Café Chic: The World’s Coolest Places to Have a Cup of Coffee

Café Chic - The World’s Coolest Places to Have a Cup of Coffee |

Since coffee lovers span the globe, there are many countries that are home to some interesting and unique places to sit back, relax, and enjoy a cup of joe.

Paris, Venice, or Budapest may come to mind as these places are known to have exquisite cafes, but there are other places that are just as lovely.

Here are the most desirable places to drink one of your favorite beverages on each continent.

North America

Espresso Vivace, Seattle, WA

Founded in 1988 and still under the ownership of David Schomer and Geneva Sullivan, this independent coffee shop has three locations in the coffee capitol of the United States.

Logo for Vivace Coffee |

Each location features a unique setting that offers charm as well as aesthetic value. One of the coffee shops is set up to model a European café, one is a sidewalk bar, and the third offers a more modern coffee shop style.

The art of espresso has been perfected by the owners, with roasting, grinding, prepping, and pouring that’s done with precision and excellence.

Merchants of Green Coffee Café, Toronto, Ontario

Using certified fair trade and organic beans to roast on site, Merchants Café prides itself on their commitment to a sustainable brew.

Merchants of Green Coffee |
Merchants of Green Coffee Café, Toronto

In their rustic and very natural-looking café inside a former factory warehouse, they offer a divine view of the Toronto skyline while their customers enjoy an environmentally-friendly cup of one of their single origin coffees.

Their cozy chairs may invite you to stay awhile and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere but also offer a nice enough seat for your business meeting.

Also offering classes to educate customers about sustainability, for someone who wants to know the history behind their cup of coffee, this is the perfect spot.

Interested in other aspects of the Toronto food scene? Check out our exploratory article about Toronto’s cosmopolitan food culture.

South America

Café Rubro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Surprisingly, though Brazil supplies much of the world’s coffee and (next to America) it consumes the most as well, it can be extremely hard to find a delicious cup of joe in the country.

Café Rubro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Café Rubro, Rio de Janeiro

This is because Brazil exports the best of its beans. However, if you stop by Café Rubro, you will find one of the best cups of espresso in Rio de Janeiro along with the rich and earthy smell of freshly roasted coffee beans.

This café prides itself on its excellent blend of Arabica beans. They offer three spacious, comfortable, and modern locations where you can enjoy the “aroma and intense and balanced, distinctive taste of espresso.”


The Vintage Emporium, London, England

Also home to a very unique boutique, The Vintage Emporium café appears to offer a chance to travel back in time in addition to their delicious drinks. Walking into this café is like taking a step into the past.

Customers can enjoy coffee, tea, and other herbal drinks while listening to vintage records in one of the large tea rooms.

Make yourself at home in the living room style seating area and feel free to pet the resident pooch while enjoying a tasty sandwich off of the café menu. Head downstairs after you enjoy your meal for some fun antique shopping.

Café Comercial, Madrid, Spain

Since 1887, this historic café has been serving patrons, who were originally traders. The name originated from the commercial business that the café received from the trade fairs.

Cafe Comercial Interior, Madrid, Spain
Café Comercial, Madrid

At Café Comercial, which is located in the heart of the city, you can delight in a game of chess, read one of the newspapers available, or just revel in the bustling sights and sounds of the goings on around you.

Everyone from artists to scholars favors this cool café for its excellent coffee as well as the menu and interesting atmosphere.

Coutume Café, Paris, France

Though we would be remiss to leave out a Parisian café, it is hard to choose just one from this café-loving city.

Coutume Café, Paris, France |
Coutume Café, Paris

Though less traditional coffee shops have gained popularity in Paris, one café is trying their best to resuscitate the original coffee scene, and that place is Coutume Café.

They roast the beans on site and have all of the latest coffee machines such as the Japanese siphon, a cold-drip machine, as well as a La Marzocco Strada espresso machine.

Their goal is to revitalize and enrich French coffee culture and they are passionate about using ethically-sourced beans.


Double Tall, Tokyo, Japan

Though you may associate tea with Japan, coffee has grown in popularity in this country, mainly with the younger crowd. One of the best cafés in Tokyo, Double Tall is noted for its fine latte art.

Double Tall Cafe, Tokyo, Japan |
Double Tall Cafe, Tokyo

A latte art contest held in 2008 awarded its prize to a barista from Double Tall, but that’s not all this fabulous café has to offer. It is also known for importing the best quality beans, and its kopi luwak.

Within a short walking distance from Shibuya station, it is still far enough away from all of the hustle and bustle that you can enjoy a quiet and relaxing time.

