Revealed: The winners of this year's Harrogate Advertiser Cafe of the Year competition

Harrogate Advertiser Cafe of the year runner-up, Karen's Bistro. Pictured is owner Colette Howarth with staff and customers. Picture by Gerard Binks.
Harrogate Advertiser Cafe of the year runner-up, Karen's Bistro. Pictured is owner Colette Howarth with staff and customers. Picture by Gerard Binks.

The wait is over - the winners of the Harrogate Advertiser’s Cafe of the Year competition have now been revealed.

The nominations poured in this year, as readers clamoured to help win recognition for their favourite cafes of choice.

Winners of the Harrogate Cafe of the Year competition, Mrs Smith's Cafe. Pictured are owner Phillipa Smith with staff at the counter. Picture: Gerard Binks.

Winners of the Harrogate Cafe of the Year competition, Mrs Smith's Cafe. Pictured are owner Phillipa Smith with staff at the counter. Picture: Gerard Binks.

After an exciting few weeks of voting, Mrs Smith’s Cafe on Jennyfield Drive has been crowned the winner, taking home first place and the prestigious title of Cafe of the Year.

Cafe owner Phillipa Smith said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won Cafe of the Year after being open for just two years.

“We are so grateful to all of our loyal customers who have voted for us and who support us week in and week out. It literally does mean everything to us.

“I’d also personally like to extend huge thanks to my small but perfectly formed team, who have been with me since day one and have worked so hard to help me create what we like to think is our unique venue.

Pictured is the owner of Cafe Rita, Shirley Mansour, with her team. Picture by Gerard Binks.

Pictured is the owner of Cafe Rita, Shirley Mansour, with her team. Picture by Gerard Binks.

“We put our all into baking our home-made cakes, creating our themed afternoon tea menus, developing new menu ideas from our locally-sourced supplies and running our plethora of family events. And it’s fantastic that our hard work has been rewarded.

“We set out to create somewhere where families were truly welcomed and properly catered for, providing the small touches that make a visit with children that little bit easier and more enjoyable whilst still serving quality, local and healthy food.”

Phillipa said she is proud to be part of Harrogate’s community of independent businesses.

She said: “We now have regular customers of all ages and it’s been fantastic to become a part of the community here. Harrogate has a fantastic array of independent businesses and we are so proud to be part of that.

“We are fiercely passionate about supporting as many other local independents as we can and are truly grateful for the support we receive.”

Karen’s Bistro in Starbeck has been awarded second place - news that owner Colette Howarth said is testament to all of the team’s hard work and dedication.

She said: “We are absolutely delighted. We have been trying to make it as much of a community cafe as possible, and I think we are achieving our goals and getting there - we are really made up.”

The cafe is passionate about tackling isolation in our community, and puts tables together to help start conversations, and staff pride themselves on knowing the name of every customer to make them feel welcome.

Family-run Cafe Rita on Bower Road has been awarded third place. Owner Shirley Mansour said she has been blown away by the support from customers.

She said: “We would like to thank our lovely customers and friends for voting for us and their loyalty. We are really honoured.

“We have a small friendly team here, offering good food, prepared on the premises at reasonable prices. We have a wide and varied menu, and our motto is ‘Eat, Drink and Enjoy’.”