Guildford is full of cute independent coffee shops, but Canopy is the crown jewel. Tucked away behind Waitrose, it is far from the bustle of the high street and therefore quite a calm, cosy place. Great care is taken to get your coffee right, with a variety of blends and options (such as the vanilla latte with vanilla extract instead of a sugary syrup), and the sweet treats (cakes, croissants, healthy bites) that accompany the coffee are delicious (I am personally a big fan of the carrot cake). On top of that, there is a strong menu featuring breakfast and brunch meals, quiches, soup, and deli goods. But what makes Canopy great is the atmosphere: it has a beautiful decor, friendly staff and great music – all elements contributing to its special vibe. Add to that a 10% student discount and other meal deals and we have a winner.
Address: 62 Haydon Pl, Guildford GU1 4NE
Despite its name, it’s rare that you’ll find a lot of calmness in this coffee shop, especially around lunchtime. It is a very popular place for the locals, especially for families going for a Sunday brunch. Though it can get cramped, there is additionally seating on the first floor and outdoors. What attracts the crowds is the incredible menu, featuring many mouth-watering healthy options both for lunch and for brunch. In fact, the recipes change often, so there are always things to look out for, and they do take customer suggestions.
Address: 6 Tunsgate, Guildford GU1 3QT
The Queensbury Café
If for some reason you find yourself past the Guildford Fire Station and into Barker & Stonehouse, the furniture shop, then you might as well go up one floor and visit the Queensbury Café. Recently opened, this café is very stylish and has a lot of delicious treats for you to try. The almond latte is amazing and so are the croissants and the brie, bacon and cranberry sandwich (in portions that are quite satisfying). Deals are also offered during the week and if you need a bit of exercise to aid your digestion, I’d recommend spending some time browsing through the store for future inspiration.
Address: Barker & Stonehouse, Ladymead, Guildford GU1 1DL
Much like the Queensbury Café, Caracoli is a coffee shop within a shop. You will find it at the top floor of the Steamer Trading Cook Shop, which means it offers a pretty good view of the high street. I am guilty of visiting it far too often and ordering pretty much the same thing: avocado on toast and almond latte. Ten out of ten for deliciousness, Instagrammable presentation, and service. The menu is great and there is also a cute, secluded outdoors area for the rare sunny days. The café also stocks some top notch speciality products, so take a look if you are searching for a nice gift or if you want to indulge your own taste buds.
Address: 168 High St, Guildford GU1 3HS
Nestled in one of the many side-allies of Guildford High Street, in the beautiful courtyard of Angel Gate, Coffee Culture is a staple for many students in the mood for some good coffee, a delicious slice
of cake and a nice toasted panini. Outdoors seating at the courtyard is available and it is a pretty good spot to chill and hang out with your friends. If you are looking for a new hot drink, the hazelnut truffle latte (milk alternatives available; I personally go for almond) is worth a try.
Address: 2 Angel Gate, Guildford GU1 4AE
With a tagline of a ‘leading ethical coffee franchise,’ this coffee shop certainly creates some expectations. In reality, it blends quite seamlessly with the Guildford High Street, as its independent spirit is preserved in the decor and the vibe of the shop (I definitely did not realise it was a franchise). As it is in the upper part of the high street, where few students foray, it is a quiet and calm place, ideal if you are looking to get your coffee shot and get some work done at the same time.
Address: Ground Floor, 278 High Street, Guildford GU1 3JL
Our very own fairtrade coffee shop cannot of course be missing from this list. If you haven’t given Lakeside enough consideration, then you must. It offers a variety of beverage options (including a long list of different syrups you can add to your coffee if you want to jazz up your latte) and quite the selection of hot and cold food, bakes goods and healthy snacks to fuel the long uni days. And of course it beats all other coffee shops when it comes to prices!
Finally, some honourable mentions (due to the cuteness of these places)
The Hummingbird Bakery: If you are not aware that there is a Guildford branch of the Hummingbird Bakery at the top of the high street and that it has the most delicious cupcakes and cakes ever, then I just don’t know what you are doing on the weekends.
The Tea Terrace: Sitting at the top floor of House of Fraser, this must be one of the cutest tearooms I have seen so far. As a coffee addict, tea and finger sandwiches are not necessarily my thing, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Amor Amora: This is the place for a classy drink and some nibbles. A nice spot to take your parents if they come visit or if you and your friends/date are getting tired of cheap alcohol from Tesco and want to pretend you are classy and sophisticated. The prices are not as student-friendly, but the atmosphere is cosy, and the design of this self-proclaimed Epicurean café is stunning.
The Weyside Pub: When you do go on that Riverside walk, do pay a visit to the Yvonne Arnaud theatre (which boasts a beautiful Riverside café and a top floor tapas bar) and end your day with a drink at The Weyside. The pub itself is beautiful and the food menu does not disappoint, but the main attraction for spring and summer days is the outside terrace, right on the riverbank, which is the perfect place to chill with your friends and a glass of wine.
Read Part 1 of ‘The Hidden Gems of Guildford’ in SUBCULTURED Issue 5 here: https://issuu.com/subculturedmag/docs/subcultured_issue_5_-_final/80
Text by Alice Papadopoulou (Alice Vily)
Picture research by Donna Darafshian