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Unique Cafes Around the World: Must-Visit Spots

By Nikita Nielsen · 12. March 2024

This guide showcases a mix of historic coffee houses, innovative eco-friendly cafes, and spots with breathtaking views, where the humble cup of coffee serves as a portal to local customs and inventive approaches.

From the time-honoured cafes in Vienna to eco-conscious cafes in Vietnam and picturesque hangouts in Thailand, you’re in for a trip that marries your passion for coffee with extraordinary experiences around the world.

Cafes with a Rich History

popular cafe in history popular cafe in history

Cafés are much more than mere spots for sipping coffee or enjoying a leisurely afternoon tea—they are vibrant social hubs where conversations flow, ideas are sparked, and where pivotal moments in history have taken place.

Take, for instance, Café Le Procope in Paris, which has been the haunt of notable personalities such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Marie Antoinette, or Caffè Reggio in New York City, a long-standing favourite amongst the literary and musical crowd.

These establishments are woven into the fabric of their local societies, becoming landmarks in their own right.

Let’s take a closer look at three cafés renowned for their impact on coffee culture around the world.

Café Central, Vienna

When you walk into Café Central in Vienna, it feels like you’re travelling through time.

Opened in 1876 by the Pach brothers, this café sits inside an impressive building inspired by Italian Trecento architecture.

Café Central has been more than a coffee spot—it’s where famous people like Peter Altenberg, Sigmund Freud, and Leon Trotsky would meet, making it a witness to history and a hub of early 20th-century life.

Visiting Café Central means more than just tasting their excellent Viennese coffee—it’s about experiencing a piece of history.

Les Deux Magots, Paris

Les Deux Magots Paris Les Deux Magots Paris

Situated in the historically cultural hub of Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Les Deux Magots was the preferred rendezvous of literary and intellectual elites of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Imagine sipping your coffee in the company of figures like:

  • Simone de Beauvoir
  • Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Picasso

The café owes its name to the two Chinese figurines that have been a feature of the café since 1873 – a nod to the Far East in the heart of Paris.

Caffè Florian, Venice

Caffè Florian Venice Caffè Florian, Venice

Established in 1720, Caffè Florian isn’t just Venice’s oldest café, but also one of the oldest in the world that’s still in business.

Back in the day, it was right in the thick of things during the Venetian Revolution of 1848 when it was used as a field hospital.

The café has seen its fair share of famous patrons, including the likes of Lord Byron and Casanova.

It was also one of the first coffee houses to allow women, which was pretty groundbreaking at the time.

Fast forward to today, and it’s still an iconic spot, captivating visitors with its deep history, ornate interiors, and classic Venetian coffee.

Unique International Coffee Experiences

Blacklist Coffee Roasters, Subiaco, Australia

Nestled in Subiaco, Australia, Blacklist Coffee Roasters is a haven for coffee connoisseurs.

This café offers a cellar door experience with coffee tastings from producing regions around the world at their concept store.

Guests are invited to choose the origin of the coffee beans, from the earthy flavours of South America to the fruity notes of African coffee.

If you’re a coffee enthusiast looking for a unique tasting experience, make sure to add Blacklist Coffee Roasters to your must-visit list.

Romeow Cat Bistrot, Rome, Italy

In Rome, there’s a café where coffee culture meets a love for cats and plant-based cuisine.

Romeow Cat Bistrot is a place where cats roam freely, mingling with the guests.

This isn’t just a café with a cat theme; it’s known for its innovative vegan dishes that stand out in the city’s dining scene.

The Giant Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Tucked away from the city’s clamour, The Giant Chiang Mai café offers guests a chance to unwind in the tranquillity of the forest canopy.

Elevated among the trees, the café provides a peaceful and unique dining experience.

Enjoying a cup of coffee at The Giant Chiang Mai isn’t just a break in your day; it’s an opportunity to reconnect with the natural world around you.

Art-Infused Cafes

Cafes are more than spots to grab a cup of coffee☕️; they’re also places where art finds a home.

Whether it’s a painting hanging on the wall or a sculpture perched in a corner, art and coffee share a special bond in these spaces.

