After having started writing this list way too long ago, lucky enough a couple new places opened up lately in my current home town Zurich, giving me the needed push to finally finalise this first episode..
Like many cities, Zurich has numerous places to drink coffee. Some better than others and some certainly nicer than others too. I don’t plan to list them all, nor do I plan to rank them either. These are just the first ten coffee places in Zurich I’d like to mention. They might have caught my attention for different reasons, the design or atmosphere, or the friendliness (or attractiveness :)) of the staff, but the thing they all have in common, is that I can count on getting a decent cup of coffee at these places. Compared to cities like London, New York, Cape Town, Paris, Barcelona or Athens I believe that Zurich lacks coffee shops (and food and drink venues in general) which are a bit different or quirky, and have a noticeable concept in place. Therefore I will try to start with ones which for me, stand out a bit more, especially if they are a combination of some kind of shop and coffee shop.
My latest favourite, and with barely being open for a week, it’s also the latest speciality coffee spot in town. It seems like the surrounding offices and area were just waiting for a place like Coffee Shack to finally open shop. The Greek run coffee shop ticks all my boxes for a great coffee shop: good coffee (beans coming straight from The Barn/Berlin), nice interior, free water and WIFI, good music and of course very friendly baristas. Apart from V60 filter coffee and the usual espresso based drinks, with it’s Greek roots it would have been disappointing to not find Freddo Cappuccino on the menu. And so far, Coffee Shack has not disappointed. Not with the yummy croissants from Zurich based baker Seri Backhandwerk, and especially not with the coffee.
Auer & Co. @impact hub
Auer & Co., based near Limmatplatz, is without doubt one of the go to places in Zurich when it comes to good coffee. Often with two or three beans to choose from, they differentiate themselves by often also having beans from foreign coffee roasters.
Being part of the Impact Hub Auer & Co. attracts a pretty young and entrepreneurial crowd. People in front of their laptops accompanied by skilfully brewed coffee, using different methods including aeropress is certainly not uncommon.
Not in Milan or Rome, but just off Paradeplatz, La Stanza offers the classic Italian coffee experience, with a great Italian style espresso or cappuccino. No fuss, just coffee.
ViCafe – Rösterei & Espresso Bars (x4)
Wonderful coffee with a clear focus on take away. Now with four locations spread throughout Zurich, life has become simpler for people on the go to get their caffeine fix.
The queue at Bellevue is often hard to miss, a clear indication for how good the coffee is.
Lindentreppe, Strehlgasse 26
Hotel Rivington & Sons
Hotel Rivington & Sons can be found on the ground floor of Zurich’s highest building, the Prime Tower. And with that also a very good cup of coffee in a very cool surrounding. A classic bar with mirrored walls, a touch of retro and skilled baristas, is definitely a great place to start the day with coffee or end it with some nicely mixed cocktails.
Close to Langstrasse, a stone’s throw from Josefswiese, Mame opened shop late 2016. Strictly speaking it wasn’t really a coffee shop when it opened, but more a shop which sells coffee, in almost all it’s shapes and forms, including coffee beans, coffee accessories and of course expertly brewed coffee. Unlike some places where it’s hard to see a clear concept, here coffee will always be the main focus. That’s no surprise, with a coffee joint brought to life by Swiss barista champion couple Emi and Matthieu.
Bros Beans & Beats
One of the latest additions to Zurich’s coffee and bar scene, Bros Beans & Beats is one of my favourites. Even if the name is a bit cumbersome, the coffee, interior and atmosphere most certainly aren’t.
It’s a nice size, not too big, not too small, with a number of tables inside and outside, a few seats at the bar and a comfortable sofa corner. Apart from the quality of coffee being up to scratch, so is the music!
Another one of my regular spots, Grande offers coffee at a consistently high standard. Normally they have two different beans to choose from, one a lighter and one darker roast. Both roasts come from their selected local roasters Stoll and Henauer. With a great location on Limmatquai, close to the Limmat and HB, Grande usually attracts a pleasant, rather hip crowd. There seems to be very high demand for both the delicious cocktails as well as the outdoor seating as soon as the sun comes out.
Despite this list being a clear sign of Zurich’s growing coffee scene, and with it also the quality of coffee on offer, one could argue that compared to other cities there is a lack of creative concepts. Radix is definitely a place I like to visit as it is a place which is a bit different to most. First and foremost it’s actually a water and fun sport shop, but it one corner it has a counter with coffee and some quick bites on offer. Here so close to Europaallee many customers to go for take-away but there is some very nice seating at the store front as well as outside.
Similar to Radix, Visitor is also a shop at first glance. For those who take a bit of a closer look will notice the shiny La Marzocco coffee machine with beans from Stoll Kaffee next to it, ready and waiting for customers to order their next coffee. Concept wise certainly another highlight amongst Zurich’s coffee shops.