The Locals’ Guide to Harrogate: Independent Coffee Shops

Ahh Harrogate: ‘The Best Place to Live in the UK’, ‘The Happiest Town in Britain’, ‘The Third Most Romantic Destination in the World’,

Whatever you like to call it, we’re so proud to be able to call this charming little spa town our home.

Despite the regular influx of tourists however, we feel that people don’t always get to see the best Harrogate has to offer. For that reason, here at Baltzersen’s we’ve decided to create a sort of ‘Independent Guide to Harrogate’ to prove it’s not all tearooms and spa water.

The majority of our staff have spent years living in and exploring the area, and we thought it was time to let you in on some of the secrets we’ve uncovered over the years.

Even if you’re a local yourself, it’s surprising how easy it is to live somewhere for so long without ever straying from your usual haunts, walking past the same little gems each day without ever venturing inside.

So each week we’ll be giving you a brief selection of cafes, restaurants, shops, and activities that we believe are the pick of the bunch. So ditch your guidebooks, open your minds and get ready to stray off the beaten path with Baltzersen’s magical mystery tour of Harrogate.

First up, sticking to what we know best: coffee.

Independent Coffee Shops, Harrogate

Bean & Bud

One of harrogate's great independent coffee shops

‘Harrogate’s original third wave speciality coffee and tea house’, Ruth and Hayden set up Bean & Bud back in 2010 and you only need to take a glance at their menu to understand just how passionate they are about the good stuff.

From ristretto to chemex, long blacks to flat whites, they’ve got it all, along with an extensive range of high end teas and hot chocolates made from whole chocolate tablets.

They follow the coffee harvests around the world to provide a changing programme of speciality coffee, allowing the people of Harrogate to sample some of the best origins, producers and roasters the world has to offer.

Their vast speciality coffee and tea menu

But don’t be put off by their knowledge; they assure us that the coffee novice is more than welcome. Most of their customers come in asking for recommendations and they’ve been the driving force behind countless conversions to the world of coffee enthusiasm.

And if it’s tea you’re in to, they’ll have you ditching your milky builders for a cup of ‘Jasmine Phoenix Eyes’ in no time.

In terms of food, they make their own sandwiches and cakes fresh in store each morning so there’s always something delicious to soak up all that caffeine.

Ultimately, Bean and Bud is worth a visit if for no other reason that the fact it’s a low key, friendly place with a relaxed atmosphere. The team here have all the expertise yet none of the snobbery – a winning combination for an independent coffee shop.

Laid back, relaxed atmosphere

Hoxton North

An intimate, unique espresso bar with a portfolio of seasonal coffees from handpicked speciality roasters, all set in a charming grade 2 listed building.

Named after the vibrant district in east London, Vicky and Tim pride their espresso bar on being a London-inspired lifestyle brand in the heart of Yorkshire – they literally brought Hoxton to the North.

The bar has been open just over a year now and is already becoming a favourite with the locals for its great speciality coffee and friendly atmosphere. Emily, for example, popped in for a second to take some photos and found herself still sat half an hour later, chatting with Tim over a cup of peppermint tea he’d ordered over for her.

Emily opted for peppermint tea over a speciality coffee (for once)

The sheer number of regulars is a testament to the place’s popularity; Tim explains “I feel like a pub landlord sometimes” as he greets customers at the doorway, usually with their first name.

They also have a irresistible range of cakes and bakes to compliment their coffees, from local independent producers and home bakers, many of them vegan and gluten free.

If you’re looking for something a little different then Hoxton North is the place to be.

Friendly staff


The quanitest of Harrogate's independent coffee shops

Tucked away in a cobbled side street, this cosy little espresso bar is a haven of good, fresh food and great coffee.

Owner Lesley has made sure every little detail of the décor is thought out to create a charming atmosphere like no other, bet you’ve never enjoyed a latté whilst sat on a wooden box with a coffee sack cushion? (It’s a lot more comfortable than it sounds).

LMDC one of the few places in The North where you can find Square Mile Coffee, and drinks are brewed using a state of the art Synesso Cyncra machine.

