Lincoln is fast emerging on the scene as a top coffee destination. One of the city’s oldest family-run businesses, Stokes Tea & Coffee, runs a local roastery, barista school and two cafés. And in recent years, many more independent coffee houses have sprouted around the city. So, if coffee is your thing, you will find no shortage of places here to get your freshly roasted fix! In this quick guide, we pick out some of the very best coffee shops in Lincoln to try on your next visit.
This is very much a work in progress, and we’ll be adding new recommendations the more we explore Lincoln as the city reopens. Have you been to any coffee shops in Lincoln? Let us know all about it in the comments section below.
Got a penchant for tea as well? Then you may also be interested to check out our rundown of the best tea rooms in Lincoln.
Coffee shops in Lincoln
Stokes High Bridge Café
As we mentioned in the introduction above, Stokes Tea & Coffee has been a favourite local business for many decades. It was founded by Robert William Stokes, a multiple-award-winning coffee roaster who moved to Lincoln in 1892, and is still run by his descendants four generations later. The famous High Bridge Café is one of Stokes’ two outlets in the city today. (The other you will read about below.)
Stokes High Bridge Café is not only a fantastic coffee shop, but also one of Lincoln’s most iconic pieces of history. As the name suggests, it occupies a bridge across the River Witham at the heart of the city’s High Street. But this is no regular bridge; it is, in fact, the oldest bridge in the UK that still has buildings on it.
This gem of a coffee shop is always high on our list of recommendations when people ask us where to have lunch in Lincoln. A light bite with a Stokes coffee or tea in the upstairs nooks and crannies of this medieval building is an essential part of the city experience, and often our go-to for a weekend treat!
In Stokes’ cafés you can enjoy coffee roasted right here in the city. Try the delicious Blue Mountain Blend on the regular menu, or take away one of many more international coffees from the shop.
Next door to High Bridge Café you can also grab a takeaway breakfast or eat in upstairs at the new Stokes To Go. It’s a great option if you’re in town early and want a quick bite, along with a delicious coffee!
200 Degrees Coffee House
200 Degrees is one of the specialist coffee shops to emerge onto the scene in Lincoln during recent years. This place began its life in 2012 just down the road in Nottingham, where its coffees are roasted, and now has 11 outlets around the UK. Its Lincoln coffee shop opened in March 2019 in the revamped Cornhill Quarter, right near the central bus and train stations.
Inside 200 Degrees you will be met with a stylish modern vibe in a spacious interior, with high ceilings and rich wooden-chic decor. It also has a garden courtyard, and runs a barista school if you fancy learning some coffee chops yourself.
Most importantly, the coffee at 200 Degrees really is delicious, prepared to the perfect temperature and bursting with flavour. Ideal accompanied with one of the many savoury or sweet snacks prepared freshly in the kitchen. On our last drop-in we grabbed a chipotle pork sausage roll and a sweet potato, chickpea and feta roll. A little bit pricey, but the taste doesn’t disappoint!
With its warm roominess and a relaxed atmosphere, we also like this as an alternative workspace. 200 Degrees is perfect for rocking out your laptop of an afternoon and getting some work done in hip, ambient surroundings.
Eastgate Pavilion by Seven Districts Coffee
When the sun is shining in Lincoln and you’re looking for somewhere to relax and enjoy a delicious coffee outdoors in lovely green surroundings, then head to Eastgate Pavilion by Seven Districts.
This is a real hidden gem that is within close walking distance of uphill Lincoln’s attractions, just a few minutes’ walk from Bailgate. It’s set within the grounds of Eastgate Tennis Club, but the coffee shop is open to the public and has free parking for guests.
Seven Districts Coffee began as recently as 2020, when Lincolnshire locals Ben and Ellis opened their first specialist coffee shop in Welton near Lincoln. After it quickly became a hit with the local community, they opened a second outlet at Nettleham Community Hub, and Eastgate Pavilion followed in autumn 2022. We’re thrilled to have them in uphill Lincoln!
One thing you can guarantee at Seven Districts is a fabulous cup of coffee, roasted locally using beans graded by the Specialty Coffee Association. Coffee is the first passion of Seven Districts and the driving inspiration behind the business. For more background you can read about the care they take throughout the process.
At Eastgate Pavilion you can sit outside in the green gardens by the tennis courts and bowling lawns, but we also love the spacious, airy interior. It’s got high ceilings and is full of light, with a choice of comfy sofas or cosy tables. Great for that catch-up with friends or a pit-stop coffee after some morning sightseeing.
