To most coffee drinkers, our coffee ritual is sacrosanct. We let nothing come between us and our favorite indulgence. If it’s a fresh-ground exotic brew served in an inspiring space, even better. So, we’ve curated a list of the best coffee shop designs from around the world. All have one thing in common – creative and inspiring design. You’ll want to add these coffee shops to your travel bucket list:
Elm Coffee Roasters, Seattle
Located in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, Elm Coffee Roasters is a bright and welcoming coffee shop in the lobby of a mixed-use building. Large windows show off the simple, elegant interiors and invite the local community inside. Light wood tones add warmth throughout, and complement an elegant white marble counter. A backdrop of light green handmade tiles from Cerámica Suro in Mexico adds a vintage vibe. This coffee shop’s clean design has a timeless ambiance.
Tropical Forest Coffee Shop, Hanoi
In the heart of bustling Hanoi, Vietnam, the Tropical Forest Coffee Shop is truly an oasis. Natural wood finishes dominate the interior, incorporated into walls and furnishings. An impressive wood-slat screen shades the glass roof. Guests can relax or work in this light and airy space surrounded by living greenery. With its potted tropical plants, large glass terrariums and small trees, this coffee shop design offers a tranquil contrast to the urban environment.
Tierra Garat, Mexico City
As the first retail coffee shop from iconic Mexican coffee brand Cafe’ Garat, Tierra Garat is designed to evoke its Mexican roots. Located in Mexico City’s hip Colonia Roma, this is a warm and inviting space. The designers made creative use of traditional materials like wood, leather and clay. Modern geometric wood and brick patterns are washed with warm lighting, creating an earthy environment for Mexico’s traditional coffee and chocolate.
Veneziano Coffee, Richmond, Australia
At their wholesale roastery and headquarters in Richmond, Veneziano Coffee has established its first retail location. The combination restaurant/retail space has an industrial vibe, its spare interior dominated by lofty ceilings and factory windows. White walls and black steel furnishings have a clean and functional aesthetic that’s fitting for a production facility. Finally, light wood tones add a natural element to the space.
Devocion Coffee, Brooklyn
Designed to bring the very essence of Colombian coffee to Brooklyn, Devocion Coffee combines industrial chic with Old-World charm. Entering past the coffee roasters, guests are bombarded with the sights and smells of fresh coffee roasting. The main room is an impressive, soaring space lit by an enormous skylight. A rustic serving counter and tufted leather sofas add a welcoming country touch. The magnificent vertical garden features native coffee plants from Colombia.
Dao Dao Coffee Shop, Chengdu
The clean, spare interiors of this two-story café are the work of HAD Architects & EPOS, known for their use of intersecting volumes to add interest to an interior. The combination of landings, small rooms and mezzanines are punctuated by black metal screens for privacy. Blond wood and white walls create an airy environment, while neatly styled shelves and a back-lit barreled ceiling add rhythm and interest. The lower level’s black walls create a dramatic contrast between the light and dark spaces in this creative coffee shop design.
The slightly 80’s vibe of this hip little cafe’ is the work of Studiopepe. Deep blue walls and high-back banquettes in blush suede create a club-like atmosphere. High-end finishes like terrazzo tabletops, black Marquina marble counters and a corrugated bar with copper trim make this a stylish addition to Milan’s coffee scene.
Coffee Nap Roasters, Seoul
Design Studio Maoom has created a post-modern, otherworldly space at Coffee Nap Roasters. The unusual design features a “hill” made entirely of brick, with a few landings for seating and a concrete monolith to serve as a standing table. A bamboo tree and a round, backlit mirror are perhaps intended to evoke a forest and moon. While this coffee shop design seems to discourage hanging out, it’s definitely creative and fresh.
Zentral Cafe’, Collalbo, Italy
Messner Architects is responsible for the stylish re-design of this village café and restaurant. The refined interior’s natural wood finishes stand in contrast to natural black stone. Built-in banquettes feature highly-figured wood grain, also used to add pattern and texture to the wall above.
