Sandwiched between several bars at the beginning of the notorious Otley Run pub crawl and set back 20 feet or so from the main road, it would be easy to miss charming cafe Fika North. It's bright blue shop-front and stripy awning help it stand out from the sandy-coloured brickwork which dominates the far end of one of Leeds' busiest roads.
Located in Far Headingley, opposite St Chad's Church, Fika North is a pleasant venue to enjoy a coffee or simply somewhere to watch the world go by.
Intimate wooden tables, making the most of limited space on the adjoining pavement cleverly doubles the cafe's capacity, whilst adding a neat alfresco element. Natural light is hard to come by indoors, but bright decor, miniature cacti, a light-coloured Scandinavian sauna aesthetic and artwork adorning the walls help to make Fika North a comforting, casual dining experience.
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The cafe's signature dish is an assortment of hot and toasted bagels, offering a range of vegan and vegetarian bites, as well as more classic fillings. I went for the nduja and avocado bagel, which was a generous size, soft and warm, while the nduja paste was not too overbearing, complemented well by the greens inside.
Accompanying the bagel, I selected a refreshing pineapple, mango and guava smoothie which arrived in a tall glass with a paper straw.
At £11, my order was a little on the expensive side but nevertheless a filling and tasty lunch.
With Fika North only being a small venue, you might assume the cafe has a small workforce, but on my arrival I was greeted by several attentive staff members, which facilitates the rapid churn of customers stopping by for a quick, take-out coffee or those perching themselves on either side of its large glass windows for an hour or more.
In addition to the various coffees, teas, bagels and smoothies on offer, Fika North also display their baked goods inside the shop-front window, inviting passers-by to contemplate whether they can get away with a brownie, muffin or sweet treat in the middle of the day.
Frequented occasionally by local sportspeople, while also doubling as a cosy bar on weekend evenings, Fika North is a relaxing spot in Far Headingley amidst the hustle and bustle of Otley Road.
Address: 94 Otley Road, Far Headingley, Leeds, LS6 4BA
Telephone: 0113 824 3489
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs, 9am-5pm; Fri-Sat, 9am-10pm; Sun, 9am-5pm - bagels served until 3pm