Leeds Forum

Food Review La Bottega Milanese

Simon O'Hare samples Milan-style cafe culture in the heart of Leeds

Food Review: La Bottega Milanese

The phenomenal independent bar scene in Leeds means that beer drinkers are spoilt for choice, but sadly the same cannot be said of the city’s cafe culture. The dependable multinational coffee chains dominate the high street with their McDonald’s business model, serving up massive cups of moderately pleasant froth with a dash of coffee flavour. There are a few exceptions to the rule - most notably the excellent Pasta Romagna on Albion Place and Just Bean on New Market Street - but generally speaking, you have to know where you’re going in order to find a characterful cafe selling proper coffee.

But after paying a visit to La Bottega Milanese on The Calls, we’re delighted to say that the select band of high quality independent cafes in Leeds city centre has just grown by one. We don’t know whether it was the wonderfully dark, smoky espresso (£1) - served in true Italian style with complimentary amaretto biscuit and miniature glass of water - or the salty, rosemary-studded Milanese focaccia panino with smoked parma ham, parmesan shavings, rocket and lemon (£3.25). Or perhaps it was the slice of Anthony’s New York cheesecake (£1.65), disappearing all too easily thanks to its melt-in-the-mouth texture, each sweet mouthful the perfect accompaniment to that brilliant espresso. It may have just been the laidback feel of the place that we enjoyed so much. Whatever it was, it felt like a very enjoyable way to spend a lunch break.

It says it all that La Bottega Milanese’s owner Alex - who is fulfilling his dream of bringing authentic cafe culture from his native Milan to Leeds - is already on first name terms with many of his regular customers, who are clearly delighted to have his coffee bar so close to their offices. It’s not rocket science, but La Bottega Milanese has nailed the basics: freshly baked bread, classic ingredient combinations, a warm welcome and, most important of all, very good coffee.
La Bottega Milanese, 32 The Calls, LS2 7EW, 07779 258 004, www.labottegamilanese.co.uk

Posted on Wednesday 3rd March 2010

Email this article

Comments on Food Review: La Bottega Milanese

Comment by Jane Mustill

Posted on Mon 5th Jul 10 7:55 am

Highly recommend this cafe.  It’s friendly, independant and the staff are passionate about educating you about their food.

Prices are too good to be true, so definately recommend you make the most of it.


Comment by Debbie Weetons

Posted on Mon 19th Jul 10 5:40 pm

We recently just discovered this jewel in the crown of Leeds, and I am proud something like this exists here. Incredible coffee, the food is delicious & so authentic. A few more places like this and London should start taking note.Bravo!!!!

Comment by Simon Goldblum

Posted on Tue 20th Jul 10 11:10 am

It is a great cafe indeed. Get down and try their aperitivo menu too - beats going out for a pint post-work!

Comment by Fiona Pridmore

Posted on Tue 31st Aug 10 1:24 pm

Excellent coffee and delicious food served with genuine enthusiasm and at a very reasonable price. Even though I live in York I will be a regular!

Add your comment

Interact with Leeds Guide

Enter competitions, leave comments and receive our free fortnightly newsletter...

Current Issue


Popular this week