We’ve seen some really quirky cafes around the world while traveling; some in old factories, some in scary allies, and some of them even situated at the top of mountains. If you look for the world’s most unusual cafes and best coffee shops, you’ll find some really quirky and strange ones. Wondering where they are? Here’s a list of the most Instagrammable cafes across the world from our traveler friends.
1. The Lhong Tou Café in Bangkok
One of the probably coolest cafés ever is located in Chinatown in Bangkok: The unique Lhong Tou Café! It is small, really popular and almost always full. Especially cool is the hip ambience, because there are upper and lower decks where you can enjoy your coffee or tea. Of course, some cool photos should not be missing here, because this location is perfect for taking amazing pictures. If you come early enough you might get a seat on the upper deck, which you only have to be fit to climb up.
The Lhong Tou Café is a Chinese coffee house. Therefore, you will find a wide selection of Chinese drinks and food on the menu. You should try the Chinese breakfast set with porridge. In addition, a Signature Thai Milk Tea, which is said to be one of the best in Bangkok, or a delicious cold caramel macchiato. Also, the Egg Lava Bun and the Mandarin Orange Cake should not be missed to try.
The Lhong Tou is a café is the perfect choice if you fancy to try Chinese breakfast! The food and drinks here are unique, and the cool location is so hip and instagrammable!
By Martina & Jürgen from Places of Juma
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2. Vegan cat Cafe Romeow cat Bistrot in Rome
One of the most popular meeting places for students at Ostiense, one of the university neighborhood of Rome, is the Romeow Cat Bistrot. Romeow is a cafeteria where a dozen polite, affable, and discreet cats spend their time sunbathing, stretching or sleeping while customers enjoy their coffee. The owners of the cafe are vegans and animal lovers. The design of the coffee is enveloping, the walls colorful and covered with eccentric but delicate illustrations. There is a long wooden community table, small tables, and a loft with sofas. The dishes and drinks offered are vegan. Every detail is taken care of, from tea services to furniture. In addition to first courses, second courses, and vegan sandwiches, you can also enjoy raw-vegan cakes, extracts, smoothies, and non-alcoholic drinks. This is a great coffee shop to visit even alone or to work remotely or read a good book. The absolute protagonists are the cats that instantly transmit relaxation and beauty to those who linger to look at them.
Obviously, there are a couple of rules to follow, for example, it is forbidden to feed cats or annoy them. It is better to let the cats get closer if they feel like it… Romeow Cat Bistrot is one of the cutest cafes in Rome. Address: Rome, Via Francesco Negri, 15
By Annalisa from Travel Connect Experience
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3. Art-Cafe Home in Tbilisi, Georgia
Art-Cafe Home is a hidden gem perched on the hillside of old Tbilisi. The art cafe offers beautiful panoramic views and is one of the best spots to party in the city. When you walk inside you will see walls covered with artwork and stairs that lead you up four floors to different rooms. The decor is eclectic and feels like you have stepped inside an artist’s mind.
Exploring the quirky cafe is one of the best things to do in Tbilisi. Each room has its own vibe, such as an airy living room with mismatched furniture and paintings on the ceiling, small quirky dance floors and a 90s themed bathroom.
On the rooftop terrace you will find more seating and beautiful views of the city. It’s a great place to hang out with some coffee or grab some appies and enjoy the view. Stay into the evening when the hip cafe comes alive at night. The space turns into a party with DJs, awesome music and cocktails. It’s the perfect place to pre-drink before hitting Tbilisi’s alternative clubs. Art-Cafe Home also has a small pop-up shop where you can buy alternative clothing.
By Cecily from Groovy Mashed Potatoes
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4. Majestic café in Porto
Majestic café is supposedly ranked at #6 most beautiful café in the world. It certainly deserves that spot in the top 10. The café is drop-dead gorgeous, the food is absolutely delicious and the service is top-notch. There are only two downsides – First, it’s extremely popular so it has a long wait, especially during peak season. Second, it’s a bit on the expensive site, but it’s totally worth it. It features as one of our favorite cafes and restaurants in Porto.
Majestic café is featured in Harry Potter tours of Porto because they say that JK Rowling used to visit the café when she was writing her first book – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. She was a young mother with financial challenges when she lived in Porto. The café offered her a beautiful place to think and write. As we spoke with our server, she said she never met JK Rowling but then even if she had seen her, it would be hard to remember someone so unimportant after a decade.
As shown in the picture above the decor is grandiose. The vibe is fun and happening. The ambiance is welcoming.
