Written, tasted and photographed by: Yael Perry
Bucharest awoke from a nightmare after Covid’s first year of crisis, a year that put a damper on many food businesses some of which are now permanently closed. But today, the city is actually implementing the phrase live side to side with Covid and enjoys a great boom of amazing cafes offering a variety of fine coffees, some specializing in on-site roasting, some also offering coffee beans for home machines, accessories and equipment for quality coffee lovers.
My private coffee lover, the one who does not go through the day without 4-5 cups of bitter espresso, became addicted to the taste of Guatemala coffee that we buy at one of the coffee shop branches at a considerable price, and I realized long ago that when it comes to fine coffee consumers the price does not matter. For the sake of coffee lovers in particular and cafes in general I decided to take the opportunity and write a review of cafes that I can really recommend in Bucharest.
A shop selling coffee and related products located in a non-touristy area, on Moshilor Street, one of the wide boulevards, is surrounded by communist-style residential buildings, which will take you from the city center to the Obor market. This is basically a sales shop for a variety of coffee and tea to take home, or to make on the spot using the takeaway method. It is not possible to sit in the place but to take and go out. Suitable for avid coffee lovers. If you want to get to the metro, take the yellow line and get off at Obor station and from there a few minutes on foot.
Address: Calea Moșilor nr.253, București
The Coffee Factory
A cafe that specializes in a variety of coffees, teas and coffee equipment, and in the center is a roasting facility that works live. The decor is clean and cozy, and there is a garden in the back. The big advantage, besides the quality of the coffee, is its location near Chishmijiu Park. In pleasant weather it is definitely advisable to stock up on a steaming cup of coffee with some cookie or pastry nearby, and sit in the park in front of the lake. From my own experience, it is very relaxing.
Address: Bulevardul Regina Elisabeta 54, Bucharest
MAD.GOAT Specialty Coffee Shop
Crazy Goat Coffee has gained a reputation as one of the finest cafes in Bucharest. The cafe offers a variety of fine coffees and a few cookies, a lean model without a kitchen and without food. You can sit in the cute courtyard outside, studded with colorful mosaic stones. The location of the cafe is not in the center but in the north of the city, within a mesmerizing residential neighborhood with houses each of which is a work of art in itself, a few minutes walk from the Arc de Triomphe and the Restra Park.
Address: Strada Alexandru Constantinescu 41, Bucharest
BOB Coffee Lab
Another leading place in the niche of third generation cafes in Bucharest. What is 3rd generation coffee? You will find an answer in Google. The cafe is located in one of my favorite areas in Bucharest, and next to Charles de Gaulle Square on Avitorilor Avenue, not far from the Restrau Park. You can take the blue line on the subway to the Aviatorilor station.
Address: Piața Charles de Gaulle 3
Fior di Latte
I was debating whether to write a recommendation here about one of my family’s favorite places, because I thought maybe I should still keep some to myself a secret. In the end I decided to share the information with you. This is a cafe that is also a restaurant on a regular basis, offering breakfasts and a variety of dishes. You can choose to sit in the closed hall or on the covered and closed terrace in winter. The food is delicious, the service is excellent, the location is strategic, 100 meters from the Ceausescu family house in the Primaveri neighborhood, and on the other side a few minutes walk and you will find yourself in the heart of the wonderful Restra Park. A nice break for those who want to spend a whole day in this part of town. It is possible to reach the Aviatorilor station on the blue line.
Address: Bulevardul Primăverii 19-21
Confectionery coffee with a huge variety of cakes, savory, sweet, chocolate, whipped cream, showcase with a very rich presentation of products. The number of seats is not large but the atmosphere is pleasant. Thanks to the central location there is a lively traffic of shoppers, most of them take home. One of the advantages is the location very close to Piazza Romana, a major transport hub not far from the city center. It can be reached on foot from the city center or by subway on the blue line at Piazza Romana Station.
