head. This record store/cafe is the perfect place to seek out some rare vinyl before settling down in the back of the shop with a cup of coffee and a slice of delicious cake. The staff are all really friendly and knowledgeable about music, which is an added bonus.

Sheaf Street Cafeteria

Cafe, Craft Ale Bar, Coffee Shop, Coffee, Tea , British, Vegetarian
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The Grub & Grog Shop are currently holding the helm at Sheaf Street, offering everything from frothy coffees to seasonal vegan lunches. Their food menu focuses on fresh local ingredients with many dishes on both the breakfast and lunch menu catering for meat and dairy-free diets. If you prefer a can of craft ale with your brunch, this is the place to head as they are fully licenced and offer a variety of alcoholic beverages alongside a comprehensive coffee list.

North Star Coffee Shop & General Store

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Coffee, Tea , Vegetarian, British, $$$
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The city’s favourite micro-roaster has finally opened their very own coffee shop. North Star have been supplying coffee to some of the very best cafes in Leeds for several years, and earlier this year opened the doors to their first stand-alone café down by Leeds Dock. Alongside the café and the shop, there’s also a chance to get to grips with the coffee making process yourself at the Coffee Academy. Noisette bakery are taking care of the food with a focus on delicious cakes but also a variety of healthy breakfast options.

Just Grand! Vintage Tearoom

Cafe, Contemporary
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If you prefer tea to coffee and are partial to a little chintz, Just Grand! is the perfect place for you. Located in the Grand Arcade, the tearoom offers a wide selection of loose-leaf teas and herbal blends (alongside the option of a classic pot of Yorkshire tea, of course). The menu offers a selection of breakfast options, sandwiches and cakes, but we recommend opting for their afternoon tea with a glass of prosecco to enjoy a selection of both sweet and savoury nibbles. There’s also a Gentleman’s afternoon tea option if you’d prefer a pint of bitter and a pork pie to accompany your sandwiches.

Café 164

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Coffee, Tea , British, Vegan, Vegetarian
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Art lovers should make a beeline for Café 164, where they’ll find an impressive selection of food and drink alongside rotating exhibits of art and photography lining the walls. A selection of sandwiches are served on delicious ciabatta and focaccia bread, baked fresh on site with a selection of soups and salads completing the menu. Coffee comes courtesy of local roasters and there’re plenty of dairy-free milk options.

The Greedy Pig

Cafe, Contemporary, $$$

A firm favourite breakfast venue, The Greedy Pig offers a laid back venue for casual dining. The menu changes subtly every couple of months to reflect seasonal flavours, making the most out of local ingredients. Choose from classic Full English or Veggie breakfasts or opt for one of their more creative options such as pumpkin and feta on sourdough, then keep the coffee flowing to enjoy a slow morning catching up with friends.