I love the cafe culture in Cologne. There is one quaint little place at almost every corner (or if not, there is always a trusted Merzenich outlet), and most are equipped to let be my office for a few hours. On average, I go to at least two different cafes a week. Some of them are worth mentioning, and I have clubbed 5 of them together in this post for you. Quick, one minute reviews of my recent cafe discoveries:
I went to this particular cafe on Venloer Straße purely because I loved the name. It is a small cafe, with a seating capacity of about 20 people. There is an open kitchen at one end, with cakes looking up at you from glass shelves. There are tables, couches and high chairs facing the street. I was going to have regular bread+butter breakfast (at 2:30PM), but then I saw this lady making pancakes, and I just had to order them – Pfannenkuchen mid frischen Früchen und Ahornsirup. These are not your usual fluffy American or crepe-like English pancakes – they are fried. Yup, fried. With lots of fresh fruits and maple syrup. SO SO SO SO GOOD! Coffee was well done as well and the service was adorable.
They have wifi, so you can work if you like. However, the place is like one big room, without any hidden corners, so concentration might be a challenge (if you are like me).
Verdict: I have bookmarked Café Schwesterherz under favourites.
This was one-for-the-gram. I had featured Cafe Bo under places to try for best brunch in Cologne on recommendation and finally got to it with my partner in crime. It’s a big place, with intentional-industrial feel. Unfinished walls, earthy furnishing, rustic bar stools, and sparse decor. It almost works.
We were in for lunch, so I ordered a a chicken sandwich, R went for a vegetarian burger and a small portion fo fries for the table. The sandwich and burger were average in taste but the salad, with its acidic sauce, was delicious. I actually ate all of it. Very unlike me. The mains could use some flavour enhancing condiments. Food, much like the interiors, almost works. I would consider it a good place for lunch for big groups or a pit stop for coffee on your way.
Verdict: Maybe if I am in Sülz (around Luxemburger straße), I will pop in again for a salad and coffee.
After a lukewarm culinary experience at Cafe Bo, R and I walked ahead to Cafe 333 for coffee. And boy am I glad or what!? It is the smallest of all the cafes listed here but with a character strong enough to be in the league with big boys. Wallpapered from floor to ceiling, with brick panels running horizontal, plush leather couches, candles lit at every table (even at 3PM), and a gigantic wall art showcasing Dom by the river. It’s a cozy cafe that turns into a local bar after sunset. We had cappuccino followed by ginger tea, and only left because it was after 5PM.
Verdict: Definitely have a coffee when in Sülz.
Earthy seems to be the trend as this one, Cafe TenTen on Boner Straße (near Chlodwigplatz), also follows a similar theme. It has open floor plan but there are still corners for you to work at, uninterrupted. Wifi’s password in on the wall (where menu is listed). I loved how spacious it was, inviting natural light to flood the floor. Cappuccino and cakes were average, and I prefer their tea selection over coffee varieties.
Verdict: For a cup of tea, yes.
This one is on Aachener Straße, so obviously is mostly full. I went there for late breakfast of bread and butter, and had to physically pull myself back from ordering a third cup. Hands down, one of the best coffees in town. It is conducive primarily for meeting friends (in smaller groups). They sell their coffee roast as well as some lifestyle merchandise (I saw someone buying a book). Food was fresh, and above average.
Verdict: One for bookmarks.