The last of today’s 2021 Coffee Spot Awards shortlists is the “Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot”. In 2020 this went to Little Yellow Pig and it 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 the year, which are often slightly off the beaten track.
In previous years, this Award has had quite a wide geographical spread, but 2021 saw me staying closer to home. Nevertheless, there’s a strong shortlist this year, with quite a few new coffee shops making their mark.
You can see the shortlist after the gallery.
There are 12 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
Tucked away in a dense network of residential streets, lined with tightly-packed terrace houses in Chester, the Garden Social Coffee House opened earlier this year, taking over an old corner shop. Despite this, it has already proved a hit with the local neighbourhood. Garden Social has also been shortlisted for the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot and Best Outdoor Seating Awards.
Another new opening, The Table is Walsall’s first speciality coffee shop. Established as a community hub with the backing of the Walsall Community Church, it occupies part of a lovely, old building that used to be a pub. There is some great coffee, wonderful food and an amazing community spirit. The Table has also been shortlisted for the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot and Most Passionate About Coffee Awards.
A self-styled artisan micro-bakery and coffee house, Maya is on the appropriately-named Baker Street in Weybridge, where it has established itself as part of the local community, as much for its sourdough loaves as for its coffee shop. That said, with the children of the owers, Oniz and Serdar, often to be found playing in the back of the shop, it has a real neighbourhood feel. Maya has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting Award.
Marmalade is a delightful coffee shop opposite the old town hall on Holywell Hight Street. Serving Dark Woods Coffee and a lovely breakfast and lunch menu (with the food prepared to order in the kitchen at the back), Marmalade has firmly established itself as part of the local community. Marmalade has also been shortlisted for the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot and Smallest Coffee Spot Awards.
Another filling a much-need gap in its community, Bank Street Social is Wrexham’s only speciality coffee and craft beer shop and a pioneer of the North Wales speciality coffee scene. Bank Street Social has a real community feel, with people popping in for some Neighbourhood Coffee or to grab a few cans or bottles of craft beer. Bank Street Social is also shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting and Smallest Coffee Spot Awards.
From North Wales to South East England, Mycloud Coffee has been serving Square Mile coffee and other goodies in Sunningdale since 2015. A family-run establishment, Mycloud is particularly proud of having been able to stay open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by reinventing itself as a takeaway operation (although you can sit outside like I did). Mycloud is also shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee and Smallest Coffee Spot Awards.
The next three entries are from London, starting with Another Brother, which opened earlier this year opposite Wandsworth Park. Offering some fine Caravan coffee and an excellent burnch menu (good enough for a place on the shortlist for the Best Breakfast Award), Another Brother is already firmly established in the neighbourhood. Another Brother is also shortlisted for this year’s Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award.
From newly opened to old hand, Dee Light Bakery, which celebrated its 10th birthday in November, brings a small slice of Australia to Balham in south London. As the name suggests, it’s a bakery, with everything (except the bread) baked by hand on site, backed up by an espresso-based menu using the Allpress espresso blend. Dee Light Bakery has also been shortlisted for the Best Cake Award.
Communion Coffee is in nearby Tooting Bec, having opened just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. It has a simple offering of quality coffee and baked goods in an equally simple (and small) space (small enough for the Smallest Coffee Spot shortlist). Communion Coffee has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station Award.
Returning to Weybridge and it’s another old hand, Nikki’s, which has been flying the flag for speciality coffee in the town since 2014. Serving some lovely food, prepared to order in the kitchen at the back, along with a bespoke house blend, roasted by Copper Coffee Roasters in Cobham, Nikki’s is the sort of neighbourhood coffee shop every town should have. Nikki’s is also on the shortlist for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting Award.
Last year’s Award went to the original Little Yellow Pig in Hoole, so it’s fitting that the second Little Yellow Pig (in Nantwich) is on this year’s shortlist. Serving the same winning formula of excellent food and great coffee from Hundred House Coffee, Little Yellow Pig is also on the shortlist for the Smallest Coffee Spot and Best Breakfast Awards.
Little Woodfords, in Portland, Maine, also made it onto last year’s shortlist for this Award. Since then it’s moved from its original location in the Woodfords neighbourhood to a new downtown location on Congress Street, but it’s retained its warm welcome and community-orientated spirit. Little Woodfords has also been shortlisted for this year’s Smallest Coffee Spot Award and Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award..
Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2021.
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