Belfast is seriously doing Cafe Culture well right now.

Only a few years ago, if we weren’t drinking the hard stuff it was difficult to decide where to go to reinstate our faith in humanity with a good gossip to break up the working day.

Fast forward to the present, and we literally now have so many cafes to chose from it sometimes feels easier to fire up the kettle and stay indoors. But never fear, we’ve got six of our favourites to get you started.

1. General Merchants

481 Upper Newtownards Rd & 361 Ormeau Rd

Whilst General Merchants goes without saying, we need to draw your attention to the new branch which goes by the moniker General Merchants 361.

Having just launched to epic success on the Ormeau Rd with crowds out the door on its first day of opening back in March, it is now serving a supper menu.

General Merchants specialises in out-of-this-world coffee, including special imports like Prana Chai from Melbourne. Meanwhile the amazing Americanos will only set you back a reasonable £2.20. The expansive coffee menu ranges from Cortado; Macchiato; Flat White; Golden Latte – and loads more.

If you’re looking for something to complement your coffee, the Melbourne Breakfast is particularly superb.

2. Olivers Coffee Bar

59 Belmont Rd & Lisburn Rd

With a new option for Oliver’s fans now open in South Belfast, you now have even more opportunity to enjoy this European-style coffee house.

Serving the finest quality food using fresh locally sourced ingredients, it’s no wonder customers say the carrot cake, Banoffee brownies and Tunisian orange cake are the best they’ve ever had.

You must sample their award winning locally roasted Baileys Coffee and Jing Tea. The only establishment in Northern Ireland to brew the very same tea that Heston Blumenthal serves at the Fat Duck.

3. Boden Park Cafe

Ormeau Bakery Retail Units

A new coffee concept in the vibrant Ormeau Road, Boden is a modern, chic coffee shop providing both sit in and take away products, offering only the highest quality items served by highly trained and knowledgeable staff.

Even the least enthusiastic black bean fans will love this coffee. We particularly recommend the snack-size (aptly named) energy bites – including coconut, chocolate chips and almonds. Combined with the fact they truly help revitalise – they taste amazing!

4. Kaffe O

411 Ormeau Rd & 73 Botanic Ave

Serving up fresh hand-roasted coffee from Copenhagan; delicious 70% Ecuadorian hot chocolate; and fresh food on demand in a Scandi-cool setting using all local produce, Kaffe O is a serious must-try. In fact, a snippet of a recent Facebook post says it all about Kaffe O’s ethos:

“It’s about real food, no processed stuff, made in house by our amazing team using the best local ingredients from amazing local suppliers. Its about our unique coffee hand roasted in Copenhagen by the legend that is Ricco and being the only people lucky enough this side of the North Sea to have said coffee…”

5. Black Bear Cafe

17 Stranmillis Rd

One of Stranmillis’ serious hidden gems! As well as making all of their lovely soups, specials, sandwich fillings and breakfast fresh in house every day, Black Bear Cafe also does most of its own baking!

Featuring generous portions, feel-good treats (see above), Suki Tea, great coffee and amazing food; Black Bear Cafe also plays host to fantastic Friday Supper Clubs.

Black Bear Cafe is becoming particularly well-known for providing well-labelled Vegan options. This hidden gem is definitely worth a try!

6. The Pocket

69 University Rd

Richard Evans recently opened a speciality coffee shop opposite QUB called The Pocket.

It offers stunning views, whilst their focus on delivering high quality products results in deliciously authentic coffee; excellent fresh food and great service. Definitely a must try!

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