The building’s arched windows were expanded to encompass views of the street and garden, and the theme of arches and curves repeats on the exterior facades and interior ceiling. New wooden doors open directly to the garden. Glowing light fixtures and brick red upholstered seating warm up the neutral interior. The result is a cozy, modern space that’s inviting to locals and tourists alike.
NOC Coffee Co., Hong Kong
Studio Adjective is the creative team behind this concrete-wrapped coffee shop design. Inviting details like vintage menu fonts and blond wood tones warm up the interior design. Upholstered stools and low benches are conducive to hanging out, and the painted lines and icons on the floor are both practical and fun.
Bonanza Roastery Cafe’, Berlin
Trendy and modern, Bonanza Roastery Café has a light, open interior designed by Modiste. With a nod to Bauhaus design, a long paneled backdrop is divided into casement-style sections. Mirrored menu panels add a touch of coffee shop tradition while service counters of light oak and raw steel are distinctly modern. Finally, white floors and walls make this refurbished building feel bright and airy.
With a slightly DIY vibe to its interior design, Místo is a simple yet creative coffee shop design by local firm, Edit. Partial walls break up the volume into a series of intimate spaces. Narrow wood planks cover the dividing walls to add dimension, texture and warmth. The colorful mural on the back wall by illustrator Kateřina Kynclová is another quirky touch, hence the coffee shop’s homespun charm.
Houndstooth Coffee, Dallas
This coffee shop by architecture firm OFFICIAL combines the airy efficiency of a museum cafe’ with vintage Americana. The all-white space is grounded by a central wood-and-concrete serving counter, and punctuated by light wood retail displays. The seating area’s board-and-batten walls, dangling Edison bulbs and steel tables add farmhouse charm. Pop next door to Jettison bar for this interior’s glamorous opposite, also by OFFICIAL.
Rongbaozhai Coffee Bookstore, Beijing
Located in a former bookstore, this design by ARCHSTUDIO uses empty shelving to define spaces and create rhythmic visual patterns. Open shelves scattered with potted plants (instead of books) create an indoor garden. However, a small retail area still has books for sale. With its mid-century vibe, this coffee shop design feels like a library – the perfect spot to relax and read.
Dolcezza Coffee and Gelato, Washington DC
With its sharply rectangular shape and metallic facade, Dolcezza Coffee and Gelato looks like it landed in one piece in the lobby of the famously round Hirshhorn Museum. The stark contrast was created by New Material Research Laboratory, a firm that has been instrumental in refurbishing the museum. With its brass and tin plated finishes, the coffee shop’s elegant and slightly exotic look reminds us that museum spaces should be constantly evolving.
Coffee For Sasquatch, Los Angeles
Pared down doesn’t have to be bland, as this project by architect Dan Brunn demonstrates. From the Sasquatch logo embedded in a green vertical garden, to the ethereal modern mural, this coffee shop is creative and fresh. Brunn even created the serpentine benches from terrazzo, his favorite material. Beech millwork and light wood seating add a natural touch.
Botanic Museum Cafeteria, South Korea
This museum cafe’ created by arche708 uses a concrete room-within-a-room. Stepped seating areas break up the volume of the larger space. The design makes the spare, white space feel more intimate while providing flexible seating for larger groups. White orb lights dangling from the ceiling add circular elements to soften the hard angles of the concrete.
East One Coffee Roasters, Brooklyn
This design-build project by Blueberry Builders uses the raw bones of the coffee shop’s location to its advantage – think exposed brick, stripped beams, and factory windows. Inspired by Nordic interiors, the designers used natural wood planks to wrap the serving counter and whitewashed the brick walls before adding an antique mantel.
Invisible Coffee Room, Thailand
This little coffee shop is a great example of form following function. With its wall-mounted tables to the dangling lights, and the kitchen that stocks only necessities, this cafe’ needs nothing more. Light wood tones at the entrance extend a warm welcome. A clever concrete bench across the front window even has tiny steel tables built in.