By Jyoti from Story At Every Corner
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5. Small cafe on Gangneung Coffee Street in Korea
If you’re an aficionado seeking the source of modern cafe culture in Korea, you must head east to Gangneung Coffee Street on Anmok Beach. You’ll find over 30 cafes lining a 500 metre stretch of beachfront, which the Korea Tourism Organization has designated as one of the Top 10 Must-Visit Tourist Spots in the country.
Its beginnings are much more humble though. During the 1980s, this seaside strip of road was filled with vending machines selling instant coffee. In 1998, the first 2 “real” cafes opened there, just as local interest in hand-drip coffees bloomed. Writers attracted to this heady mix of gorgeous views and local roasters started meeting in the area, creating an artsy, bohemian vibe. And voila, Korean cafe culture as we know it today, was born.
The big chains like Starbucks, and Pascucci have a presence there, but the best cafes on Gangneung Coffee Street are independently owned and staffed by skilled baristas. There are a ton to check out, but I recommend Bossanova Coffee Roasters. It has 3 floors of seating, expansive floor to ceiling windows, a rooftop terrace overlooking the creamy beach and magnificent turquoise sea, as well as every type of caffeinated beverage your heart could desire.
By Shelley from Travel Stained
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6. Cafe Florian in Venice
Caffe Florian, a famous café located in Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy is the oldest café in the world, opening on the 29th December, 1720.
For those traveling to Venice, it’s a must-visit for its history, beauty, atmosphere and amazing food and beverages.
It boasts famous clientele throughout history such as Lord Byron, Casanova, Goethe, Marcel Proust and Charles Dickens.
The café opened under the name “Alla Venezia Trionfante” (Venice the Triumphant) but was later renamed to Caffe Florian after its original owner, Floriano Francesconi.
In 1750, the café expanded to four rooms and was handed on to Floriano’s grandson, Valentino in 1773.
Due for a restoration, in 1858 it was restored by Venetian Lodovico Cadorin, hiring the best artists and artists in Venice at that time.
The rooms were decorated with exquisite art representing various themes, from the Chinese room to the Senate room to the hall of the illustrious men.
Not only is Caffe Florian a step back in time, it’s a timeless representation of Venice and the people and events that shaped the city since 1720.
Enjoy a lunch or aperitivo on your next trip to Venice and savour the moment, just as famous patrons of the past did.
By Matt from It’s all in Italy
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7. The Indian Coffee House, Kolkata
“Coffee houser sei addata aaj aar nei ..aaj aar nei”
Just like this famous melody of Manna Dey, Indian Coffee House, Kolkata is something beyond explanation, a deep nostalgia among the Bengalese. Being established in 1942, Coffee house is continuing its legacy.
In contrast to the trendy modern coffee-joints; this iconic place is a heaven for ceaseless caffeine-fuelled debates, intellectual opinions, heated smoky arguments, and seamless discussions. None will remind you to spare the tables.
Being situated opposite Presidency College, Sanskrit College, and Calcutta University made it the hottest hangout place in the city. Unlike fashionable cafe-lounges, The Coffee House maintains its traditional decorum. The waiters here wear traditional colonial style bearer uniforms with head turbans. The majestic dining hall with a Victorian interior provides you the good old charm. Under the two-storied high ceiling, there are hundreds of tables with people of different age groups. Apart from the ‘Adda-zone’, the place is famous for its conventional coffee and variety of snacks.
To experience the flavour of a remarkable cultural heritage, you must do a West Bengal and Kolkata tour at least once.
By Ruma from The Holiday Story
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8. Cafe Central in Vienna
No visit to Vienna would be complete without stopping in at one of their many cafes. One of the oldest and grandest is Cafe Central.
Situated within the Ring and only a 10 minute walk from The Albertina Museum, Cafe Central embodies the typical Viennese cafe. Pull up a chair outside and people watch from this amazing corner or sit in grand style inside along its marble columns.
Try a slice of their sumptuous apple strudel and think back to to the age of Stalin, Lenin and Trotsky. Imagine them playing chess in the exact spot you are sitting. Cafe Central was the trendy hangout of such philosophers and storytellers.
Come for breakfast, lunch, dinner or anything in between. Cafe Central serves classic Viennese dishes with a Mediteranean flair. Don’t forget the ever classic Viennese coffee. It’s a little slice of heaven right in the center of Vienna.
9. 3 Arts Club Café in Chicago
The 3 Arts Club Café in Chicago is probably one of the most beautiful and stylish cafés you’ve ever seen.
