16 of the best places for coffee in Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 19:30 19 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:34 20 October 2020
Celebrate our county’s cafes and baristas during UK Coffee Week.
Sisters Hannah and Beth have taken home the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink award for best café/tearoom multiple times. And it’s no wonder. Their flagship coffee shop on St Peter’s Street (there’s another at Crown House) is a creative, cool space, where open sandwiches, salads and toasties are complemented by a counter groaning under the weight of homemade brownies, sponges and traybakes. The sisters insist that anyone making coffee in the shop is trained as a barista, so the cup arrives at customers’ tables the perfect temperature. They use Bury St Edmunds roasted Butterworth & Sons beans, with their blend having a rich aromatic flavour. The hot chocolate is stonking too.
Honey and Harvey, Woodbridge and Melton
There’s always a buzz around these two cafes, which are much-loved by locals. The house coffee blends arabica beans from Ethiopia and Brazil, unleashing nutty, chocolate flavours. And there’s a range of interesting teas and cold drinks too.
Homemade food is hearty, making the most of local produce, including buddha bowls, flatbreads, soups, wraps and ‘things on toast’ as well as good cake.
Cortado Espresso Bar, Newmarket
Former jockey Eva and master barista Richard took home the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink award for best café/tearoom this year, with judges having been blown away by the quality and care that goes into preparing the drinks and food here.
Richard personally sources and slow-roasts the coffee for the café, with the menu offering some interesting options you might not find in other coffee shops – from a ristretto to a cortado.
Local suppliers feature on the food menu, encompassing Hawaiian-style poke bowls brimming with nutritious ingredients, toasties, topped sourdough, and a changing counter of cakes and sweet treats.
The Cake Shop Bakery, Woodbridge
The bakery has moved next door into what was The Fire Station Café - and is now selling so much more than bread. From cheese and wine, to soft serve ice cream, the cake shop/bakers/coffee shop takeaway is a bit of a foodie paradise. While the sit-down café may be gone, the bakery continues to sell its own Fire Station Roastery coffee to-go, as well as some of the richest hot chocolate around. Just the thing to wash down one of the many cakes (the brownies are especially good) on sale.
Two Magpies, Darsham, Aldeburgh, Southwold
Rebecca’s expanding empire (with another store in Norwich and her dream bake school in place at Darsham) puts quality first. This extends to the homemade bread, cakes, pies, tarts, pizzas, breakfasts and lunches, as well as the coffee, which is really rather good. You’ll find it hard to choose a baked good on the side...but the chocolate stout cake is highly recommended.
Pump Street, Orford
The café/bakery is open for takeaways only at the moment- but what a feast of takeaways they are. Father and daughter owners Chris and Jo insist on only the best. That starts with Monmouth coffee, roasted and delivered weekly to the bakery. And extends to the food menu, which is a showcase of their award-winning bread and artisanal British produce. Local bacon is tucked into their own brioche bun. Savoury Westcombe cheddar is married with a pear chutney on wholemeal. And they’re now even offering pizza, Roman-style, by the slice. Don’t leave without an almondy bear claw and Eccles cake tucked in your bag. Oh, and the hot chocolate (made with their own bean to bar single estate chocolate) is divine.
Coffeelink, Ipswich, Woodbridge, Felixstowe
This coffee specialist based in Ipswich sources, roasts and grinds some of the best ethically-sourced single origin coffee beans in the world, and has outlets across East Anglia, including a coffee shop on Ipswich waterfront and the town’s train station, at Woodbridge Station, and in Felixstowe.
A full range of coffees, alongside sweet and savoury snacks is available at each site. And you can buy their coffee to take home too, from the hand-picked Ethiopian Zege Wild Forest, to Tanzanian Blue Mountain. If you only drink decaf, theirs is one of the best in Suffolk.
The Suffolk Coffee Pod
Lovely Anthony, who owns this mobile coffee shop, has a raft of regular customers who return to see him every week for his friendly smile and expertly-prepared coffee – sourced from Crude in Bury St Edmunds. You’ll find him outside Woodbridge Tide Mill from 9.30am to 4pm Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and at Hadleigh Market from 9am to 2pm on Fridays. Times may vary so it’s worth looking the pod up on social media first if you’re planning on making a special visit to see him.
