Explore world history one coffee at a time. Some of history’s brightest minds and creative talents have walked through the doors of these coffee shops. With their elegant interiors, sumptuous food and excellent coffees, they are perfect for a relaxing lunch break, whilst exploring the world’s most vibrant cities.
Paris’s oldest, Café Le Procope
Fine dining in Paris doesn’t come any more historic than at the Café Le Procope. Located in the city’s Latin Quarter, on Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie, this venue has been in continuous operation since 1686. Many famous feet have walked through its doors over the centuries and some of the original artefacts can still be seen on display here. Opened by Italian Francesco Procopio Dei Coltelli, Le Procope was a place to sip exotic coffee and indulge in some literary debate. The cafe’s hallmark cuisine served here today is just as mouth-watering as it is historic!
Address: 13 Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie, 75006 Paris, Ranska
Opening hours: 12:00-1:00 am
Casanova’s hunting ground at Caffè Florian, Venice
Caffè Florian, in Venice’s beautiful St. Mark’s Square, claims to be the oldest coffee house in the world… and one with the sauciest history! At the time of its opening in 1720 it was the only venue that admitted women. It is therefore said to have been frequented by Casanova, who described it as his “hunting ground”. Fine wines and coffees from across the world flowed for some of Venice’s most famous inhabitants and visitors. Today, the fine dining experience here is complemented by the restaurant’s orchestra — a “café-concert” tradition that has been going since the early 20th century.
Address: Piazza San Marco, 57, 30124 Venezia, Italy
Opening hours: 9am – 12am
Art and coffee at Rome’s Caffè Greco
Italy’s second oldest is Caffè Greco, located in the historic centre of Rome, on Via dei Condotti, right around the corner from the city’s famous Spanish Steps. The venue opened its doors in 1760 and has seen some of Italy’s most famous artistic, musical and literary talent come through its doors. Today you can enjoy a fine coffee whilst admiring the art pieces on display. After a long day exploring the sites and sounds of Rome, stop here for some plush red velvet, marble and gold-leaf gilding, topped off by sumptuous deserts and cheeky aperitifs.
Address: Via dei Condotti, 86, 00187 Roma, Italy
Opening hours: 9am – 9pm
Viennese delights and elegance at the Café Central
Vienna’s Café Central at Herrengasse 14 is easily one of the finest examples of Viennese finesse, history and culture, combined with elegant cuisine and excellent coffees. The “famous and notable visitors” list here makes for an interesting read: from Trotsky to Freud, distinguished guests have been a regular occurrence here ever since 1876. Whether you choose to pop in for a quick coffee or a lazy lunch, you will love the charm and ambience of this fine eatery. Legendary Viennese deserts accompanied by piano music make it an experience not to be missed!
Address: Herrengasse 14, 1010 Wien, Austria
Opening hours: 7:30 am – 10:00 pm
History, Hollywood and the best espresso at Caffè Reggio, New York
Domenico Parisi introduced the Italian cappuccino to the US in 1921 and his Caffè Reggio has been one of New York’s most iconic coffee venues ever since. The world’s first espresso machine, made in 1902, can still be seen on display here. This Manhattan cafe, located on Macdougal Street, is so atmospheric that it has featured in many movies (The Godfather being one of them). Since 1927, many celebrities have been spotted here, including the young JFK. Stop off for one of the best espressos in the world, a light bite and some old school NYC ambience.
Address: 119 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012, USA
Opening hours: 8:00 am – 3:00 am