Todd’s Favorite International Cafes
Todd Carmichael knows coffee and travels the world to find the best varieties of it. In his travels, he searches for the highest-quality beans. Along the way, he’s also found the best places to grab a quick, already-prepared cup of Joe. Here, in his own words, are Todd’s picks for the best cafes around the world to relax, take in the scenery and sip a fresh-brewed cup of coffee.
What I love about this café is its fantastic location. You can grab a chaise and enjoy your coffee outside, in a square lined with leafy trees in Place Sainte-Catherine. Then take a stroll across the street to peruse the more than 300 Belgian cheeses offered by Crèmerie de Linkebeek, the oldest cheese shop in the city.
Singapore has an exploding coffee culture, and I like to go to Chye Seng Huat Hardware, owned by the guys behind Papa Palheta -- they really started the coffee movement here. Located in an area with a lot of traditional hardware shops, this cafe differentiates itself with a great tech style and a semi-secret entrance. They’ve got a roaster on premise, as well as some really good pastries, like this pistachio and cranberry cake.
Of all the cafes I visit in my travels, La Scoperta in Antwerp has to be one of the best. Their Italian charcuterie plate with pecorino cheese and Tuscan honey is outstanding.
I never really went to the North End of Boston until the Big Dig project was finished, making it easier to walk into this historic Italian neighborhood that hasn’t changed in half a century. Mike’s Pastry is an old-school Italian bakery with classic coffee.
Courtesy of Coffee Atelier, Penang
In the George Town section of Malaysia, Penang Atelier has a lot to offer. It’s a hotel, coffee museum, art gallery and café in a cluster of historic prewar shophouses -- an architecture style common in urban centers of Southeast Asia. The Mediterranean menu includes some of the best tapas I’ve ever had.
Jurjen van Enter, flickr
I think Sant’Eustachio is one of the most wonderfully authentic cafes in Rome, and that’s saying something. Most locals say that the flavor of Roman coffee comes from the water itself, funneled into the city by an aqueduct built in 19 B.C. You can’t beat that.
The Jakarta Coffee House serves nothing but Indonesian Arabica coffee, which they source and roast on premise using machines from Turkey. If you take the time to visit, then make sure to get there for a roasting -- they do 8 a day starting at about 9 a.m.
Todd ventures into Cambodia, where beans are roasted in a way he’s never seen, land mines still explode daily and locals eat fried spiders.