You can pair your coffee with a freshly homemade cake, or there are other food offerings such as a full English, which we rate as one of the best breakfasts in Lincoln. Seven Districts works with various specialist local suppliers, so you’ll be getting a proper taste of Lincolnshire.
Grand Coffee House
Occupying the same building as Lincoln Central Bus Station, GRAND Coffee House is a highly convenient stop-off for anybody just arriving in the city, or looking for a quick cuppa before leaving. It doesn’t fit the typical mould of the chain coffee shops you often find in transport hubs; GRAND Coffee House is an independently run family business, and has a special charm and character to it.
The coffee at GRAND is supplied by Stokes, so you know you’re getting excellent quality roasted right here in the city. What’s more, it is licensed to sell alcohol, so you can enjoy cheeky variations such as Irish coffee and Baileys latte (which I tried recently and can attest is fabulous!).
GRAND Coffee House has a widely varied menu of hot and cold food, as well as all sorts of cakes and treats. The indulgent whipped ice cream is a particular favourite! Seasonal specials pop up on the menu around the year too.
If you’re especially hungry, this place does a killer club sandwich. Make sure you order a homemade hash brown on the side. A calorific combination, but so, so satisfying!
Coffee Depot is the freshest addition to Lincoln’s coffee scene, making creative use of an empty space on Carholme Road. The interior has been laid out in a relaxed, rustic style, with wooden tables, bare-bricked walls, a plush sofa and ambient lighting.
This friendly coffee shop has brought a new dimension to an upcoming part of town. The team are full of positive energy and enthusiasm for what they’re doing with the space, and happy to chat about it. You feel at home as soon as you walk inside.
The team sources its ingredients and products locally. For example, the coffee is supplied by the Lincoln Tea & Coffee Company, and pastries are provided by Welbourne’s Bakery.
Try the Spanish latte – it has a surprisingly sweet twist that we loved, and is perfect with a freshly baked brownie! There are lots of sandwiches and snacks available too, all at reasonable prices. It’s a great little spot for a morning coffee, cosy lunch or an afternoon rendezvous.
Lincoln’s only cat café opened in October 2019. The concept is simple: you come in for a relaxing coffee and cake, and enjoy it surrounded by cute furry cats. What’s not to love?
Coffee Cats has a special difference to many of the other cat cafés around the country. All of the resident cats here have been adopted from rescue centres, giving them a new chance of life. This model has presented the family owners with a huge challenge through the pandemic; a sponsor-a-cat scheme is one of the ways they have been able to continue caring for the animals through the situation.
The coffee is supplied by Stokes, with a menu featuring all of the classic variants, from lattes and mochas to ‘cat-paw-chinos’. Other drink options are available too, along with a range of cakes and snacks.
Coffee Cats gained such popularity after opening that it has moved into a new prime spot on The Strait, at the top end of the High Street and at the beginning of Lincoln Steep Hill.
You can book online in advance, and secure a table at £6 for an hour, which contributes towards the ongoing care of the cats.
Stokes Lawn Café
The Lawn Café is Stokes’ second coffee shop in Lincoln, situated uphill in the Cathedral Quarter, close to many of the city’s historic attractions. It is set in a renovated building that was a 19th-century cookhouse in a lunatic asylum.
The interior has some outlandish and imaginative furnishings, including a life-size sculpture of a killer whale hanging from the rafters, fashioned from upcycled coffee machine parts and car bumpers. There is also an ample outside seating area, great for sunny summer days to sup a coffee while soaking up the the picturesque surroundings.
Stokes Lawn Café is more than a simple coffee shop: it is a 60-seater restaurant with a wide range of food options, as well as some incredible homemade cakes. It is also the site of the Stokes roastery, which you can peer into from a special viewing area in the café.
Upstairs in the same complex, Stokes also runs The Blue Room, an intimate performance venue for music and theatre. Perfect for enjoying a coffee before catching some local talent after an afternoon of sightseeing. And at weekends, the café is turned into an evening dining and cocktails experience, Late at the Lawn.
More coffee shops in Lincoln
Lincoln has several more coffee shops, from repurposed church spaces to cafés on the riverside. We intend to hit all of these up and add them into the guide as soon as we can!
If you want to beat us to it… here are some of the other Lincoln coffee shops to try:
- Angel Coffee House
- Coffee Aroma
- Coffee Bobbins
- Jamie B’s Riverside Coffee Shop
- Rising Café
Map of coffee shops in Lincoln
The map below shows the locations of coffee shops in Lincoln we’ve highlighted in this article:
Looking for more activities to try on your trip to the city? Read our rundown of the best things to do in Lincoln.