These are your Cafe of the Year winners 2019
Readers have been voting for their favourite cafes in the district and the Express can now reveal the winners.
The Hepworth Cafe came in first place and was presented with a trophy and certificate to celebrate.
The cafe, located inside the Hepworth Gallery, is well-known for its all-day brunch offerings, local produce and speciality coffee from around the globe, as well as a batch brew machine for filter coffee.
There are also 20 different leaf teas on offer, with a range of black, oolong and herbal, as well as the traditional Yorkshire cuppa.
Local lad and 2016 MasterChef quarter-finalist, Chris Hale, 32, takes charge of the kitchen, rustling up rustic dishes to suit all tastes, packed with seasonal veg and exotic ingredients.
He said: “My hope is to put Wakefield on the map for our food and drink offering which rivals some of the top cafe’s nationwide. We are lucky to be based inside the stunning Hepworth Wakefield and we like to think that our own creativity is exhibited in our food art.
“We are an independent family run business with our roots firmly in Wakefield.
“So we always use the best locally sourced produce where possible. And we are lucky to be surrounded by so many brilliant suppliers. And we regularly change our menu to make the most of seasonal produce.
“Not only do we run the café but we also cater for events and weddings offering catering with a fine dining twist.
“We’re very proud to win the title as there are so many lovely cafes across Wakefield and we as a family are readers of the Wakefield Express.
“A huge thanks to our talented team at the café, The Hepworth Wakefield, our loyal guests and to all those who voted, it really means the world to us.”
Sophie Mei Lan Hale, part of Pop Up North who runs the Hepworth Cafe, said: “We are a family run cafe and totally independent so it really does mean the world that people believe in what we do.
We are so thankful to the voters who clearly love our food and drink.
Since Chris was on MasterChef it has totally changed our lives, but we love Wakefield and Yorkshire.
“We have a really wide variety of customers to give a warm Yorkshire welcome to.”
Mr & Mrs C’s, located on the Bullring in the city centre, received second place. Full of vintage decor and charm, the cafe offers plenty of sweet treats, as well as sandwiches and hot drinks. Afternoon tea is served every day, with a selection of cakes, scones and savoury goodies to enjoy.
Dawn Dainton, owner of Mr & Mrs C’s, said: “It’s less than two years since I took over, so I’m really pleased that we have got this award within that time.
“It makes us feel really proud that people want to vote for us. We have a lot of regular customers who have been asking how we got on.
"We have just got the licence for outside seating so we’ll be extending there, what I’d really love to do going forward is make all my own cakes – but at the minute I barely have time to pick them up from the bakers!
“I would like to start doing more homemade food though in the future. We also have a good vegan menu which is really popular.
“I think people enjoy our relaxed atmosphere and we cater for a lot of different dietary requirements, such as vegans and gluten free. Veganism is becoming really popular so we try to offer as much variety as we can.”
Previous winner Neptune Diner, on Westmorland Street, came in third in this year’s competition. Much-loved for its hearty, traditional dishes, the cafe is popular with plenty of returning customers.
John Joannou, director at Neptune Diner, said: “We are very happy. We have been in the top three for the past three years so we are pleased that customers are voting for us consistently.
“We offer value for money and good homemade food, as well as friendly service. People enjoy the traditional cooking and the simplicity of it. Our homemade pies and exceptional breakfasts are what keep people coming back.”
The winners were voted for by readers from a shortlist of the top 10 cafes in the district. The Express congratulates all the winners.