Mahika Mano, Tokyo, Japan

Another very cool spot to sip your drink and “hang” (literally) in Tokyo is Mahika Mano, located in the downtempo Kichijoji district.

Mahika Mano Cafe, Tokyo | Foodal
Mahika Mano, Tokyo

Patrons of this unique spot sit in hammocks hanging from the ceiling and are allowed to stay and relax for up to two hours. The café offers a variety of delicious food and drinks and doubles as a showroom for, well, hammocks of course.

What better way to sell a product than allowing customers to appreciate and experience the item while having a great time with friends?

The café offers a modern and urban feel while providing a very unique appeal that no other boutique has.

The Reading Room, Jakarta, Indonesia

If you are one of the many who don’t understand the appeal of digital books and love the feel, smell, and look of a freshly printed book instead, then The Reading Room is the place to be.

The Reading Room, Jakarta, Indonesia |
The Reading Room, Jakarta

This two-story café is loaded with thousands of books from floor to ceiling. There is no way to ever be bored, and there may be no reason to ever leave. With a delicious cappuccino and a good book in hand, why would you want to?

The books are available for purchase, but they may be enjoyed for free while you are there.


Truth Coffee, Cape Town, South Africa

Though the modern coffee bean was developed in Africa and the continent exports over ten percent of the world’s supply, it wasn’t until recently that coffee consumption became popular there. Truth Coffee is one of the newest shops that has jumped on the trend of making the beverage an experience to appreciate.

Truth Coffee, Cape Town, South Africa |
Truth Coffee, Cape Town

Daring to be different, this café was decorated in the steampunk fashion, inspired by the similarities of coffee roasters and espresso machines to science fiction steampunk style.

With accents such as metal pipes, early typewriters and telephones, and antique sewing machines, this intricately decorated shop features artisan roasters, too.

They pride themselves on delivering “upon the promise made by the aroma of freshly ground coffee.”


The Grounds, Alexandria, NSW

With a coffee research and testing facility on site as well as a terrace that hosts a fragrant garden of fresh herbs and vegetables, The Grounds is located in an old pie factory. Its original industrial and rustic look remains intact.

The Grounds, Alexandria, NSW |
The Grounds, Alexandria, NSW

Just about a ten minute drive from Sidney brings you to the city’s industrial zone, where this café gem is located.

On site, they use the bounty from the garden to prepare their signature dishes, send coffee beans through pipes from the roasting room straight to the café’s espresso stands, offer home brewing lessons, and much more.

They have a passion for their work and it clearly shows with each quality cup.


The Coffee Shop, McMurdo Station, Antarctica

While it may not be accessible to everyone, believe it or not, Antarctica is actually home to a café. The Coffee Shop, formerly the Officer’s Club which only allowed in officers, is now open to the general “public” of Antarctic inhabitants.

The Coffee Shop, McMurdo Station, Antarctica |
The Coffee Shop, McMurdo Station, Antarctica

Though the population of the continent is often as little as 1,000 people, it is enough to support a café that remains a popular spot. People enjoy socializing at the café where they can appreciate a non-smoking environment, gentle music, and occasionally even concerts.

Because the scientists and other inhabitants come from across the world, it is quite an interesting place to meet new people.

In Summary

There is certainly no shortage of splendid destinations to have a great cup of coffee, and part of the enjoyment of the experience is the locale.

Whether you have a cuppa in one of these interesting places or your own home, the experience of each sip can be enhanced by the details of your surroundings.

If you want to sound just as cool as the places you enjoy your brew, make sure you ham up on coffee terms in this article and java glossary.

Do you have a favorite spot to drink your favorite coffee? Whether it’s your local café or your special reading nook in your own living room, we want to know where you delight in your favorite brew!

Please share in the comments where you think the world’s coolest place to have a cappuccino, latte, regular brew, or tea is.

About Tiffany Boutwell

Tiffany Boutwell is a Certified Nutritional Consultant, Holistic Health Practitioner, and owner of Natural Apple Holistic Health. Tiffany believes chronic illness stems from improper nutrition, and that a diet rich in whole foods can help people to be free from the undesirable effects of the Standard American Diet. She resides on a farm in Kentucky with her family where she enjoys reading, yoga, and writing. Tiffany has authored an e-cookbook and health articles in various publications.

14 thoughts on “Café Chic: The World’s Coolest Places to Have a Cup of Coffee”

  1. I’ve never visited any of the establishments mentioned, but I have had quite a few fine cups of coffee in my day. Some of my favorites include Dunkin’ Donuts (back home in Boston, they’re more authentic, it tastes better), Seattle, where just about every cup I had tasted delicious, a creperie in Quebec, where I combined it with the a yummy apple crepe, and Cafe du Monde, in New Orleans, with fluffy, delicious beignets.

