The Best Cafés and Coffee Shops in Zagreb, Croatia
Bonk is both a vibrant café and a bike shop | Courtesy of BONK
If you’re looking for the best cup of kava in Zagreb, the Croatian capital has no shortage of excellent cafés and coffee shops.
Coffee culture has long been an important part of life in Zagreb, which boasts a diverse selection of cafés and coffee shops. Discover the best cafés in the Croatian capital, from trendy third-wave venues to cosy bars where both coffee and cocktails are on the menu.
Bar, Cafe, Coffee Shop, Dessert Shop, Croatian, $$$
With several locations around Zagreb, Leggiero Bar has become synonymous with top-quality coffee and fantastic service. Whether you’re searching for a cosy getaway from the stress of everyday life with a coffee or a cool setting for afternoon meetings, Leggiero Bar hits the spot. A combination of feel-good vibes and a trendy industrial interior adorned with colourful patterns, luscious greenery and outdoor seating give customers the sense of taking a brief vacation in the middle of the day – which, according to CEO Matija Goreta, was the main goal. Beyond the excellent Lavazza coffee, the quality of the extensive selection of drinks and premium desserts is impressive. Freshly squeezed juices, healthy smoothies and a wide range of teas complement the menu of sandwiches, salads and delicious cakes made by local pâtisserie Torterie Macaron.
Cafe, Croatian, $$$
Located on the border of the vivid Ilica Street and the soothing tranquility of the Tuškanac Forest, Velvet is a hidden treat. Each corner of the café is decorated differently, exuding a unique feel. Thanks to their virtual library with more than a hundred thousand titles in several world languages, Velvet proudly bears the title of the first café in the world to become a Free Reading Zone. Besides serving a good espresso, Velvet serves delicious pies and tasty snacks that come both in savoury and sweet variants, presented as works of art.
Cafe, Bar, Croatian, $$$
Situated in the heart of Martićeva Street, Mr Fogg is the first Croatian steampunk coffee shop, named after the protagonist of Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days. Spread over two floors, the café combines Victorian elements and imaginative installations. From antique cabinets, dusty atlases and maps to crystal chandeliers, submarine monitors and wooden details, the decor defines the whole atmosphere. According to the owner Emil Tocauer, Mr Fogg is a “dreamland”, a place where people can take a break from everyday life by tasting different flavours of teas, gins and rums from all over the globe. When night falls, Mr Fogg transforms into a vibrant bar – the music gets louder, and coffee makes way for cocktails.
Cafe, Croatian, $$$
For all lovers of nature and art, Botaničar is the place to be. Located in the immediate vicinity of the Botanical Garden, this charming café-gallery is a popular spot for cultural evenings, literary events and exhibitions. A combination of wooden tables and retro furnishings creates a warm atmosphere, heightened by the abundance of plants. In addition to good coffee, an impressive range of quality teas, tasty liqueurs, local wines and delicious juices are available. A must-try is the ‘black elixir’ – a natural lemonade with ginger, enriched with activated charcoal and elderberry syrup.
Cafe, Bar, Croatian, $$$
Tucked away in a residential area of New Zagreb, Cotton makes a perfect second home. Inspired by the Prohibition era, the industrial-style interior – packed with vintage touches – has large leather Chesterfield sofas, huge industrial lamps and Slavonian oak wall panels. Beyond coffee, this chic urban café is a perfect place to sample Hvar22, the first Croatian craft gin. While weekdays provide a soundtrack of jazz, blues, swing and rock, weekends are reserved for live performances by local bands and piano gigs.
Coffee Shop, Cafe, Croatian, $$$
After The Guardian proclaimed Finjak as the place with the most beautiful interior in Zagreb, this classy coffee shop has become the most Instagrammable place on the Croatian café scene. Only 30 square metres (323 sq ft) in size, Finjak exudes luxury and refinement. Visually rich, the space combines many different styles – from Rococo to Baroque and Secession – as well as furniture and tiles that once belonged to Zagreb’s grand Esplanade Hotel. With its magical atmosphere and timeless details, Finjak is the ideal place for enjoying a superb collection of French teas, sought-after beers and premium lemonades, all the while exploring a Zagreb of times past.
Cat and Dog Cafe, Croatian, $$$
Following the example of many global cities, Zagreb now has its very own cat café, where all the feline residents are cats rescued from the streets. Located near Maksimir Park, this delightful coffee shop is marked by the owners’ love for animals, a warm atmosphere and an extensive hot drinks selection. The cat theme is all encompassing: try an Es-paw-sso or a Frappe Caticorn. The large selection of board games on offer makes it even easier to while away the hours here.
Cafe, Croatian, British
Just a few tram stops from the main square, Bonk is both a vibrant café and a bike shop. Situated next to the charming Sunday flea market on the Britanski trg, this cool coffee shop and popular brunch spot attracts a bohemian crowd and is popular among students. Indulgent pancakes, healthy fruit bowls and a full English breakfast all feature on the extensive menu, in addition to a diverse drinks selection: from craft beers and colourful cocktails to speciality coffees and various teas.
These recommendations were updated on February 19, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.