The world’s first coffeehouses were opened in the Ottoman Empire in the early sixteenth century. They were known for the political and philosophical discussions of their customers and for selling a drink forbidden by the authorities. Coffee was considered too dangerous for human consumption but it soon spread across Europe, becoming immensely popular and inspiring a unique culture shared by many countries across the world.
To celebrate café culture, here are some of the best coffee shop interiors from around the world.
1. Café New York, Budapest, Hungary
Café New York was a meeting place for the great artists of the dying days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Recently renovated by designer Adam Tihany, it has a dazzling imperial interior mixed with contemporary furnishings. Residents of Budapest and tourists are welcome to taste their delicious dishes to the sound of live music and performances by local actors.
2. D’espresso, New York, USA
This espresso bar near Grand Central Station in New York was inspired by the Bryant Park Library. It was designed to resemble a library turned on its side, so it’s the best representation of how the world looks if you sit and drink too many espressos!
3. Café/Day, Shizuoka, Japan
This coffee shop was designed by Suppose Design Office and the concept behind it was to bring the outdoors in. The white lines throughout the shop stretch out to the asphalt on the street, melding the two together.
4. The Bank, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
A concept café from Starbucks, this is a quirky, yet typically Dutch, design. The project used only sustainable materials, and has antique Delft tiles, walls clad in bicycle inner tubes, wooden gingerbread biscuit moulds, and coffee bag burlap, creating a breath-taking environment.
5. Starbucks, Dazaifu, Japan
Starbucks certainly seem to put a lot of effort into creating fun and funky interiors for their shops. This Starbucks has a ceiling and walls created from a diagonally woven lattice created from over two thousand wooden batons.
6. Mahika Mano, Tokyo, Japan
The idea of relaxing with a coffee has been taken to a whole new level at Mahika Mano in Tokyo. At this chilled out café it’s nothing but hammocks, with not a chair in sight. The interior is simple, if a little sparse, but if you lie in a hammock and close your eyes, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to paradise. Just try not to spill your coffee when getting into one.
7. Mocha Mojo, Chennai, India
If you like your interiors a bit busier – visually speaking – then this coffee shop could be the place for you. Designed by Mancini Design, the interiors were created around a Lego theme, the colourful décor looking like stacked Lego blocks. The idea hasn’t been taken to the extreme, though, and the café has maintained a modern sense of style.
8. Don Café House, Pristina, Kosovo
Innarch created this unique visual concept for the Don Café House in Kosovo. The curved wood on the walls has been designed to resemble the inside of a coffee sack, and the lighting is coffee beans. This shop definitely provides an interesting perspective for the customers.
9. Origo Coffee Shop, Bucharest, Romania
This café is a world away from the imperial opulence of Café New York in Budapest! The space was renovated over two years, and the prominent wooden beams were discovered and integrated into the design. This is a bleakly minimalist look, with clear nods to the design ethics used in Scandinavia, and has a rebellious aesthetic.
10. Meltino Bar & Lounge, Braga, Portugal
This stunning interior is another space inspired by coffee itself. Designed by LOFF, the stark geometric perforations have something of a 1960s space age vibe to them. It might feel like you’re just a bean caught inside a coffee filter, but you can’t deny it’s impressive.