A couple of years ago I read an article on Sprudge about the marvelous cafes of Warsaw which sparked my interest in the Polish capital. I never thought of Warsaw as a hub of of speciality cafes and roasters and Poland had never been at the top of my list of places to visit, but ever since that article I’ve been meaning to go. So when my husband suggested taking a weekend trip to Warsaw last month, I said yes and immediately began researching cafes to visit.
My visit to Warsaw was short – just two and a half days – so the time to visit coffee shops was limited. The best speciality coffee shops tend to be neighbourhood cafes so they are all far away from each other, each one at the heart of a different district of Warsaw. Going from one to the other takes some time and planning (and a high tolerance to caffeine)!
One thing I loved is that all the cafes were accessible, laid-back and cozy. Nowhere was too cool or too hip, if you know what I mean. Another great thing is that coffee shops in Warsaw are open until late (10 or even 11 at night). A coffee shop in Warsaw is truly a place for people of all ages and backgrounds to hang out all day long.
Here’s a guide to my favourite speciality coffee shops in Warsaw.
Ministerstwo Kawy is one of the most famous speciality coffee shops in Warsaw. In addition to the espresso blend, they offer a selection of single-origin coffees for filter, roasted by Swedish roaster Koppi. The cafe is located in the central Śródmieście district, just a short tram ride away from Central Station. Our AirBnB apartment was nearby and it’s a great area to stay, with lots of restaurants and bars.
The space is small and clean, with white walls and warm-coloured wooden furniture. Lots of light comes through the large windows. When we arrived around 10:30am on a Saturday morning the cafe was quiet, but soon all the tables were occupied by couples and groups of friends of all ages, including three very cool old ladies who were probably in their eighties. Not the average customers of a specialty coffee shop! ;)
In addition to flat whites we ordered almond croissants, which were too rich and sweet for my taste. Pastries aside, I loved Ministerstwo Kawy. In hindsight I wish we had gone back for breakfast the next morning, rather than going to Charlotte Bakery across the street (which was too busy, with average coffee, but good pastries).
If you are a coffee connoisseur, you should definitely add Ministerstwo Kawy to your list.
Located in the Mokotow district south of Warsaw city centre, Relaks is a cozy neighbourhood cafe with a big focus on coffee. Some of the best Polish baristas have worked here and you can immediately tell they know their stuff by looking at the coffee bags lined on the shelves. Relaks uses beans from Europe’s top roasters such as Drop Coffee and The Barn.
Cool vintage furniture and old movie posters fill the space, which is divided in two areas: the bar counter on the right and the sitting room on the left. We ordered a drip coffee and sat down for some time to rest and warm up. I loved the window seat from where I could watch people walk down the street and get a glimpse of the life in Warsaw.
I discovered Kawiarnia Fabryczna by chance while reading an article online about the hip neighbourhood of Powisle. Similar to Relaks in style and decor, Fabryczna is a laid-back cafe with a large and cozy seating area. I imagine the cafes being busy with freelancers working on their laptops on week days.
When I visit a new coffee shop I look at the coffee, the service and the atmosphere to make up my mind on whether I want to visit again. Fabryczna ticked all the boxes and if I lived in Warsaw I would definitely want to spend a lot of time there.
I hope you will find this short guide of Warsaw speciality coffee shops useful. Of course there are many more cafes in the city, but these are the ones I loved the most. There are a couple of other cafes I would still love to visit like Kofi Brand, Filtry Cafe and Forum. I personally didn’t like the coffee at Emesen in the Museum of Modern Art, although it’s listed in all the Warsaw coffee guides I found online.
Despite the rain and cold weather, I truly enjoyed my weekend trip in Warsaw. I found the city charming and the people very welcoming and friendly. The food was great (and vegetarian / vegan friendly). I hope to visit Poland again soon and explore more of Warsaw as well as other cities in Poland.