A menu of simple, generous meals and hot drinks, supplemented with more exciting options such as moreish milkshakes. Decor is cheerful and the vibe relaxed.
It’s easy to dismiss little Chichini on Hyde Park Corner as nothing more than a cheap and cheerful pitstop – great for hangovers, but not a patch on the more upmarket row of coffee shops across the road from Leeds University’s Parkinson steps. This is true to some extent – coffee devotees flock to the trendier Opposite or Froth and Fodder – but if it’s inexpensive, good-quality fuel you’re after, Chichini won’t disappoint.
Conveniently located in the student citadel of LS6 on the corner of the ever-popular Woodhouse Moor park, Chichini enjoys a brisk trade with skater kids, runners, students on their way back from lectures trying to suppress a hangover, and canny locals. Anyone who’s endured the punishing Parkrun on a chilly, autumnal Saturday morning will attest to the undeniable lure of the aroma of bacon and egg that drifts through the café’s doors.
Although the food and coffee are nothing out of the ordinary, the baked potatoes and cooked breakfasts are generous and filling, and the panini options are plentiful. Alongside the usual roster of tea, coffee and soft drinks, the café serves moreish chocolate, strawberry and banana milkshakes, freshly blended and served thick in giant diner-style tumblers.
The staff are friendly and service is fast, while all meals are priced under a fiver and can be taken away or eaten in without a change in price. The decor is bright, Mediterranean and unpretentious, while a laid-back atmosphere means diners are free to watch the goings-on of the vibrant Otley Road outside for as long as they please. Unfortunately, the café doesn’t have outside seating for summer, and parking in the area during term time will forever be a nightmare.
9 Hyde Park Corner