Your Next Coffee Stop: 7 of the World’s Oldest Cafés
With Valentine’s Day less than two weeks away, our thoughts are turning towards cozy hot coffees and rich chocolate treats. We’ve hunted down some of the oldest and most prestigious cafés in the world for you. Plan to make a stop at one of these incredible cafés next time you find yourself needing a coffee break while you travel!
1. Café Maiasmokk – Tallinn, Estonia
Maiasmokk is the oldest operation café in Estonia. It’s warm, rich interior has remained exactly how it is for nearly a century. Maiasmokk has both a café area and museum. The museum walks you through the history and uses of marzipan and contains around 200 marzipan figures which are made from molds over 100 years old. The café area serves visitors cakes, pastries, pies, house made candy, and hot coffee.
2. Caffé Florian – Venice, Italy
Italy’s oldest café is located in the Procuratie Nuove of Piazza San Marco, Venice. This 1720 work of art serves up coffees, cocktails and light snacks. Since its opening, Caffé Florian has hosted noteworthy patrons such as Goethe, Casanova, Lord Byron, Marcel Proust, and Charles Dickens. The café famously was the only one to allow women at the time.
3. Caffé Greco, Rome, Italy
While not quite as old as the Caffé Florian, this 1760 café has, arguably, even more character. Fashionistas might be delighted to know this quaint coffeehouse attracted the loyalty of patrons such as Princess Diana, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, and Sophia Loren. You will pay a pretty price, however. An espresso at this café will cost you €7.
4. Café Central – Vienna, Austria
This traditional Viennese coffeehouse was established in 1876 by renowned architect Heinrich von Ferstel. In early days, the Café was often referred to as the “School of Chess” for the frequent chess games that would take place on the first floor. The cathedral-like ceilings steal the spotlight here, however, you will also be enchanted by the wonderful variety of pastries to sample while you are there.
5. Café Tortoni – Buenos Aires, Argentina
This Parisian-inspired café was opened in 1858 by a French immigrant named Touan. Some noteworthy patrons were: Jorge Luis Borges, Arthur Rubinstein, Ricardo Vines, and even Albert Einstein. Grab some delicious churros with a café con leche, then head to the venue’s basement for an authentic tango show!
6. Café Le Procope – Paris, France
Café Le Procope is located in none other than Paris, France. Some claim it is the oldest coffeehouse in the world. But as you will see, that award appears to belong to two very old coffee houses in Oxford. Originally opened in 1686, this establishment has served distinguished guests such as Rousseau, Benjamin Franklin, and Voltaire.
7. The Grand Café – Oxford, England
Two of the oldest known coffee shops in the world are right across the street from one another in Oxford, England. The Queens Lane Coffee House opened in 1654, but The Grand Café has her beat by just a few years, opening in 1651. Here high tea is served all day long, but the menu goes well beyond tea. Check out the mouth-watering list of delights here and try not to plan a stop.
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