29 Jun The perfect blend: 9 Moscow coffee shops you must try
Imagine the following: you wake up early, take a 5-hour long flight to Moscow and check-in at your hotel – you’re completely jetlagged. What now? Before you embark on your Russian journey, you probably want a casual cup of coffee, don’t you? To feel energized and active again, right?
Dear coffee lovers, I understand you like no other, but remember, people in Russia prefer tea over coffee. Tea is not just a remedy for a sore throat, it’s a beverage that you have in the morning, over a conversation with your best friend, during a walk in Gorky Park, when you are tired and when you celebrate somebody’s birthday, before going to bed and on a long train journey along the TransSiberian railway.
So if you go to the nearest coffee shop or a kiosk and buy a cappuccino there, you might be disappointed. It smells good but tastes wrong.
I want to share a couple of inside tips with you. What you’re about to read is a list of responsible coffee places in Moscow.
Why are they responsible? Because they brew specialty coffee, often they roast coffee themselves and control the process. A responsible approach in coffee industry means that you have direct connections with coffee farmers, you pay a fair price for coffee beans and in exchange you know not only the place of origin but also the exact kind of bean and when the beans were harvested. However, what’s more important for a curious traveler and coffee fan, baristas here are true masters of their work. They are hospitable, know the menu by heart and are can sweeten your trip with a dark rich hearty roast (and desserts) in a heartbeat.
This café is modern, spacious and simple. Nice food. Wok salads and woopie-cookies are my favorites. Of course, coffee blends are worth tasting.
It has top-notch location on the island Balchug. Would you have thought that there is a real island nearby the Kremlin?
m. Paveletskaya/ Novokuznetskaya
Sadovnicheskaya embankment 75
+7 (962) 988-43-42
Open from 08:00 to 22:00 on weekdays, from 10:00 to 22:00 on weekends.
A Siberian branch of coffee-roasters. The crew is from Omsk, a not-so-famous city along the TransSiberian route. Their own roast “Skuratov” reminds you of chocolate and blackcurrant. A special feature of this brew bar is the flag of the United States of Siberia. The top-place for visiting in hot summer because they have refreshing nitro iced coffee. Early birds, take a note, they open their doors before 7am!
It’s not far from “Arbatskaya” metro station and the red building of Mayakovsky theatre.
Kalashny Lane 5
+7 (926) 471-99-45
Open from 06:55 to 22:05 daily.
This a cozy little place near Mayakovskaya metro station, hidden among old 5-storey buildings and almost exclusively known by locals. Sandwiches are highly recommended, as well as all sorts of coffee. This coffee house is a good place for laid-back chats with a friend during the day, or a date in the evening.
+7 (925) 537-72-06
Open from 07:30 to 23:00 on weekdays, from 09:00 to 23:00 on weekends.
Apart from coffee, at KOF they also have lemonades and fruit teas. I would recommend you to try filling syrniki with sour-cream and jam.
Only very brave travelers would dare to leave the city center by so much. Meanwhile, “Dmitrovskaya” metro station, to be more precise the design factory “Flacon” and the creative campus “Hlebozavod 9”, are a popular meeting spot for modern Russian designers, IT gurus and stylish co-working spaces. KOF resides in a building of “Hlebozavod 9”, where not so long ago people baked buns and bread (“hleb” means “bread”, “zavod” means “factory”).
You’ll see an overview of all available coffee tastes on the wall near the stall where they train up-and-coming baristas.
Novodmirovskaya st 1, build. 1
Open from 08:00 to 21:00 on weekdays, from 10:00 till 22:00 on weekdays.
West 4. Coffee Brew Bar
Guys deliver coffee beans from the USA and roast them here in Moscow. Drinking coffee at night is not considered a bad habit here. Lofty décor, pictures and photos on the walls. Occasional Jazz jams happen on Fridays, turning the brew bar into a jazz bar.
It’s very close to the Cathedral of Christ The Savior, the Multimedia Art Museum and Lumiere brothers Centre for photography.
+7 (495) 695-27-29
Open from 08:00 till 23:00 on weekdays, from 11:00 to 23:00 on weekends.
The trademark symbol of this café is a whale. Can you find all 9 whales among the cups and on the bookshelves?
I trust the baristas here – so far it’s been the only place in Moscow where a barista saw that foam from my cappuccino started to fade and immediately made a new cup of coffee for me. Some highly recommended Drinkit creations for you: a citron-berry creamy Raf coffee and a “secret” cookie (limited edition).
Gruzinsky Val 18/15
+7 (903) 733-12-20
Open from 07:30 to 21:00 on weekdays, from 09:00 till 21:00 on weekends.
Academy of Specialty Coffee
The local baristas make coffee in the basement of a former typography in Khitrovka. Coffee beans are roasted in Italy and taste like the Italian sun. Regular customers sing songs of praise to their sweet creamy Raf coffee.
Hohlovsky lane, 7-9, build.2
+7 (985) 764-88-84
Open from 12:00 to 20:00 daily.
Upside Down Cake (UDC)
Professional Italian coffee-machines first took me here. Now I like to spend chill evenings in UDC, eating a sandwich and drinking latte. They also have mouth-watering cakes and traditional American desserts. Kamergersky pereulok is super lively even in the late evening. People hurry to the Chekhov theatre, walking slowly after excursions or examine the festival stands at the end of the lane. It all makes you feel like home.
m. Teatralnaya/ Ohotny Ryad
Kamergersky Lane 5/7
+7 (499) 390-62-80
Open from 09:00 till 23:00 on weekdays, from 10:00 till 23:00 on weekends.
Friends Forever Cafe
Another “coffee-and-sweets” kind of place. Their website doesn’t say a word about coffee. The stars here are enormous pieces of cakes, tasty to a degree 8 out of 9, so just sit there and eat-eat-eat. Those who know the cafe say that it has a New York spirit. Are you a New Yorker? You can go check for yourself and let us know what you thought.
m Arbatskaya/ Pushkinskaya
Malaya Nikitskaya St 2/1 build.1
+7 (916) 798-29-89
Open from 08:00 to 23:00.
- A small bonus at the end
There is a small point kiosk in Sergiev Posad, called “CoffeeBar Popeye”. Sergiev Posad is a must-see town along the Golden Ring. If you happen to visit, drop in Popeye first. Prices are low in comparison to Moscow, yet their latte deserves 5 stars. The coffee place is right near the bus station, where all the regional big buses arrive.
Vokzalnaya Square 1
+7 (903) 009-49-13
Open from 06:00 to 21:00 on weekdays, from 09:00 to 21:00 on weekends.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. There are no paid product placements in this article – just well-intentioned recommendations from a Muscovite coffee lover. Hopefully we’ll soon share a cup or two in one of Moscow’s gorgeous coffee shops.
The author of this post is Natalia Motorina from the ExploRussia team, who never leaves out an opportunity to travel. She goes somewhere literally every weekend. In our team she is responsible for our tailor-made trips for our travellers. Maybe that’s why her routes are so inspiring and full of interesting places!