Collected by Kristin Zibell, AFAR Local Expert
Stopping for a cuppa in a locale, is always rewarded with excellent people watching. The cafes reflect the culture in the decor, the patrons, and the menu. This list pics unique cafes around the world to do just that.
Praça do Comércio 3, 1100-148 Lisboa, Portugal
Martinho da Arcada is a Lisbon legend. Thanks to a friend's recommendation, I passed through it just to experience the phenomenon and look inside. The cafe was founded in 1778 as Café do Gelo (the Ice Cafe) and mostly sold beverages and ice. After...
800 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Café Du Monde is always open; it’s the clientele that changes—from visiting families and local pensioners early in the morning, to couples in the evening, to Bourbon Street refugees looking for coffee and ballast in the...
Ovocný trh 19, 110 00 Praha-Staré Město, Czechia
Prague’s Grand Café Orient is the only cubist-designed space of its kind in the world. It occupies the first floor of the House of the Black Madonna, designed in 1911 by modernist architect Josef Gočár. Renovated in 2005, the...
Tomtom Mahallesi, Ara Güler Sk No:2, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Cafe Ara was a perfect stop on a rainy chilly day in the Taksim/Beyoglu part of Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey. The cafe is named after a magnificent Turkish photographer who worked in Istanbul and whose large format black and white images adorn the...
Norðurmýri, Austurbær Reykjavík, Iceland
Coffee roasted in-house and brewed by friendly baristas draws a young crowd into the old stone building near Reykjavik’s imposing Lutheran cathedral. Share one of the seven tables with a regular patron and catch up on local gossip while vinyl...
47 Rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris, France
The Paris café scene has always been compelling, but the actual café (coffee) is often forgettable. That's all changing, thanks to places like Coutume, Kookaboora and Telescope, where obsessive (and often mustachioed) baristas are redefining the...
El-Fishawi; El-Fishawi Alley; Khan al-Khalili, Cairo, El-Gamaleya, Qism El-Gamaleya, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
In the heart of the Khan El Khalili souk in Cairo is El Fishawy coffee and tea house. Stop in for a mint tea, a plug of hookah, and some people-watching. It's a popular tourist spot, but it's one place to sit back and watch the market happen.
6 Amagertorv København K, 1160 København, Denmark
The rainy or cold weather can make walking down the famous Strøget in Copenhagen, Denmark in the off-season a little tiring. There's a little bit of magic just off the main walking street in the form of the Royal Cafe. The high pink walls and...
28 Hudson St, De Waterkant, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Origin roasts and serves some of the best coffee in Cape Town. The roastery is known for their high quality and they provide beans to around 80 city-wide establishments. Their headquarters and cafe on Hudson Street is where locals go to get their...
479 Broadview Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 2N4, Canada
It's one of the most beautifully decorated places in the city. It's away from the tourist fray in the East End, but if you're lucky to have your cuppa here, you'll be rewarded with a sweeping view of the skyline from Riverdale Park. This is a...
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