High 5: The best cafés in the world

May 24, 2013



I like to soak up the local café scene on my travels (and at home in London) and am terribly snobby when it comes to coffee. Here are some of my favourite cafés around the world:

Café New York, Budapest
There’s something rather special about sipping espresso in opulent surroundings. Set in the Boscolo Budapest hotel, this elegant café features grand ceilings adorned with marvellous frescoes and sparkling chandeliers. It has a fascinating 100-year history, frequented by famous writers, intellectuals, painters and actors over the years. Apparently the renowned writer, Ferenc Molnár, even threw the café’s keys into the Danube River so that it would never close. I like Ferenc. Erzsebet korut 9-11.

The Bridge, London
I can happily spend an entire afternoon in this quirky café. It looks like it has been there forever, yet only opened a few years ago. Its interior bursts with character – think Baroque-inspired seating, traditional old cash tills, hundreds of framed picture frames hanging off every wall, vintage mementos and subdued lighting. The coffee is top notch, served from beautiful golden machines and there’s an interesting choice of food stacked on the shelves. 15 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch.

Bow Truss, Chicago
Coffee connoisseurs must not miss Bow Truss during a visit to Chicago. This cool warehouse space combines a café with an on-site roaster so the coffee beans couldn’t be any fresher. Staff are really friendly and visitors are welcome to take a tour of the facility to learn more about the roasting process and brewing methods. 2934 N Broadway, Lakeview.

Da Matteo, Gothenburg
Swedes take their coffee seriously and I love them for that. Coffee breaks – known as ‘fika’ – are a national institution there, with locals gathering at stylish independent cafés to share a good gossip over coffee and sweet pastries. Gothenburg has a great fika scene and one of the best cafés is Da Matteo – an organic bakery, coffee roastery and shop offering a shiny collection of home coffee-brewing equipment. There are four branches in the city, including on Viktoriapassagen.

Lindt Chocolat Café, Sydney
Can’t quite believe I’m saying this, but forget the coffee and order a hot chocolate here instead. You’re given a pot of liquid Lindt chocolate to pour into a cup of steamed milk… pure heaven. And, if that’s not enough, there’s an array of mouth-watering Swiss chocolate treats to munch on, including posh truffles, cakes and ice-cream. There are a few Lindt Chocolat Cafes in Sydney, including at 104-105 Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour.

Stephanie Reed