Seven coffee shops every Leeds student should know about
We’re convinced every student cares more about where to find the best flat white than the degree they pay for
For the week ahead, and all the new deadlines and daily stresses it brings, we’ve come up with an essential, yet by no means exhaustive, guide for where to get your caffeine fix. Most of those featuring on the list are independent, and we guarantee there’s at least one you haven’t visited yet!
A beautiful Grade II listed church on Cardigan Road, Left Bank is gradually appearing on Leeds students’ radars. Self-labelled as a “progressive space for creativity, culture and community”, Left Bank has it all: creative evenings, open mic nights and drink-and-draws.
It’s also open most days for anyone to go and work at the trestle tables or comfy sofas with a coffee and one of their amazing sausage rolls; pork, sage and apple is one of my favourites, but there’s plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. I always have one of their loyalty cards in the back of my phone case – buy seven drinks and the eighth is free!
Tiled Hall Café
The Tiled Hall Café at Leeds Art Gallery is our second contender. On a sunny day, we don’t blame you for finding the stunning tiled ceiling more interesting than your email inbox. Located in the heart of the city, the café is great for students in central accommodations wanting a change of scenery from the library, or for second and third years in need of new surroundings.
As a popular tourist attraction, be mindful that big parties might not be ideal – the Tiled Hall Café is more suited to solo or small group visits. Whilst you’re there, why not check out the art gallery itself, entry is free!
If you don’t mind walking a little further, Fika North is well worth the journey. Located just down from Woodies Ale House, any weekend visit here guarantees the customary entertainment of the Otley Runners whilst you enjoy a coffee.
Small and snug, if you want to grab a space inside make sure you avoid peak times. There is, however, outdoor seating to the front of the shop, and in these chillier months, that’s nothing a hat, scarf and gloves can’t solve. Not quite suitable for working, this coffee shop is best for taking the parents on a Sunday outing around the Leeds suburbs, or for a cosy catch-up mid-week with friends – it’s open every day 9am-5pm. The best bit? The bagels. Though £4-6, they’re worth every bite. Rose harissa and chickpea humous, nduja and avocado, you name it, they’ve got it.
North Star Coffee
Number four on our list calls for a change of scenery. Found on Leeds Dock, North Star Coffee Shop is definitely a walk (or a bus) away, but isn’t that what a Sunday trip into town is for?
Enjoy a locally roasted coffee along with a tasty treat from their breakfast, brunch, and lunch menu, followed by a stroll around the docks and then back up the canal towards Burley. Particularly as the sunny weather begins creeping in, this is a combination that we could not recommend enough.
Just down from Leeds Beckett’s city campus, 92 Degrees is popular with students from all of Leeds’s universities, and especially convenient for those living in university accommodation. With its stripped-back, industrial-style interior, it’s something a bit different on the eye, and plenty of plug sockets and free WiFi (yay!) make it the perfect spot for a chilled work session, as well as for an impromptu coffee break from studying.
Even better, students are eligible for discount, so we really don’t know what you’re waiting for. 92 Degrees also has its own app, much like some of the bigger coffee chains you’ll be used to, where customers can collect points and earn free drinks – not dissimilar to Caffé Nero. The company’s commitment to global coffee-growing community initiatives is just another reason to go show it some support if you ask us.
Hyde Park Book Club
A Leeds student staple, Hyde Park Book Club is popular with everybody simply for its hip atmosphere. Open every day 10am-11pm, it’s the perfect spot for a hungover, or not, breakfast or a chilled pint in the evening. With plenty of seating inside and outside, Book Club is the place to be rain or shine.
Aside from the food and drink, it also offers a host of live music events, from a jazz showcase every Thursday by The Hyde Park Jazz Club, to gigs by up-and-coming Leeds talent in its basement venue. If that wasn’t enough, it even has an adjoining flower shop. If you haven’t already got yourself down there, we suggest you do.
Back into the city centre, just a two minute walk from the Corn Exchange is Mrs Athas. An independent family-run coffee and tea house, it is always packed, a sign of how popular it is. Serving a tasty breakfast, brunch, and lunch menu, along with a range of hot and cold drinks, a visit to this café should be added to your weekend plans without delay.
I particularly recommend the hot chocolates, of which there are four, yes four, kinds to choose from. There’s also a selection of fresh pastries and sweet treats, of which it remains impossible to narrow down a favourite. The best bit – the buttermilk pancakes. Maple syrup. Berry compote. Crème fraiche. Enough said.