Travel is the perfect way for me to feed my addiction to all things caffeine related. I’ve picked five cafés that have stood out for me on my globetrotting adventures and I recommend that you visit them all.
Sanderstraße 13, Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
Best described as a shabby-chic living room, this café is eclectic to say the least. Modestly stationed amidst apartments in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, Café Valentin offers a variety of Swedish treats, such as sticky sweet Kanelbullar (cinnamon rolls). The threadbare carpets underfoot, wooden slats and rose pink walls give this small dwelling a homely feel – including the bath in the washroom. Soft indie tunes hum in the background as you deliberate a wide selection of teas or a Blåbärssoppa (sweet bilberry juice), to accompany a must-have slice of homemade cake. The smooth, frothy cappuccino is divine, especially at €2,20, and if you’re feeling more than peckish, try their assorted Smørrebrød (Danish open sandwich) dishes. Fresh flowers mark each unique coffee table, while a sassy portrait of Kate Bush watches over you from her position on the wall. Be encouraged by the laid-back atmosphere to drink and eat as leisurely as you wish and, if stuck for conversation, pick up one of the many thought-provoking reading materials around.
401 Banff Ave, Banff, Canada
Whitebark Café is often overlooked, a small corner attached to the Banff Aspen Lodge. The design inside is simple, with limited seating along the wall-length window. Outside, a glorious view surrounds the café, since it sits in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. Yet this isn’t the only attraction of the café. Also on offer are a variety of deliciously made hot drinks, but a particular favourite is the smooth cappuccino, extra dry. Their coffee is organic, sourced from Moja Coffee and roasted in North Vancouver. Or, if you’re feeling kickass enough without the need for a caffeine boost, their seasonal matcha latte is fantastic. Alongside their thirst-quenching options, Whitebark also offers a tasty selection of food, from hipster snacks like granola muffins to nourishing soups (perfect for the Canadian winter months).
18 Park St, Bristol, England
Smack bang in the middle of my hometown is Woodes. As you would guess from the name, the café is wood clad and beautifully simple. You are immediately set at ease in the friendly and cute café, with its small size giving it a homely feel. The coffee is gorgeous, with the cappuccino served with the right amount of froth at a very decent price. There is plenty of seating inside, providing the perfect location to nestle in with a good book. Add a scrumptious pastry or a sandwich into the mix, and you’ll be set for a long, lazy afternoon.
Huayruro Coffee Shop
Calle Puente Grau 100, Arequipa, Peru
Small, but perfectly formed, Huayruro is a gem of a café. Coffee art is dotted on sparse walls, hanging above mismatched chairs around the only two tables in the café. At fair prices, the menu provides light fare that is prepared behind the small bar area. A recommendation is the set breakfast menu, with homemade granola, yogurt, fruit, coffee and a fresh smoothie – a fantastic escape for any palette that is bored with the Peruvian diet of rice and eggs.
Café Pho Co
11 Hàng Gai, Hàng Trống, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Walking through a silk shop, you arrive in the middle of a courtyard filled with motorbikes, lanterns and bird cages. Before you sit, you order at the ornate reception area, preferably a Vietnamese coffee, served cold due to the intense heat. You climb an iron cast staircase, round and round, all the way up to the top, passing hanging plants as you go. At the top, there are plenty of tables to choose from while you wait for your coffee. The best spot is in the far corner, by the edge (if you’re not afraid of heights that is), because it is the view that sells this café. From its tall position, you are able to see Hanoi from a great angle, including the Hoan Kiem Lake, which breaks up the urban landscape, ringed with green leafed trees. A fantastic hideaway for an idle afternoon.