Address: Bulevardul General Gheorghe Magheru 32-36
The Coffee Shop
A chain of cafes scattered around several sites in the city, two of them in the center of Bucharest and I’m among their loyal customers. In order for coffee to be delicious to me it must be large and with soy vegetable milk or well-whipped almonds milk. The first time I ordered coffee at the Coffee Shop branch on Mendeleev Street, was just before one of the tours I guide in the city. I had a few minutes so I stopped for coffee and pastries. And it was so good, as if the bartender knew me and my preferences from long ago. In their second branch I usually do the coffee breaks with the groups that go out on my tours. After we came again and again, one day an employee approached me at the place and gave me as a gift a bag of Guatemala coffee beans with an espresso porcelain set embossed with their logo. The coffee has been tried in the home machine and since then we only buy it with great piety.
Amzi Branch: Strada DI Mendeleev 10
University Branch: Strada Ion Câmpineanu 13
Chocolate – Boutique Restaurant
Cafe Chocolate Restaurant is located in one of the coolest areas in Bucharest, not far from the Hilton Athena Palace. Besides coffee they are a restaurant for all intents and purposes, with a display of the most beautiful cakes I have seen in Bucharest. There is seating in the inner hall and on days with pleasant weather it is worth sitting outside. The vibe in the place is quite touristy, they appeal to the many tourists who roam the area, and even taught the waiters a few words in my native language, Hebrew. If you want to get there by subway the nearest station is on the blue line Piazza Romana station and from there a few minutes on foot. In various places in the city more branches were opened, smaller ones, some of which are just shops selling cakes and ice cream. It is recommended to arrive with an insulin syringe in your pocket.
Address: Strada Episcopiei 6
If you ever wanted to visit Alice’s Tea Party in Wonderland this is the place. The cafe is decorated in soft pastel shades, uses beautiful serving utensils and gives an experience of being abroad, Well, actually, for many of the visitors it really is abroad. The impressive cake showcase screams quality, and the use of excellent raw materials, a testament to the place owners’ fondness for French cuisine. The cafe’s shop window is often stripped and shaped depending on the seasons and local holidays. If you think the design reminds you of the cafe of a young and famous Israeli confectioner on Bograshov Street in Tel Aviv, she may have been inspired by this after taking a confectionery tour with me in Bucharest and came out of it with a lot of ideas.
Address: Strada Benjamin Franklin 5
A French coffee shop chain, specializing in coffee and a variety of pastries, sandwiches, light breakfasts, warming soups in the middle of a frozen day, and a good vibe. There are several branches in Bucharest, I recommend two of them which are in a central location.
Piazza Romana branch: Bulevardul General Gheorghe Magheru 28-30
University Branch: Bulevardul Regina Elisabeta 15-19
I got there by chance, when I made an appointment with a friend who rented an apartment in the same building. They were once called Sheida, a word that comes from the Persian language and I have no idea what it means. The design is awesome, the use of bright colors, of turquoise and orange, and there is a stunning gallery floor that can be closed for you if you come in a large group. The menu consists of coffee and several types of tea, sandwiches, quiches, cookies and healthy cakes. Next to the teapot they will place an hourglass and some instructions when to take the bag out of the teapot. This special cafe is defined as a social cafe, established with funds from the Romanian royal family named after Queen Maria. Within walking distance of it is Chishmijiu Park, the King’s Palace, Revolution Square.
Address: Strada Ion Câmpineanu 23
I know that there are kosher observing Jews abroad who drink coffee only at the Starbucks chain, so I chose to attach the famous chain to the current review. So that way, all the malls in Bucharest have at least one branch of the chain, and sometimes even two branches in the same mall. But I want to focus on two branches that are in the belt of the old city, because this is the main place that tourists hang out, and I would not recommend anyone to go to the mall for coffee. Besides admitting and confessing that even if it is not considered the finest coffee, at least in my criteria it does not disappoint – large cup, hot and well-frothed.
University Square Branch: Bulevardul Regina Elisabeta nr. 3
University Branch: Str. Franceză 62 (in front of the Khan Louis Manouc restaurant).