2013 Awards – Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot

An espresso, in a classic white cup on a white saucer on a tableThe third shortlist for the 2013 Coffee Spot Awards is the “Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot” Award. The Award is new for 2013 and celebrates those Coffee Spots which are firmly rooted in, and which serve, their local communities. Unsurprisingly, the shortlist contains some of my favourite Coffee Spots of 2013.

This Award has quite a wide spread, with Coffee Spots from Boston, New York City, Montréal, Newcastle, Gateshead, Gatley (Manchester), London and just down the road from me in Godalming.

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • The eponymous pushcart from Pushcart Coffee
  • The lovely interior of True Grounds
  • Cafe Olimpico, Montreal's neighbourhood espresso bar
  • The warm and welcoming interior of Cafe Mila
  • Top notch coffee in your local coffee shop: Gatley's Coffee Fix
  • Settle Down Cafe in Newcastle
  • Gateshead's very own Arch Sixteen Cafe
  • The Dry Goods Store, so much more than great coffee!
The eponymous pushcart from Pushcart Coffee1 The lovely interior of True Grounds2 Cafe Olimpico, Montreal's neighbourhood espresso bar3 The warm and welcoming interior of Cafe Mila4 Top notch coffee in your local coffee shop: Gatley's Coffee Fix5 Settle Down Cafe in Newcastle6 Gateshead's very own Arch Sixteen Cafe7 The Dry Goods Store, so much more than great coffee!8
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There are eight Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

The eponymous pushcart outside Pushcart Coffee on East Broadway and ClintonPushcart Coffee, East Broadway

Pushcart Coffee is pretty much my definition of a neighbourhood coffee shop, something the Americans seem to excel at. It’s a cosy little place, with community noticeboards and its own neighbourhood newsletter. And excellent coffee!

One of the many fine tables in True Grounds, with some of Maria Marx's paintings hanging on the wall above it.True Grounds

I only heard about True Grounds from a friend who used to work around the corner. It’s one of the best tips I’ve ever had. The highest praise I can give True Grounds is that I wish I lived or worked just around the corner too!

Café Olimpico, depuis 1970 (since 1970)Café Olimpico

I described Café Olimpico in Montréal as like your local, only serving old-fashioned Italian espresso instead of beer. Although this is Montréal, so everyone speaks French, in ever other aspect, including the coffee and cakes, this is as Italian as they come and a wonderful place.

Café Olimpico is also in the running for the “Happiest Staff” Award.

The downstairs at Cafe Mila, bathed in sunlight.Café Mila

Café Mila is almost my neighbourhood café, just a short (hour and a half) walk down the river, or an eight minute train ride if I’m feeling lazy. It’s an absolutely lovely place and is featured in the Coffee Spot Calendar for 2014.

The Coffee Fix logo on the front window.Coffee Fix

Gatley’s not somewhere most people have heard of. I certainly hadn’t! However, in a little parade of shops sits what would be a typical neighbourhood café if it weren’t for the fact it has some of the best coffee in the country! It’s almost enough to make you want to move house…

The Settle Down Cafe on Newcastle's Thornton Street. One of the nicest places to sit outside.The Settle Down Café

Newcastle’s Settle Down Café has some pretty stiff competition in a city with four top-class Coffee Spots. However, the Settle Down can hold its head high with a strong community feel, some lovely staff, great coffee and excellent cakes.

The Arch Sixteen Logo in the window of Arch Sixteen Cafe: Fine Food & DrinkArch Sixteen Café

Just across the High Level Bridge from Newcastle, Arch Sixteen is flying the flag for Gateshead, with some excellent coffee in lovely, friendly surroundings. With film nights, open mic sessions and other innovations, Arch Sixteen is a real neighbourhood café.

Yasmeen at work behind the counter at The Dry Goods StoreThe Dry Goods Store

So much more than a Coffee Spot, Maida Vale’s Dry Goods Store in London is a wonderful place. It’s a throw-back to simpler times where you buy just want you and are encouraged by owner Yasmeen to recycle your packaging. Oh, and she sells and serves damn fine coffee too.

And the winner is Café Mila!
Runners-up: Coffee FixThe Dry Goods Store

You can find all 20 of the 2013 Coffee Spot Awards here.


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