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The 23 Best-Designed Coffee Shops Around the World

By: Sarah Beaumont

September 29, 2016

Image via Yours Truly


Some like their tea and some prefer a red bull, but let’s face it — the world really runs on coffee. Just as we fill up our cars at gas stations, coffee shops are where we refuel our minds and bodies. But some spots serve up more than just a perky shot of caffeine or a cold-brew. From whitewashed spaces that specialize in style to wallpapered shops that feel more like living rooms, these coffee shops are serving up coffee and interiors that we like a latte.


1. Alfred {Coffee + Kitchen} Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles hotspot Alfred Coffee popularized the phrase that starts so many of our mornings (see above). But what else makes this LA staple so successful? Its original Melrose Place location is a stomping ground for celebs and more than a little Instagram-friendly phenomenon. From geometric tilework and floral wallpapers to pastel shades of pink and mint green, Alfred majorly roasts your average Starbucks.

2. Intelligentsia Chicago, IL

Though the name may seem a bit overwrought, Intelligentsia Coffee is the real deal. Born in Chicago, this caffeine post has locations all over the U.S., each one with a streamlined, contemporary design that perks up your senses as much as a cup of jo’. We’re partial to Chicago’s Wicker Park location for its sculptural seating and bold black, white and orange palette.

3. Black Eye Coffee Denver, CO

Black Eye Coffee  is the type of place where you can get single-origin, small-batch roasted coffee from all around the country. The two locations in the Denver area may serve the same beans, but the designs stand apart. The Capitol Hill spot features an Art-Deco inspired look while the LoFi neighborhood location boasts quaint, vintage charm.

4. Noorderparkbar Amsterdam

This small Amsterdam cafe is exactly what it looks like — a modern black box in the middle of a park. Noorderparkbar may be small on the inside, but its doors open up and allow visitors to grab coffee and sweets to enjoy all over the park.

5. The Butcher’s Daughter NYC
This chic, industrial-style coffee shop is unique with its steel metal hooks and iron butcher rails.

via 12 Hrs

Though The Butcher’s Daughter has expanded its reach to LA, it began with humble roots, serving coffee and café fare in New York City. But the design is what really makes you want to spend some time sipping a latte here. Industrial elements like steel metal hooks, iron butcher rails and concrete floors play against lighter materials like reclaimed wood, whitewashed brick and lots of greenery.

6. Réveille Coffee Co. San Francisco, CA

The brothers who founded Réveille Coffee Co. began by serving Four Barrel drip out of a truck. Now they have a few brick-and-mortar locations around San Francisco. We’re partial to the Mission Bay spot for its beautiful espresso bar. Designed by the brothers themselves, the space mixes graphic tiles, Spanish moss, and a striking portrait by Canadian artist Erin Armstrong.

7. Code Black Coffee Melbourne, Australia

If you’re in Melbourne and feeling depleted, Code Black is there to resuscitate you with the power of caffeine. Not only is the coffee particularly strong, but the design is on point. Located in a former mechanic’s workshop, interior architects, Zwei added an impressive wood-slatted mezzanine that holds extra seating.

8. Spyhouse Coffee Roasters Minneapolis, MN

In the wintry city of Minneapolis, there’s nowhere better to warm up with a piping hot mug than at Spyhouse Coffee. With four locations throughout the city, everyone can get their fix, plus a taste of each shop’s unique designs. The Northeast Minneapolis spot is a particular favorite. Located in a restored turn-of-the-century brick and timber warehouse, original wood floors and large windows complement the edgy, vintage decor.

9. El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette NYC

It may be in New York, but the El Rey is as Cali-chic as you can get. With light wood panels, gilded pendant lights, and a neon sign on the wall that promptly announces who they are, the El Rey’s veggie-centric menu is almost as fresh as their design.

10. Fuglen Tokyo, Japan
If dark wood walls and ceilings weren’t enough to craft the ultimate warm ambiance,  black leather armchairs and sofa add to the space’s coziness.

via Fuglen

Originally a café-meets-design-shop out of Oslo, Norway, Fuglen has expanded its reach to the buzzing neighborhood of Shibuya in Tokyo. Rich wood carries throughout the space, shelves of decor move from the lounge area to the bar, and black leather seats provide a stylish place to work or relax.