It’s not super freaky and colorful like the Unicorn Café in Bangkok or bright pink like Peggy Porschen in London. On the contrary, its interior falls in the category of elegant minimalism which makes it very modern and chic.
Located inside the atrium of the RH furniture store in Old Town, the 3 Arts Club Café is the best address for brunch or coffee in the city. It’s decorated with romantic fountains, majestic chandeliers and the most comfortable couches that make you never want to leave again.
On the menu you can find dishes like scrambled eggs, avocado toast, smoked salmon and more. The coffee selection is not bad either. From a standard cappuccino to fancy Matcha Latte or Turmeric Latte – there’s everything one’s heart could possibly desire!
The area where the 3 Arts Club Café is also very much worth a visit. Old Town is full of Victorian-era buildings, quaint streets and lovely shops.
By Alina from World of Lina
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10. Cafe La Maude in Philadelphia
Situated in one of the side streets of Northern Liberties in Philadelphia, Café la Maude is a popular French-Lebanese café with great breakfast and brunch food.
It has a truly eclectic spread in the menu from salads to sandwiches, omelettes and Benedicts. It stands out from its competitors because it has an inventive selection of breakfast specials. All selections have a variety of healthy colorful vegetables, sauces and bread that are not often found on a breakfast menu. The food is not only visually appealing, but is also totally delicious!
Our favorites are the open-face Mediterranean Breakfast Burrito (vegetarian), Sweet potato Benny and Saumon Fume A Cheval. Their beverages include fruit juices, coffee and hot chocolate.
The café is lively busy with chatty customers and often, we have to wait as the tables are full. It is a medium sized place with interesting décor, a good wash room and helpful staff. Gabby, the owner, is always there to greet you and say a few words. The staff are very polite and hospitable delivering service with a smile.
Café La Maude is probably the best brunch place in Philly.
By Jan from Leisurely Drives
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11. Cafe du Soleil – Mount Fansipan, Sapa, Vietnam
This is a cafe that has a view like no other. High in the clouds right near the Vietnam and China border is indo China’s highest peak of Mount Fansipan. Here you will find a number of buddhist temples and statues built into the mountain and surrounding peaks.
Exploring the area requires navigating a lot of steep steps and pathways, all while being exposed to cold temperatures, wind, and the ever changing rolling clouds which will dictate how much you can or can’t see.
One of the few places to seek refuge from the elements that isn’t a sacred religious site is the Cafe du Soleil. This sits at a convenient junction in the complex and is a beautiful place to rest your feet and top up those caffeine levels before venturing back out onto the mountain.
The floor to ceiling windows give you an amazing view (depending on what the clouds are doing) down towards a giant buddhist statue, and when walking out the front door you have a view straight down the ridge of the mountain and a pathway that leads to a temple. So if you have explored one half of the mountain you can head off the other other side once refreshed.
Views aside, the quirky interior is worth a mention also. The walls are made up of stacks of compressed stacks of Hmong textiles. This is colorful material that is usually woven together to make traditional clothing and headdresses. The cafe seating is backed by stacks of this material mashed together to make up a bright, but neat, wall covering that contrasts with the darker colors of the seating, floor and bar area.
By James from Team A J Travels
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12. Cafe Rico in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Cafe Rico claims to have ‘damn good cafe’. We cannot disagree. But coffee is only one of the many highlights at this chilled out cafe in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.
The cafe has indoor as well as outdoor seating in the garden area. Costa Rica has abundant wildlife. So, if you choose to sit in the garden area of Cafe Rico, some friendly creatures may accompany you while you indulge in a lavish breakfast. Various colorful birds like hummingbirds and tanagers chirp around you. Blue jeans poison-dart frogs and black lizards roam around. On the day of our first visit to Cafe Rico, even a cute little sloth happened to be visiting by chance.
Apart from the nature and wildlife that make Cafe Rico such a lovely unique place, you will also find other initiatives that will make you want to hang out at the cafe even more. For example, they offer a books exchange program promoting a “let’s read” culture. You can also get cycles on rent from Cafe Rico to explore the stunning beaches around Puerto Viejo.
Cafe Rico is one of the best cafes in Puerto Viejo. Just make sure you plan your visit well and check the schedule in advance, as they are open only during the morning hours.
