Norwich is famous for cathedrals and pubs, but making the trip out there usually deserves a cup of coffee in between. After three years, I’ve found Norwich to be spoilt for choice when it comes to fancy cafés. There are so many different kinds of café all around this great city; it’s nearly impossible to see them all. So that’s exactly what I tried to do. All in one sitting. My reasoning was that if a bar crawl arguably gets you sufficiently drunk, what’s to stop a café crawl; wouldn’t it mess you up in an entirely different way? So without further ado, here is a list of quick fire, high energetic, jittery reviews to know all the best places to hit next time you’re Jonesing for a cup of joe.
I decided to start my endeavour at the closest possible juncture cos I just GOTTA have my dang coffee! Mitre is located on Earlham Road and if you’re situated in the golden triangle it’s the perfect chill spot. The glass door and semi-archaic exterior reveal a cosy minimalist set-up, with a kitchen and diverse menu tucked away inside. I decided to take advantage of said menu, chowing down on a vegan burger and chips along with a latte. (The latte was strategic as I need to stagger my coffee consumption throughout the day). Peaceful and quaint, this is well worth the short jaunt out of the city centre. Happily caffeinated and with a lined stomach ready for more, I set out to the next café.
Tucked in between a series of barbers, this is almost certainly the best place to take your grandparents if they’re ever in town. The cake selection alone is tempting enough for them to say ‘Okay! We should sit here awhile!’ As much as I’m down for the hipster minimalist trend, the subtle kitsch touches and faux science jargon on the walls is pleasant and desired, especially when combined with the clean sandalwood decor. Alchemista is definitely one of the top choices to study in when you need a break from the Library or Unio, even when it is busy, it is never distracting or overwhelming. (Plus there’s a water cooler to top up your own water without having to talk to anyone!) It was a great location to slurp down a decent flat white.
It would be hard to crawl through as many cafes as possible without coming across Strangers Coffee; they literally get everywhere! Located right next to the Birdcage, I always feel like I really know what they’re talking about when it comes to the ol’ bean juice. For a Tesco-brand-ground-coffee-buying boy like myself, it’s actually a real treat to sample different blends and styles. Even if you ask for a filter coffee, they want it to suit you down to the ground. I took this opportunity to be a coffee purist and ordered a long black, which turned out to be a mistake. From the outside, one would think it’s a cramped place, but honestly there’s a surprising amount of space, and it’s a nice chill place to hold a warm mug.
Marzano’s Café And Bar
By this point I had three coffees running around my system so the short walk from Strangers to the Forum went by very quickly. This is definitely the priciest of the cafés I frequented but you definitely get your monies worth as the coffee is excellent. For this reason, and the fact that the coffee was really starting to make my nerves jangle, I ordered an espresso and just necked it as soon as possible. The plushness is part of the appeal, so relax into the big black leather sofas and enjoy the fact you can’t feel the winter weather that you can see through the glass walls. I tried to do so, but honestly, the fourth coffee of the day was not making it easy to sit still.
Louis’ Deli and Café
This next café, I don’t really remember why I went to it because it’s over the other side of town, but the coffee headache was really starting to bang against my noggin. I’m not going to pretend that the deli aesthetic combined with the additional wares that they sell didn’t absolutely preach to my dumb city boy sensibilities, but it is a genuinely relaxing space to be in, and they also do breakfast, so you can do worse. Afterwards I knew that I was tuckered out for the day and crashed in my bed at home. Do check out all these cafés when you get a chance, just probably don’t do them all at once unless you’re self-destructive.