5 Best Cafes in Cologne, Germany for Coffee Lovers

Updated on December 20, 2023  


Discover the Cologne's fantastic cafe scene as we guide you through the best cafes in this charming city. Perhaps you're a coffee connoisseur or simply looking for a cozy vegan breakfast place, you won't have any trouble finding great coffee spots in Cologne.

From serious coffee shops serving expertly-crafted brews to Instagram-worthy spots with a mouth-watering brunch menu, our recommended spots will make your visit to Cologne extra special.

Top 5 Cafes To Visit In Cologne, Germany

Café Buur

Almost anyone young, hip or trendy knows Cafe Buur, lovingly dubbed "Germany’s most beloved breakfast place".

But you don't need us to tell you that, because the snaking queues outside their restaurant will. Because when they say they serve 'food porn' they actually mean it...

cafe-in-Cologne germany

See, the dishes at Cafe Buur are a brunch lover's fever dream – think fluffy pancakes created with cookie dough, Kaiserschmarrn topped with ice cream and drenched in Lotus Biscoff sauce, or deep-fried chicken tenders wrapped in soft Chinese bao and dripping with Korean marinade. [1]

It's like their menu was created by the love child of a mad scientist and a 18-year-old drunken chef. Genius, dangerous, and delicious.

Address: Richard-Wagner-Str. 28, 50674 Köln, Germany

Café Schmitz

Café Schmitz is in a nice and quiet spot between the Hansaring or Eberplatz stops. This large, cozy cafe serves delicious breakfast and lunch food among locals, so you know it's not just a passing trend.

Tuck into heart portions of pancakes, bacon and eggs, French toast, and traditional Sonntagsfrühstück (German breakfast with bread, ham, cheese and sweet & savory spreads). Vegetarians will love the many options for them too. [2]


This is a place to settle down and chill with a cappuccino and a walnut brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, or meet friends over a glass of Kölsch beer on their terrace.

Address: Hansaring 98, 50670 Köln, Germany

The Coffee Gang

The trendy Neusser Straße has a plethora of fantastic cafes, restaurants, and bars, creating stiff competition for The Coffee Gang. Yet this humble, no-frills cafe still manages to shine.


The cafe is known for ingredients that are locally sourced as much as possible, and their freshly-made cakes.

I noticed nearly everyone had ordered a slice of their cheesecake, and it was light, creamy and phenomenal. Their banana bread has apparently gained a sort of legendary status in Cologne too.

Of course, their coffee is the still star. They source their beans directly from the roasters, which shows these folks are downright serious about sustainability and their coffee game. [3]

Address: Neusser Str. 53, 50670 Köln, Germany

Salon Schmitz

Tucked along Aachener Strasse, the fabulous Salon Schmitz offers an interesting concept. Part deli, part bar, and part cafe, you'll be tempted to spend the whole day here – from brunch to dinner to cocktails. [4]

That's a feat, considering the rest of the street is a famous foodie hotspot.

After ordering your coffee, head to the old butcher shop where the deli is. Order the best quiches in town and thank me later.

After your meal, pop into the bar for a scoop of indulgent Italian gelato or a fun fizzy cocktail.

Address: Aachener Str. 28, 50674 Köln, Germany

Hommage Café

The tiny size of Hommage cafe is perhaps what caught my eye first. It doesn't feel like a cafe, but more like an attic space converted into a makeshift brunch spot. Seats made from cable drums, old sewing machines, and church pews add to the charm.

The ceiling above the bar is beautifully adorned with images of angels and saints seemingly watching over you as you dig into heavenly pancakes made from buckwheat, munch on the cafe's perfect Bircher muesli.

The cafe is a haven for vegans and dairy-free seekers, thanks to the wide variety of mouthwatering vegan cakes & vegan coffee.

The central location makes Hommage an ideal spot to unwind after a stop at the Belgian Quarters, whether you're alone, with a friend, or on a date. The playlist of cozy songs adds to the relaxing ambiance.

