Sheffield isn’t known for being a hipster hotspot but people have been wrong before, people used to (and some still do) think the world is flat…
Hipsters get a bad rep but sometimes you’ve just got to own it. If you like your flat white organic, your brunch good looking enough for the ‘gram and your beer ‘craft’ we are here for you! Let us introduce to you to cool Sheffield – so, here’s our Hipster Guide to Sheffield.
It’s grim up north couldn’t be further from the truth these days. Manchester is one of the most progressive cities in Europe, Leeds isn’t far behind but Sheffield gets forgotten about. Yes it’s working class, we might lack in Michelin Star restaurants and Selfridges, we prefer to do it ourselves. We’re a creative city, our food can be as arty as the walls, you’ve just got to look in the right places.
Sheffield’s nightlife is underrated, we were the city that brought you Gatecrasher in the 90’s and a load of indie discos in the 2000’s but who wants to spend their nights on sticky dance floors when they could be sippin’ cocktails at Public, a converted underground public toilet or enjoying street food in a warehouse at Peddler.
What makes Sheffield isn’t the things it doesn’t have, it’s the people that make things happen. We’ve got two universities, two football teams, seven hills, a load of ‘quarters’ and an exciting future.
Ok, let’s start with the how we start every day, coffee! We take our caffeine intake seriously and won’t stand for something ordinary. Want your speciality beans freshly roasted? Albies, Gaard Coffee Hide and Tamper Coffee are some of the best places to grab that wake up call you need to kick start your day (please note: you aren’t guaranteed to be served by a barista with an iconic beard at these joints, soz!).
This brings us on to the next part of the hipster lifestyle, brunch! A weekend brunch is the perfect opportunity to catch up with pals, soak up the hangover and discuss last night.
Tamper is one of our fave spots in the city centre, as is Steam Yard and Marmadukes whilst The Depot Bakery in Kelham and Forge Bakehouse on Abbeydale Road all offer the classics, with their own twists.
Not born and bred in Sheffield? There’s a language barrier that can really ruin your day. When we go for ‘dinner’ we are talking ‘lunch’ (12pm/1pm-ish) whilst our evening meal (5pm/6pm-ish) is ‘tea’.
So for ‘tea’ there’s options for all budgets and occasions that you won’t find in every city.
Like fried chicken? The Lucky Fox on Division Street is a go-to if you want to soak up some authentic Brooklyn vibes whilst you can’t beat Napoli Centro (Broomhill), Porter Pizza (Sharrow Vale Road), Urban Pizza (Kelham) and Nether Edge Pizza (Nether Edge/Kelham) when it comes to pizza.
Struggling to commit to one cuisine? No probs! We’ve got food halls too. Both Kommune (Castlegate) and Cutlery Works (Kelham) offer a great range of food and drink from pizza to burgers, curry, sweet treats and drinks!
How about a bit of street food? Kelham is your place to be if you want to enjoy restaurant standard food on a tray. Peddler takes place on the first Friday/Saturday of the month offering a mix of crazy good food, the best drinks around and top vibes whilst you’ll find restaurants in converted shipping containers at SteelYard, open daily.
The vegan life is no longer ‘hipster’ but Sheffield has some great places to grab bites away from the mainstream. Saucy (Abbeydale Road) serves up fast food to go, Church: Temple of Fun (Kelham) and The Old House (City Centre) all about vegan junk food whilst around the corner V.Or.V aims to deliver high-end food that is meat free. La Fonda (Meersbrook) is all about Mexico and Icarus & Apollo (Kelham) takes inspo from around the world.
Joro, based at Krynkl (Kelham) isn’t your average restaurant. Fine dining in a converted container ship, not as pretentious as it sounds and it attracts foodies from around the world. Their 8 course tasting menu plus drinks will set you back £120 and places are limited but well worth the experience. Tonco at Dyson Place (just off Sharrow Vale Road) is another treat for foodies, not as pricey as Joro but still something to save up for, as is Asian restaurant Oisoi (city centre), Bench (Nether Edge) and No Name (Crookes).
Sheffield has a strong pub scene (check out our Guide to Independent Pubs in Sheffield) which serves up food as good as their beer and it’s relatively cheap. We recommend The Rutland and The Forum in the city centre. The York in Broomhill, Fulwood’s The Rising Sun whilst Pina in Kelham Island does some of the best tacos in the UK.
Alcohol, we flippin’ love it round these parts. Beer is our main thing, from real ale to craft beer, it’s all over the city! You’ll struggle to walk anywhere without stumbling across an independent pub or bar selling great beers, we’ve got over 20 decent breweries. The cool kids hang out at Picture House Social and Two Thirds Beer Co. (Nether Edge), Church: Temple of Fun, Factory Floor Bar and The Bar Stewards (Kelham), The Crow Inn (near Kelham) and Industry Tap (city centre).
