12 Days of Freshers

Freshers’ Week Essentials – Nottingham’s Best Coffee Shops

Rhianna Greensmith

From places to meet with friends for a catch-up to quiet spots for studying, Rhianna Greensmith takes a look at a handful of the best coffee shops Nottingham has to offer.

Waterstones Café – Bridlesmith Gate

If, like me, you are partial to a good wander around a bookshop – this one’s for you. Situated on the top floor of the beautiful Waterstones branch in the city centre, the shop’s very own café offers a moment of quiet from the hustle and bustle of Old Market Square, just a stone’s throw away. It’s the perfect place to take yourself off and read your new book amongst fellow bookworms.

I would also recommend this coffee shop as a study spot as it is almost always guaranteed to provide just the right level of peace for concentration. Personally, I’ve been coming here to study since my A Levels.

Whilst it would not be the go-to location for anything too substantial, there’s a decent selection of cakes and sweet treats to accompany your coffee moment.

three stars


200 Degrees Coffee Shop – Flying Horse Walk and Carrington Street

I’m going to be bold and say this is the best coffee you will find in Nottingham. Brewed on Meadow Lane in Nottingham, and served here in two locations, it’s a real Nottingham establishment. The Flying Horse Walk shop is just off the square, whilst the other branch is situated in a handy location by the train station.

you can’t beat their chilled playlist

The Flying Horse Walk branch is a particularly great spot for grabbing coffee with friends between city-centre antics. The baristas in both shops are super friendly, and you can’t beat their chilled playlist.

They offer an impressive selection of pastries (my favourite being their vegan blueberry croissant), as well as sandwich baguettes and other lunch items.

It’s very easy to become a regular here.

five stars


Hockley Kitchen – Carlton Street

Another fantastic meeting spot with friends, Hockley Kitchen is a go-to coffee-come-brunch location.

This café always has plenty of cakes on offer, including alternative options. Its brunch menu, including a vegetarian and a vegan Full-English, is reasonably priced and there’s a nice selection of fresh smoothies and milkshakes available.

Though it’s a nice place to enjoy year-round, I’d say this Hockley gem really comes to life in the sun. Located on the corner of Carlton Street and Broad Street, it has outdoor seating that spills out onto the pavement. It’s a real suntrap, perfect for people-watching and soaking up the vibrant atmosphere Hockley has to offer.

four stars

Effy – Hounds Gate

If an Insta-worthy coffee trip is what you are after then look no further than Effy, tucked away on Hounds Gate in the city centre.

There’s a clear aesthetic to this coffee shop with its pink interior design, neon signs and multitude of house plants. It’s one of those places where you can’t help but be ‘that person’ and whip out your phone to take a photo of your coffee.

They’ve recently released their Autumn menu and, featuring a pumpkin spice latte, it’s a winner in my books.

However, it is just worth noting that it is only a small shop therefore I would recommend working your visit around peak times.

three stars


Portland Coffee Co – University Park Campus

I could not compile this list without giving our very own Portland Coffee a shoutout.

There’s always such a warm buzz in this coffee shop of students, staff, and visitors alike. I like to think of it as quite the hub.

perfect spot to meet with friends between lectures

Located on B Floor of Portland Building it’s a very central location on campus. It’s the perfect spot to meet with friends between lectures, or even to sit in a corner and catch up on notes with a coffee.

Portland uses 200 Degrees Coffee beans and offers a variety of coffee options. Their hot chocolates and soups are also absolute staples in the winter.

It is a bonus if you are staying in catered halls as you can spend your ‘Daily Bites’ card here!

four stars

Rhianna Greensmith

Featured image courtesy of b3k via flickr. Image license found here. No changes made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @200degs and @effynottingham via instagram.com. No changes made to these images.

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