The 9 Best Cafés and Coffee Shops in Odessa, Ukraine

You’ll find an array of coffee carts behind the Duc de Richelieu statue on Primorsky Boulevard
You’ll find an array of coffee carts behind the Duc de Richelieu statue on Primorsky Boulevard | © Hugh Mitton / Alamy Stock Photo
Amanda Keeny

Explore the vibrant coffee scene in Odessa, Ukraine’s characterful southern port city. From espresso sold out of the back of a car to chic third-wave spots and socially minded cafés, there is no shortage of places to satisfy your coffee craving in Odessa.

See the sights of Odessa in before venturing to one of its many coffee shops

Coffee in Odessa has come a long way in the last 10 years. Beginning with a shift from widespread use of instant (gasp!) to freshly ground coffee, coffee culture here has gone through a massive evolution. These days, most cafés use single-origin beans and alternative brewing methods such as V60, AeroPress and Chemex. According to local baristas, much of this has to do with changing work environments and trends from other Ukrainian cities and Western Europe. Like the city itself, however, Odessa’s coffee culture has a unique voice that begs to be heard – on your next trip, make sure to lean in and listen.

1. Foundation Coffee Roasters

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Coffee, Dessert, Pastries

Since its start in 2014, Foundation has sought to actively participate in the development of Ukraine’s coffee culture. According to Ksusha, who works at the shop, coffee’s popularity has grown in Odessa in the past five years, and Foundation’s locally roasted beans are a significant part of that. “We sell to popular coffee shops in Odessa such as White Whale, Traveler’s, Atelier, and restaurants like Reef and others. Our coffee is also sold in other Ukrainian cities,” she explains. In 2019, Foundation won the national culinary Salt award in the category Best Coffee Shop in Ukraine and offers quality coffee roasted on-site, knowledgeable staff and even classes for those interested in upping their brewing game. The café also does an array of delicious desserts and pastries.

2. White Whale

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Coffee

White Whale offers a quiet, modern space to enjoy a cappuccino and a good book. Located on a sidestreet off Derybasivska, the central pedestrian street in Odessa, White Whale is a haven for coffee-loving hipsters and local students. It’s the perfect place to meet a friend or get some work done. The staff here are extremely knowledgeable in traditional brewing methods, as well as Chemex, AeroPress and V60 pour-over, and they are always more than happy to provide recommendations. Enjoy a flat white or caramel latte to break up your mid-morning adventures in downtown Odessa.

3. Coffee cars near the Duke

Coffee Shop, Coffee

Though buying coffee sold out of the back of a car might seem strange to some, Odessans know that this is the best way to get a good cuppa for a reasonable price. Behind the Duke statue on Primorsky Boulevard and a stone’s throw from the Potemkin Stairs stands a circle of parked cars, all with quality espresso machines built into the back. Impromptu baristas freshly grind coffee beans and skilfully assemble your drink of choice, whether a latte with one of 20 different flavourings, spiced mulled wine, hot chocolate or tea. This Eastern European equivalent of a pop-up instantly turns any corner of the city into a coffee shop. Enjoy a cappuccino with cinnamon while walking under the glittering lights on Primorsky Boulevard or relax on a bench sipping an iced coffee in the shade of the chestnut trees lining the street.

4. Atelier. Design and Coffee

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Coffee

A bit farther from Primorsky Boulevard in the direction of the City Garden is Atelier, a haven for coffee aficionados and a prime student hangout spot. Atelier’s baristas are experts at brewing methods such as Chemex and AeroPress, but can also pull a mean espresso. The shop is featured in City Coffee Guide 2020, a book and mobile app created by expert Volodymyr Zadiraka to honour the “boundary pushers of our coffee culture”, which speaks to the quality coffee here. Additionally, Atelier offers a variety of creative cocktails, finger foods, brunch dishes and desserts. Arty decor and indie music bring a creative and somewhat edgy vibe to this one-of-a-kind coffee shop. Order a Chemex and people-watch while sitting at an umbrella-covered table along the street in summer or inside near the window in winter.

