Could this be Leicester’s coolest cafe?
This hip cafe in the city centre is gorg inside, food is fresh and healthy but most importantly, it serves top-notch coffee.
Like most cities, we’re not short of coffee shops and the cafe scene has really upped its game in recent years so when 200 Degrees opened up in the city, a lot of the locals took note. Based in the city’s Market Street, it’s only a stone’s throw from the main hub of the high street and shopping centre and is located in the former Lumber’s Jewellers building.
When it comes to coffee, these guys know a thing or two about their beans; the coffee is all roasted in Nottingham by head roaster and all-round coffee expert, Mike Steele (originally from Leicester). Their house coffee blend is made up of a variety and when I visited were serving one called Brazilian Love Affair and one called Guatemala Waykan as well as a Mellowship Slinky Decaf (seriously who comes up with these names)? If you’re as serious about your coffee as Mr Muddy is, you can also buy their beans online and can get it grounded for filter, espresso, aeropress, cafetiere or as whole bean.
The team work with a number of specialist coffee importers and work with both well-established to new and innovative farms, hoping to find coffee that really gets their (and hopefully the customers) taste buds going.
Many of their beans are Rainforest Alliance certified and they also support farms that are ethical towards their workers and help their local community even their decaf beans are decaffeinated without chemicals remove 99.9% of the caffeine with just water, while retaining the coffee’s full flavour.
I visited the cafe a week after it had just happened and in all honesty, not a lot has changed and frankly, it doesn’t need to.
For a city cafe, the place is seriously spacious (no chance of elbowing your neighbours here). Caramel coloured upholstered armchairs sit smartly below pendant lighting and in the back, a funky fire is perfect to warm up your tootsies.
The cafe has kept many of the orginal Art Deco features of this beautiful building, and created a 90 seater coffee shop which works really well. The result is a modern, funky space with plenty of character and charm.
SCOFF / QUAFF
Food here is made fresh everyday. Sandwiches and wraps pretty much stay the same but are made fresh everyday. Meanwhile the hot dishes change every few days – when I visited they were serving peppers, spinach, tomato and mozzarella homemade sausage roll, thai veg soup and a mixed vegetable quiche. Surprisingly, every single thing on the hot dish menu was veggie and I couldn’t quite believe my eyes.
After oohing and ahhing I picked the falafel, peppers, spicy mint mayo, tomato, red onion, coriander and spinach wrap and then immediately made a beeline for the Ultimate Brownie – well with a name like that I couldn’t really resist.
They also serve simple breakfast – muffins, fresh pastries etc and have a good gluten-free menu available.
The food is fresh, healthy and tasty and 200 Degrees is definitely a place you can linger over your flat white for hours (as I did).
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Tourists who are visiting town and want some good coffee, small groups, friends, mummies although there were no kids when I visited, even good for short business meetings.
Not for: It’s a coffee shop so I can’t really see who wouldn’t like it.
Damage: The quality of their food and drinks is reflected in their prices. An Espresso is £1.90 and £2.90 for a cappuccino and latte. Breakfast pastries from £1.85 and baguettes and wraps for lunch are served from 11.30am and are priced at £4.95. Hot food starts from £3.50.
200 Degrees Coffee Shop, 10-12 Market St, Leicester LE1 6DP