The Best Cafes in La Paz, Bolivia

| © Ida Pap / Alamy Stock Photo
Daisy Dobson

South America’s reputation for growing the world’s best coffee is second to none, so it should be easy enough to find a decent cappuccino, right? In reality, most locals consume instant Nescafé because the best beans are exported to wealthier markets. But, don’t worry. Cafe culture is starting to catch on in La Paz, so with a little bit of insider information, it’s easy to obtain a great cup of caffeinated goodness. Here are some of Culture Trip’s local insiders’ favorite spots.

1. Cafe Typica

Cafe, Bolivian

Opened by four friends in a small house in 2017, Cafe Typica has fast grown to be a real contender on the La Paz coffee scene. Iit’s open from dawn for your morning caffeine fix and freshly squeezed juice right through to your evening wine. With quirky interiors filled with retro finds and stacks of books to leaf through, this is the kind of spot you could hang out in all day. The avocado sandwich is a hit for lunch and the passion-fruit cheesecake also hits the top notes. Recommended by local insider Andrea Puente Mancilla

2. Café Cultural MagicK

Cafe, Restaurant, Healthy, Vegetarian

© Jules Tusseau

In Sopocachi you’ll find MagicK, heralded as one of Bolivia’s coolest cafes. The team here are dedicated to using local and national ingredients to create a balanced menu of Bolivian and international dishes. What’s more, the menu is as colorful and thoughtful as the laid-back, fun decor. The food is spot-on, with sourdough bread making up the sandwiches, and salads with quinoa and amaranth to make you feel good. Don’t be surprised if you swing by for an evening drink and find a flamenco troupe or local band performing. Recommended by local insider Andrea Puente Mancilla

3. Roaster Boutique

Cafe, European, Coffee

Roaster Boutique, La Paz
© Roaster Boutique

The Roaster Boutique is at the forefront of the Bolivian coffee revolution. The team are passionate and know their Chemex from their French press and their AeroPress from their espresso. Whatever your preference, they’ll make your coffee to spec. Supporting local farms around La Paz, the beans come from the Yungas and are grown at a high altitude in subtropical forests. With a bakery onsite and sourdough and pastries available, you’re always going to be happy here. The living wall makes a pretty backdrop too. Recommended by local insider Shaina Brassard

4. Sultana Café Arte

Cafe, Bolivian

Popular in Bolivia for many years, coffee is seeing a cultural renaissance, and the crew at Sultana Café Arte dream up delicious ways to serve it to you, hot or cold or as a literary-inspired cocktail. Art adorns the walls with exhibitions from local artists, the ambience is laid-back and the rest of the folk here don’t seem as if they’re in much of a rush. Join them. Recommended by local insider Andrea Puente Mancilla

5. Cultura Café

Cafe, Bolivian, American

Owner Enrique has dedicated years to learning all things coffee, and he has created a welcoming and relaxing spot in the heart of the San Pedro neighborhood. Find locals and tourists munching on fresh sandwiches, slurping on fruit juices and, of course, knocking back some great coffee. Recommended by local insider Shaina Brassard

6. Café Epico

Cafe, Restaurant, Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian

Homebrewed beer at Café Epico
© Café Epico

Tucked away off the main street in Calacoto, Epico brushes off stiff competition with its cheery bicycle decor and standout coffee. If you’re on a health kick, they’ve got your back with fresh juices, zingy salads and an unbeatable quinoa brownie. For the less virtuous, do not fear, they also stock a range of beers and sandwiches served with fries. All dietary requirements are catered for here. Recommended by local insider Andrea Puente Mancilla

7. The Writer’s Coffee

Cafe, European

Coffee and books; a beautiful union that’s simply meant to be. In a match made in heaven in La Paz’s old neighborhood, the Writer’s Coffee can be found in the Gilbert bookstore. A wall of vintage typewriters, stacks of books and the waft of coffee surrounds you. The owners are dedicated to Bolivian coffee and only use the good stuff from the Yungas, supporting both local farmers and the economy. Recommended by local insider Sabrina Morreale

8. Alexander Coffee

Cafe, Pastries

With several branches across Bolivia, a stop-off at Alexander Coffee is reassuringly familiar. An expansive menu that features all the greats – pastries, sandwiches, salads – as well as Mexican specials of quesadilla, flautas and burritos. Friendly and quick service make this the perfect spot to meet with friends for a good old catch-up. It’s in a handy location too, just off Student Square. Recommended by local insider Lucas Cosentino

9. Café Munaipata

Cafe, Bolivian

Café Munaipata is the small and perfectly formed answer to the big coffee chains popping up in Bolivia. Only serving coffee from an organic coffee farm in Coroico – on the outskirts of La Paz – ask them about a tour of the farm. Tasty food on the menu and a selection of events are held, so check their socials before you go for the latest offerings. Recommended by local insider Lucas Cosentino

This is an update of the article by Harry Stewart

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