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June 21, 2024

9 most beautiful cafés in the world

Arushi Sakhuja
Cafés are one of the best options for any kind of outing — whether it’s a date, a meet-up with friends, or a solo outing. With stylish decor and fresh, aromatic brews, cafés have become a preferred choice with opulent and palatial interiors. The experience of enjoying a cappuccino is worlds apart from the coffee runs we have become so accustomed to. Here are 10 of the most beautiful cafés in the world. 
New York Café Budapest 
most beautiful cafés in the world
Photo Courtesy: New York Café Budapest
Wondering why this café is named after the Big Apple? That’s because over 125 years ago, the opulent building was designed as the headquarters of the New York Life Insurance Company. It wasn’t until the Italian hotel chain, Boscolo, purchased the palace long after the fall of the communist regime, that the New York Cafe was restored to its former glory. This Budapest legend was the meeting place of artists in the early 20th century. Recently renovated by designer Adam Tihany, it maintains a dazzling gilded interior featuring ornate lamps and paintings on the ceiling mixed with contemporary furnishings making it one of the most beautiful cafés in the world. 
Opulent, extravagant, lavish, gorgeous – it’s easy to understand why New York Cafe is often voted the most beautiful in the world. The interior is filled with giant marble columns, glistening chandeliers, and ornate ceilings featuring intricate frescoes, gilded trimmings and grand staircases. And if you fancy some delicious food and have got an appetite, whether sweet or savoury, New York Café has mouth-watering dishes. From a lavish breakfast menu, such as poached eggs, eggs benedict, and even American-style pancakes to Chef Andras Wolf’s traditional lunch and dinner menu that features Hungarian cuisine that gets a modern spin. Staples on offer include the traditional beef goulash soup with beans, Wiener schnitzel with beetroot salad, Grilled rainbow trout with layered potato casserole, baked carrot and tarragon flavoured hollandaise sauce, and the favourite Chicken paprikash with spätzle noodles. Hence making it one of the most beautiful cafés in the world. 
Café Imperial, Prague  
Café Imperial, Prague  
Photo Courtesy: Café Imperial, Prague
Prague’s flourishing café society of the late 19th century led to the opening of several grand cafés in the city. Café Imperial has been the most famous and most popular “Grand Cafe House” and restaurant in Prague for the past 100 years. But the true beauty is the grandeur of the interiors. Original Art Noveau ceramic wall tiling and mosaic ceiling from 1914 are breathtaking, and the crowned large street windows illuminate the café to perfection. So, if you wish to sip your coffee like royalty, this should be on your list. Its ornate mosaic and tile-covered interior are one of the world’s most incredibly beautiful backdrops for breakfast in the morning, afternoon tea, or to try a selection of Czech dishes.  
The Imperial hotel’s restaurant is an impressive room, with a high ceiling and colourful mosaic-tiled walls and pillars. Menus list robust Czech dishes which melt in your mouth. The architectural gem has been luring its guests with a Grand Café-style atmosphere since 1914, not only with unique ceramic decorations. Quality service, first-class cuisine and affordable prices in a luxurious environment – that’s Cafe Imperial. Café Imperial is not only a restaurant but also a coffee shop that lives up to its glory from the First Republic. You can enjoy the cake in the beautiful surroundings of the Café or take it away. 
Café de la Paix, Paris 
Café de la Paix, Paris 
Photo Courtesy: Café de la Paix, Paris
Located on the Place de l’Opéra, the Café de la Paix has embodied Parisian life since it first opened in 1862. As soon as you set foot in the Café de la Paix, you know you are somewhere special. Surrounded by a décor and Napoleon III style with its gilded panelling and coffered ceiling blends seamlessly with streamlined furniture and a natural colour scheme. The menu boasts supremely French touches which are created by Executive Chef Laurent André. Foie gras, escargots from Burgundy, the iconic French onion soup, … The Café de la Paix repertoire is enhanced with these dishes.  The Café de la Paix also offers an exceptional Sunday brunch. Imagined by Chef Laurent André, shares his avid passion for locally grown products, for seasonal cuisine, infusing the venerable classics of the Café de la Paix menu with a light, contemporary touch.  It was built by the same architect as the Opera House seen across from it, with an ornate stucco ceiling, gilded walls, and marble tables. Equally monumental are the pastries, often sculpted by local designers. 
Swan Café, Cape Town, South Africa 
Swan Café, Cape Town, South Africa 
Photo Courtesy: Swan Café, Cape Town, South Africa
Welcome to Cape Town’s first authentic Parisian Crêperie. Serving sweet crêpes, savoury galettes and exclusive tea blends.  The vibrant café, designed by iconic South African designer Haldane Martin and showcases traditional French design that is elegant, feminine, and atmospheric. The trending Wallpaper features a Renaissance painting telling the controversial Greek myth of Zeus disguising himself as a swan to seduce his love, Leda. On the back wall, Jean-Léon Gérôme’s Romantic version shows the curvaceous nude bathing in the lake with the swan and their half-mortal, half-divine offspring, reiterating the mythology and symbolism associated with love, music, and poetry. 
