Spotlight on: Neon Wolf

Regulars here at Luce in Notts will know that I love recommending places to eat and drink in Nottingham. Until now, I’ve done that through lists (like my top 15 independent bars and the best places to brunch) but every now and then I discover a local business that I really want to shout about, which brings me to introduce my new ‘spotlight on’ series!

I can’t think of a better place to kick off the series than at coffee house tattoo parlour hybrid Neon Wolf, easily one of the coolest indie businesses in Nottingham.

Don’t worry — if you’re currently picturing yourself trying to enjoy a latte to the background buzzing of someone on the next table getting their butt tattooed, that isn’t how things work! The basement is for inking, while the ground floor is strictly for drinking.

Neon Wolf is a fantastic choice for anyone who loves coffee, tattoos, video games or all three! If you like your coffee venues quirky and vegan friendly, it’s a must visit. Read on to find out why.

The aesthetic

The interior at Neon Wolf is effortlessly cool, as you’d expect from a coffee lounge slash tattoo parlour slash old school gaming arcade.

Eye-catching neon signs, bold colours and pink hues make it clear that this venue is all about fun! You know, just in case the video game consoles, PacMan mural and supersized Nintendo Game Boy model on the wall didn’t give it away.

Gamers will be pleased to hear that games aren’t just part of the decor. All customers get free access to the arcade machines and consoles inside, so you can challenge your friends to a game of Mario Kart over coffee and cake.

A trip to Neon Wolf is guaranteed nostalgia, with decor that not only takes creative inspiration from retro gaming but also the classic British fairground. You can sip your espresso in an original 1980s dodgem car (upcycled with velvet upholstery) or enjoy a cupcake with a window-view on a waltzer seat.

Menu highlights

Everything served at Neon Wolf is vegan friendly, from the locally sourced speciality coffee and food menu to the ink they use in their tattoos.

This is a god send for vegans, who often struggle to find appealing food options when dining out, but also for the lactose intolerant such as myself, who have to choose between a salad and eternal disappointment or dairy and a six-month-gone bloat baby.

If you aren’t vegan, don’t be put off by the thought of an all-vegan menu. The melt-in-mouth cupcakes at Neon Wolf will prove that great vegan cake tastes just as delicious as ‘normal’ cake.

One of the great things about Neon Wolf is their commitment to supporting other local independents. Currently, all of their cakes are supplied by Block Party Bakery and Totally Baked, and they also stock V-Ice Screams.

My go to Neon Wolf order is the Cookie Monster or a double chocolate cupcake, accompanied by a pink hot chocolate.

I also love the Neon Wolf house lattes and recommend the bubblegum flavour to anyone who fancies something a bit different. Any coffee snobs reading this will be wrinkling their noses right now, but don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!

Pre-COVID, Neon Wolf also offered a hot food menu featuring light bites, such as toasties. When they start serving these items again, I’ll make sure that taste testing it is top of my priority list!

Where to find them

Address: 21 Derby Road, Nottingham, NG1 5AA.

Instagram: @neonwolfstudio (also referenced @blockpartybakery, @totallybaked and @vicecreams)

Google Maps location

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