Join us as we explore cafes like Els Quatre Gats in Barcelona, Coffeewerk+Press in Galway, and Hakrim Dabang in Seoul, where the love for coffee and art come together.

Els Quatre Gats, Barcelona, Spain

Els Quatre Gats Barcelona Spain Els Quatre Gats Barcelona Spain

A trip to Els Quatre Gats in Barcelona is like walking into a living piece of art.

Designed as a meeting place for creative minds, this café has become a gathering spot for artists to share ideas and inspiration.

Nowadays, Els Quatre Gats stands as a celebration of Barcelona’s rich artistic legacy, with its Art Nouveau style, marble columns and eye-catching green and gold facade.

Coffeewek+Press, Galway, Ireland

At Coffeewek+Press in Galway, Ireland, coffee and art come together in a harmonious blend.

The café is designed to create a space that showcases the intersection of Irish and international art and design along with quality coffee.

It’s not just about the perfect brew here; it’s about appreciating the beauty of creative expression in all its forms.

Hakrim Dabang, Seoul, South Korea

Hakrim Dabang in Seoul is not just the city’s oldest café; it’s a living piece of history.

With its rich history as a gathering place for artists and its involvement in the democracy movement, this café is a testament to the vibrant cultural scene of Seoul.

The café’s nostalgic atmosphere, solidified by LP records and paintings, makes it a perfect place for art and coffee lovers alike, truly making it a great coffee shop.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Cafes

In today’s environmentally conscious world, it’s refreshing to see cafes that put sustainability🌱 at the forefront.

These cafes don’t just serve up delicious coffee—they’re also committed to reducing their impact on the planet.

Get to know Café Čokl in Ljubljana, East Van Roasters in Vancouver, and Lacàph Space in Ho Chi Minh City, where the love of coffee is matched by a dedication to eco-friendly practices, setting a standard for some of the finest coffee shops.

Cafe Čokl, Ljubljana, Slovenia

In the heart of Ljubljana, Slovenia, Café Čokl is making a name for itself as a champion of sustainability in the café industry.

The café sources its coffee from farmers who engage in environmentally friendly cultivation and processing methods.

A visit to Café Čokl is not just about enjoying a great cup of coffee; it’s about supporting a café that cares about the planet.

East Van Roasters, Vancouver, Canada

East Van Roasters in Vancouver, Canada, is more than just a café; it’s a social enterprise that:

  • Trains and employs women who are re-entering the workforce
  • Is dedicated to sustainability, offering ethically sourced chocolate and coffee
  • Uses compostable packaging

At East Van Roasters, every cup of filter coffee, a popular hot drink, is a step towards a more sustainable future.

Lacàph Space, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

At Lacàph Space in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, sustainability is at the heart of everything they do.

This café collaborates with local Vietnamese farmers to promote sustainable coffee farming and eco-friendly practices.

Through initiatives such as shadow planting trees and using eco-friendly fertilisers, Lacàph Space is not just serving great coffee; it’s making a positive impact on the environment.

Cafes with Scenic Views

Imagine sipping your favourite brew while gazing at stunning vistas that take your breath away.

From high-altitude cafés offering panoramic city views to quaint little nooks with waterfront views, the world is full of such captivating spots.

The Lhong Tou Café, Bangkok, Thailand

Located in the heart of Bangkok, The Lhong Tou Café offers a unique café experience with its stunning views of the city’s bustling streets.

This café is a perfect spot for those seeking to immerse themselves in the city’s vibrant atmosphere while enjoying their favourite brew.

From here, you can watch life in Bangkok unfold in all its colourful glory.

Gran Café de Paris, Tangier, Morocco

Gran Café de Paris in Tangier, Morocco, offers an authentic taste of Moroccan café culture.

This renowned café situated in the heart of Tangier offers scenic views of the bustling streets, allowing patrons to engage with the rich local culture right from their seats.

A visit to the Gran Café de Paris offers not just a decent cup of coffee, but a slice of life in the old town of Tangier.

