The 8 Best Cafés and Coffee Shops in Skopje, North Macedonia
Work your way through Skopje’s best coffee shops | © Wai Ping Mak / EyeEm / Getty Images
Coffee is at the heart of social life in Skopje. Today, the traditional cafés in the city’s bazaar are joined by trendy third-wave coffee spots.
From traditional Turkish coffee to Ethiopian espresso and even a peanut butter-flavoured brew, Skopje is flush with cafés and coffee shops that will satisfy any caffeine craving. Coffee has long stood as an essential element of social culture in the North Macedonian capital, making a visit to one (or many) of the city’s cafés an essential cultural experience.
Cafe, Coffee, $$$
If you are a fan of Lavazza, then Coffee Factory is a little slice of heaven. The café prides itself on serving the best espresso in town. There are a few key elements to a good espresso – a professional coffee machine, premium quality beans and a proper grinder – and Coffee Factory does not lack in any of these areas. It is, however, particularly known for its highly trained baristas. Led by expert Dejan Bogoevski, Coffee Factory’s baristas learn their trade at the café’s training centre. In addition to the extensive selection of Lavazza blends, Coffee Factory brings a taste of Paris to Skopje in the form of delicate French eclairs – try the pistachio one for a sweet accompaniment to your coffee.
Cafe, Tea Room, Coffee Shop, Turkish, Coffee
A trip to Skopje is not complete without a visit to the Old Bazaar – one of the largest outdoor markets in the Balkans, with a history going back to the 12th century. Nargile Cafe is just one more reason to pay a visit. If you are looking to combine coffee with a taste of history, this is the place; step back to the Ottoman era with traditional Turkish coffee served alongside a piece of lokum (a sweet Turkish delight). For something a little more substantial, sample the delicious pide (similar to pizza), and end the day with a hot cup of Turkish tea.
Bar, Cafe, Coffee, European, Cocktails, $$$
A 2019 addition to Skopje’s café and dining scene, Mosh is the talk of the town. With its chic interiors, irresistible international dishes (think loaded burgers and colourful salads) and creative cocktails, Mosh attracts a stylish crowd and delivers a fun but classy atmosphere. For a more relaxed Mosh experience – surrounded by vibrant artworks – enjoy a coffee during the day and treat yourself to some dessert.
Cafe, Coffee Shop, Coffee
Founded by two friends in 2017, this café is much more than a place to grab a quick cup of joe; it is a barista training centre, tasting bar and a coffee supply shop, too. The owners, who believe they create the most original coffee “stories” in Skopje, treat each cup as a unique work of art. The beans come from Brazil, Burundi, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Tanzania and Indonesia (you’ll even find kopi luwak here, one of the world’s rarest and most expensive blends), with the baristas familiar with a wide range of brewing techniques – from espresso to the moka pot and a syphon system. As an extra special touch, coffee is served in a vintage-style cup alongside a typical North Macedonian fig treat.
7 Grama Espresso Studio
Coffee Shop, Coffee
Sourcing beans from Brazil, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Jamaica, 7 Grama Espresso Studio is a coffee lover’s dream. Think of it as a concept store serving coffee but also providing customers with seemingly infinite coffee accessories, including machines, cups and grinders. If you’re in the mood for something strong and intense, the Ethiopian espresso certainly delivers, or if you want to try something indulgent, go for the mocha mint coffee. The shop sells packages of all of its beans, so you can enjoy your favourite cuppa in the comfort of your home.
Joy Café and Bakery
Coffee Shop, Coffee, Dessert, Pastries
Just a short walk from Skopje Zoo, Joy Café and Bakery serves breakfast options including rich Parisian-style pastries (try the butter almond croissant) and raw energy bars. It’s the drinks, though, that draw the crowds. The organic arabica coffee is simply a treat for the senses, but if you are looking for a change, try the masala chai latte or peanut butter coffee. For dessert, savour an affogato (vanilla ice cream with hot espresso), either on the lovely outdoor terrace or in the cosy lounge area.
Cocktail Bar, Coffee Shop, Coffee, Cocktails
If you are passing along pedestrianised Macedonia Street on your way to the Museum of the City of Skopje, get your caffeine fix at Kotur. Though ideal for a quick coffee on the go when exploring the city, Kotur is a destination itself. Designed as a café and multimedia centre, it hosts a variety of film screenings, exhibitions, concerts and performances. Once you’ve had your fill of coffee, be sure to make your way through the cocktail menu.
Coffee Shop, Coffee, Beer, $$$
If you are visiting Skopje in the hot summer months, Izlet Kafe offers a welcome green oasis. The spacious interior terrace and leafy courtyard garden encompass trees and colourful flowers, and a chilled-out soundtrack – the perfect backdrop for sipping on a freddo espresso. Perfectly placed for exploring the bohemian Debar Maalo neighbourhood, this somewhat hidden all-day venue becomes a popular going-out spot come the evening and is known for its wide variety of DJ sets.
These recommendations were updated on January 31, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.