Cologne has a delightful selection of cozy, modern, relaxed and sleek coffee shops to choose from, regardless of what kind of coffee vibe you’re looking for. The third wave coffee scene in Cologne might not be as well-known as other cities in Germany like Berlin or Hamburg, but it isn’t because of a lack of options. No matter what your mood is, there is a great coffee shop in Cologne for you! In this post, I am breaking down where to find all of the best specialty coffee shops in Cologne.
Without fail, I start every.single.day with a double shot espresso. My Christmas gift to myself in 2021 was a fancy at home espresso machine, and I haven’t looked back ever since. I buy my beans from coffee roasters and coffee purveyors around Cologne. Full disclosure, my favorite type of espressos are fruity and full bodied, leaning towards a light roast and that reflects in my favorite places. Needless to say, I know my way around a bag of Third Wave coffee beans, and I have visited many of the coffee shops in Cologne. I am sharing all of my favorite local coffee tips with you!
What You'll Find in this Article
Where to Drink Really Good Coffee in Cologne
To start this Cologne coffee guide strong, Van Dyck is my favorite espresso in Cologne. I regularly buy my beans from here, because they have a nice selection of 100% arabica, 100% robusta or blended mixes. In my opinion, Van Dyck is the best coffee in Cologne. All of the espresso is smooth with robust flavors and delicate precision. There are two cafes in the city or the roastery out in Deutz. Their style is clean minimalist, but don’t let the stark aesthetic turn you off. Their staff is friendly and knowledgeable. They can give you suggestions or tips, especially if you are buying beans to use at home.
When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be a paleontologist, aka Ross from Friends. So imagine my wonder and joy when I found a coffee shop in Cologne named after dinosaurs! The crowd at Kaffeesaurus always has buzzy energy with a good mixture of people working remotely (thanks to the consistently fast wifi) and people gathering with friends or colleagues. In addition to good coffee, the food and breakfast menu here really shines. There is an assortment of healthy options like smoothie bowls and vegan scambles, as well as decadent selections like the pancakes or t-Rex burrito.
This was the first coffee shop that I fell in love with in Cologne. Their staff is THE NICEST, truly kind people. One of the baristas was the first person to treat me like a regular and remember my name & story. It made Köln feel like home. You can tell that I’m not the only one who feels this way based on the neighborhood support and sheer number of regulars that visit this Cologne coffee shop. The cafe is small and narrow along a busy stretch of Bonnerstrasse in Südstadt. I find their coffee good quality without any pretentiousness, and their bags of beans are surprisingly affordable.
I really like to meet people at Coffee Gang because the location is great. Even better, the ambiance really welcomes people to linger. From the large windows bathed in sunshine to the comfortable bench seating, this is a place built to socialize. Filter roasts are the specialty here, as well as a delightful assortment of baked goods. Many of them are vegan too! Coffee Gang always has a cheerful energy to it, and I find the staff to be chatty and nice.
For a hipster hangout that borders on elitist, Ernst is the spot. It was the first specialty coffee roastery to open in Cologne with a focus on light roasts. All the patrons and staff are super serious about coffee. You can feel it from the second you walk into the minimalist industrial space. Their staff is not friendly, but their espresso is legit. It is genuinely great. They offer different espresso drinks depending on the season, such as custom iced lattes in the summer or winter warmers during the colder months. Although this place is in my neighborhood, I honestly don’t come here often because the vibe is too snobby for me.
Although I don’t come to Woyton often, I am always happy when I do. I really like the aesthetic of their two Cologne coffee shops. From the block gold rimmed block letters to the industrial designs, it feels cool. I find the location on Bismarckstraße in the Belgian Quarter to be especially cute, since it sits on a nice corner lot. Aside from aesthetics, it doesn’t hurt that Woyton’s coffee is good too! The roasts at Woyton tend to be darker and stronger, so I typically opt for a cold brew when I go here. These brews will really wake you up in the morning!
You’ll find Cologne’s oldest roastery in the heart of Ehrenfeld. Schamong has been roasting dark Italian coffee blends since 1949, a history you’ll notice immediately when you step inside this historic coffee shop. The walls are stacked with vintage coffee containers — it is a very Instagrammable backdrop! The original roasting operation sits squarely in the middle of the coffee shop, and they still use it. You’ll get amazing smells during the week when they most often do the bean roasting. There always seems to be activity going on at Schamong, but you get the sense that everyone feels like part of the family. It has a relaxed and cozy vibe that is instantly welcoming. This is a great place to grab a cup of coffee, as well as beans to go!