UK Coffee Week: 26 of Sunderland's best independent coffee shops
Coffee Shops have long been a source of comfort, a place to relax over a mug of the good stuff.
But during the pandemic, when most other places were closed, they really came into their own, providing a much-needed dose of normality in a world that was turned upside down.
Next week is UK Coffee Week, October 18-24, and to celebrate we’re celebrating some of Sunderland’s top independent coffee shops, in no particular order.
::The Little Shop, High Street West
From the people behind the much-respected Holmeside Coffee, The Little Shop is one of the best places in the city for a takeaway coffee. You can also pick up artisan doughnuts, natural wines and locally-brewed beers, as well as a selection of craft ales from further afield.
::Fat Unicorn, Mackie’s Corner
Not only one of the city’s best delis, selling artisan cheeses, natural wines, charcuterie and more, Fat Unicorn does excellent coffees, for take out and sit in.
::Grinder, Durham Road, near University Metro Station
Since opening at the end of 2019, Grinder has built up a loyal following thanks to its quality brews, pastries from the likes of Bread& and great customer service. Look out for their sister site soon to launch in the former Hills bookstore in Waterloo Place.
:Cole, St George’s Terrace, Roker
Queues regularly form at Cole for their next level sandwiches, which are served 9am to 3pm Tuesday to Saturday. Flat whites are also worth the wait too at this hidden gem. Head to the side of the building to order for takeaway, but there is also a small number of seats outside to dine on site.
::Sue’s Cafe, Marine Walk, Roker
A real institution in Sunderland, Sue's Cafe is a perfect place to warm your cockles on a brisk walk down the beach. They have new outdoor seating, so you can grab a seat with your dog outside and tuck into sausage sandwiches and cups of Bovril. It’s also one of the best spots for a pink slice, with super friendly service.
::Bungalow Cafe, Roker
For a proper cuppa, a full English and a monster milkshake with a side of dolphin spotting, head to Bungalow Cafe. The city landmark is one of the longest-running businesses in the city dating back more than 110 years.
::Vista Coffee House, Ashbrooke Sports Club
For one of the greenest views in the city, head to Vista Coffee House in the former Diego’s at Ashbrooke Sports Club where you can enjoy a brew overlooking the sports field.
::Paticake Patisserie, Tunstall Road
Expect some of the best cakes around at this colourful coffee and cake shop in the former Fire Shop in Tunstall Road, near to Pizzarama. It's been opened by an established cake maker and offers tempting sweet treats, as well as home-made pastries and more in a bright and colourful setting. Make sure to try the scones, which are nothing short of delicious.
::Coffee Yolo, Stack Seaburn
Coffee Yolo is at the front of STACK Seaburn with its own indoor and outdoor seating. It also has a hatch where you can order mochas, milkshakes and coffee to go for a walk along the beach. Make sure to try the pancakes and sweet treats too.
::Fausto, Marine Walk, Roker
A popular spot for cyclists completing the C2C route, Fausto offers high energy foods and cuppas with a view of Roker Pier. It’s also a great spot to pick up beers from local breweries, such as North Pier Brew Co and Vaux. The site also launched its own on site pizzeria, Fausto Pizza, recently. You can also visit sister sites Fausto Athletico at Silksworth Wellness Centre and Fausto Coppa at the Beacon of Light.
::Love Lily, Pier Point, Roker
One of the prettiest cafes in the city, Love Lily is a charming spot for coffees, imaginative cakes and brunches. It's particularly popular for its incredible pancakes. There's plenty of sweet treats on the cake counter available for takeout too.
::The Train Line, Seaburn Metro Station
Ideally situated for a cuppa to take on the Metro, The Train Line also has an extensive range of cakes, cookies, waffles, sundaes and more.
::Coffee at the Bothy, John Street
Opening over the summer, Coffee @ The Bothy has completely transformed the former Andrew Craig estate agents in John Street into a coffee shop selling drinks, cakes, jacket potatoes, panini and other light bites.
::Roker End Cafe, Sheepfolds
You don’t have to wait until match days to visit this cracker of a coffee shop. There's some great comfort food on offer, such as loaded fries, pies and of course red and white pink slices. You can also order for deliveries on Just Eat.
::Crumb On In, Holmeside
Expect excellent home-made cakes, light bites and friendly service at this cafe in Holmeside, housed within ground floor of the Harrison and Brown Furniture store. They also offer a delivery service of afternoon teas, treat boxes and more.
::CoffeeHaus, John Street, city centre
One of the city’s newer coffee shops, CoffeeHaus is housed within the Port Independent clothes store. You can pick up Baristocracy coffee, roasted in North Shields, as well as locally-made truffles, doughnuts and more. It also has one of the most picture-perfect coffee shop interiors in the city.
::The Good Apple Cafe, Derwent Street
Vegans, vegetarians and people with allergies are particularly well catered for at this city centre spot. It's built up a firm following for its breakfasts which includes options such as tofu on toast. It also offers some regularly changing specials such as red lentil and butternut squash served with chapati and onion bhaji.
::The Looking Glass, Athenaeum Street, Sunniside
Expect eye-catching decor at The Looking Glass which takes you down the rabbit hole to an Alice in Wonderland-themed cafe. Make sure to check out its Courtyard area at the back too, which is a real hidden gem.
::Biz-R, corner of High Street West and Fawcett Street
A long-standing coffee shop in the city centre, Biz-R is a good spot to people watch with a cuppa and a flapjack.
::Mad Hatter, Fulwell
A charming cafe on Sea Road, Mad Hatter has a loyal following for its quality food and drink. If you're watching your waistline they have Slimming World-friendly food you can order with your cuppa.
::Hideout, Seaburn promenade
A striking orange flower mural was added to this coffee shop last year, which has some of the best views in the city. As well as coffee, it's a great spot for brownies and scones.
::The Keel Lounge, High Street West
One of the larger coffee shops in the city, The Keel Lounge is an ideal place to catch up with family and friends over a cuppa, at really fair prices.
::Hatty’s, Blandford Street
Named after her youngest daughter, Dawn Hamblett, breathed new life into the former Coffea Caban unit in Blandford Street to open Hatty’s over the summer. The bee-themed coffee shop features its own roastery for roasting and processing its own coffee from Fairtrade beans.
::Funky Beach, Seaburn Promenade
Enjoy loaded cheesecakes, cookies and a full English with your morning brew at this coffee shop below House of Zen.
:Snow Goose, Roker Marina
An alternative to the seafront cafes in Roker, The Snow Goose is a relaxing spot for a brew overlooking the boats coming in.
::Wendy’s Place, Fawcett Street
Another independent offering a great range of snacks and drinks at fair prices.