Best places to find a covid-safe coffee in Norwich

Elm Hill norwich

Elm Hill, Norwich

I’m compiling a running update of good places to have coffee and food in Norwich and Norfolk when you want to stay as socially distanced and safe as possible.

Things change fast. Although I mark reviews with the date I visited please double check ahead yourself.

I would love your suggestions about good Covid-19 safe places to eat and drink. Most of us want to stay in touch with friends and meet for coffee, but it’s tough to know where to head.

Email me suggestions Liz Hollis

Norwich Market

This is, without question, the best place to grab lunch, groceries or cake and coffee at the moment. I buy as much as I can from here as most are local businesses. I recommend Bread Source stall – it stocks amazing rolls and loaves. Then I head to the cheese stall for some Emmental and then to the fruit and veg for tomatoes. The farm shop stall sells crisps. Perfect lunch. What’s not to like? Can also recommend the halloumi burgers on the Spanish food stall. So many stalls, such great food. Meet a friend. Buy lunch. Sit at the top of the market. All safe and socially distanced. Here’s a list of the stalls on the market Norwich Market

Harry’s Bar

I steer clear of this restaurant usually. The food it gross and fatty and about as unhealthy as it comes. I’ve just looked at their Instagram and avoided so far as I don’t want a heart attack, weight gain or indigestion. But forced to go here for coffee after meeting a client nearby, it was ok. You sit outside in chairs, quite close together, but you can move them apart quite easily – and the bonus is it’s outside and covered by a canopy. The tables are tiny, so not socially distanced if you’re with people outside your bubble, but room around them and three lightweight chairs to a table you can easily move. I’d say just have a drink and avoid the greasy food! Look at their social media posts if you don’t believe me. Visit date with two others: 9 October 2020 Harry’s Bar, Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich

Cherry Leaf Cafe

Nice cafe for cakes and coffee. Met a friend here and although it’s indoors and you’re not that socially distanced from people you sit on a table with, there’s room to pull chairs back. The door is also wide open and the assistant is wearing a mask. All feels comfortable and organised – just hope they keep the door open and ventilation as the weather cools. Coffee and cake delicious. Cherry Leaf, Upper St Giles, Norwich. Visited Sept 2020 with one friend. We wore masks while not drinking coffee.

Amaretto Deli

Three tables outside this Norwich deli near St Andrew’s Hall. They’re outside which is a bonus, but so tightly squished together avoid them if it’s busy. There’s only really room for two tables. If all three were full, you’d be super close to the person on the next table – albeit back-to-back. You order in shop. Great sandwiches. Recommend the tomato and pesto also the goat’s cheese. Okay as long as you make your own judgments – but probably not ideal if you are covid vulnerable. Visited late Sept 2020 with one friend. Amaretto Deli.

The Merchant’s House

Have only had coffee here when I visited in August and it was good – although it took a spectacularly long time to arrive. This is the cafe in Anteros, in Fye Bridge (the former King of Hearts cafe). Obviously, it was easy to sit outside when I went in August as they have a huge courtyard. I’m planning on going again soon to see how they are managing now the weather is cooler. Not sure about the food, they didn’t used to offer much pre-pandemic – just the odd toasted sandwich. Not sure what the situation is now, so might we worth ringing ahead. The Merchant’s House

The Green Grocers

This was one of my favourite cafe’s before the pandemic. Finally, returned for breakfast in September 2020. Long thin tables outside, with people lingering for hours over a coffee, makes it quite hard to grab a table. They’re not that great at cleaning down the tables between customers either, so take your own wipes. But the food was as good as I remembered. I had a Norfolk breakfast. The service was excellent and it was a pleasure to be back. The tables are narrow and people walk by quite closely, so this is probably one to visit with your bubble. You’d definitely not be far enough apart if you sat opposite someone you’re supposed to be socially distance from. They have tables inside, but I opted for outside ones. The Green Grocers, Earlham House, Norwich


Sahara in St Benedict’s Street, Norwich

This is one of the most popular outdoor cafes in Norwich post pandemic. Plenty of tables outside in the new car-free zones set out by Norwich City Council. Coffee good. Don’t really like the cakes but if you love baklava you’re fine. I recently ordered Vegetable Cous Cous and it was pretty good – although relatively expensive at around £7.95. Feels quite safe although they don’t clean tables between customers and you have to go inside to pay. But one of the better places to meet friends you are socially distanced from. Sahara, St Benedict’s Street

The Bicycle Shop, Eaton Park Cafe

This was the first coffee I had post lockdown when shops opened again. I went again with two people and it was fine – we sat out the back on a hot day in August. In September I went back to try and buy a coffee with a friend after a walk in the park. ‘Try’ being the important word. The queue was ridiculously long as they didn’t seem well organised – to the point where the queue itself felt unsafe. I hope they’ve sorted things now but I haven’t been back recently. The Bicycle Shop, Eaton Park, Norwich.

October 13, 2020