18 Central Road Leeds LS1 6DE
Quirky, cool, coffee – what's not to like? Mrs Atha's fits right into the new-wave Leeds coffee scene, but with a bit of a twist. Yes, the regulation coffee-house tropes are all in place – and you know we're talking lumberjack shirts and baristas with facial hair you can hide in – and yes, the coffee is fabulously artisan, its beans rolled on the thighs of Venuzuelan virgins. But there's a story here too, with Mrs Atha the granny of the youngbloods running the café and the Atha family a well-known local name in the Leeds fairground world. The look is distressed Victorian, with exposed brickwork, a high, dark ceiling and a big wall full of Old Master-style artwork. Tables are bunched in cheek-by-jowl, so you'll get a good gander at your art-student-tablet-toting-chic-shopper neighbour. The coffee is just-so, as expected, the tea served in delicate china cups, the tap water in big stoppered bottles. Breakfasts and lunches – all great too, from scrambled organic eggs first thing to a pulled pork lunch sandwich – and good luck in getting past the cake counter without saying 'oh all right then'.