Walk down any street in any city and you’re guaranteed to see the same handful of coffee chains. Step inside and you could be anywhere in the UK.
The real heart of Newcastle for the coffee fan can often be found tucked down little alleys and hidden round corners.
Popular with locals, the independent coffee shops are warm, inviting and smell delicious – here are five of the best.
Flat Caps Coffee
In the basement of a gift shop, at the bottom of a spiral staircase decked in fairy lights, you’ll find Flat Caps. Hidden away from the busy street above, the cosy space is a peaceful haven of comfortable corners and colourful cushions. It’s not often you can say you’ve been served coffee by the Northern Barrista Champion finalist, but Flat Cap’s owner Joe is a bit of a legend and is very passionate about coffee. Flat Cap’s coffee is brewed using filter, aeropress and the more unusual method of syphon to create the perfect cup.
13 Ridley Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 8JQ, 0191 232 7836, flatcapscoffee.com
Conveniently located opposite Central Station, Pink Lane coffee is the place to go to grab a coffee for your train journey, but if you find yourself with some time it’s a charming little spot to stay and sit a while. Coffee can be ordered from the espresso or slow bar menus with plenty of blends to choose from. Park yourself on a coffee sack cushion and enjoy a great atmosphere with an expertly made coffee. Fully embracing the coffee shop culture, during the week the shop is full of people busily tapping on their laptops and at weekends friends catching up on gossip.
1 Pink Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5DW, 07841 383085, pinklanecoffee.co.uk
Blakes sits on one of the UK’s prettiest city streets in a Grade II listed building. The quaint coffee house often attracts visiting stars who are in residence at the nearby Theatre Royal. Offering its own blend of coffee, it’s a popular destination and the perfect place to sit and dream. The rich and creamy hot chocolate is one of the most indulgent in the city and is impossible to resist, even in the height of Summer. Make sure you’re fast with your spoon to catch the marshmallows as they try to escape the mountain of cream.
53 Grey St, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 6EE, 0191 261 5463, blakescafes.co.uk
Run by Newcastle’s first independent roastery, Ouseburn Coffee, Harvest Canteen is the newest coffee shop on the block but already has a reputation of being one of the best. Ouseburn Coffee is well known in Newcastle as roasters of the finest coffee so every cup served is delicious. The Canteen is beautifully light with reclaimed wooden units and a great place to catch up with friends and enjoy a coffee. They also serve a fantastic brunch, giving you the perfect excuse to stop and linger.
89-91 St George’s Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE2 2DN, ouseburncoffee.co.uk
Olive and Bean
In the heart of Newcastle you’ll find Olive and Bean. The perfect place for a coffee break when you’re tired from a busy day shopping. The coffee is delicious and the specialities are a fun addition to the menu with the Raspberry Mocha being a great alternative to your usual Flat White. With a mixture of cosy tables for two and spaces for large groups, Olive and Bean suits any occasion.
17-19 Clayton St, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 5PN, 0191 233 0990, oliveandbean.co.uk