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Paddy and Scott’s, throughout Suffolk including Hadleigh, Bury St Edmunds and at Ambition House on Ipswich Waterfront
One of the best-known names in coffee locally. Paddy and Scott’s has grown from a cottage kitchen business to a fully-fledged empire, offering barista training, selling machines and coffee wholesale, and operating outlets UK-wide.
The Suffolk-based cafes are comfy, staffed by friendly folk, and the perfect places to introduce yourself to the coffee range, including the house Chit Chat blend, bursting with chocolate and caramel flavours. Milkshakes, high quality hot chocolate and Teapigs tea also feature on the menu, which includes sausage rolls, cheese scones, filled ciabattas, cakes and traybakes. Cafetieres, drip-feed coffee makers, cups and packaged coffee are available to buy too.
No 5 Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds
Used recently in the adaptation of The Personal History of David Copperfield (featuring Dev Patel), Angel Hill is one of the most recognisable places in Suffolk, leading either into the Abbey Gardens, or westward into the market town, with its numerous independent shops. And No 5 has some of the very best views. Charlie and Tanya Athorne have turned what was formerly the Scandinavian Coffee House into ‘the place to be’ for breakfast and afternoon coffee and cake, creating a truly buzzing, welcoming atmosphere. Coffee is perfectly made, just the right temperature with a billowing crema on top. And the range of cakes and savouries is outstanding (think sticky toffee cake, huge chocolate cakes, runny-centered Scotch eggs and enormous cheese scones). Hot specials, from soups to stews, change daily.
Earsham Street Café, Bungay
This is a delightful café, serving excellent breakfasts, lunches and pop-up themed suppers – as well as mouth-watering cakes. Coffee is well-made, using Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, organic beans.
Grab a cup next to a slice of the latest bake. Or stop for lunch. Perhaps a platter of Marsh Pig cured meats, a savoury bread and butter pudding, or a hot baked, filled croissant.
We have a penchant for the brandy-spiked hot chocolate too.
One of the oldest coffee shops in Suffolk, where you’ll sit surrounded by pots and jars – a dizzying array of loose-leaf teas and coffees. There’s a simple menu during the day, including cakes and bakes designed to complement the drinks menu. More than 50 types of coffee bean are available to try, including numerous varieties from small, single estates such as Guatamala Cloud Forest, which has floral, citrus notes, and the Pickwicks Mountain Blend, which combines central and South American beans with African beans for a bright, nutty flavour.
The Secret Garden, Sudbury
The scent of freshly baked cakes and savouries abounds here. The owners (both Frenchmen) are particular about everything they sell, and that includes the richly roasted coffee, and the pastries, which are made by hand in-house. You can’t beat one of their almond croissants or a slice of lemon tart alongside a hot cup on a bright autumn day.
The Hideout, Halesworth
A warm, happy little café dishing up big fat wedges of homemade cake, hot sausage rolls, breakfasts, lunches, and Paddy and Scott’s coffee. A favourite in the area.
Harris and James, Aldeburgh and Southwold, and Twyfords Beccles
H&J is known for its bean to bar chocolate, artisan homemade gelato and its own sourced and roasted coffee, which is available to-go from all sites. There are multiple blends, including the Aldeburgh, and the Beccles.
If you want to make more of a day out of it, head for the home of H&J at Twyfords in Beccles. The entrance is cake and chocolate heaven, with an eye-popping display of goodies to enjoy alongside your drink, plus a delicious savoury menu.
Stop in for a cup of 100% arabica bean coffee or one of the brand’s own single estate hot chocolates.
The Green Room, Ipswich
Su-Ling’s café is a wonderful space with a simple, short French-style menu, including smoothie bowls in the morning, filled baguettes, tarts, cakes and pastries. Su-Ling is committed to supporting small, independent roasters, so the coffee offering here changes regularly – which keeps customers coming back. Coffee is chosen for sustainability, interest and, most importantly, taste.
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