Review: Whites Deli, Headingley

Weekends are made for comforting hangover breakfasts and long, lazy lunches, and Whites Deli might just be becoming my favourite supplier! Just 10 minutes walk from my house, I’m lucky enough to be able to call it my local; I’ve dropped in a couple of times since moving to Headingley and been impressed both times by the atmosphere and the food.

This weekend I dropped by with my family – we originally went in just for a coffee but I grabbed some menus and it took minimal effort to persuade everyone to upgrade to a food order. Although it was way into the afternoon we couldn’t come to an agreement on what meal we wanted to eat, and as a result ended up with 2 breakfast sandwiches, a lunch dish and a snack from the nibbles menu. This along with 4 drinks came to a very reasonable £24, and both food and drink were served promptly.

Coffee Whites Deli

I’d ordered avocado and tomato on sourdough bread, and I was ecstatic with my choice! The avocado was the perfect consistency, and the tomatoes on top were firm and sweet. I also ordered a glass of the freshly squeezed orange juice which I fell in love with the first time I visited; it really is super fresh as the staff make it to order, and each sip is like biting into an orange.

Avocado on toast Whites Deli

Another of Whites’ strengths is their aesthetic; they’ve really got their look down to a tee. The whole cafe is so inviting and I love the slate that all the meals are served on. Cold drinks are served in mason jars, hot drinks are accompanied by a tiny bottle of milk, and previously when I’ve ordered tea it came loose leaf in a pretty glass teapot.

Orange juice Whites Deli

I also felt improvements had been made – although I loved the food on my first visit for breakfast, there were just two staff members attending to a full cafe and the service was slow as they were obviously overrun. I had to change my order twice as they’d run out of so many ingredients, and though the staff were doing their best you could sense things spiralling out of control.

Luckily that seems to have been rectified; there were plenty of staff, service was fast and although they had run out of a couple of things it was a big improvement on my first visit. They are now also open on evenings, hosting live music events and offering a tempting cocktail menu that I’m dying to try out. It takes something special to be successful in a town as full of cafes and bars as Headingley, but Whites may just be in with a chance.

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