Coffee is serious business. Honestly, I can’t waste one of my daily cups of coffee on crap, which means I am very selective about where I get a coffee in Plymouth.
Thankfully Plymouth’s coffee scene has really amped up in recent years. From pretty much nowhere to get good coffee to an actually good selection of top grade barista style cafes – now it’s just choosing which one I’m going to pop into.
Assuming you’re a bit of a coffee snob like myself, and Costa or Starbucks just do not cut it, these are the best coffee shops and cafes in Plymouth, Devon, according to us.
Prime Cafe, Ebrington Street
Reliably top quality coffee in the heart of studenty-hipster Ebrington Street makes Prime a solid coffee choice. They also do some fab cakes and really great lunch options too. If you’re looking for a smooth barista made coffee, this is one of the best coffee shops in Plymouth, hands down.
Being super popular it can get busy here, especially at lunch time.
Minerva Cafe, 55 Bretonside
A new addition to the Plymouth coffee shop scene, Minerva have moved from a small barber shop down the road to this bigger joint on the corner opposite the Swallow pub. Their coffee is seriously smooth, easily one of the best in town. And the Minerva is competing with Prime for the hipster crown, offering craft beers too as well as having a skate shop on the side.
We like it for top grade coffee, ample seating and lovely cakes too. Also the grilled cheese sarnies are top notch.
Jackas Bakery, Southside Street/The Barbican
The best bakery in Plymouth also rocks one of the best brews too. If you want a grade A croissant or pastry with your coffee then this is the place to come. You can tell it’s good because there is normally a big queue outside (for good reason). Warning: They’re closed on Tuesdays…
Rockets & Rascals, The Barbican
Bike shops and quality coffee are a match made in… Er, Devon? Yeah anyways, Rockets and Rascals were, for my money, one of the first quality coffee establishments in Plymouth. They’re still excellent, and if you want top notch barista coffee you need to check them out. Food is also good, with a nice selection of sandwiches and cakes.
Hutong Cafe, Royal william yard
The preferred coffee hang out of wild swimmers and SUP’ers, Hutong is definitely one of the best coffee shops in Plymouth. Found just outside the gate of RWY, you’ll spot people loitering waiting for their epic bagels to go with their amazing coffee. Also lovely Portuguese custard tarts too. Top quality stuff after you’ve had a dip in Firestone Bay.
Block Cafe, Royal William Yard
This new co-working space also has a bar and cafe open to the public where you can pop in and do some work. The wifi is decent, the vibe is minimalist living room and the food and coffee are, obviously, great. The bar also features a good selection of beers and spirits for those looking for an apres work bevvy (or three).
There are sofas where you can get the full lounge experience, or tables of 4 to 6 for bigger groups.
Ocean Studios Cafe, Royal William Yard
Another option for a coffee in a relaxed location is this slightly hidden cafe further down from Block, sort of opposite the Wagamama. They have big open windows, lots of comfy seating and a decent menu of cakes and cooked food.
This miiiight be the best option for coffee in RWY, but it depends what you’re looking for.
Pier One, The Hoe Foreshore
This cafe overlooking the sea is probably the best coffee on the seafront. Their restaurant is also very good with some great options like burgers, salads and main food fare. As for the coffee, it’s reliably excellent and very smooth and perfect on a blustery Plymouth day. People tend to go for the coffee shack, just down the road, but for my money this is some of the best coffee in Plymouth here. Get takeaway from the Ben and Jerry’s branded wagon out front.
The Terrace, Tinside
While we’re on the Hoe, the Terrace also offers top quality coffee. I’m gonna say that Pier One shades it ever so slightly for best coffee on the Hoe, but the Terrace is a decent runner up. Perfect for a pick me up after you’ve had a dip in the sea with the wild swimming crew.
Cawfee, 104 Union Street
I found this place totally by accident, but wow… Just opposite the old Dance Academy/Aldi, Cawfee is an unassuming little coffee bar which produces seriously good coffee. I think these guys made it into my top 3 of best coffee shops in Plymouth – although I need to head back to check it out again. They also serve food, which I’ll report on later!
