Whether you’re grabbing a cup of coffee to go or stopping to take 5 and enjoy your coffee sat down, everyone’s coffee standards have radically grown in recent years. No longer is an instant coffee that’s so thick you can stand your spoon up in it acceptable. The general public’s coffee-drinking palate is now so much more refined that the average British greasy spoon simply isn’t going to be able to cater to the sophisticated demand for Mexican single-origin coffee that the British public is now raising.
What does this mean if you’re a Norwich-based coffee connoisseur? Where is the best place to get a decent cuppa joe when you’re mooching around the city centre? Today we’re bringing you the lowdown on Norwich’s best coffee spots.
Located in the Royal Arcade next to Langleys Toymaster, cosy independent café Marmalades has been serving the Norwich public since 1999. It’s the ideal spot to stop for a coffee and snack, or even lunch as their food is extremely highly regarded. You can enjoy high-quality filter and espresso-based coffees and, for the coffee averse, there’s plenty of choice as they also have a great selection of other drinks, including teas, milkshakes and hot chocolates. It’s well worth the visit if you find yourself in the Royal Arcade gasping for a caffeine hit. On a lovely summer’s day, you can even take your order outside.
Hip vintage-style café Biddy’s Tea Room, on Lower Goat Lane just down from The Salvation Army shop, is exactly the right blend of quirky idiosyncrasies and delicious grub to create a really memorable coffee stop – perfect if you want to celebrate a special occasion. They don’t just serve cakes, teas and coffees, they also have a range of meals that cater to vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs, whether you’re looking for breakfast, brunch or lunch.
In its cosy little spot on St Andrews Street, a mere two-minute trot around the corner from The Norwich School of Beauty on London Street, The Little Red Roaster is a great option to break up a day of shopping with a brew that will warm your cockles as well as your heart. Little Red Roaster has three coffee shops in Norwich, one on Grove Road, then the St Andrews Street branch and finally their flagship spot in Norwich Market where they first started years ago. Their dedication to always pouring a fantastic cup of coffee means that whether you’re staying for a sit down and a natter over lunch, or grabbing a joe on the go, your coffee will always be of the same high standard. What’s more, where possible all their food is locally sourced and is always prepared on the premises.
Rabbit on Pottergate, also around the corner from The Norwich School of Beauty, doesn’t just serve coffees. It also serves fabulous gin cocktails amidst a welcoming, modern atmosphere. Rabbit might be familiar to more of you as Roots. Roots closed for five weeks over Christmas 2017 to be rebranded and redecorated and opened up again as Rabbit in February 2018. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength due to not just their fabulous customer service and delicious food and drink but their well-considered interior.
If you’re pottering around near Upper St Giles then Louis’ Deli is the must-go coffee shop for your caffeine fix. This warm and hospitable delicatessen sells excellent coffee as well as artisan bread, local cheeses and homemade cakes. What’s more, unlike any of the other coffee shops named so far, Lois’ Deli is open until 10pm every day except Sunday (when they’re closed) and Mondays and Tuesdays, when they close at 6pm. Their full meals are as delicious as they look, particularly the breakfast options. And because they’re a deli you know that they really care about providing really good food. Whether you want a simple coffee with a slice of freshly made cake or a fresh pastry, or a full English to soak up your hangover, you know you’re in for a treat. And it’s a treat that keeps on giving as they have a loyalty card scheme where you collect stamps for every drink you purchase and receive a free drink once you’ve filled up your card.
If you’re looking for something a little bit more unusual when you stop for coffee, then both Ancestors on Magdalen Street and Kofra on Unthank Road and in the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts might be exactly what you’re after. Ancestors is a vegan café a short walk out of the main city centre (9 minutes from The Norwich School of Beauty), but it’s well worth the trip if you’re looking for delicious vegan offerings. Kofra on Unthank Road on the edge of the city centre, near Chapelfield Gardens, is a speciality coffee brewer, so they focus on providing excellent coffee and little else besides. They sell high-quality coffee that you can take away as well as enjoy in store. They also have stores on Onley Street and a stall inside the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.
It’s back to Pottergate for our final coffee recommendation. Strangers is a brisk and easy three-minute walk from The Norwich School of Beauty. They pride themselves on making excellent coffee, regardless of whether you’re staying or going. For non-coffee drinkers, you might be pleased to know that their other beverages are prepared with equal care. Their chai and matcha lattes are made to perfection and their cold drinks are just as exquisite as their hot drinks, so they’re the ideal solution for that problem of how to get an energy boost whilst also cooling down on a hot summer’s day. They do a limited assortment of consumables to accompany your drink, so it’s not the place if you want to combine lunch with a friend whilst also enjoying good coffee. However, they do sell their coffee beans to go too, meaning that you can take the deliciousness home with you.
Wherever you end up going the next time you’re out and about enjoying Norwich’s historical city centre, remember to try an independent store rather than sticking with the easy option of visiting a high street chain. You never know what you might find!
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