The coffee lover’s guide to independent cafes in Bury St Edmunds

Whether you’re a flat white fan or love an espresso, mocha, or ristretto, you’ll be impressed with Bury St Edmunds' selection of independent coffee shops.

The vibrant café culture in Bury St Edmunds means there’s now plenty of fantastic coffee shops to choose from. Take a look at our guide below to see which ticks your boxes! 

Batch roasting in Bury St Edmunds

The best coffee shops understand that it takes knowledge and skill to create a perfect cup of coffee. Quality ingredients are essential, and we’re fortunate to have not just one but two artisan coffee roasters right here in Bury St Edmunds. The first, Butterworth and Son, gained national acclaim after their 4-Bean Espresso Blend was named the country’s top micro-roasted espresso by Caffeine Magazine. 

The second, Frank & Earnest, has made a name for itself with its craft roasted coffee and its trailblazing nitro cold brew coffee, available from the keg in bars as well as in cans. On top of that, Bury St Edmunds is home to a flagship café for Suffolk’s pioneering coffee merchants Paddy & Scott’s.

Coffee lovers know that coffee making is an art form. The grind, water quality, water temperature and extraction time all affect the outcome. 

Guat’s Up!, 7 Guildhall Street

If you’re looking for meticulously crafted coffee, Guat’s Up! is the place to head. 

Owner Rob Butterworth is the son in Butterworth & Son, who started out as tea smiths and created Suffolk Special Blend tea specially for Suffolk’s hard water. 

The café is named after Butterworth & Son’s espresso blend of two Guatemalan coffees and offers visitors a stripped-back but funky Latin American vibe complete with coffee sack cushions and Guatemalan masks. 

Visitors can also take home a bag of their favourite coffee or loose-leaf tea and buy a range of brewing equipment. 

Really Rather Good, 31 Abbeygate Street

From their enviable position overlooking Angel Hill and the walls of the Abbey Gardens, Really Rather Good is a delight whether you’re seated inside or out. 

Cream painted tables and chairs create a vintage chic feel while the extensive menu of Butterworth coffees includes all your favourite drinks, as well as wochas (white chocolate mochas) and affogatos (espressos with ice cream, ideal for sunny summer days). 

Stay for a delicious lunch, cake or snack made with locally sourced ingredients. 

Paddy & Scott’s, 12 Abbeygate Street

You’re guaranteed a great cup of coffee at Paddy & Scott’s, who opened this flagship café after the success of their first in their hometown of Framlingham. Since starting their coffee roasting business in 2007, Paddy & Scott have skilfully ridden the new wave coffee revolution. 

Their well-trained hipster baristas know how to make a textbook cup of drip coffee every time, which you can enjoy in the window area or ‘living room’, among reclaimed wood tables, leather seats and locally painted art (available to buy). 

The taste is even sweeter knowing the company is committed to sustainability and ethical trading, directly initiating their own ventures to support their coffee growers while also supporting the Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, and the Bean to School Foundation.

Apex Café, Charter Square

Take a break from shopping in the Arc to enjoy triple-certified fair trade and organic coffee in the Apex Café in the foyer. Sip in the sunshine in Charter Square or watch the world go by through the glass of this award-winning building. Additional seating can also be found upstairs.

Baileys2, 5 Whiting Street

You can be sure of a warm welcome and a great cup of coffee from these past winners of the Suffolk Food and Drinks Award for Best Tea/Coffee Shop. With their own signature blend, you can choose from cafetiere coffee or an extensive menu of espresso-based drinks. You’ll also find homemade scones, cakes and a huge choice of made-to-order sandwiches, as well as a delicious breakfast, at this popular café which prides itself on sourcing ingredients as locally as possible. 

The Bay Tree Café, 11 St John’s Street

On this quaint cobbled street, lined with fabulous independent shops, the Bay Tree Café occupies one of the oldest buildings. 

As well as a wide range of traditional café treats, the menu includes a selection of modern bistro dishes, making this café a great choice for breakfast, lunch, snacks or just a revitalising cup of rainforest alliance coffee. 

The whoosh of the espresso machine and the sound of happy chatter creates a vibrant atmosphere downstairs while the sofa, low ceiling and original beams upstairs provide a cosy refuge for those looking to relax. The upstairs space is also very popular with book clubs and groups running classes.

Café Kottani, 30 Buttermarket

Close to the marketplace, this little Greek café is a great place for authentic Greek coffee or mountain tea as well as all your favourite Italian coffees. 

The owners of this family-run business, who also own nearby Papaki's Deli, serve healthy appetising Greek and Mediterranean meals and snacks, as well as a selection of British classics. We recommend the spanakopita (a Mediterranean pie made with spinach, feta and nettles) as well as the impeccable baklava.

The Lounge Coffee Co, 2 Hatter Street

This family-friendly café offers a wide range of coffees, sandwiches and light bites in a laid-back environment in which you’ll feel free to linger. Relax in a tub chair with a newspaper or take your coffee put into their secret walled garden.   

And don’t forget…

If you’re near the Abbey Gardens, the Scandinavia Coffee House on Angel Hill offers tasty homemade cakes to accompany a coffee or tea. 

You could also head over to Street Level Café on Abbeygate Street, which serves Tropic Coffee, roasted nearby in King's Lynn, alongside a range of great-value meals and snacks made using fresh local produce. 

The Pilgrims Kitchen Café within the St Edmundsbury Cathedral, is another inviting option. Find a table or take a seat on a chapel chair to enjoy a steaming cup of Paddy & Scott’s coffee and a selection of excellent dishes and homemade cakes. On sunny days, take your coffee into the wonderful garden, walled by the Abbey – or head over to the The Garden Cafe within the Abbey Gardens to refuel by the budgerigars and canaries in the aviaries.