If you’re feeling peckish, we challenge you to resist their wonderful choice of cakes and bakes (we recommend the brownies) as well as the homemade sandwiches, soups and salads.

LMDC is a real gem in the centre of Harrogate. 

Number 35

Located on Cheltenham Crescent, Number 35 is a small but perfectly-formed cafe serving speciality coffee, tea, and a range of fresh snacks and pastries. Their brownies (baked from a secret recipe) are particularly popular!

Coffees are brewed using North Star Coffee, while the cafe also stocks a range of organic, loose-leaf teas ethically sourced from all over the world by Storm Tea up in Newcastle. Both can be purchased in-store too if you like to brew your own at home.

Perhaps Number 35’s most talked-about offering, though, is their coffee served in ice-cream cones!


Starling Harrogate

Starling is an independent beer and coffee house who’ve partnered with renowned coffee roastery Dark Woods, based near Marsden, chosen based on the two company’s shared stance on ethical coffee buying. Starling use Dark Woods’ award-winning medium roast Under Milk Wood for all their coffees, plus an ever-changing selection of guest single origin coffees.

Tea lovers are also catered for, with a wide selection of loose leaf teas from The Brew Tea Company in Manchester, with everything from English Breakfast to Chai.

If you visit Starling for the coffee, you have to stay for the food. They’ve got all the bases covered when it comes to brunch, from porridge to avocado on toast, and their homemade pizza selection and poutine with a Yorkshire-twist are definitely not to be missed.


Baltzersen's cinnamon buns

Well we couldn’t write a post about independent coffee shops in Harrogate and not include ourselves could we?!

Opened in October 2012, Baltzersen’s combines Yorkshire-sourced ingredients with Scandinavian-inspired food to bring a taste of the Nordic north to the heart of Harrogate. The Scandi influence comes from owner Paul’s grandma who was Norwegian, and this influence is visible across our menu of open sandwiches, waffles, and fantastic pastries and cakes – all made on-site from scratch.

We worked with North Star Coffee in Leeds to create our own “Baltz Blend” which we use for all our espresso based drinks, and our huge range of tea (we have 15 on the menu!) comes from The Tea Experience in Doncaster. Acorn Dairy supply our milk, which is organic, and those who prefer a non-dairy alternative can enjoy their coffee made with soya, coconut, almond, or Oatly milk.

Lunch at Baltzersen's Harrogate

We also cater for vegetarians and vegans and those with gluten and dairy intolerances. Our ever-popular heart shaped waffles are always gluten free (and always tasty, of course), and we serve them with cream and your choice of topping.

Our most popular menu item has to be our quintessentially-Scandinavian cinnamon buns which we bake from scratch every single morning. Enjoy with a cup of your favourite coffee and you’ve got yourself a pretty perfect fika!

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12 Responses to The Locals’ Guide to Harrogate: Independent Coffee Shops

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  8. Stu Mitchell says:

    I think it’s really decent of you to review what’s effectively your competition! We certainly are very lucky to have so much choice. Good on you Balterzens!

    • Paul says:

      Cheers Stu. We’re rekindling this line of blog posts so a new one is out later this evening on Independent Gift Shops. Just 3 more places we really like in town.

  9. Debbie Nce says:

    This is a great article and a fantastic example of everything that is good about the web and social media. It’s great for independent companies to get together and help each other.
    Baltzersens remains a real trailblazer in the food world and I look forward to my next visit on my next trip to Harrogate.
    Thank you to all great indie cafes for raising the bar on great coffee!

    • Paul says:

      Hi Debbie, thanks for leaving a comment.

      I know you’re a big supporter of the indie coffee shops in Harrogate and beyond so you are unlikely to have learned anything from this post! We think it’s important that locals and visitors alike can find the little places that make Harrogate a bit special rather than wandering without thinking for a stop off in one of the chains. If this helps people to do that then it works for us.

      Not sure if we deserve trailblazer status, but we’ll continue to do our thing!

      Hope to see you soon.


  10. Doug says:

    Thank you for this excellent guide. We visited Starling yesterday and very impressed with their beer, tea and food selection in particular. We’ll be back to try some more places soon.

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