College turned me into an absolute coffee fanatic, and that hasn’t changed one bit since living in Europe. In fact, a good amount of Europe’s coffee is pretty unbeatable, so my desire has grown if anything. The unique culture and personality of each city always seems to be expressed in each of its most renown coffee shops. The simple taste of its coffee, however, is only a small part of the equation, as the food, tea, and atmosphere of a coffee shop are also avidly enjoyed by the true fanatic. My caffeine addiction is also at some times filled by tea, so I’ve also included a few of my favorite tea stops along the way.
12. Reykjavik — Lemon — We stopped in this health food café almost every morning while in Iceland because it was right next to where we stayed, but the paninis, smoothies, and coffee did not disappoint. This was the perfect stop to start our busy adventurous days and get our necessary caffeine fill, and everything was great ranging from lattes to espressos.
11. Prague — Bakeshop — A really quick, convenient breakfast and pastry shop with good service, a very wide menu, and solid coffee. We ate here twice during the weekend because it was so good and in a great location.
10. Amsterdam — Bulls and Dogs — For some reason, I received a french press coffee at the place I least expected to. Bulls and Dogs sells upscale milkshakes, hot dogs, and burgers, yet out of no where I received a beautiful French press upon ordering a coffee. I’d highly recommend coming here for the food, shakes, and atmosphere alone, but don’t skip out on caffeine if you’re in the mood.
9. Copenhagen — Coffee Collective — This is one of Copenhagen’s renown coffee shops, as they have taken the top 25 bean producers around the world and combined them into one convenient store. The only reason this impressive spot isn’t higher on the list is the high price tag for an extremely small cup size (sounds pretty similar to Colectivo…), but the taste and quality are well worth the visit.
8. Florence — Gucci Museum — If you are at all interested in fashion, Florence’s Gucci Museum is definitely something to check out. A highlight was the amazing coffee shop attached to it, where we had an amazing coffee experience complete with sugar cubes in the shape of the Gucci logo. Sooo Italian.
7. Paris — Angelina — A beautiful tea house complete with brunch, pastries, and great coffee. People go crazy for the croissants and the rich hot chocolate. There is one location right near the Louvre I visited that makes it easy to stop at before some sightseeing.
6. Budapest — Alexandra Bookstore on Annuye Uy — This place looks like a completely normal bookstore from the outside, but step up a few floors and enter into one of the most beautiful Hungarian tea rooms I’ve ever seen, complete with ornate wallpaper and gold details. I felt like I had entered into Narnia. We had no idea at the time, but it’s incredibly famous. It’s definitely a must-see!
5. Paris — Ladurée — Maybe it’s being in one of the most adorable pastry shops around or complementing your coffee or tea with one of Paris’ most prestigious macarons, but sitting down at Ladurée is always such a fun Parisian experience. They also have a few other locations in the US and around Europe, but there’s something about being in Paris that makes it that much better.
4. Amsterdam — Bakers and Roasters — Aside from having one of the best breakfasts I’ve had while abroad, the coffee surely did not disappoint. Wait times for this popular brunch spot are upwards of an hour on the weekends, but you can also walk in and order a coffee or tea to go. All orders are also double-shot, so you are guaranteed to get your full caffeine fill for your money’s worth. There is a location conveniently close to the Heineken experience if you are taking a tour later in the day.
3. London — Sketch Tea — I’ve already ranted and raved about this place, but I highly recommend spending an afternoon in one of London’s most whimsical and unique tea houses. You also get a delicious (and really filling) high tea experience, so come hungry!2.
2. Rome — Sant’eustachio Coffee — I’m a huge fan of strong coffee, and Italy just about does it the best. Everyone kept insisting we come here, and once we finally taking up their suggestion we returned three times in two days. This is one of Rome’s most famous coffee shops and for good reason—I guarantee it’s packed with a punch.
- Copenhagen — Original Coffee — I felt it necessary to top off the list with my favorite coffee shop in Copenhagen and the one I visit most. This is one of the city’s most well-known (and beautiful) coffee shops. The banana bread is also to die for, as it’s 70% pure banana. Even the lattes are very strong, and the one atop Illum (a department store) has a beautiful view of Copenhagen’s center city. It’s consistently one of my favorite places to study!