Not into beer? There’s some great places specialising in spirits, you’ll find the finest mezcal at Pina (Kelham), whiskey at The Broadfield (Abbeydale Road), gin at The Old House (city centre), rum at The Parrot Club (Kelham), infused spirits from the drips at the Factory Floor Bar (Kelham) and cocktails at Public (city centre) or Decks (Kelham).
Like most cities, Sheffield has your standard club nights in big venues with cheap lager and vodka. We aren’t about that life.
Thankfully we have some alternative haunts that offer unique events & experiences that aren’t focussed on Jagerbombs and Mr Brightside.
Dina (city centre) is a place full of surprises and creatives, ranging from burlesque and drag to workshops, club nights and gigs. Bal Fashion Social (city centre) has a similar vibe but their events tend to go on till the early hours. Sidney & Matilda (city centre) is a bar and venue hosting all kinds of events from comedy to live music and the Picture House Social (Abbeydale Road) is always a great hang.
As city centres go, Sheffield is pretty poor when it comes to shopping however we do have some great independents including:
Our independent makers like to stick together, you can find gems made or sourced by locals at Birds Yard (city centre), MoonKo (city centre), Sheffield Makers Hunters Bar (Hunters Bar), The Antiques Quarter (Nether Edge) & Inco (Dyson Place). Stroll down Abbeydale Road, Division Street or Sharrow Vale Road and you’ll stumble across all kinds of local independent shops.
Looking to top up your record collection? You can find new releases and second hand records at Record Junkee (city centre), Bear Tree Records (city centre), Record Collector (Broomhill), Spinning Discs (Meersbrook) and LP Record Store (city centre).
Art? We’ve got plenty of that too. We’re a creative bunch and it can be seen and celebrated in our galleries (Millennium Gallery, Site Gallery, Graves Gallery, The Framery and Artcade Gallery). You don’t need to go inside to see art though, the streets are covered in it. Whether you’re in the city centre, Nether Edge, Kelham or Ecclesall Road you’ll come across work by the likes of Phlegm, Bubba 2000, Jo Peel, Kid Acne, Pete McKee amongst others.
Tramlines (end of July/early August) is our big one, it’s gone from an independent, inner-city festival showing up-and-coming national talent and local acts in bars, venues and street corners throughout the city to working on a much corporate level in a park. The old vibe still exists with the Fringe Festival which takes place on the same weekend in city centre bars, venues and street corners for free or cheap.
No Bounds Festival tends to take place in October in a few selected venues offering live music and interactive experiences.
Usually taking place in October Doc/Fest is an independent film festival celebrating film, documentaries and those behind the camera.
Cool accommodation is something Sheffield is seriously lacking however The Crow Inn is not only a great pub near the city centre and Kelham, it also has double rooms from just £45 a night.
Brocco On The Park in the picturesque Hunters Bar is an independent boutique hotel which is a little pricier with rooms from £120 a night.
The Psalter sits on the cusp of Abbeydale Road, Ecclesall Road and Sharrow Vale Road, ideal for eating, drinking and shopping. A single from is just £75 a night, doubles and twins start at £90.
Sheffield City Centre is relatively small and walkable however a lot of the places listed above area located in neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the centre.
Public transport in Sheffield isn’t too bad, buses run from the centre to most areas, the tram is useful but restrictive in terms to destinations. If there’s a few of you you’re probably better off ordering a taxi to save time and probably money.
City Taxis is Sheffield’s independent taxi service, download their app here to safely order your ride.
How much money do you need?
Depends on the hipster life you want to live. You don’t need to go to ‘spoons for a cheap pint when you can easily find a great local beer on cask for £3. In the same pub you’ll probably come across a beer on keg for £6 – £8.
An artisan loaf of bread can cost £3 but there’s also plenty of independent cafes where you can get ‘dinner’ for £3.
There’s no real area specifically expensive for food, drink or doing things. Cheap eats can easily be searched out, even in affluent neighbourhoods and it doesn’t mean you won’t want to throw it up afterwards.
Want to flash your cash? Sheffield doesn’t have the same amount of luxury places compared to other cities (the average wage in Sheffield is £23k a year, in Leeds/Manchester it’s £40k) but we do have some real treats, which probably come across cheap when you compare with similar places across the country.
The hipster tag doesn’t need to be a bad thing, just means you’ve got taste and ahead of the game. That’s it, that’s our hipster guide to Sheffield. You’re welcome.
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