How coffee-obsessed is your city? Do you find yourself constantly walking down streets infused with the fragrance of freshly roasted beans? Can you not escape the clanking of cups on saucers and the buzz of espresso machines?

It could be that you’re living in one of the UK’s coffee hotspots!

Fireheart Coffee wanted to find out which UK cities share our passion for the best brew. Where can you find the most coffee shops, the highest rated coffee and the most independent cafés?

By analysing some of the UK’s most caffeinated cities, we uncovered the biggest coffee hotspots in the UK!

(Click to enlarge image)

Map of the UK's biggest coffee hotspots


Brighton is the UK’s coffee capital, offering the highest number of coffee shops per person

London boasts the most coffee shops in the UK, with 3,718 cafés. But when it comes to the highest number of coffee shops per person, many other UK cities outrank the capital.

Location Number of coffee shops Number of People Number of people per coffee shop
Brighton 363 290,395 800
Edinburgh 576 524,930 911
Belfast 266 275,000 1,034
Bristol 338 463,400 1,371
Manchester 416 576,500 1,386
Newcastle 215 300,820 1,399
Cardiff 244 364,200 1,493
Plymouth 176 263,070 1,495
Liverpool 333 498,000 1,495
Glasgow 415 633,120 1,526

For coffee lovers looking to skip the queues and grab a delicious caffeine hit on every corner, Brighton is the place to be. The city boasts 363 cafés, which means there’s one coffee shop for every 800 people! This is followed by Edinburgh at one café per 911 people and Belfast at one per 1,034 people. Meanwhile, London isn’t even in the top ten!

Quality over quantity: Bournemouth has the best coffee shops in the UK

We may be famous as a nation of tea lovers, but Brits know their coffee. For aficionados who value quality over quantity, we analysed Trip Advisor ratings to find out which city has the highest number of coffee shops with 5-star reviews.

Location Number of Coffee Shops Coffee Shops with Trip Advisor 5* Reviews % of 5* Coffee Shops
Bournemouth 156 43 27.6%
Liverpool 333 75 22.5%
Sheffield 286 54 18.9%
Leeds 346 57 16.5%
Manchester 416 67 16.1%
Cardiff 244 36 14.8%
Newcastle 215 31 14.4%
Birmingham 299 43 14.4%
Edinburgh 576 78 13.5%
Leicester 180 23 12.8%

If having the ultimate coffee-drinking experience matters to you, Bournemouth is the UK coffee hotspot of your dreams. Over a quarter of Bournemouth cafés have 5-star ratings, which is the highest in the UK. This is followed by Liverpool at 22.5% and Sheffield at 18.9%.

Indie hotspots: less than 10% of coffee shops in Brighton, Plymouth and Belfast are high street chains

A good indie café is a welcome break from the monotony of Starbucks Coffees on every corner. We tallied up the numbers to discover which UK city has the highest proportion of independent coffee shops offering a refreshing change from the high street chains:

Location Total Number of Coffee Shops Total Number of Chain Coffee Shops % of Chain Coffee Shops
Brighton 363 23 6.3%
Plymouth 176 16 9.1%
Belfast 266 26 9.8%
Edinburgh 576 71 12.3%
Bristol 338 44 13.0%
Leicester 180 24 13.3%
Cardiff 244 37 15.2%
Sheffield 286 46 16.1%
Glasgow 415 67 16.1%
London 3718 613 16.5%

In addition to being the ultimate UK coffee hotspot, Brighton also offers the highest proportion of independent coffee shops. Only 6.3% of cafés in Brighton are a big chain (Starbucks, Costa, Caffè Nero or Pret A Manger), followed by Plymouth at 9.1% then Belfast at 9.8%.

Fresh speciality coffee straight to your door, anywhere in the UK

Don’t live in one of the UK’s coffee hotspots? Don’t worry!

Fireheart Coffee delivers the best seasonal coffee, freshly roasted and straight to your door. Order a batch or sign up for your subscription today.