From speciality coffee to free film screenings, vegan desserts to travel-related discussions, Gdańsk’s vibrant café scene will give visitors a good glimpse into local life and its current obsessions. Here’s our guide to the twelve best spots the city has to offer.
Those who not only can differentiate between drip, Chemex, AeroPress and French press, but also have a strong opinion about which one they prefer, should definitely head to Drukarnia. Specialising in alternative brewing methods, this place is run by coffee freaks for coffee freaks, though those who prefer to stay with good ol’ espresso are welcomed, too. With its industrial vibe and minimalist décor, this place is a true gem.
The name of this coffee shop translates from Polish as “Good Coffee,” but Dobra Kawa is so much more than that. Apart from enjoying a great cup of joe, visitors can also familiarise themselves with the local art scene, as the place doubles up as an art gallery. If this is not a reason enough to visit this cosy little café located in the Old Town, then should we add that they also serve cakes and vegan ice cream?
An establishment with a long tradition, Pi Kawa is for those who prefer an elaborate, sweet coffee-based drink to a black cup of joe. Their wide selection of sweet coffee variations includes coffee with honey and spices, coffee with tabasco or enhanced with Bailey’s, Avocaat or rum. Not much of a java fan all together? Pi Kawa has a whole menu of hot chocolates, cocktails and sweets.
Tired travellers from all corners of the globe will find their refuge in this cosy spot, located in the centre of the Old Town. With bi-weekly events dedicated to different countries around the world, 18 Południk lets you embark on an adventure without having to put down your coffee mug. Café and teahouse by day and bar by night, it offers anything from freshly ground coffee and delicious-looking cakes to regional beers.
Part coffee shop, part cake shop, Z Innej Parafii (From Another Parish) is located in the centre of the Fish Market. After walking through the doors, visitors are transported into a typical Polish living room from the ’90s, filled with comfortable armchairs and wooden tables. Apart from freshly ground coffee from a local coffee roaster, customers can enjoy house-baked cakes, tarts and muffins. Those looking to unwind after a busy day at work can grab one of the bottles of local craft beer and house-made tincture, a type of fruit-based liquor. Every Thursday there is a group trivia night and board games are available for anyone to grab and play with friends.
Geared towards movie geeks, W Starym Kadrze is a retro cinema-café. In addition to the typical coffee and cake, every day the place offers three free movie screenings of all-time classics. With over 20 types of coffee, all obviously named after movie titles, coffee amateurs will surely leave satisfied. Located outside of the bustling Old Town, W Starym Kadrze is a great place for anyone who wants to escape touristy atmosphere of Długa Street.
Calling Sztuka Wyboru a café is an understatement. It is a truly unique space that acts as an art gallery, bookstore, Polish design and independent fashion shop and a coffee store. Located in old Prussian barrack, the place is filled with the best Polish design, a highly curated collection of books, fresh coffee and pastries. Sztuka Wyboru also organises exhibitions, meet-and-greets with artists, lectures, conferences and workshops. Definitely worth a visit for those interested in modern design.
A great option for those who prefer their coffee with a side of cake, Fukafe is a cosy café that offers a mouthwatering selection of vegan desserts, from dairy-free cheesecake made with tofu or cashews to gluten- and sugar-free fruit tarts. Caffeine addicts willing to diverge from the traditional espresso can enjoy organic coffee brewed in a number of alternative ways.
Every morning Mateusz Kubiak, the owner of the kid-friendly Przystanek Kawa starts his day by checking the weather. In order to brew the perfect espresso, Kubiak checks the temperature and humidity level to know how finely to grind the coffee beans and how long to set up the brewing process for. The higher the humidity, the higher the pressure the coffee has on the water in the coffee machine and hence the slower the extraction. To get that perfect cup, the extraction time has to be shortened and the beans have to be ground more finely. If this is not love for coffee, we don’t know what is.
With the name inspired by Charles Bukowski’s novels, this funky café is the owner’s homage to the world of literature and film. The Tim Burton-equse black-and-white tiles on the floor are complemented with antique French furniture and old typewriters, creating a truly unique décor that may be too much for some, but those who can spot the influences will surely enjoy their time at Cafe Factotum.
Anima means soul in Latin, and the owners of Anima Cafe wanted to create a space with a soul that would provide the local community with a meeting space and cheap and healthy meals, sweets and coffee. Cosy décor with a modern touch is warm and welcoming, with Marta Orłowska’s surrealist painting giving it an edge.
Even though the iconic Józef K. may be known more as a bar, the 10am opening time and coffee machine at the counter suggests that it is an equally great spot for caffeine addicts with an inclination toward artistic interior design. Since a Polish saying suggests that gentlemen don’t drink before noon, those who want to do as Romans do may need to resist the urge to order one of the regional beers before the clock hits 12.