Some of the best coffee in the world is grown in South America, 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 no need for alarm. Café culture is just 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 favourite spots.
This Danish-run joint has a well-earned reputation as being one of the hippest hangouts in town. With colorful, imaginative décor spread across several floors, an extensive and delectable vegetarian menu and some of the city’s finest coffee, MagicK is easily the best option in the bohemian Sopocachi neighborhood. It also serves as a cultural space with regular events including a language exchange, artistic performances and live music nights. A fully stocked bar with great craft beer and creative cocktails just adds to the ‘magicK’.
As the name suggests (World Café), this tiny café right in the middle of the main tourist drag has a vibrant international atmosphere. The walls are adorned with travel photos from the Swedish owner who is known to stop for a friendly chat with customers. Café del Mundo offers a fantastic selection of sandwiches and salads, though it’s particularly famous for its heavenly pancake breakfast. The coffee, of course, is excellent.
The San Miguel neighborhood in La Paz’s ritzy Zona Sur (South Area) is the epicenter of Bolivian café culture. This upmarket shopping district has at least a dozen cafés competing for the business of the city’s financial elite. Roaster Boutique offers the best coffee of the lot and serves some pretty tasty food to go with it too. For something a little different, try the coffee infused pasta with carbonara sauce.
A new edition to La Paz’s café scene, Antigua Miami attracts a largely international crowd thanks to its location in the heart of the tourist district. This hipster-inspired coffee house features a mish-mash of creative and quirky design elements inspired by the owner’s time spent living and working abroad. It boasts a sunny outdoor patio, a reading corner with a selection of books and a superb range of homemade craft beers. The coffee is wonderful, but don’t come here to get online as WiFi has intentionally been omitted.