The coffee scene in Bucharest is one of the most trendiest and explosive scenes I have ever had the pleasure to experience. On this very blog I have written about four coffee houses in the city no less. Visiting the coffee scene post lockdown was not only a welcome sigh of relief just to be out and about again, but an absolutely joy to explore. In 2018 when I first checked out the coffee houses, it was clear Bucharest had something special on its hands. A plethora of young entrepreneurs providing single origin speciality coffee to the public, in house roasters, cafes converting into bars in the evening, complemented with different brewing methods. Especially since before this time, speciality coffee was unheard of in the city. Thanks Communism. In 2021, the trend has not only continued but strengthened, and in my view, one of the best coffee scenes in Europe. The likes of Origo and BOB are still thriving, however here I want to showcase some of the less known places. The coffee joints off the beaten track, the hidden gems, purely for the locals and now you. Grab an espresso and enjoy.
Strada Mihai Eminescu 36, București 010512, Romania
Kicking off with this cute place, F190 is a small place with a friendly owner who clearly loves to talk about coffee and flavour profiles. Their cold brew is perfect to catch your breath on a hot day, sitting outside watching the world go by. Coffee is provided by Sloane, where their own coffee house is in the heart of Calea Victorlei. F190 then is a place to enjoy world class local coffee without the hustle of that place.
T-Zero Specialty Coffee Shop
Strada Dianei 1, București 030167, Romania
Another tiny place located in the most unassuming of streets, the epitome of true hip, with funky art and stickers slapped on the walls, this is my kind of place. Ordering an espresso from a cool hip friendly barista, standing outside smoking and enjoying a smooth coffee… doesn’t get better than that, although it does. Try their cortado it was as delicious as the luscious latte art looked.
Artichoke Social House
Calea Victoriei 45, București 010062, Romania
Centrally located but off the main road of Calea Victorlei, a lovely place to relax under an archway overlooking a pretty Orthodox Church. They do an amazing cold brew tonic, as well as plentiful of other interesting home made juices by day and night. As their name suggests, in the evenings they host a lot of exhibitions to drink, meet and mingle.
Camera din Fata
Strada D. I. Mendeleev 22, București 030167, Romania
Not content on just being a coffee lover, I am also a tea lover, and this place has you more than covered. Upon entering your first impression is that you have somehow stepped back in time and specifically to your grandmothers house. Floor to wall shelves of tea and coffee, beautiful wooden furniture adorned with white netted cloths we all remember and Singer sewing machines everywhere. Sipping on a Ceylon tea ordered from a newspaper menu, nice touch by the way, I was watching the sheer volume of orders the team were boxing up, along with people coming in and buying tea and beans in droves, whilst a few lone patrons relaxing with a drink and a book in the corners. I have to admit, when looking at this place from the outside it was not appealing whatsoever, but it was one of those times I was glad I was wrong. I loved this place.
Beans&Dots Specialty Coffee Shop & Concept Store
Strada Ion Brezoianu 23-25, București 010131, Romania
A stones throw away from Trofic, tucked away at the back of a newly refurbished building. You actually need to go through a black iron gate and then enter the building to your left. A large open space, with dedicated areas to use your laptop should you need to get some work done. Their coffee is actually from Berlin, The Barn, which you can also purchase. You need to try Mohamed Ali roast; strawberry, chocolate and creamy. Totally can see why this is a great place to meet and chat over a flat white, yet for me the highlight was the record store; Two Sides Records. Open from the afternoon till the evening, the owner has such a passion for music, he will recommend and find whatever your tastes are. Vinyl and coffee heaven!
Strada Căldărari 3, București 030167, Romania
Not so much a true hidden gem, but definitely worth mentioning as this place is a perfect example of local entrepreneurship. Combining speciality coffee with a hip clothing store, and then to a vibrant evening hangout bar. Very hipster, awesome funky music and delicious coffee. Unfortunately I was too old for the clothes.
FORMA Coffeshop & Art Gallery
Strada Ion Ghica 4, București 030167, Romania
Right next to old town it is easy to miss this place as there are is another coffee shop literally next door. The reason I ventured into this one, purely because of their feature wall. An amazing vibrant mural, hence the name also being an Art Gallery. Very quiet when I went, believe it is a place that gets busier in the evening, however its just a nice atmosphere to have a coffee. Sometimes it not all about being a connoisseur just a place to relax and tend to our caffeine needs. Looking at their bar and menu, appears to also be a great place for after work drinks.
I am positive there are many more coffee joints in this amazing city to explore. When wandering around, I continually saw tiny, cute coffee houses, with a single barista almost always smiling. It is that exuberant passion alone that makes me want to keep on crawling around the city to uncover another set of hidden gems. Peace&Love.
Having over 15 years’ experience in freight forwarding and supply chain management, Ali has led numerous multi-disciplined projects and operations globally. A change management specialist having worked within multiple industry verticals. He is also a coffee-obsessed, solo-travelling introvert.
Ali is also a published author with his latest book; Building Your Bridge: An Introvert’s Art of Success. A personal journey to help guide professional introverts to realising that as an introvert, the skills and traits for success are already within their grasp. Available now here.