5. Zheto

Brasserie, Cafe, European, French, Coffee, Dessert

Below the City Garden, tucked away in a basement, is Zheto Espresso bar, a unique coffee shop that has the warmth of your grandmother’s living room and the treasures of an antique store. Knick-knacks from travels around Europe, posters and books from pre-Soviet times and even musical instruments cover the walls of Zheto, and low lighting provides a cosy respite from busy city life. Baristas consistently pull the ideal espresso and craft lattes or raf coffees (a Russian coffee recipe made using espresso, cream and vanilla sugar) that are sure to make your day sweeter. This small, homey café can get busy during the afternoon, so make sure to call ahead and reserve a table.

6. Tishina

Coffee Shop, Cocktail Bar, Coffee, Cocktails

After exploring Park Shevchenko, Lanzheron Beach and the Trasa Zdorovya (Road of Health), head two blocks back into the city to enjoy some of the best coffee in Odessa. Tishina (Silence) is a simple, trendy space with laid-back vibes that match its name. Tishina exclusively uses Gardelli beans from Rubens Gardelli, the 2017 World Coffee Roasting Champion. Skilled staff craft beverages using the full gamut of brewing methods and are ready to help answer your coffee questions. Tishina is featured in City Coffee Guide 2020 and, along with superior coffee, its menus boast healthy brunch and lunch options and plenty of desserts. After dark, Tishina becomes a little less quiet and transforms into a lively cocktail bar. Tishina just might become your favourite spot in the city.

7. Daily

Coffee Shop, Cafe, Coffee

For fans of cold brew and unorthodox coffee shops, Daily is an important stop to make on your adventures around Odessa. In addition to serving quality espresso, tasty sandwiches and veggie bowls, Daily’s true sweet spot is in preparing the best cold brew in the city. It offers nitro cold brew with its foamy beer-like head, cold brew with tonic water, which rushes caffeine into your system faster, and its own house recipe. Whether you enjoy Daily’s edgy decor in its café on Rishelievska Street, its booth in the City Food Market or its outdoor patio location in Zeleniy Teatr (Green Theatre) in Park Shevchenko, a cold brew here is always a winner.

8. Coffeetory

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Coffee, Tea , Vegan

If you’re looking for a quiet place to relax during your stay in Odessa, head to Coffeetory. Located between the train station and tourist-flooded Derybasivska, Coffeetory serves a wide variety of teas, speciality coffee drinks and desserts in a fresh, contemporary setting. What sets Coffeetory apart from the rest? It would have to be its extensive vegan menu and non-traditional coffees. In addition to several milk substitutes for vegans or those with allergies, Coffeetory offers unique drinks such as turmeric, matcha and popcorn lattes, as well as more than 50 different varieties of tea. It’s safe to say that Coffeetory knows its market and has established a niche for itself in Odessa’s coffee scene. On your visit to Coffeetory, try the crème brûlée and a sweet, cinnamon-laced, turmeric latte.

9. Frebule (4City)

Coffee Shop, Cafe, Coffee

One important stop to make on any visit to Odessa is Frebule, a café devoted to improving the city, one cup of coffee at a time. Located near Otrada Beach, this café serves superior coffee and desserts with a unique goal: to donate 70 percent of profits to projects that restore and revitalise Odessa. Frebule and 4City, a co-working space, conference venue, art gallery and lecture hall all in one, is backed by local artists, cultural influencers and those who just to transform their city. From restoring dilapidated historical buildings to investing in cultural and educational projects, Odessans are partnering with Frebule and 4City to revive their city and bring change to Ukraine as a whole. In addition to investing in Odessa’s culture and history, Frebule also plays a prominent role in the shaping of coffee culture in the city. One barista in particular, Sergey, has his finger on the pulse of the latest coffee trends in Odessa. “I predict a return to the second-wave trend of flavoured syrups in coffee, only now they will be made exclusively with natural ingredients. Also, drinks like matcha and kombucha are going to become popular in Odessa,” he says. Featured in City Coffee Guide 2020, Frebule is a place to enjoy exceptional coffee alongside artisanal food. Savour a flat white and a tasty macaron or two (or five!) while making a difference in Odessa.

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