Blue Moon Cafe has, in different guises, been a silent staple of Sheffield’s food and drink landscape for over nineteen years. It began life in 1995 on Norfolk Row, but is now located in a beautifully incomparable old auction hall opposite Sheffield Cathedral on St James Row. It offers a completely vegan and vegetarian menu without being defined or limited by its specific target audience.
The inside is rustic in an inimitably authentic, lived-in way, with wood and air seeming to be the main components of its decor. On the ever-changing menu there are homemade bakes, soups, goulashes and quiches that are plated up in front of you, canteen-style, as well as pie and an appealingly extensive, technicolour salad bar. The cafe is licensed and sells organic and local ciders and ales, as well as a variety of wines.
Breakfast is one thing Blue Moon does especially well, with its (egg-heavy) menu providing cooked breakfasts for the full English-averse. Though it’s also perfectly acceptable to pop in for a coffee and a cake. All food and drink is available to take out, but there’s not much reason to: the room itself is one of the cafe's strongest features.
There’s a sense of artsy clutter about the place that looks like it stems from the personal acquisitions of the owner, and on any weekday afternoon the cafe is populated with friends, families, couples and shoppers, as well as the usual coffee shop set (though you might have have a tough time finding anywhere to plug your MacBook in). It retains a sense of individuality from a time before the chain cafe revolution, and need make no attempt to catch up or compete.
If you enjoy old fashioned tea rooms but don’t care much for fuss, Blue Moon is well worth a visit – whether you’re vegetarian, vegan or neither of the above.
- Words by
- Lucy Holt
- Images by
- Nigel Barker