The scent of roasted coffee stirs the imagination and creates sly smiles for coffee aficionados worldwide. As we know there’s nothing better than a good cup of joe to start the day, so we’ve created a fantastic coffee tour of the Mediterranean for you.
With this tour we take to some of our favorite, and perhaps a few less known, but equally amazing places to enjoy coffee. We strive to create the perfect “blend” of adventure, sight-seeing, and entertainment along the way. Most importantly we want to awaken your taste buds to the various coffees when planning a trip to Europe.
We start our coffee tour of the Mediterranean in Lisbon. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, pre-dating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by centuries. When planning your trip to Portugal, don’t worry about traveling there after the summer, as Libson has one of the warmest winters in Europe.
No trip to Lisbon would be complete without a tour of the historic Alfama neighborhood. The steep streets of Alfama, one of Lisbon’s oldest areas, are lined with shops selling traditional crafts and cafes. Jump onto the historic no.28 tram, which winds through Alfama on its way up to 11th-century São Jorge Castle. Views from Miradouro da Graça terrace stretch over the city to the River Tagus.
A perfect place to start your coffee tour of the Mediterranean is Café Tati. This is a great tip as this charming cafe is only known to locals. Pastries, coffee and cocktails are served in a quaint, vintage-style dig with tunes by local musicians.
If you’re still craving caffeine, pop into Cafe A Brasileira. In addition to excellent coffee, this cafe is worth a visit for its location and history. Opened in 1905, Cafe A Brasileira is an extravagant cafe in the bohemian district and has an authentic Art Deco interior.
Next go to the Fabrica Coffee Factory. It has a beautiful interior and is a friendly place for all. Locals recommend you check out their excellent ‘flat white and espresso’!
Take a break from your coffee tour of the Mediterranean and check out some of the other amazing sites of Lisbon. Visit the Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea. This is a contemporary art museum which hosts exhibitions showcasing Portuguese art from 1850 to the present. We also recommend you visit the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga. This ancient art museum is in a modernized 17th century palace, filled with European paintings and sculptures.
Valencia has one of the largest historic centers in Spain. This heritage of ancient monuments, cultural attractions and views makes Valencia one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations in any travel itinerary for Spain. It is also home to some amazing coffee shops. Check out the following cool cafes for your coffee tour of the Mediterranean: Café Barón, Chocolatería Valor, and Cappuccino Valencia.
While in Valencia, be sure to check out the Plaza de Toros de Valencia. This grand 19th century bullring is still used for bullfighting. It also offers guided tours and a museum.
A visit to Museo Nacional de Cerámica is also a must. This museum in a previous palace features an ornate 18th-century exterior. It’s home to vast collections of ceramics and artworks, so leave yourself plenty of time to go round!
Famed for its rich culture, brilliant architecture, and captivating history, Barcelona is probably best known for the architectural works of Antoni Gaudi and Lluis Domenech i Montaner, which are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Jumpstart any day in Spain with ‘churros’ with your cup of joe. Churros are strips of fried dough with thick chocolate for dipping and a cup of milky coffee. We recommend trying the Nømad Coffee Lab & Shop. This is an absolute must for any coffee pilgrim to the sunny capital of Catalunya. Nømad’s is famous for its original space with its iconic entrance. Rated as one of the best coffee shops in Barcelona, this place takes coffee very seriously! The Barista grinds the beans when you place the order. We suggest to try Costa Rican.
For a delicious bite and a mid-day coffee, head on over to Mesón del Café. Known for its extremely friendly staff. This is not the place to go if you expect English menus and a rushed experience. The food is delicious and affordable too, and their coffee is excellent! Feeling adventurous? Stop by Satan’s Coffee Corner. How can anyone not drink coffee at Satan’s? Locals tell us that there is a nice selection of filter coffees (V60, Aeropress) as well as very good espresso based beverages.
Later in the day, head on over to Babelia Books & Coffee. One of the most classic European pastimes is relaxing with a book while sipping coffee. Take a leisurely break from your day and pick a great novel while you’re at it. Book laden shelves along the right-hand wall are loaded with real paperback books.
A place whose coffee is so iconic, it shares a name with the country itself. No coffee tour of the Mediterranean would be complete without some Turkish coffee! So what makes Turkish coffee different? Instead of percolating or filtering the coffee beans it’s made by boiling ground coffee beans. Its preparation is also different. The sugar is added at the start of boiling the water and not after and the boiling is done as slowly as possible, without letting the water get to a state beyond simmering. When the ground coffee beans begin to froth, about one-third of the coffee is distributed to the various individual cups, after which the remaining two-thirds is returned to the fire. After the coffee froths a second time, the process is completed and the remaining coffee is distributed to the individual cups.