By Pubali and Indranil from Paradise Catchers
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13. Jacob the Angel in London
Jacob the Angel is a simple yet sophisticated coffee shop in London’s Covent Garden. It is located in the very colorful Neal’s Yard courtyard which is somewhere everyone should visit. An old London courtyard, it feels a world away from the busy crowds and cars just outside its gate.. The sparse white and black look of Jacob the Angel stands out amidst the bright colors. The unique name is explained as an homage to Jacob, a Lebanese Jew who opened the first coffee house in England in Covent Garden in the 17th century. The branding is very evocative of early coffee houses before the world was taken over by chain coffee stores.
If you like your coffee, not only excellent, but served in a setting that is design-aficionado approved, Jacob the Angel is for you. All of this excellence comes with a pricey tag as well. The whole thing is achingly hip but the coffee and food are so superior that many people forgive Jacob all of its pretensions and come back for more.
In addition to coffee, the store sells baked goods and small food items for both eat-in and take-out. The seating area is cozy (i.e., small) so be prepared to drink your coffee the Continental European way (standing up). On a good day, just go outside with your coffee and sit in Neal’s Yard which is great for people watching. The store is great for breakfast and lunch with everything baked fresh to order. Next door is a restaurant that is also owned by the same people who own Jacob the Angel.
By Shobha from Epic England Travel
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14. Brigit’s Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour, London
What could make a better café than an afternoon tea bus tour? Brigit’s Bakery afternoon tea bus tour also combines two very iconic London experiences, vintage double decker bus and a classic English afternoon tea (with a French twist!)
Your red double decker Vintage Route master bus takes you on a tour through Central London. The tour guides you passed landmarks such as Big Ben, Nottinghill, Hyde Park and the Marble Arch.
As you listen to the history of London sip on a cup of tea (or Champagne!) make sure you hold on tight to your glass as the bus goes around the corner, you’d hate to lose your wine.
Enjoy indulging in a wide array of sandwiches, cakes and pastries and of course, tea. Make sure you order a hot drink on the bus so you can collect one of their reusable mugs.
No matter how hungry you are, don’t eat before you board the bus. There is more than enough food, in fact, you will struggle to find room for the scones that are offered towards the end of the tour but don’t worry, you can always take home a wee box of cakes.
The afternoon tea bus tour leaves from Victoria Coach station or Trafalgar Square and takes around 90 minutes. Tour leave every half hour from 12 pm until 5 pm every day.
The BB Bus tour is a café you cannot skip when you’re visiting London.
By Fiona from Travelling Thirties
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15. Cha bar, Delhi
The quiet contemplation and appreciation of the small moments in life is the only way to live; lest it pass us by in a hurry. And what better way to slow down than with a cup of tea. In an increasingly global world you often hear words like Turmeric Coffee. Nope. That’s not what it’s actually called. Trace these delicious drinks back to their roots and you will end up in India, the tea country. Indians have been drinking tea thrice per day for as long as the country has been on the map and the best place to experience the enormous menu of teas is at the famous Cha Bar in New Delhi. Cha Bar has a menu of more than 150 different types of teas ranging from Sikkim, Darjeeling, Nilgiri, Kangra Spring, Nepal, Ceylon, Oolong, Rainbow, Herbal and Ayurvedic. These teas are hand picked in the remotest corners of the country and have the finest ingredients. The cafe also boasts cultural preparations of teas from all across the world such as the South African Rooibos or Russian Caravan. As must be obvious by now, tea is considered an art in India and some of the best artists in the industry are employed at this amazing cafe. With delicious tid bits to have with the tea, you will leave feeling satisfied and more than a little surprised at the culture you can discover inside a tea menu.
16. Cafe Parisien in Belfast
Belfast really is not well known for its exciting cafe or dining experiences, and more likely it would be the opposite due to the lack of them. But this just adds to the attraction of Café Parisien which is found smack in the most central location of the city and opposite one of the most popular Belfast tourist attractions at Belfast City Hall. So, as the name suggests, Café Parisien is a French-inspired cafe in Belfast serving authentic French bites and cuisine, with a contemporary yet chic design and casual ambience. But the real draw has to be the views from the upper floor of the café, with an outdoor balcony terrace, set over the buildings, statues, and monuments of the rather magnificent City Hall. Unfortunately the upstairs is more for dining, as the downstairs caters for the casual coffee, tea and light bites, but there is always the option for afternoon tea at the upper floor including classic French bites of croissants, pain au chocolat, and of course macaron. It is advised to book a visit in advance, however, the balcony terrace is first come first served, which is likely due to the unpredictable weather in Northern Ireland.