The Piermasters House Shack, Madeira Road/Elphinstone Car Park
Back on the Barbican, this shack outside the Piermasters restaurant makes reliably decent coffee. They also stock some great cakes if you need some extra energy with your caffeine pick me up. And if you’re eating in house, they have some great small plates and main meals too.
NOTE FOR 2022: The Piermaster’s shack appears to have closed down as I haven’t seen it open this year. Get your coffee from the Barbican instead.
Cafe Roma, Civic Centre & Mount Wise
This hut in the Civic Centre square doesn’t look like the sort of place that does good barista coffee. But you’d be wrong. A reliably top quality coffee if you’re taking a wonder towards the Hoe, or if you wanna chill and watch the skaters. All the seating is outdoors, so either enjoy your coffee to go, or take a perch on the seats around the Civic centre.
They also serve up a small selection of pastries and pasties, as well as ice cream… Like many on this list they use Devon Coffee who are obviously a good quality coffee provider.
There is also a branch of Cafe Roma just outside Mount Wise lido.
Almond Thief, Looe Street
Top notch coffee fix in this hidden hipster haunt just around the corner from the Barcode. They also do amazing foccacia sandwhiches and an unmissable bay and orange breakfast pastry. Seek this one out because it’s definitely one of the best coffee shops in Plymouth at the moment….
Dawsteps, North Hill
This nice spot on North Hill is just across from the reservoir near the University. They serve Devon Coffee and a selection of cakes and snacks. A nice spot with big windows and lots of space inside. They do also have wifi if you want to sit and do some work…
Cafe Lisbon, Frankfort Gate
If you’re looking for an al-fresco European style cafe with great food, Cafe Lisbon is a solid choice. They offer excellent coffee as well as a big selection of authentic Portuguese cakes and snacks. Their pastel de nata (custard tarts) are the real deal. Plus they have some excellent options for brunch.
Coffee #1, Cornwall Street
Although technically a chain, Coffee #1 doesn’t feel like a Costa or Starbucks. This branch just down from M&S offers reliably top quality coffee right in the heart of Plymouth. As a bonus, they also have some great pastries and cakes (love the pastel de nata – aka Portuguese custard tarts) as well as a decent selection of sandwhiches.
Coffee #1 also has plenty of seating as well as some outside space, plug sockets for when the juice is running low and is well located near the mall.
Power Plant Cafe, Cornwall Street
This hipster styled vegan cafe looks like the sort of place you’d find in East London. Think wood panelled decor, lots of greenery, vegan cakes and on-trend servers with lots of tattoos. In fact, it serves easily one of the best cups of coffee in Plymouth and is also a great spot for a light bite. I’m not a big fan of fake meats, but their cakes are excellent.
Lots of seating (including some outside) and a nice selection of treats to take home also makes this one of the best cafes in Plymouth.
Rhubarb and Mustard, Millbay Road
Sitting between the Duke of Cornwall Hotel and the Pavillions is this gem. It’s a kinda small spot with a lovely selection of cakes, and yes excellent coffee too. And despite being slightly out of the way for passing trade, it’s usually pretty buzzing here.
The Box Museum, North Hill
This buzzing museum has won awards, no less! And if you’ve come to learn about the history of Plymouth or say hi to Mildred the Mammoth, you can also pick up a top notch coffee too. In fact, they serve Voyager coffee which is a local (and excellent) coffee roasters.
You can also pop into the Little Box which is a small shack opposite the main museum, or of course hang out in the museum cafe!
The Ground, Beckley Tower/192 Armada Way
At the base of Plymouth’s (and Devon’s) tallest building you’ll find the Ground (not just a clever name). This spacious cafe offers some of the best coffee in Plymouth, as well as a great selection of cakes made in house. There is also a great selection of breakfast items, including a good choice of veggie and vegan options.
The best coffee in Plymouth?
These are our best selections for the finest coffee in Plymouth, but have we missed anywhere? Let us know in the comments below.