The Union Coffee House is tucked along a quiet side street in Leeds, and it’s worth the trip to this hidden gem to enjoy their excellent coffee, warm hospitality, zippy wi-fi, and surprisingly good selection of books.
The weathered wooden tabletops are decorated with endearing mismatched plates and cups, the shelves around the airy room display vintage knick-knacks, and everything is for sale, including the chair on which you rest your potentially weary bones.
Just inside the entrance is a bookshelf crammed with excellent compelling used paperbacks — a tempting combination of bestsellers, classics, sci-fi, memoirs, and unusual treasures — each of which can be yours for the irresistible price of 1 British pound apiece. This place is a combination café-vintage shop-bookstore, and it is lovely.
There’s even a friendly piano that guests are invited to play.
I visited the café two days in a row, and along with my coffee, I found two books I’d had on my mental to-read list. The first: classic gothic fiction to go along with a decaf, almond-milk latte…
… and second: the sweet and funny The History of Love.
The coffee is expertly brewed, and the menu offers fresh, homemade baked goods, sandwiches, salads, and soup. Each day, there are beautiful and delicious gluten-free options, too.
We tried the full English breakfast, a generous slab of luscious lemon cake, and a breakfast treat known as the bacon sarnie: thick-cut bacon on a ciabatta roll with butter and HP Sauce. It was a most satisfying start to the day.
For opening hours and menu, visit The Union Coffee House web site.
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