Much like its owner, the delightful Jessica Rushmere, the space oozes a French flair with a colour palette of blue, red and white artfully interpreted into dominant dark blue, grey, and pinkish timber finishes and dashes of red accents. Haldane Martin’s bespoke chairs and red stools for Swan café resemble champagne corks – a rather contemporary steel and wood take on a bistro chair typology. Furnishings pay homage to traditional French cafés, with marble bistro tables and bespoke chairs, original ceramic tiles, and vintage lighting along with bird cage lights and “Swan egg” light bulbs. The copper and brass pieces complement the red and pink hues. Thin and delicious crêpes are the “pièce de résistance” of this eatery and the coffee is sourced from the “best micro artisanal roaster on the False Bay Coast.” This makes Swan Café a must-visit when in Cape Town.  The amazing crêpes, as thin as a French mademoiselle, as full-bodied as a mythological Leda with a flick of cream, a wink of cinnamon and an oh là là of chocolate. For the guilty and gluten-free, savoury buckwheat-based galettes and sexy salads. And to accentuate it all: exclusively blended teas with names like French Kiss, Paris Je T’aime, Teint de Pêche and Royal Rouge; steeped in the perfume of Paris, sipped with the promise of ‘encore.  
Merchant’s Lane, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
most beautiful cafés in the world
Photo Courtesy: Merchant’s Lane, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A modern take on the heritage of Petaling Street, Merchants Lane is a cafe and restaurant that sees the coming together of local charm and current culture.  The cafe offers a quiet ambience to escape from all the city buzzes. It brings you to an entirely different environment filled with vintage charms. Inside the café uses a teal and pink colour scheme on their counter and display cases – a nice pop of colour from everything else in the shop that sports a rustic look. Most of the furniture is custom-made, including some of the benches which were fashioned out of old wooden staircases. The menu features Asian-inspired comfort food. The aglio olio is served with an option of prawns or chicken rendang, and the Cantonese-style Hongkie Beef Stew is slow-cooked for 12 hours. They also have their own house-made caramel and potato hash. For drinks, they serve the basics like coffee, tea and some juices, with interesting choices like jasmine black coffee and rose honey milk. 
Caffé Florian, Venice  
Caffé Florian, Venice  
Photo Courtesy: Caffé Florian, Venice
Venice’s grand old days can still be seen in the city’s palazzi but can only be felt in its historic cafés. The most stunning of all is Caffè Florian, taking you back to the 18th century with its frescoed and mirrored interior. It has been the hangout of writers and artists in the past, while in the present it stands as a living museum. As such, don’t be surprised to be charged around ten euros for coffee, but it’s a price worth paying to admire such a stunning place, which is also home to the Venice Bienalle, a contemporary art exhibition running since the late 19th century. 
Café Central, Vienna  
Café Central, Vienna  
Photo Courtesy: Café Central, Vienna
Despite the monumental streets and palatial buildings around the city, historic cafés are the real Vienna landmarks. The Viennese cafés are inspirations for countless coffee shops around the world, and Café Central is the most beautiful and inspirational of all. Housed in a historic palace, it features marble pillars, grand chandeliers, and arched ceilings that have welcomed intellectuals since the turn of the 19th century. As is the case with most historic cafés, it now mostly welcomes tourists, but it’s also a local attraction, offering live classical music in the afternoon. 
NOC Coffee Co. Sheung Wan, Hong Kong 
NOC Coffee Co. Sheung Wan, Hong Kong 
Photo Courtesy: NOC Coffee Co. Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
With “Coffee is our soul” as its motto, this Hong Kong café sure serves some of the best coffee in the region and is one of the most beautiful cafés in the world. NOC Coffee Co. roasts carefully selected Arabica beans onsite to supply to six Hong Kong cafes. The cafe is designed with Japanese zen style and sustainability in mind. Crafted with calming and organic materials, the semi-open storefront welcomes each customer with an intricate wooden lattice. 
But apart from tasteful blends and a menu that accommodates vegans, pescatarians, and meat lovers. Standing for Not Only Coffee, but it is known for its healthy breakfasts, bagels, and fancifully put-together caffeine hits. Offering healthy salads, fruit bowls, and all-day breakfasts, the 10-grain Rice Bowl is worth trying. It is a light yet complete meal in itself loaded with sautéed mushrooms, shredded carrot, fresh cucumber, crispy seaweed, sweet and sour bamboo shoots, and a runny egg for the sauce. 
Saint Aymes, London, UK 
most beautiful cafés in the world
Photo Courtesy: Saint Aymes, London, UK
Saint Aymes is the vision of sisters Lois & Michela, who design under the single elegant motto, “for beauty’s sake” and hence making this one of the most beautiful cafés in the world. The sisters believe that beauty has the divine power to elevate the human spirit. From chocolates to their famous cafe experience, it all exists for the sake of beauty.  Featured on the BBC, ITV, Heat Magazine and Tastemade, Saint Aymes has been widely referred to as the prettiest cafe in London. Set a stone’s throw from London’s iconic Hyde Park, you will find our idyllic hanging floral display nestled in the heart of The Connaught Village. With 7 flower walls, a unique “Instagrammable” menu and treats laced in 24ct gold Saint Aymes is a London experience you cannot miss. For those who like florals, Saint Aymes in London is unmissable. With flowers adorning the exterior of the coffee shop, this London locale is loved by lovers of flowers and anything pink. The café serves adorably matching dishes and drinks, from rose ‘teapuccinos’ to unicorn milkshakes. Is pink not your thing? Head inside, where the walls are lined with velvet green seating, for a more relaxed setting.  
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Arushi Sakhuja

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