  2. All of these places are the most adorable little establishments! I’m planning on traveling the world should my finances allow it, and so I’m definitely going to bookmark this page so that I can refer to it later. Personally, one of my favourite (though not well-known) coffee shops is the Starbucks in Amman, Jordan: two stories tall with a balcony. However, I’d like to go to Europe sometime so these will be options for me in the near future. Thank you for the article!

  3. Great timing Tiffany!
    I am going to Toronto this weekend for the Pan-Am games and 100% will check out the Merchants!
    This post is a little different then what I expect from foodal but I really like it.
    Sometimes WHERE you have something can be just as important as WHAT you are having.
    I am in Welland Ontario right now for some Pan-Am events and found the most wonderful little coffee shop called The Black Sheep. No great views, but the coffee is amazing and the service is delightful.

  4. I love reading, so, my first stop will be at the reading room in Jakarta, Indonesia. Either way, this article is way too important to just brush off, that said,I’ve bookmarked it for my zeal is already picking up speed, I can’t wait to start traveling 🙂

  5. These are such cool places to have a cup of Joe. I am also glad to see that some of these cafes are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

  6. I particularly like the look of the Reading Room in Jakarta. Take the sofas away and it would be just like my local library. I’d love to be able to chill out ina similar manner there!

  7. I’m more of a tea drinker, but I enjoy cafes. They’re lovely to sit and relax in. I’d love to visit all of these, but I’m not gonna lie, The Reading Room looks like somewhere I’d like to live! Looks like I’m not the only one, haha. A delicious beverage and good books, how can you beat that?

  8. Being a big time coffee lover, any time I go somewhere new, I want to find that chic cafe. These places sounded and looked so cool, I could almost smell the roasting beans steaming out of my laptop!

    Although all these places look amazing, my favorite was the very first one, “Espresso Vivace.” To me, there’s just something about a little shop that has, as the post said, a rustic feeling, I love things that seem natural. It seemed to have a very homey feeling to it that seems very comforting to me. The picture also showed some books. That was it for me. I was in love. Some of the other locations were a little too modern for my personal taste. I would still go there to try the coffee though!

    The only one that seemed a little weird to me was “The Coffee Shop” in Antarctica. It just seemed like I would feel a little out of place there. It, for some reason, reminded me of the movie, “A Clockwork Orange.” It may be more appealing in real life.

    Regardless of design or atmosphere, nothing compares to fresh ground, high quality espresso beans, and each of these places seemed to have an unforgettable brew!

  9. This is an excellent list for those serious about their brew. The two locales that interest me the most are the lovely Cafe Rubro and The Reading Room. If I had a bucket list of places to see before I died, they would be at the top.

    Brazil has always been a place I’ve hoped to visit in the future, but a chance to visit Cafe Rubro would be icing on the cake. And I absolutely love the idea of The Reading Room. At my old university, I had to walk from Starbucks to the library (on the other end of campus) if I wanted to enjoy a good book with my hot mocha. Being able to enjoy my coffee amidst countless stacks of literature would be a dream come true.

  10. Wow! All of these places look awesome! I would love to travel all over the world to different coffee shops. Wouldn’t that be fun? The one in Antarctica looks really cozy. I didn’t even know there were cafe’s in Antarctica. The MAHIKA MANO shop looks so interesting. I think it would be difficult to drink while swinging in a hammock lol. Unfortunately none of these cute shops are near me so I can’t go try them myself right now

  11. This is a good read. Next time I am in Seattle I will definitely check out that coffee shop.
    I also had no idea finding a good cup of coffee is difficult in Brazil, but I guess it makes sense that they export their best beans. It’s funny how in Europe and a lot of other places around the world coffee is enjoyed in a sit down setting rather then on the go. I feel that in America most people grab a cup to go rather then sit down in a cafe.

  12. Wow, these places are all so beautiful! The Reading Room in particular looks like my dream cafe, I’m pretty sure I could live in a place like that 🙂 And Mahiko Mano looks amazing as well, having hammocks instead of regular tables is such a cute idea! I think a world cafe tour is in order 😉

  13. Coffee shops are actually one of my favorite things to visit when I visit a new city, you never really have idea how many cool places are on every town, that’s the magic of all that. 🙂
    What an interesting list, I will keep them in mind. Probably my favorite one was the Mahika Mano one, it seems so comfortable place to just relax and grab a coffee! I really want to go to Japan and this is definitely going to be one of the places that I will visit.
    Thanks for sharing!


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