Top 5 independent cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon

It’s good to support local, so here are my top 5 independent cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon, for when you’re next in need of a coffee-and-cake fix in Shakespeare’s hometown.

Top 5 independent cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon


Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6QW; website

Bensons, one of my favourite independent cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon

Almost opposite Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Bensons doesn’t only pull in customers with its enviable position – it does fantastic breakfast offers, great coffee and an afternoon tea you’ll want to save room for.

The décor is rustic and stylish and the staff helpful, even when they are rushed off their feet. (Which they frequently are, such is the popularity of Bensons.)

There’s a huge range of loose leaf tea and other hot drinks on the menu. When winter bites, I can’t resist a Bensons Baileys hot chocolate.

Box Brownie

Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6QW; website

Box Brownie, one of the fantastic independent cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon

This dinky-looking café, just a few doors up from the Bard’s place of birth, is actually bigger than it looks, so it’s always, always, worth checking inside for a table even if all the outside tables are occupied.

The coffee here is frequently lauded as the best in Stratford-upon-Avon. This is down either to the fresh local milk, the Monsoon Estates coffee, or the expertise of the staff (I reckon it’s all three).

And (the clue is in the name) you must put the diet on hold for an hour and savour the now-legendary Box Brownie brownie.

HR Coffee Bar

Windsor Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6NL; website

HR Coffee Bar, one of the best independent cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon

Another of Stratford-upon-Avon’s independent cafes within sniffing distance of Shakespeare’s Birthplace, you’ll find HR Coffee Bar just around the corner. It’s not blessed with the prime location and outlook of pedestrian-only Henley Street, but it has food and drinks that make up for that.

You can tuck into dishes you probably won’t find anywhere else in Stratford-upon-Avon, including homity pie, Reuben sandwiches, and cakes made with ingredients including polenta and beetroot.

Real, healthy, tasty food (and a small, hidden terrace out the back for those summer days) make this place a must-visit in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Mida Mediterranean Coffee House

High Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6AU; website

An after-dark view from inside Mida,
one of the best independent cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon

Reviews of Mida can be a little hit and miss (though I have never had a bad meal here and my husband once enjoyed a dance with the chef and wife of the lovely owner!). As a place to sit and watch the world go by, however, you cannot go wrong.

Find a seat outside amid the pot plants (there are blankets for knees and a canopy to keep the rain off), order a drink and a bite to eat, and take in the Tudor stripes of the neighbouring building. Across the road: the centuries-old grandeur of the Garrick, one of Stratford’s oldest pubs, and, next to it, Harvard House.

It’s a magical spot.

The Fourteas

Sheep Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6EF; website

Tea, cake and a scone at The Fourteas,
one of my favourite independent cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon

In a town of comfortable, if nondescript, cafes and tea rooms, the vintage vibes of this forties-themed venue provide a welcome change.

In your ears, Glenn Miller and Billie Holiday; in your mouth, delicious sandwiches, scones and cakes (get the lot with an Ivor Novello Afternoon Tea). Outside, there’s the Peace Garden and an Anderson shelter.

From the bread and tea to the staff’s forties-inspired uniforms, the team at The Fourteas buy locally, so help them to ‘support local’ and pop in for a cuppa.

Other independent cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon

I’m either yet to try these places, or simply can’t leave the ones I know off this list of great independent cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon: Hooray’s British Gelato Kitchen (High Street), great for savoury treats as well as ice creams and desserts; Shakespaw Cat Cafe (Union Street) – Stratford-upon-Avon’s first cat café; Hathaway Tea Rooms (High Street); Havilands Tea Room (Meer Street); Vigour Café (Rother Street); Hobsons Patisseries (Henley Street) – I’ve been eyeing up the giant scones here; No 37 Café (Sheep Street); and The Garden Café (Sheep Street).

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Information correct at date of publication