Be the first to find out about competitions and get your eyeballs on all the latest inspiration from our ladies all over the UK in our Friday email >>SIGN UP HERE<< 

Round-Up   ›     ›  North East England

The best independent coffee shops in Sunderland

We all love an independent coffee shop, something a little different with a bit of character. Look no further than the up and coming city of Sunderland for a great selection of cool and quirky independent coffee shops. I’m about to introduce you to the best spots in and around the city, get ready to take notes and share with your fellow northeastern friends -you’re going to love these places.

May 1, 2023


Cole Kitchen

Cole Kitchen in Roker is an absolute gem and a much loved independent coffee spot. Made famous by its epic sandwiches, great coffee and cool staff, Cole is guaranteed to become a firm favourite. Let’s get to THE sandwiches. Served in delicious brioche buns there is a choice of both meat and veggie options. They are packed full of the most insane fillings and fresh ingredients. I can vouch for all of the breakfast sandwiches and highly recommend you try them with their chili jam, it’s outstanding. Don’t leave without grabbing a slice of one of the delicious daily bakes. There is limited seating with a few tables indoors and a couple of spots out the front but as it’s just across the road from Roker beach it’s the perfect place to take out and head down to the sea front to enjoy al fresco.
Open 9-2 Tuesday – Saturday. Side Cottage, St George’s Terrace, Sunderland

Pop Recs

Pop Recs has earned iconic status amongst the locals in Sunderland. After a long renovation, it has become a gathering place for those in the city. Its decor is cool and minimal with a hint of Skandi. Everybody knows somebody who pops into the shop while they are sitting and even if you don’t it’s a real friendly place where people will stop and chat. You can expect to find light bites, good brunches, soups and pastries along with the best local coffee. What I love most about Pop Recs is the freshly baked focaccia bread on offer each day. It’s easily the best bread I’ve tasted, we had full intentions of taking a loaf home for lunch but ours barely made it home. Attached to the coffee shop is a larger space which is regularly used for music, art and creative events. Think heart of the city, community and a passion for all things Sunderland and you’ll be picturing Pop Recs perfectly.
Open Monday – Saturday 9-3 Sunniside, City Centre

Fausto Coffee

This cool spot on the seafront overlooking Roker Pier and lighthouse has become a go to for sea swimmers and cyclists in recent years. It exudes an eclectic, upbeat atmosphere. With seating inside and out, there’s plenty of places to sit back, relax and enjoy all that’s on offer here at Fausto. Well known for its tasty bagels with inventive fillings and its fantastic range of cakes, it also offers many clean eating options. There’s plenty to choose from if you prefer a vegan or veggie option too. The coffee is roasted in house and there’s an excellent selection of fresh juices, smoothies and teas. Fausto also serves up freshly cooked wood fired pizza which is delicious. Eat in and soak up the atmosphere or take out and enjoy by the sea.
Open 8am-3pm Monday . 8.30am – 10pm Tuesday – Friday. 9am – 10pm Saturday and 9am – 4pm Sunday SeaFront, Roker


Here’s why Otto has gained a spot in my best independent coffee shops in Sunderland recommendations. As a relatively new coffee spot, Otto is a small independent that’s full of character and great on taste. I’ve heard that Ashley, who runs Otto, is the best barrister in Sunderland – a bold statement, but once you’ve tasted her carefully crafted coffee you’ll see why she’s gained this prestigious title. Its reputation of great coffee is the reason locals return time and time again to this tiny coffee spot with a big heart. You can also grab a small selection of light bites should you want a little something to go with your coffee. Pull up a seat, sit back and enjoy great coffee in a cool, friendly coffee stop.

The Sweet Petite

If your sweet tooth is craving a fix then The Sweet Petite is for you. A family run bakery housed in the infamous Mackies Corner,a beautiful Victorian building in the heart of the city. There is limited indoor and outdoor seating but if you decide to try one of their afternoon teas you’ll have seating reserved along with your booking – just remember to book ahead. The choice of cakes at The Sweet Petite is on another level and is not only a feast for your tastebuds but for your eyes too. On our visits we always end up with a cake each and a couple to take home for later. So far we’ve tried the Saturday Sunshine bar, which was a zingy shortbread topped with sweet meringue, the baklava cheesecake which was like nothing I’d tasted before and the fresh filled croissants. The afternoon tea looks so good and it’s on my list to try soon.
Open – Wednesday 11am – 3pm Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11am – 6pm. Sunday 11am – 4pm
103 High Street West – SR1 1TX

Grinder Coffee

The one thing that comes across at Grinder Coffee is its ethos. Owners Michael and Riki are advocates of equal rights for all and are cheerleaders of many other independent businesses across the region, incorporating them into their own business. They own two sites, the original at Durham Road and the newer larger venue in the Hills Arts Centre. Serving good quality, wholesome speciality sandwiches, excellent cake and really great coffee, Grinder is an independent coffee lover’s heaven. Mix in great owners,a warm, welcoming environment with a great vibe and you have a recipe for a top class coffee stop.
Monday – Friday 8am-4pm. Saturday 9am-3pm. Durham Road Sunderland and Waterloo Place

The little shop

If a quick but high quality take out is what you are looking for then The Little Shop is the place to go. It’s a tiny spot, too small for tables, but as the saying goes – all the best things come in small packages. As well as coffee, you can pick up artisan donuts, bakes and light bites. It’s not often you find a take out that has all the quality of a great coffee shop but you’ll find that in abundance here at The Little Shop. This is exactly why The Little Shop has made it onto my list of the best independent coffee shops in Sunderland.
Open – Monday – Thursday 9am – 4pm. Friday 9am – 6pm. Saturday 9am-4pm. Sunday 10am – 2pm
313 High Street West Sunderland, SR1 3ET

The Green

The green had to make it into my list of the best independent coffee shops in Sunderland. It’s based outside of the city in Washington village but it’s a beautiful coffee shop full of history, community and fantastic bakes! The building was once a beautiful library and has now been lovingly restored by Washington couple Kelly and Wayne. They set out to create a sense of community that had been lost over the years and they have now brought the village back to life with this beautiful space. The tea room is set over two floors and is tastefully decorated to create a warm, cosy cafe. One of the things I love the most about popping in here is the warmth of the staff and the homely, relaxed vibe. Serving up a huge selection of tea, coffee and mouthwatering sweet and savory bakes, The Green is absolutely going to hit your return to list. Check out their website below to keep up to date with upcoming events and workshops.
Open Monday – Saturday 9am-5pm. Sunday 10-4. Washington Village

Read more of my blogs and articles

May 1, 2023