Belfast has a surprisingly robust coffee culture, with more than its fair share of coffee shops. Not all cafés are created equal, though, so how do you separate the truly great from the just okay? Avoid the chain stores, first of all, and stop into any of Belfast’s independent coffee shops. If you want more information, here’s our list of the 10 best choices!
We’re not sure if The Pocket got its name for being pocket-sized, but this newer coffee shop definitely comes across as cosy rather than cramped. It’s just across from Queen’s University, and its outside seating areas are a great location to people-watch, especially during term time. Inside, the small space is used to its fullest, with benches, window seating, and an unobtrusive counter. This café is a bustling student spot and can get quite busy around lunchtime, but it’s popular for a reason.
Down a small set of stairs by City Hall, this basement boutique specialises in chocolate in all of its guises. Their truffles and chocolate bars are made in small batches to ensure quality. Co Couture isn’t just a chocolate shop, though. It’s made this list because it serves up the best hot chocolate in the city, no doubt. It’s easy to miss, tucked down those stairs, but it’d be a shame not to stop in. With a large variety of different chocolates to choose from and a selection of baked goods, there’s something to cater to every taste, as long as that taste is cocoa.
This secondhand bookshop/café does a lot right. They’re committed to providing job prospects to ex-offenders; they have a reading room for study or work, and, most importantly, they serve good coffee. The Thinking Cup is an apt name, as the space is perfect for some quiet reflection. You can easily book the reading room for any sort of function, so if you’re really committed to having a space in which to work, The Thinking Cup might have a solution for you.