The 8 Best Coffee Shops and Cafés in Baku, Azerbaijan
Baku's coffee shop scene ranges from stylish third-wave spots to relaxed courtyard cafés | © Alexander Melnikov / Alamy Stock Photo
It may be a cliché to say that east meets west in Baku, but the city’s café scene is indicative of the multiculturalism and cosmopolitan vibe for which the Azerbaijani capital is known.
Whether you want to be tempted by the smell of dark Turkish coffee blends or the honeyed sweetness of Middle Eastern pastries, enjoy a third-wave coffee in stylish surroundings or sit back in a Parisian-style café, the best cafés and coffee shops in Baku will not disappoint.
Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea at one of the many cafés in Baku’s Old Town © Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
Baku Roasting Company
Cafe, Coffee Shop, Dessert, Coffee, Azerbaijani, $$$
There is no shortage of places to drink high-quality coffee in Baku, but Baku Roasting Company has the edge over its competitors because it is the only place that roasts its own beans. The menu includes the brand’s smoky signature Black Gold Blend, and also a chocolatey roast from Papua New Guinea. Coffee aficionado Angie Vega is a regular visitor to Baku from the USA. “I spend a lot of time at the Baku Roasting Company. The coffee is incredible! Being there just makes me happy – there is something about it that just gives people a good feeling,” she says of her favourite place for a brew in Baku.
Coffee Shop, Coffee, Snacks, $$$
Cafecity is a Baku institution, with four branches found across the city. At Cafecity Five, close to Izmir Park, the designers aimed to create a home away from home – bookshelves and vintage photos line the walls, and the furniture is exactly the kind you want to slump into to read a magazine. The breakfast menu here is sublime: think salmon and avocado bruschetta, and omelettes with spicy sujuk sausage. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets can all be catered for here.
Cay Bagi 145
Coffee Shop, Coffee, $$$
Tea lovers should seek out Baku’s best tea house, Cay Bagi 145. The garden is a tranquil oasis in the city, and the terrace overlooks the Old City and the sea. “It’s hard to imagine a better location,” explains writer Rhoda Dell. “And there are so many gorgeous features, from the Azeri carpets on the floor to the pretty hand-painted ceramics,” she says. The hot black tea is served in tulip glasses, and its slight bitterness is perfectly matched with a sticky slab of layered honey cake.
Cafe, Coffee Shop, Dessert, Coffee
Independent and local, Coffee Moffie is in a prime location close to Baku’s Fountain Square. All the baristas are Lavazza certified, and excellent Italian style coffees dominate the menu. In the daytime, Coffee Moffie is a popular workspace for digital nomads wanting peace, strong coffee, and reliable WiFi. On evenings and weekends, though, Coffee Moffie becomes a social hub for community groups. “The Baku Runners meet here three times a week,” explains Baku resident Christopher Green. “The café also has chess tournaments every month, and hosts gatherings of the Weird Poets Society, where new writers come to read their plays,” he adds.
Kibrit Book Cafe
Coffee Shop, Coffee
If you came into Kibrit Book Cafe in the evening, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a cultural centre. In fact, it’s a multi-purpose space: they do brew fantastic Colombian coffee and sell books, but come nightfall it’s also a live music venue and preferred spot for book launches and talks. There’s a laid-back feel and the customers are generally students and creative types. If that sounds like you, this is where you’ll find your tribe.
Coffee Shop, Coffee
Malacannes 145 is a café and shisha lounge inside the stunning Molokan Garden. It’s a sprawling historic building where you can easily while away an entire afternoon admiring the architecture and traditionally inspired interiors. There’s always hot tea in the samovar, and the waiter will bring you a shisha pipe. The menu ranges from Azerbaijani snacks to sushi, via European pastries and freshly made sandwiches, but the desserts, which are especially decadent, will keep you coming back for more.
Cafe, Coffee Shop, Coffee, Azerbaijani, $$$
Meandering through the medieval backstreets of Baku and the glitzy modern downtown area, it is easy to forget that for much of the 20th century Azerbaijan was part of the Soviet Union. Old School has attempted to preserve this aspect of the city’s history in its Soviet-themed decor and its cheap and cheerful menu. There are bright, bold artworks and evocative black and white photos on the walls. Kitsch statues, and oversized house plants are also on display. Grab a coffee spot to sit, and challenge the person on the table next to you to a game of chess.
Cafe, Coffee Shop, Dessert
California has invaded Baku in the form of this Hollywood-themed burger bar close to the Icheri Sheher. The bright yellow walls are very much in keeping with Sunset’s name, and in addition to excellent hamburgers, the café also serves up all manner of Tex-Mex favourites. There’s a long list of excellent cocktails, and the barman would give any mixologist in Los Angeles a run for his money.
Azerbaijan has no shortage of spaces to enjoy an al-fresco coffee © imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo
These recommendations were updated on February 21, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.