The Bucharest cafe scene is cool, classy and caffeinated! Read on to find our favorite Bucharest cafes with great coffee (often of the third wave variety), lightning fast internet and cool vibes. Don’t worry if you don’t drink coffee – we also include great spots for drinking lemonade and tea.
Imagine yourself sitting in a cafe inside a gracefully dilapidating interbellic building. You’re drinking a cup of expertly crafted third wave coffee while checking your email. You might think that you’re in Paris, but you’d be wrong. In this dream, you’re actually in Romania.
However much time a visitor has in Bucharest, a chunk of it must be set aside for the cafes. Though the city has a plethora of attractions, exploring the cafe scene is one of the best things to do in Bucharest. We don’t make this statement lightly.
As coffee connoisseurs who have enjoyed some of the best brews in cities like Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Budapest, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dublin, Florence, Graz, Hamburg, Lisbon, Lyon, Paris, Porto, Rome, Seattle, Strasbourg and Vilnius we believe that Bucharest’s cafe culture matches, and perhaps, exceeds them all. Sure, Bucharest coffee, roasted by two main roasters (Origo and Guido), is top notch – that’s a given.
But that’s just part of the Bucharest cafe story.
Whether you’re in town for a Bucharest city break or for a longer visit, the key is to go beyond the Old Town to explore the city’s sprawling neighborhoods. Filled with stunning buildings confiscated by the Communists during the mid 20th century and later abandoned and left to ruin, these neighborhoods provide a window into the past when Bucharest was one of Europe’s cultural hubs.
Today, many of these buildings have been repurposed as cafes with amazing design and lovely terraces, and the city is buzzing yet again. Is the buzz due to the copious amounts of caffeine served at the best cafes in Bucharest or vice versa? Regardless, the positive energy is contagious.
But we still haven’t mentioned the best part of the Bucharest cafe experience, especially for digital nomads – the internet speed. Romania has some of the fastest internet connections in the world, consistently ranking in the top ten and number one in Europe.
Set up by neighborhood internet service providers, Bucharest’s internet is cheap, fast and readily available. It’s not unusual to work at speeds of 100 mbps+ when working on a public wifi system at a cafe. Plus, Bucharest’s wacky fast wifi is generally available at larger cafes on an unlimited basis for the price of a well-crafted cappuccino or an herb-infused lemonade.
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Bucharest Cafe Guide
Can you tell that we loved the Bucharest cafe culture? Here are our favorite spots for drinking coffee (plus lemonade and tea) in Bucharest plus a few additional cafes that we plan to check out during our next visit.
Though a short walk from the touristic Old Town, Origo coffee shop serves cutting edge coffee with a neighborhood vibe. Opened in 2013, Bucharest’s original 3rd wave coffee shop is popular with both locals and tourists, with many streaming from the tiny, sleek cafe onto the cafe’s sidewalk. The Origo team roasts beans from Africa and South America at an offsite facility, using many of the roasted beans to brew coffees with a range of modern methods including Hario V60, Aeropress, Chemex and Siphon.
Beyond its comprehensive coffee options, Origo has a small menu of breakfast items and desserts during the day as well as a separate cocktail menu at night. Yes, Bucharest’s premiere specialty coffee cafe turns into a trendy cocktail bar when the sun sets.
Origo does not offer free WiFi inside the cafe; however, it is available at the sidewalk tables.
Origo is located at Strada Lipscani 9, București 050971, Romania.
2. BOB Coffee Lab
Open since August 2017, BOB Coffee Lab’s award-winning friendly baristas, house-roasted beans and vivacious crowd of young hipsters make this compact coffee house an exciting new addition to the Bucharest cafe scene. The cafe also offers tasty sweets including some of the best chocolate chip cookies we’ve eaten outside of the states. Plus, there’s a brewery right upstairs.
BOB is a good place to work but only if you’re fortunate enough to score the table in the back next to the electrical outlet.
BOB Coffee Lab is located at Piața Charles de Gaulle 3, București, Romania.
Located in the Dorobanti neighborhood, Frudisiac is an airy cafe with great coffee and surprisingly good food. With a Scandinavian style that includes modern decor and Drop coffee straight from Stockholm, Frudisiac brings a refreshing element to the Bucharest cafe scene.
We initially visited the Frudisiac for coffee and returned a few days later to try brunch. As it turns out, Frudisiac’s brunch game is strong with dishes like pepper flake dusted avocado toast and luscious, dense pancakes topped with fresh berries and ricotta cheese. We enjoyed both of these dishes along with lattes at an outside table. If there’s a better way to start a Saturday in Bucharest, we have yet to find it.
Despite its fanciful name, Coftale is a serious cafe that serves third wave coffee drinks as well as a menu filled with sweet and savory food options. Friendly baristas craft some of the best coffee in Bucharest using the latest coffee technology techniques, but, interestingly, Coftale does not roast its own beans. The cafe instead opts to source quality beans from local coffee roasters including Origo, Papa Jacques and Guido.
Coftale’s atmosphere feels retro chic with the building’s grand, vintage architecture that harkens back to the early 1900s, an intriguing juxtaposition to the thoroughly modern coffee. The coffee shop also has a large terrace with several tables and just as many trees.
Surrounded by a myriad of funky cafes, M60 is unique for its cool Scandinavian design. Here, baristas craft coffees with Hario V60 filters and beans from Guido as well as cappuccinos with a La Marzocco Linea Classic espresso machine. Other beverage options include lemonade, tea, hot chocolate, Ground Zero beer and Romanian wine.