Address: Friesenstraße 73, 50670 Köln, Germany

What Makes Each Cafe Unique

Cafe Buur's Middle Eastern Influences

Sucuk is a spicy and fermented sausage popular in Middle Eastern cuisine, and is a unique feature in Cafe Buur's menu. Their Sucuk HalliGalli is a delicious spin-off of the Turkish menemen dish; hearty scrambled eggs, tomatoes, cabbage pickles, potatoes, and of course, a generous serving of sucuk.

If you're up for a little spice, then their Israeli-style Shakshuka is sure to hit the spot. Eggs are gently poached in a simmering, tantalizing stew of tomato sauce, peppers, cumin, and garlic.

Cafe Schmitz's Local Vibe And Cozy Ambiance

This charming cafe lies in the busy Hansaring district, but is well known among locals for its relaxed atmosphere from morning to late into the night.

Throughout the day, you'll see locals casually dropping in and out. Older folks sip their coffee while reading the morning papers, while families file in for a relaxed lunch. It's quite enjoyable just watching different people come and go.

best-cafe-in-Cologne germany

And don't be misled by the dreary facade outside, the inside is a comfortable, warm and roomy cafe staffed by truly friendly people.

They're best known for their extensive menu, which caters to most palates. In fact, the staff were more than happy to make any dish vegan-friendly, to the delight of our vegan friend.

The Coffee Gang's Specialty Coffee & Cheesecake

For good beans and expert baristas, there is The Coffee Gang. Plus, their drinks are priced quite affordably too (from 2€).

They source high-quality coffee beans almost exclusively light-roasted on their La Marzocco machine.

But it's not just the excellent coffee that keeps customers coming back to The Coffee Gang – their homemade New York cheesecake is famously the bomb.

Salon Schmitz's Ice Cream & Sorbets

For the best ice cream in town, it has to be Salon Schmitz. They whip up their own Italian ice cream right on-site, and it's all crafted from organic ingredients. Large selection of vegan flavors too.

Now, it's true their ice cream comes with a slightly higher price tag (2€ per scoop as of now) compared to other gelaterias, but the quality totally justifies it.

The chocolate sorbet is fantastic and tends to vanish fast. So, if you're keen on a scoop, better swing by early.

If ice cream isn't your thing, the cafe also offers an extensive wine list from all around the world. 


Hommage Café's Vegan Options

Their menu might be small, but when it comes to vegan-friendly options among cafes, Hommage takes the cake. Enjoy vegan chocolate cake, apple pie and pancakes (gluten-free too!) 

There's a range of vegan milk options too, such as oat, soy and coconut milk.

For non-vegan vegetarians, there's still milk, eggs, honey and such. Yum!

Insider Tips For Visitors

Best Times To Visit Each Café

To make the most of your visit to Cologne's top coffee shops, it's helpful to know when they're at their best. Cafe Buur is a popular spot for breakfast and lunch, so try visiting in the morning or early afternoon before it gets too crowded.

The Coffee Gang is open late on weekends, making it the perfect destination for an evening coffee fix.


Salon Schmitz includes a bar with a great wine list, so consider stopping by in the evening to enjoy a glass with friends.

When planning your visit to these cafes in Cologne, keep in mind that they each have unique operating hours and peak times of day.

Must-try Menu Items

Every coffee shop in Cologne offers something unique and delicious to try.

At Café Buur, don't miss out on their Sucuk HalliGalli made with fresh ingredients.

For an authentic German breakfast experience, head to Café Schmitz for their Familie Schmitz featuring local meats, cheeses, and bread.

If you're a coffee fanatic, then stop by The Coffee Gang for their specialty brews made from directly-traded beans and milk from local dairies.

Meanwhile, Salon Schmitz is known for the best ice cream and quiches in Cologne.

For vegans, a visit to Hommage Cafe isn't complete without trying their oat-milk cappuccino and galette with eggplant cream & tomatoes.

Hidden Gems Near Each Café

Each café on our list has something special to offer, but their surroundings are also worth exploring. Take a stroll around the charming Belgian Quarter and discover the hidden gem shops near Hommage Café and Cafe Buur.


The area is home to art galleries, vintage stores, and bookshops that make for a pleasant afternoon of browsing.

At Salon Schmitz, don't miss out on a visit to nearby Hiroshima-Nagasaki Park with its beautiful ducks and swans.