Alma de Café, San José, Costa Rica

Located within the historic National Theater, Alma de Café in San José, Costa Rica, offers a unique café experience.

As you sip your Costa Rican plantation coffee, you can enjoy the café’s scenic views and its location in the heart of the city’s cultural life.

At Alma de Café, every cup of coffee is served with a side of culture and heritage.

Award-Winning Coffee Roasters

When it comes to coffee, quality matters. And who better to trust than the award-winning coffee roasters who have mastered the art and science of turning green coffee beans into a magical brew?

Rosetta Roastery, Cape Town, South Africa

Rosetta Roastery in Cape Town, South Africa, is a favourite among coffee lovers.

Built on a solid foundation of coffee science, this roastery offers an exceptional coffee experience with a wide variety of choices.

A visit to Rosetta Roastery takes you to the core of what makes an excellent coffee.

Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters, Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters in Lakewood, Colorado, USA, has earned a reputation for its careful bean selection and meticulous roasting processes.

This roastery is committed to delivering exceptional coffee, from sourcing the right beans to the final brew.

At Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters, every sip of drip coffee is a testament to their passion and craftsmanship in creating not only the finest coffee but also sweet treats to complement your beverage.

MAME, Zurich, Switzerland

At MAME in Zurich, Switzerland, coffee☕️ is not just a drink; it’s a journey into taste.

With a diverse range of coffee, this café stands out for its excellent service and coffee options that cater to all preferences, including the ‘Classic’ for a chocolatey taste, ‘Adventure’ for a fruity twist, and ‘Crazy’ for those who love complex, floral notes.

MAME is the perfect spot for anyone looking to delve into the rich world of coffee flavours.

Instagrammable Cafes

In the age of Instagram, cafés are no longer just about great coffee and delectable pastries.

They’re about creating spaces that are visually appealing, photogenic, and ‘Instagram-worthy.’

From eclectic interiors to stunning latte art, these cafés offer the perfect backdrop for your Instagram feed.

Simple Kaffa, Taipei, Taiwan

Simple Kaffa in Taipei, Taiwan, is a coffee lover’s dream and an Instagrammer’s paradise.

This café is renowned for its hipster industrial-chic space, offering an eclectic mix of modern and rustic elements that make for great Instagram shots.

From the carefully crafted latte art to the stylish interiors, every detail at Simple Kaffa is photo-worthy.

Ditta Artigianale, Florence, Italy

At Ditta Artigianale in Florence, Italy, the love for coffee is matched by the attention to design.

The interior features a modern mix of wood and glass with large windows, striking metal light fixtures and marble tables, creating a stylish setting that’s perfect for a casual photo.

And with its prime location in Florence’s picturesque Oltrarno neighbourhood, Ditta Artigianale offers plenty of Instagram potential both inside and out.


From the charm of historic sites to the creativity found in art-filled spaces, from one-of-a-kind coffee-tasting adventures to eco-conscious initiatives, from places steeped in literary lore to those with breathtaking views, we’ve journeyed through a variety of cafés that offer much more than a satisfying brew.

These spots are a testament to the intricate and varied coffee culture that spans the globe, intertwining elements of history, art, literature, environmental stewardship, and beyond.

Each one has its own narrative, and every cup of coffee invites you on a voyage of discovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which country has the best cafes?

Italy and Greece are renowned for their amazing cafe culture and high-quality espresso due to the influence of Italian and Greek immigrants post-WWII. So, these countries have some of the best cafes in the world!

Where is the most beautiful cafe in the world?

Well, if you’re looking for the most beautiful café in the world, New York Café is the place to be. This Italian Renaissance-style masterpiece has been popular among writers and intellectuals since its opening in 1894.

What was the role of Café Central in Vienna’s history?

Café Central was a vital meeting place for influential figures, such as Sigmund Freud and Leon Trotsky, embodying the spirit of turn-of-the-century Vienna.

What unique experience does Romeow Cat Bistrot in Rome provide?

At Romeow Cat Bistrot in Rome, you can have a delightful vegan meal while being surrounded by playful felines. Who says cats and dining don’t mix?

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