In other words, there’s no need to be thirsty at M60.
M60 is open until 1:00 am every day of the week if you need a coffee after a night out enjoying the Bucharest nightlife.
M60 is located at Strada D. I. Mendeleev 2, București 030167, Romania.
6. Artichoke Coffee Shop
Artichoke Coffee Shop is almost too cool for school with its water served in liquor bottles, fluffy pillows and spiral staircase. But don’t let looks fool you.
Open since January 2017, Artichoke serves well-crafted coffee drinks made with beans roasted by Olivo Roaster in Cluj, Romania. The cafe’s patio also features an award-winning view of the adjacent two-century-old Kretzulescu Church.
Despite its name, Artichoke Coffee Shop does not serve vegetables. Instead, the shop serves sweet treats like chocolate chip cookies.
Artichoke Coffee Shop is located at Calea Victoriei 45, București 010062, Romania.
We loved hanging out at Acuarela. However, we can’t recommend their coffee since we drank refreshing lemonades during our visit.
The artsy cafe is a feast for the eyes with decorations and installations in every nook and cranny. Parasols hang from the ceiling, similar to Bucharest’s famous umbrella alley but somehow cooler.
Feeling artistic? You can paint while you chill at Acuarela.
Acuarela is located at Strada Polonă, București 030167, Romania.
8. T-Zero Coffee Shop
Sometimes we just want a quick cappuccino while we’re on our way from point A to point B. When we’re in Bucharest, T-Zero is our go-to spot for to-go specialty coffee. Owner Ciprian Cosma serves classic coffee drinks handcrafted with Origo beans.
Not in a rush? Take a few minutes and drink your coffee on a table built on top of a bicycle.
T-Zero Coffee Shop is located at Strada Dianei 1, București 030167, Romania.
9. Dianei 4
Literally across the street from T-Zero, Dianei 4 is a unique spot for enjoying Origo coffee. Sure the outside terrace is cool, but the repurposed interior is the cafe’s hidden gem with its beautifully decaying walls and funky light fixtures.
Though the decor is far from modern, baristas use the latest extraction techniques and a state of the art La Marzocco Strada EP espresso machine to prepare the coffee drinks.
Skip the food here. Though we loved our cappuccinos, we weren’t so entranced with our meals. Instead, go to other restaurants in Bucharest for great food. Better yet, take a side trip to Transylvania to eat traditional Romanian food.
Dianei 4 is located a Strada Dianei 4, București 030167, Romania.
10. Cărturești Carusel
Not only is Cărturești Carusel the most photographed bookstore in Bucharest, but it also has a delightful cafe hidden in plain sight on its top floor. We enjoyed cappuccinos and cookies here after we browsed through the shop’s books and gift items.
Did we take any photos? Do you really have to ask?
Need to escape the Old Town craziness? Cărturești Carusel is open until midnight on the weekends and 10 pm on weeknights.
Cărturești Carusel is located at Strada Lipscani 55, București 030033, Romania.
11. The Coffee Factory
If you like to drink your cappuccino in a chill space with jazz tunes wafting in the air, then you will like The Coffee Factory. Even better, the cafe roasts its own beans and has a spacious outdoor garden.
Be sure to check out the unique bathroom when you visit The Coffee Factory. If we share anything further, we’ll ruin the surprise.
The Coffee Factory is located at Bulevardul Regina Elisabeta 54, București 030167, Romania.
The more we travel, the more we feel at home once we find a good spot for coffee. So we had to check out Meron once we saw it’s tagline – Home of Coffee.
Ironically, the coffee shop felt more like a trendy Bucharest bar than a home with its loud music and contemporary design. We enjoyed our cappuccinos at Meron, and, at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.
Check out the art at Meron. It’s really cool.
Meron is located at Bloc D1, Calea Victoriei 155, București 010073, Romania.
13. Beans & Dots
We liked Beans & Dots enough that we forgive them for using beans from Berlin’s The Barn instead of locally roasted beans. Though we prefer to support local products, we’ve enjoyed these beans across Europe in cities like Lyon and Dublin.
Beans & Dots is a good spot to sip on a coffee or beer while working alone or with a friend – however – be warned that this cafe enforces a one-hour limit per drink purchased. Since internet time is unlimited at other Bucharest cafes, this could deter digital nomads.
14. Ceainăria Infinitea
Though we usually like to consume our daily caffeine doses via coffee, sometimes we like to mix it up and drink tea. That’s why ventured to Ceainăria Infinitea, a classic Bucharest tea house with a fabulous two-level garden.
Due to the warm weather, we opted to drink our herbal teas over ice. We also opted to share a luscious slice of cherry cheesecake, but that choice was unrelated to the weather.
Stop by Ceainăria Infinitea after you visit the nearby Palace of the Parliament. You’ll want to take some time to reflect on the experience, and this tea oasis is the ideal spot for this type of reflection.
Ceainaria Infinitea is located at Strada Doctor Grigore Romniceanu 7, București, Romania.
Additional Bucharest Coffee Shops
Despite our best intentions, we didn’t make it to every coffee shop in town. Instead, we visited several of the above coffee shops more than once and we also brewed some coffee at our apartments.
In retrospect, we wish we had visited the following coffee shops:
Third Wave Coffee in Bucharest Video
Watch our YouTube video for even more Bucharest coffee love.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: October 16, 2017