The coastal city of Dundee lies on the Firth of Tay estuary, and is home to two major naval museums and centuries of maritime history. This thriving urban centre has an industrial past, but its present is dominated by services, tourism and a very successful hospitality industry. The city also has its fair share of amazing coffee shops, which all do coffee in their own inimitable way.
These five Dundee coffee shops are unique and successful in equal measure.
1. Parlour Cafe
Located on West Port, Parlour Cafe is renowned in the area for creating homestyle food with only the freshest, local ingredients. Owned and operated by local businesswoman Gillian Veal, Parlour Cafe does home baking and veggie cooking exceptionally well — which is one of the reasons why this place is a popular haunt among the local student population. The coffee is made with love, and the amazing cakes and pastries are made with all the skill and passion of a master baker. You’ll also find a huge selection of speciality breads, which are often used to make huge, deli-style sandwiches.
This isn’t your average coffee shop. Pacamara on Perth Road is filled with wall art, panelled wood walls and crystal chandeliers, making it one of the most classy establishments in this part of the World. Inspired by Melbourne coffee culture, this stunning little eatery serves on the finest coffee, sourced directly from Has Bean Coffee. The flat white is the best selling cup of joe at Pacamara, but there’s also a huge demand for other Aussie classics, such as the Long Black and the house speciality Piccolo. This charming coffee shop is busy throughout the day, but it’s absolutely rammed at breakfast, when treats such as the famous Blueberry Ricotta Hotcake are being served. Oh… and the Belgian waffles at Pacamara are the talk of Dundee!
3. Henry’s Coffee House
This family-run business is so relaxed and comfortable you could be forgiven for falling asleep in its comfy chairs. There are two locations, in City Square and Seagate, so you’ll never have to venture too far for the famous Horne family cakes. Among the house specialities are a selection of flavoured lattes, hot chocolate with all the trimmings and iced blended beverages made with fruits.
The menu is constantly evolving at Henry’s Coffee House, but includes freshly made sandwiches, paninis, soups and other standard coffee shop fare. There is also regular live entertainment hosted here, which gives young musicians in the area a chance to perform in front of an audience. Henry’s is truly part of Dundee’s community.
4. Coffee & Co
Located on Reform Street in the city centre, Coffee & Co serves a range of loose leaf teas and espresso based coffees. This charming eatery takes great pride in the exceptional service it provides. From the waistcoated baristas to the handwritten chalkboards, this place looks after the details — and makes the customer the centre of the universe. Walking into Coffee & Co is a joy, thanks to the incredible aromas that smack you in the face. Of course, the most powerful smell is that of freshly brewing coffee, but the freshly baked scones, shortbread and brownies add to what is an intoxicating smell.
5. Folk Cafe
Folk Cafe is owned by the same team that have made Parlour Cafe such a big hit in Dundee. This bright and spacious coffee shop features a stunning shop window and a vaulted basement that is adorned with art. You can see that the baristas here love what they do, and they’re passionate about getting each and every cup of coffee perfect.
Folk Cafe may do a great line in Italian coffee, but it’s perhaps most famous for its incredible homemade food. Among the house specialities are lentil salad and a range of deli sandwiches. There is a very brisk breakfast business too, which is driven by dishes such as eggs benedict and French toast with maple syrup. From around 11am every day, a selection of frittatas and tarts makes an appearance — but they never last all that long.
Dundee is home to some truly unique independent coffee shops, so make sure you try them out the next time you’re in town.