The most unusual cafes, in Europe and the world
“If you go there on holiday, I’ll tell you where to go for the best coffee in the city!” How many times have we said this to our friends who are going away on holiday? Therefore, we have transformed ourselves into specialist tour guides, recommending the most unforgettable and unusual cafes for you, in every corner of the world.
We will accompany you on a journey which will introduce you to unique establishments of every genre: starting from places that seem straight off the set of a horror film, to passing through historic bars that catapult us back in time to centuries ago …
Unusual cafes and where to find them
To help you find your way more easily, we will tell you the stories behind these incredible places that we have discovered around the world, starting from Europe and arriving on the other side of the globe. Ready to head off?
The most unusual locations in Europe…
H.R. Giger Museum Bar (Greyerz – Switzerland ):
Are you huge fans of Ridley Scott? Have you always dreamed of living on the set of Alien? We have found the perfect place for you. Safe from bloodthirsty monsters from other planets, you can sip a wonderful coffee at the H.R. Giger Museum Bar in comfort sitting on futuristic armchairs beneath vaults made of bones (fake, of course!). In fact, this establishment perfectly reflects the style of H.R. Giger, who won an Oscar for the special effects he created for the film “Alien.”
Madame Claude (Berlin – Germany):
Staying on the cinematographic theme, but skipping from the horror genre of Alien to the unforgettable songs of Mary Poppins. At the Madame Claude in Berlin, you can have your coffee on… the roof! This highly unusual bar has been furnished as if everything were upside down. Sitting in the lounge, if you look up, you can admire the unlaced shoes near the bureau or armchairs in 1950’s fabric which noone will ever sit on. This bar is also the favorite hang out for those who don’t want to miss a good concert in the German capital, especially fans of dj sets.
Joben Bistro (Cluj-Napoca – Romenia):
Tubes of shiny copper on all the walls, giant masks with top hats and wheels all over the place. These are the furnishings at Joben Bistro, an establishment dedicated to steampunk style, the genre of science fiction narrative which introduces technology into a historic setting, very often the nineteenth century. This bar, which would have no doubt appealed enormously to Jules Verne, offers its most greedy and courageous customers a very special dessert, the “lava chocolate cake” with pears and gorgonzola. The cake, filled with hot melted chocolate, is accompanied by the pears; the gorgonzola, melting together with the chocolate, leaves only a trace of its flavor.
Caffè Florian (Venice – Italy):
If we want to savor the flavor of history, our country (Italy) is unbeatable. The Caffè Florian, is, in fact, the oldest cafè in Italy and amongst the “oldest” in the world. It was inaugurated on the 29th of December, 1720, by Floriano Francesconi under the name Alla Venezia Trionfante.Immediately, it was renamed by the Venetians, using the name of its proprietor. They used to say “let’s go to Florian’s” to indicate where they were heading on their walks. The most famous clients seated at the tables of this historic establishment to sip a coffee? Silvio Pellico, Ugo Foscolo, Charles Dickens, and Jean Jacques Rousseau. The most idiosyncratic character, not only for the bar but also for the entire city of Venice, is undoubtedly Casanova, who took the women that he courted to Florian’s.
Library Lounge (London – England):
The historic charm of Florian’s is not enough for you? Then the tearoom created in the Library Lounge of the Marriott Hotel Marriott in London is the place for you. Taking tea surrounded by dark wooden bookshelves full of antique books, with beige armchairs and beautiful little round tables covered with pink tablecloths, is like taking a trip back in time, to when the tearooms were filled with distinguished gentlemen and elegant ladies who exchanged the latest gossip between sips of hot aromatic drinks and bites of fragrant pastries. Together with a selection of finest quality teas to choose from, customers are offered a wide choice of refined cakes and pastries, delicate sandwiches and scones with jam and whipped cream.
…and in the world!
Barista Parlor (Nashville – United States):
It was numbered by the Telegraph among the best bars for top quality coffee. Up until 2012 the building where there now stands the Barista Parlor was only a garage. This highly elegant establishment, born in the heart of Nashville, is looked after in every painstaking little detail by the owners. In fact, all the employees wear a blue apron and a bowtie, like the most elegant mechanic you’ve ever seen. A great deal of attention is taken in choosing the list of coffees available and here you can find the best blends in the whole state.
Truth Coffee Roasting (Cape Town – South Africa):
Do you want to know who is first place in The Telegraph’s ranking? Earning itself the Palme d’Or of this ranking was Truth Coffee Roasting, another establishment with a steampunk environment. The establishment was built around a cast iron coffee roasting machine from 1940. This bar is famous in South Africa and now, throughout the world for the craftsmanship of its work: the roasting is carried out exclusively by hand and the coffee beans used are only those of the best blends.
Fazil Bey (Istambul – Turkey):
If we’re talking coffee, we cannot possibly leave out the Turkish variety. The bar/coffee roasters Fazil Bey, nestled right in the centre of the fruit and vegetable market of Kadıköy, has been offering its customers the best coffee since 1923. The coffee beans, roasted and ground there on the premises, are transferred to the traditional cevze (a copper utensil with a long handle) and once the drink is ready, it is served with a local dessert.
Cat Cafè Nekorobi (Tokyo – Japan):
Wasabi, Fukomori, Asuka and many others will be happy to fill you with …purrs! The Cat Cafè Nekorobi is, as the name suggest, a paradise for cat lovers: there are a good 12 felines keeping the patrons company. Internet, drinks and mini-cookies, all free of charge, complete this untraditional offer.
Babochki Anticafè (Russia):
We thought of finishing off this highly unusual list with an establishment which defines itself as an “anticafè.” What does that mean exactly? The anticafè is a place where the customers will not find a menu, or any waiters to serve them and they don’t pay according to what they ordered: they pay based on the amount of time they stay in the bar, on average, 1 to 3 rubles a minute. At the Babochki Anticafè, the price includes not only as much in the way of coffee, cappuccino, tea, biscuits and snacks as you want, but also unlimited Wi-fi, use of work stations complete with computer, printer and scanner, a wide variety of board games and Xboxes available for everyone.
On your travels, have you seen any even more unusual cafes than those we have told you about here? Don’t hesitate to tell us about them!