I think you can learn a lot about a city from the coffee shops there. Are they rustic and homey, serving the lattes in hodge-podge mugs? Is it cleanly decorated with white walls and prints, or is it filled with wooden accents and plants? In America we often just grab our coffee and go, but since I work in a coffee shop, I find myself spending about 50% of my time seeing what a coffee shop can say and do for a city.
It’s for this reason that when I get to a city, I find a coffee shop to go to first. I do have a rule that if I’m traveling, I do not go to a Starbucks. I try to go to the most local seeming coffee shop available. So I really struggled in Geneva because there really wasn’t a ‘coffee shop’ that I felt comfortable sitting down and doing work in or planning my day, or even just asking a question about the city. Coffee was supposed to bring community, so why are all the cafe’s I found so unfriendly? Part of it was because they were cafes, not coffee shops. When I arrive at one in the afternoon they want to serve me lunch not just a cuppa and a muffin.
So it took a little bit, but I managed to find what I think are the best coffee shops to go to in Geneva if you’re visiting the city. I know there are cafes on every corner, but I honestly think these are the best ones to seek out.
Birdie. This cafe always makes me feel fun and awake. If you follow them on Facebook, they post picture of their baristas and the latte art they create. Their slogan is “Great Coffee. Good Food. Warm Welcome” and they have never failed to live up to that expectation. Go for brunch one day and fall in love like I did.
Paradiso. We know I’m a sucker for avocado toast (see me gushing about my fav toast in Aix here), and I think the best avocado toast I had came from Paradiso, right down the street from Birdie.
Boreal. I came across this coffee shop by the getting off and on the tram when I had time to kill during holiday shopping. It was cold and rainy and I sought out the nearest cafe. I then started coming back all the time, I still remember the wifi password. If you head here, I suggest the green tea lattes. I also loved how patient they were with my french as my accent is, well, tres mal.
Cafe Livresse. Is it a book shop or a cafe? That’s something that I asked myself coming here, and its kind of both (I mean, livre is in the name so even if you know barely any french you could get it). you can actually order a book to the coffee shop, which is pretty cool. They also have such a chill attitude, you could just sit with your coffee for hours here. Another good thing about closing down the shop here is that it actually turns into a bar at night. Make sure you cheap out the local beers there as well.
So yes, as you walk down most streets in Europe you will find a cafe on every corner, but not all cafes are equal. Whats your favorite cafe in your city?