They can act as a home away from home where people can go to eat, drink, think and relax.
The Yorkshire Evening Post launched our for Cafe of the Year competition to search out the very best cafes and tearooms that the city has to offer.
Votes have flooded in from our readers for their favourites, from trendy to traditional and rustic to retro.
Today the YEP can reveal the top three cafes in Leeds, after you helped us whittle the contest down to a shortlist of just 10.
Coming in at number one spot - and taking the top title of Cafe of the Year 2018 - is Olde Booths Tea Rooms.
A staple of the Pudsey community, the Lowtown-based business has been run by Julie Pearson for 22 years.
Mrs Pearson, 48, said: “We were very pleased when we found out we had won.
“We had a lot more votes this time than last time and we’ve made a few changes over the last year in the cafe.”
The stepmum-of-three, who is supported at the cafe by her mum Linda Bedford, said staff always try to go the extra mile.
She added: “We always try to offer a good customer service and see to everyone’s needs.
“Our food is all home cooked from cakes to Yorkshire puddings and fillings.
“I want to say thank you to everyone that has voted for us this year.”
Finishing as runner up in this year’s competition was Mamma Del’s Cafe, in Morley.
Offering anything from breakfasts, sandwiches and paninis or even pizzas, this Queen Street cafe stands out when it comes to food.
After coming second place, owner Adele Franks said in a statement on Facebook that she was “extremely proud”.
She said: I’ve only been in business 10 months and it hasn’t been easy on a business level and personal.
“Getting this award has made it all worth while.
“I want to say a huge thank you to all my customers for voting for us.
“I would also like to thank my amazing team for all their hard work.”
She also thanked her daughter, Charlotte Cuthbertson, for being her “rock” since taking on the business venture.
Nestled on Otley Road inside Headingley’s student enclave, Dare Cafe also finished in the top trio.
The third-placed cafe has been run by owner Alison Storr since 2006.
Miss Storr, 41, told the YEP: “I was really pleased [to be in the top three], I just wanted to win.
“It’s really good though out of the whole of Leeds.”
Specialising in Mexican cuisine and Italian dishes, Miss Storr said part of the popular cafe’s success is down to its food.