By Allan from It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor
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17. Giant Chiang Mai
Also known as the Chiang Mai Tree Top Café, this rather unique café experience is located roughly 60km from the city itself, where it is found on top of a very large tree in the wider Chiang Mai province of Thailand. But, despite its rather far-flung location, The Giant is still one of the most popular cafes in Chiang Mai, due to the rather majestic views over dense rainforest canopies and the sirens of wildlife found beneath. It truly is an amazing experience. And to make the most of the journey the Giant Chiangmai also has a simple zip-line between connecting the nearby canopies and a homestay on the lower tier for those who do not want to leave. It is also easy to reach from arrival at the upper car park where a ropebridge, which is an attraction in iself, connecting between the treetop and a cliffside outcrop. Otherwise independent transport is necessary to reach the Baan Pok village area of Mae On where it is found, and there is no guarantee of reaching the upper car park either, due to the steep mountainous terrain. So, for many, the final accent to the treetop is by songtaew taxis which waiting at the bottom for that final climb.
By Allan from Live Less Ordinary
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18. Coffee Mining Manufacture in Lviv, Ukraine
One of the best things to do in Lviv, Ukraine is cafe hopping. The city is packed with cafes, some sources even say Lviv has the biggest number of cafes per inhabitant in the world! Among all the great places there is one you can’t miss – Lviv Coffee Mining Manufacture. It is located in a beautiful townhouse on Rynok Square (the main square in the city) – you will easily find the place, just follow the smell of freshly ground coffee. What makes this place special is the underground mine where the coffee is kept – you can join the tour and see the whole process of coffee mining. The guide claim that what we learn at school about coffee production is all wrong, the beans are actually sourced from the mines. Even if this is all a show for tourists with some urban legends to make it more interesting, the tour is a fun way to learn more about coffee and its history in Lviv. Once you are done visiting the underground part you can sit with a cup of delicious drink and relax – this is the largest cafe in Lviv and has some charming corners, including the hidden outdoor patio. In the cafe, you can also buy coffee beans and Lviv souvenirs to bring home with you – the selection of both is really impressive!
By Kamila from My Wanderlust
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19. The Note Coffee in Hanoi
The Note Coffee, in Hanoi, is an unmissable stop on your visit to the Vietnamese capital! All 4 floors of this cafe are absolutely covered in post-it notes from everyone who visits this friendly and charming place.
The multi-coloured post-it notes create a unique feel and looks super cool. It’s definitely a place to visit and get that cool Instagram shot (if you’re into that kinda thing!)
With so many cafes dotted around the streets of Hanoi, it’s great to see The Note Coffee offer something a little quirky and different. If you think the colourful appearance takes priority over the quality of their drinks, however, then you’re wrong!
Coffee culture is big in Hanoi. It’s where the legendary egg coffee was invented after all! So any cafe wanting to make a name for themselves need to serve quality drinks. Even though this place is a little touristy, it doesn’t mean you won’t get a decent cup of coffee.
The wide selection of hot and cold drinks are excellent we had a delicious bánh mì too! The best thing about this place was when we left our own post-it notes on the wall. Maybe they’ll still be there when we visit again one day!
By Jeff from A life of Y
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20. The Breakfast Club, Spitalfields, London
The Breakfast Club is a famous a casual dining café/restaurant situated in the hip and quirky town of Spitalfields. While you’re there, why not visit Spitalfields Market for street food, designer brands, traditional British pubs, and vintage shops as well as the neighbourhood.
The Breakfast Club was named after a cult classic film “The Breakfast Club” because of the owner’s obsession with the film. The Breakfast Club has always been 80’s themed and it serves, breakfast (of course), and brunch menus all day every day. They always have good reviews, and if you do want a full English breakfast, bacon, eggs, baked beans, and mushrooms, then The Breakfast Club is the best place to be.
The Breakfast Club is popular because they serve traditional British breakfast menus and there are many tourists that visit Spitalfields. You usually see mainly Italians and Spanish people queueing up to get a bite.
There are quite a few popular locations around town, including Hoxton and Canary Wharf. Check out The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town through a fridge in The Breakfast Club Shoreditch, Call me Mr. Lucky hidden beneath The Breakfast Club London Bridge, The King of Ladies’ Man behind a launderette at The Breakfast Club Battersea. But The Breakfast Club is the one you cannot miss!
Which of these top coffee shops have you visited? Which are your favorite coffee shops around the world? Comment and let us know!
PS. If you’re a travel or food blogger who wants to add something to this list, ping me at [email protected]
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