Turkey’s most populous city, Istanbul is known for its amazing site and delicious coffee! It’s main attractions include the Aya Sofya Basilica, the Blue Mosque, Dolmabahce Palace, the Grand Bazaar, several museums, and more. And of course famous worldwide for the coffee!
If you’re looking for amazing coffee in a cool, laid back atmosphere and warm friendly service then Coffeetopia is your place. In a city filled with coffee houses, this is the one we highly recommend! Just a few blocks south of Taksim Square is Kronotrop, known as a wonderful place to sit and drink coffee. The cortado here is highly recommended. This neighborhood is just delightful, definitely worth the walk up the hill. Kronotrop raises the bar for coffee in Istanbul.
While more on the touristy side, the M.O.C. Ministry of Coffee boasts a friendly staff, available to help choose from the amazing selection of beans and different brewing methods. Both their coffee and food are known to be delicious. The atmosphere has been described as “perfect,” with coffee inspired books available for sale as well.
Finish your day in Istanbul at Brew Coffee Works. Known for “epic coffee”, espressos, and the cold drip Chemex V60, all under one roof. Properly extracted coffee, with full flavor, friendly staff, as well as cosy outside seating await you.
Izmir has almost 4,000 years of recorded urban history. Its main sights include the Agora Open Air Museum, the St. Polycarp Church, the Kus Cenneti bird sanctuary, the Coskun Lunapark, the Hisar and Fatih Mosques. Of course, we are in Turkey for the famous coffee so really we recommend going to the Reyhan Pastanesi. This coffee house is on our short list of top spots whenever visiting Izmir. It is a great place when you want get away from the tourist crowd in the Cesme district.
If you are looking for an ideal venue to sit and talk with the friends you made along the way, then stop at Coffee House. Known for its great environment, food, and excellent service. The newly opened cafe restaurant is in the center of the triangle of Mavisehir Bostanli Atakent.
Located near the world famous Hatay Pazaar (Bazaar) is Coffeemania. It is more on the touristy side, but the coffee is amazing. We recommend the classic Turkish coffee. The final coffee house we recommend for a late afternoon stop to keep you going on your sight-seeing, is Siesta Cafe. The venue is quite airy and comfortable. It is the perfect place to relax with a wide seating area. There’s very little noise and beautiful music.
Cappuccino is the traditional coffee drunk in Italy and you’ll drink a lot of it in your trip to Italy. It’s made with a double espresso and steamed milk foam. Sometimes it’s drunk with cream instead of milk and is flavored cinnamon or chocolate powder. It’s typically served with smaller portions that other coffees, especially a cafe latte.
Interestingly, the name comes from the colour of the habits of the Capuchin friars. In this context referring to the colour of the coffee when milk is added in small portion. The physical appearance of a contemporary cup of cappuccino is a result of a long evolution of the drink.
No coffee tour of the Mediterranean would be complete without a stop in Italy, the home of the cappuccino! A visit to Naples offers numerous historically and culturally significant sites, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Pizza originated in the city, but it is also home to some incredible coffee shops!
An important coffee house to visit is Cafe Gambrinus, compelling because of its historical and cultural legacy. It was the meeting place for intellectual minds during the Belle Epoque era. The coffee here is excellent, as are the special drinks. Its stunning gilded interior, its historical legacy, and its location right at the mouth of Piazza del Plebescito make it a pleasure to sit back and enjoy an espresso in the late afternoon.
Another great find that the locals wish was kept a better secret, is Ventimetriquadri Coffee House. It showcases Florentine’s “Ditta Artigianale” beans and offers different brewing methods. It is known for its excellent flat white and friendly staff.
A great place either for an early morning coffee or mid-afternoon one is Carraturo. Located right in the historic part of town, you can appreciate the beauty of architecture and people watch, while tasting a delicious cup of joe on your coffee tour of the Mediterranean.
Out late at night and wanting a coffee fix? Visit La Dolce Vita, open 24 hours a day, it doubles as a restaurant with home cooking.
If you were going on a coffee tour of the Mediterranean where would you stop of at for your cup of joe? Please comment and send us some pics too!