Comfortable Seating Arrangements

One of the essential elements that make a great café experience is comfortable seating arrangements. As a traveler in Cologne, you'll appreciate lounging in cozy chairs or outdoor terraces as you sip coffee or tea and savor cakes.

For instance, Cafe Schmitz has a decent outdoor terrace with plenty of seats where you can people-watch while enjoying your cuppa. On the other hand, Hommage Café offers comfy indoor chairs and tables arranged close enough to promote conversation but not too close to intrude on privacy.

Additional Recommendations For Your Visit To Cologne

Best Restaurants In Cologne

For foodies visiting Cologne, there's no shortage of amazing restaurants to try. Whether you're looking for traditional German cuisine or international flavors, the city offers a wide variety of options to satisfy any craving.

From fine dining establishments like Le Moissonnier to casual favorites like Bei Oma Kleinmann, there's something for everyone. For those on a budget, street food and local markets offer affordable and delicious options.

Additionally, many restaurants in Cologne offer outdoor seating with stunning views of the city's historic landmarks such as Cologne Cathedral.

Best Lunch And Breakfast Spots

If you're looking for the best lunch and breakfast spots in Cologne, there are plenty of options to choose from. One of the top-rated places is Café Buur, which offers not only delicious coffee but also homemade cakes and sandwiches that are perfect for a midday break.

For budget-friendly eats, head over to Cafe Sehnsucht where their breakfast menu includes everything from classic croissants to hearty porridge bowls at reasonable prices.

If you're searching for trendy coffee shops in Cologne city center, The Coffee Gang is the place to be.

In short, whether you're craving a light bite or something more substantial, these best brunch and lunch spots in Cologne offer diverse options that cater to every taste bud preference imaginable.

Instagrammable Cafes In Cologne

For those seeking the perfect photogenic spot to showcase their trip to Cologne, look no further than the Instagrammable cafes dotted throughout the city.

One must-visit coffee shop is Café Buur, with its charming decor and homemade treats that are as beautiful as they are delicious. Another great option is hommage Café, which not only sources sustainable ingredients but also features stunning handmade ceramics that add an artistic touch to any photo.

Conclusion: Best Coffee Shops in Cologne

In conclusion, Cologne is a city that offers a wide variety of coffee shops and cafes to suit all tastes. Whether you are in the mood for a cozy ambiance, live jazz events or some specialty third wave coffee, Cologne has it all.

Don't miss out on visiting our top five recommended coffee shops: Café Buur, Café Schmitz, The Coffee Gang, Salon Schmitz and hommage Café. Each café has something unique to offer from homemade cakes and sandwiches to ethical sourcing practices.

When in Cologne's Old Town area don't forget to sample some hearty German fare while enjoying the interesting sights around you.

Key Takeaways

  • Cologne offers a diverse range of cafes catering to all tastes and preferences, from vintage-inspired decor to contemporary designs.
  • Top cafes in Cologne include Café Buur for "food porn" breakfast plates, Café Schmitz for an authentic local vibe, The Coffee Gang for affordable specialty coffee and a welcoming atmosphere, Salon Schmitz for its mix of vintage and modern interiors and Italian ice cream, and hommage Café for its delicious vegan fare.
  • Insider tips include checking the schedule beforehand, and visiting hommage Cafe if you're looking for vegan-friendly options. Don't miss out on exploring the hidden gems near each cafe such as art galleries in the Belgian Quarter or the beautiful park near Salon Schmitz.


1: Café Buur: #mybrunchisbetterthanyours, retrieved from https://www.cafebuur.de/en/
2: Café Schmitz, retrieved from http://www.cafeschmitz.de/
3: THE COFFEE GANG Specialty coffee & brewbar in Köln - t h e c o f f e e g a n g, retrieved from https://www.thecoffeegang.de/
4: Salon Schmitz - Café / Lounge / Bar / Ausstellungen, retrieved from https://salonschmitz.com/salon

About the Author

Stephan Drescher, founder of germanytravel.blog, is a German travel expert and insider, providing trusted tips and advice for a perfect trip to Germany. Born & bred German.