11. Heart Coffee Roasters Portland, OR

When you walk into Portland’s Heart, you may find yourself wondering if you’ve just stumbled onto a Pinterest board. Nope, it’s all real. The sparse, monochromatic space encapsulates elements of Scandinavian design, and they serve a mean cup of coffee made from their very own beans.

12. Yours Truly Capetown, South Africa

Café by day, bar by night, the Loop Street location of Cape Town’s Yours Truly is a must-see and a must-sip if you’re in the area. Situated in an old Victorian building, the shop is lined with subway tiles, exotic plant life and art from the neighboring galleries.

13. Methodical Coffee Greenville, SC

Methodical combines quality, pour-over coffee with a classic, minimalist aesthetic. Marble countertops, tilework, and industrial barstools may be commonplace at this point, but Methodical’s unique mix of vintage lighting, decor, and dishware makes them stand apart from the rest.

14. Verve Coffee Roasters Santa Cruz, CA

The newest location of Verve Coffee Roasters in their hometown of Santa Cruz has an open-air, coastal feel, similar to their LA spots. The digs feature hanging planters, sun-bleached, chevron wood tables, and a Kees van der Westen espresso machine with custom panels by artist Jeremiah Kille.

15. Cielito Querido Café Mexico City, Mexico

Cielito Querido is like the Starbucks of Mexico City, but with way more colorful, diverse designs. With over 50 stores, Cielito is definitely moving up the coffee ladder and its vibrant shops are helping. Talavera tile work, bold, modern furnishings and delicious Mexican pastries are just a few reasons why we’d love to take a quick trip for some café con leche.

16. Blue Bottle Coffee Oakland, CA

This Bay Area caffeine dispensary is popping up in all the biggest cities in America. Why? Because their coffee is hard to beat. Using vintage Probat roasters and serving only the freshest beans, Blue Bottle has a taste like no other and beautiful design in every one of their spaces. In their birthplace of Oakland, Jensen Architects transformed an old auto showroom into the bright, modern Blue Bottle it is today by adding hexagonal floor tiles, communal tables, and an eye-catching vinyl curtain.

17. Caffe Streets Chicago, IL

Marbled bamboo plywood runs from tables to ceilings in Chicago’s Caffe Streets. The coffee isn’t the only thing that gives you a jolt here — the moment you take a seat you’ll be craning your neck to check out the layered, ear-shaped ceiling.

18. Case Study Coffee Portland, OR
The eclectic light fixtures, wooden walls, and mid-century modern furnishings complement the variety of house plants in this rustic coffee shop.

via Goop

Case Study is your classic, go-to study spot. With three locations in Portland, there’s plenty of seating and espresso to go around. But the interiors are the thing to rave about. The space transports you into a mid-century modern library with all the trendiness of today.

19. Sightglass San Francisco, CA

San Francisco is somewhat notorious for its well-designed coffee shops and Sightglass is no exception. Handcrafted details like a ceiling made from local redwood sap wood, leather upholstered banquettes, and terrariums fill the bright open space.

20. Addison & Steele Specialty Coffee Perth, Australia

Like SF, Australia is as big on their coffee as they are on design. Addison & Steele feeds customer’s brewing addictions with an array of specialty coffee and killer design details like copper stemmed pendant lights and geometric countertops.

21. LAMILL Coffee Los Angeles, CA

This chandeliered coffee shrine stands out from the marble-clad, minimally designed shops that are showing up on nearly every street corner in Los Angeles. Rich colors like emerald and ruby take the place of light woods and whites while a graphic, Grecian-style mural circles the interior of the shop.

22. Barista Parlor Nashville, TN
Chic vibes surround this coffee shop with eclectic industrial style pendant lightings, cold floors, and a rusty old bike.

via Imbibe

Coffee and art come together at Nashville’s Barista Parlor. In the three locations around the city, everything from the lighting to the tables is custom designed. An industrial, mechanical vibe carries throughout; there are old bikes parked out front and even inside the shops. Mosaic artwork covers the walls and installations are often exhibited in the buildings.

23. Mr. West Cafe Bar Seattle, WA

Maybe it’s the persistent gloom of Seattle that makes people crave a caffeine fix or maybe the coffee capital of the universe just has good taste. No matter the reason, it’s no secret that the birthplace of Starbucks has excellent coffee and tons of cafes to enjoy it in. We can’t get enough of the sleek Mr. West. From the black pendant lights to the built-in gallery shelving, Mr. West is the perfect place to enjoy an espresso on a rainy day.

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