Alon's Favorite Cafes

While writing The Infinite Emotions of Coffee I visited many cafes around the world. Some of my favorite ones are listed below. Some of them are known for superb coffee and others are either very charming or have some interesting history associated with them.

Some of the cafes are recommendations from world renown coffee experts. Trust me. Trust them.


  • Caffe Del Doge, Venice. In Palo Alto we have a Caffe Del Doge that is one of my favorite spots. This one is the original joint in Venice. A bit pricey, but fun.
  • Bar Pasi, Trento. Just around the corner from the Piazza Duomo. They also have some great hot chocolate drinks of many flavors.
  • Cappa Cafe, Verona. This one is also a wine bar. Very cozy place.
  • Pedrocchi Cafe, Padua. A bit on the formal side, but still nice and in a great spot in downtown Padua.
  • Cafe San Marco, Trieste 

  • Taf Coffee, Athens. This is where Stefanos Dimitiotis (5-time Greek barista champion and many other titles) and Chris Loukakis (2011 World Latte Art Champion) work. Excellent coffee, great place.
  • Cafe Malevill, Uršulínska 6, Brastislava
  • U Certa, Bratislava
  • The Coffee Collective
  • Estate Coffee (the founders of the Coffee Collective all came from here).
  • Cafe Europa, Copenhagen. I just happen to get here every time I'm in Copenhagen. Good eats too. Some of the early world barista champions came from here.
  • Aalborg: Behag din smag -- owner, Lene Hyldahl, is the only woman to ever win the Danish Barista Championship
Czech Republic
  • Cafe Grand Orient, Prague. This one was recommended by the New York Times. It's above a Cubism museum in central Prague. Great cakes, of course. And check out Bolzano's house accross the square.
  • Cafe Slavia
  • Cafe Montmartre
  • Cafe Louvre
London: (for a list of great cafes all around town, see here). Below are just the very few I visited and loved.

  • Kaffismiðja Íslands -- rated best cafe in Reykjavik two years in a row, and home of the Pink Roaster
  • Kaffitar -- there are a few branches of this wonderful chain. 
   Paris  (there are a bunch of historic cafes in Paris that I will not list here. Go there for the history, not the coffee). 
  • Le Fumoir - a cafe I found rather charming and the coffee was good. 
New Zealand

  • Chocolate Boutique, Parnell, Auckland. I stumbled upon this one whiel walking aroudn Parnell. This apparently happened to Bill Clinton a few years ago too (he was heading into the restaurant next door and veered into the cafe). It's actually a chocolate store, but it also serves coffee in a few tables nicely tucked in various corners. 


  • Seven Seeds
  • De Clieu: (haven't been there, but by the same owners of the Seven Seeds and Baba Budan) -- 187 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
  • Auction rooms
  • Proud Mary: 172 Oxford Street, Collingwood (check out the 6(!)-head espresso machine)
  • The Sensory Lab
  • Market Lane (I haven't been there, but I know the folks and I'm sure it's great)
  • Brother Baba Budan
  • Brunetti's (cakes here are amazing)
  • Pellegrini's (66 Bourke St)





Japan (See Barry Eisler's Tokyo recommendations)

  • The Coffee Sum (Seoul) (just google it with a Korean friend nearby. It's on the 13th floor of the Arterion building)
  • Cafe Themselves (near Insadong, Seoul)
  • The Republic of Coffee (by BaristaHoon)

Israel: Israel has many great cafes and expanding this list is one of my top priorities. Check out Ariel Rubinstein's page for extensive advice. 

  • Arcaffe --  this is actually a chain of cafes, but they're generally really nice. And most importantly, the have the macchiatone on the menu! (they serve in a glass cup). There is even one at the Ben Gurion Airport, which makes for a nice breakfast before an early morning flight.
  • Cafe Tamar, 57 Sheinkin street near Ahad HaamTel-Aviv
  • Cafe Sucar, 20 Pinsker Street, Tel-Aviv
  • Tolaat Sfarim, 9 Rabbin Square Tel Aviv
  • Cafe Capiot, Haifa
  • Puah -- in the Flea Market in Jaffa. 
United States

  • Zoka Cafe. There are at least two of these. One next to the University of Washington and the other on 56th St. 
  • Vivace espresso bar. This one is on Capitol Hill -- great atmosphere. This is David Schomer's cafe. 
  • Cafe Allegro. This one is right outside UW. You need to go by a few garbage cans to get to it, but let that not hold you back. It's on a back alley from University Avenue.
   Portland (I admit that I'm lacking in my knowledge of cafes in Portland, a city that has excellent coffee culture).
  • Stumptown (world leader in specialty coffee, branches extend far beyond Portland itself)
  • Coava Coffee Roasters
      San Francisco

 The San Francisco Bay Area
  • Barefoot Cafe -- Steven's Creek in Santa Clara. Great coffee and nice place to sit. Their cappuccino is more like a macciatone.
  • Cafe Borrone -- Menlo Park. Nice Silicon Valley hangout. Next to Kepler's bookstore. Good light meals too.
  • The Abbey Cafe in Santa Cruz -- wonderful place!
  • Verve Coffee in Santa Cruz. Great coffee!
  • Cafe Venetia -- University Avenue. This is where I discovered the macchiatone. It used to be called Cafe Del Doge.
  • Coupa Cafe -- 538 Ramona Ave in Palo Alto. A very Silicon Valley hangout. Coffee is not as great as in the others, but it's a fun place to sit and they have good eats and chocolate.
  • Red Rock Cafe, Mountain View (serving Four Barrel coffee)
  • Highwire Coffee Roasters, Oakland
  • Modern Coffee, Oakland
Los Angeles (this is still work in progress)
  • Cafe Intelligentsia (they have three locations in LA: Silver Lake, Venice Beach, and Pasadena)
  • Handsome Roasters -- an excellent team of founders, including Mike Phillips, the 2010 World Barista Champion.

New York City (See a map of NYC cafes)

Washington D.C. area

West Lafayette, Indiana (yes, really)

Canada (this is another area where I lack knowledge and promise to catch up. Canada, especially Vancouver and Toronto, have some amazing cafes)