Here at Great Escapes Wales we regularly provide our readers with inspiration for exciting family days out, memorable hikes with amazing views and details of the finest events North Wales has to offer. But, did you know, we also love our food? When we’re not out adventuring or exploring there’s nothing we like more than a good cuppa and a slice of cake – preferably in stunning surroundings and accompanied by fabulous service.
Whether you love good coffee, homemade desserts or a slap-up Sunday roast we’ve tried and tested many, many establishments – all in the name of the Great Escape, of course!
These are our top ten best cafés in North Wales.
Situated in the centre of Betws Y Coed, overlooking the park in one direction and the train station in the other, the Alpine Coffee Shop serves a wide range of award-winning coffee, but it is particularly well-known for its speciality loose leaf tea. Despite its name, the place is appointed in an exotic, safari theme with deep green décor (spot the great apes and wild cats peeping out at you)! The cooks at the Alpine Coffee Shop are passionate about homemade, palm-oil free, fair-trade and free-range products – perfect if you are conscientious about what you consume.
A recent addition to The Alpine is the brand new Platform Galeri. On the station side take the steep steps down to find this diminutive little gallery, showcasing Jacha Potgieter’s works alongside occasional guest artists.
Located on the White Lodge Caravan Park, this little gastropub is situated close to beautiful Newborough Beach on the south coast of Anglesey and is the perfect choice for those seeking high-quality food in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. It’s quickly become one of the best cafes in North Wales. The Marram Grass likes to think of itself as the ‘neighbourhood bistro’ and the menu and clientele (many of them locals) certainly reflects this. The menu is not extensive but offers delicious, locally-sourced products, many with a fusion twist – we recommend you try the Menai mussels with lemon and Ras El Hanout for a real taste of East meets West!
You’ll find café and restaurant, Ann’s Pantry, in the picturesque village of Moelfre on Anglesey – a real hidden gem! This family run establishment is hugely popular with the locals for its homemade cakes and scones, all served with lashings of fresh cream – the perfect holiday treat. If you enjoy dining alfresco Ann’s is definitely one to put on your list. With a large outside seating area and walled garden, a sunny courtyard and a lovely corner cushioned area you’ll be spoilt for choice when the sun is out. Recently Ann’s reduced the size of its vast garden in order to create a ‘home-grown’ corner. The family now proudly cultivate their own vegetables and salad – produce does not come any more local than that!
The Press Room, Conwy
Conwy has a great selection of cafés and restaurants, and this is one of our favourites! Not only is the interior lovely, it boasts an amazing view of the imposing Conwy Castle. The food here is locally-sourced, with menu highlights including scrumptious homemade cakes (baked fresh everyday), the ubiquitous Conwy mussels and, if you fancy something a bit more substantial before tackling the town walls, the game pie. On a good day grab a seat in the Press Room’s outside seating area, set at the foot of the castle battlements – what a venue!
Characters is a fairly recent addition to Llandudno’s café culture but has firmly established itself as one of the most quirky destination eateries in the area. From themed birthday parties, to the best cream tea in town, right through to ‘stone-cooked’ evenings (your choice of steak or fish cooked to order on volcanic rock) Characters has broken the mould when it comes to traditional, seaside cafés. You are also welcome to bring your own alcohol with you, and you don’t have to pay corkage!
Taro Deg, Pwllheli
Another cool little retreat, Taro Deg is a unique find as, not only does it have a fresh and minimalist décor, it also provides a ‘picnic takeaway’ service. Taro Deg serves a range of high-quality teas and coffees alongside elegant light brunches and snacks. Everything is cooked on the premises and, believe us when we say, their cakes are legendary!
Built within nearly ten acres of lush woodland, the Conwy Falls is a spectacular little stop run by friendly and helpful staff. History buffs will love it; it was designed by Clough Williams-Ellis, the great mind behind the village of Portmeirion. The Conwy Falls is dog-friendly and has plenty of parking, making it the ideal drop-in at the start or end of a busy day in the mountains of North Wales. The food served here is beautifully cooked, the atmosphere is really cosy and it’s fully licensed too.
Attention history lovers! Tu Hwnt I’r Bont is a beautiful example of a community-led heritage initiative, having been rescued from falling into disrepair by the townsfolk several times. This beautiful little cottage on the banks of the River Conwy at Llanrwst was built in 1480, and has served as a courthouse and a private residence in its lifetime. The image of Tu Hwnt I’r Bont beside the river is famous the world over and photographers, professional and amateur, have snapped the building in every season, making it one the iconic landmarks of North Wales. The cottage has served as a tearoom for many years now, famous for its traditional Welsh cream teas (yes, we have our own unique version here in Wales) and homemade cakes, pies and pastries. We think it’s a must-visit cafe for anyone seeking to experience authentic Welsh hospitality.
Do you love to be beside the seaside? We have just the place. Situated on the quieter, less visited side of Llandudno, the West Shore, the Beach Café is popular with local residents and visitors. Situated on the coastal path running from Llandudno to Deganwy it’s the perfect pitstop if you’re out on the bikes or walking the dogs. Serving a range of hot and cold snacks, the cafe is open year round and is child and dog friendly. Family run, the owners are very proud of their extensive menu – the perfect match for those breathtaking coastal views!
Providero, Llandudno Junction
John Hughes started out selling coffee from the back of his vintage Citroen ‘Providero’ van but, thanks to an innovative Kickstarter project, the well-known and well-loved coffee connoisseur is now based permanently in Llandudno Junction. People flock from miles around to sample John’s range of freshly ground coffee, loose leaf teas and homemade snacks. The vibe is relaxed with no frills, and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable about their products. With free wifi, ample seating and displaying works by local artists, Providero has put Llandudno Junction firmly on the culinary map of North Wales.
- Did your favourite North Wales cafe make our top ten? If you think we’ve missed a delicious local gem, let us know and we’ll definitely give it a taste test!