The Best and Coolest Cafes in Hamburg

This is a list of the greatest cafés in Hamburg with the best coffee. When I first arrived here in Hamburg I needed a good café to chill out in and relax my weary bones but I couldn’t find a good resource on the net pointing me to the right spots. All I could find was a Tripadvisor list which wanted to take me to ALEX or Strandperle (two places I would never go to in my right mind). So I created this list for you. Australia has a wonderful café culture and all around the country there is quality coffee served in lovely little abodes. Hamburg’s café culture is currently following suit; it’s growing very rapidly and there are new places popping up all the time. The major German cities are more evolved with their vegan options.

For a café to be on this list it needs first and foremost a good atmosphere and interior décor. Food and coffee are important but secondary; I am vegan and will comment on vegan/vegetarian cuisine but this is a list for everyone. And no, I don’t like Elbgold!

Cafe Nasch

Cafe Nasch is a completely vegan cafe (except for cow milk for coffees) at the Gängeviertel. The Gängeviertel is worth visiting in and of itself. It’s an artistic collective of buildings in the middle of the city that started over 5 years ago when some like minded people were squatting there. The city went to kick them out but they refused to leave and they were somehow allowed to stay. Now they put on parties, vegan brunches, have a bike workshop, build bikes that are designed to move large amounts of stock and generally just be really cool. Café Nasch is now there too. The coffee is par excellence here, they really know what they’re doing and every day they have a limited menu of fantastic vegan dishes and cakes. This place should be your first choice if you’re looking for a hip café in Hamburg, it has a very artistic ambience. Open every day except Monday 9.30am – 6pm and weekends not open until midday.

Caffamacherreihe 49, Gänsemarkt, 20355

Transit: U-bahn Gänsemarkt or S-bahn Jungfernstieg

Nasch Cafe Hamburg Vegan Vegetarian

Café Nasch is a vegan and vegetarian café in the Hamburger Gängeviertel

Kaffee Stark

Luckily I ended up here on my second or third day in Hamburg, I think I was just magnetically drawn somehow because it also happens to be one of the most popular cafés in HH amongst a certain type of young and relaxed person. This owes itself to the gemütlich atmosphere inside with handmade wooden tables and counters, bohemian stained glass windows and relaxed staff. There’s even a sign explaining that if they’re slow with something, you just have to wait, it’s not fucking McDonald’s, so don’t expect to come here and boss around the staff; it’s not that kind of place. It’s right in the middle of the Wohlwillstraße which links Reeperbahn with Sternschanze, through St. Pauli, so it’s really right in the heart of things. They have a couple of vegan food options here too. Vegan breakfast (awesome) is in the 8 euro region and vegan chili sin carne is available basically round the clock. Highly recommended.

Wohlwillstraße 18, St. Pauli, 20359

Transit: S-bahn Reeperbahn or U-bahn St. Pauli

A picture of the façade of Kaffee Stark in Hamburg.

Kaffee Stark, cafe with vegan options, Wohwillstraße, St. Pauli, Hamburg

Less Political

Less political is a little bit away from the hustle and flow of Sternschanze. Whenever I blow in for my soy cappuccino the kind lady there offers to mix with vanilla syrup and hazelnut powder or something of that nature and talks to me about my further options for cappuccino cusrtomisation. They take the coffee seriously here and the guy is always mucking around with his syphon coffee giving the place a distinctly 1920s vibe, which the perpetual jazz music matches perfectly. You can get versions of coffee here that you didn’t even know existed; White Cloud Cold Brew? Cascara Fizz? One of the increasing number of cafés in Hamburg that doesn’t pay lip service to coffee. I mean, they even have Australian baristas!

Sternstraße 68, Sternschanze, 20357

Transit: S-bahn or U-bahn Sternschanze

Less Political Hamburg Cafe

Less Political is the place to go in Sternschanze for seriously good coffee.

Happen Pappen

Happen Pappen is less of a café and more of a bistro or restaurant, but they do serve coffee and it’s probably the best place to go for lunch in all of Hamburg. The guy who founded it, Roman is usually in the kitchen and you can see him performing his vegan master work from just where you sit to eat. The menu changes every day and words are not good enough to describe the deliciousness of what they cook here. They also have a large assortment of different drinks and smoothies that are also very creative. The place is a bit out of the way but get on a bus from Schlump and you will be there in no time, it’s worth it!! Oh, it’s 100% vegan.

Lappenbergsallee 41, Eimsbüttel, 20257

Transit: U-bahn Lutterothstraße or get the M4 bus from Schlump

Happen Pappen Eimsbüttel Hamburg

Happen Pappen is a vegan café / restaurant in Hamburg and the best place to get lunch.

Saal II

The best thing about Saal II is that during the 2014 World Cup they didn’t show any matches due to their disapproval of the fervent and hysterical nationalism it breeds. Instead of the Germany matches they showed Ivan Lendl vs. John Mcenroe at the 1984 Stockholm Open (‘Answer my QUESTION! … the QUESTION jerk!!’). This move would take some guts considering they chose to have an empty, rather than a full bar during those matches (I sat in there with my girlfriend while Germany played… I can’t remember who Germany was playing, I was watching Mcenroe throw racquets around). But this is integrity and this is what sticking to your values means, I like the moxie on Saal II. I also like their vegan breakfast (weekends only) awesome décor and cool wait staff. They like to separate themselves from the Schülterblatt too, which is the heavily gentrified street that centres Sternschanze. Don’t believe the travel guides that say it’s some kind of bohemian wonderland… it’s not.

Schulterblatt 83, 20357, Sternschanze

Transit: S-bahn or U-bahn Sternschanze

The façade of Saal II in Hamburg.

Saal II, Hamburg cafe and bar with a great vegan breakfast, Schulterblatt, Sternschanze, Hamburg

Milch Feinkost

This is a great new cafe. The name is derived from the historic store front which is very beautiful. They concentrate on coffee and they make it very well with their Spirit espresso machine. This is one of the only places in Hamburg where you can get a flat white that’s up with the times, just really good coffee. You get to choose between a light roast and a dark roast. They also sell some cake and pastries, but nothing vegan as yet. Beautiful interior.

Ditmar-Koel-Straße 22, Hamburg, 20459

Transit: S-bahn or U-bahn Landungsbrücken

Milch Feinkost cafe landungsbrücken

Milch Feinkost, look no further for really good coffee in Hamburg.

Café Johanna

Café Johanna is the single café in Hamburg that really feels like an Australian café. The girl who started this place really knows what she’s doing. The interior is picture perfect, the coffee is well made, and the food is always interesting. The vegan breakfast option is a huge bowl of bircher muesli with berries and fruits, not quite my style but I ate it anyway and I must admit it was very good. The lunch menu is constantly changing. One day I went there and they had two vegan options: vegan bolognese (mushroom base) and thai noodle salad. The next day I went and there was almost nothing for me. It’s a great café near the harbour, combine it with your obligatory visit to the Elbe Tunnel. I would like to see them cater to vegans just a tinsy tiny bit more though.

Venusberg 26, Landungsbrücken, 20459

Transit: S-bahn or U-bahn Landungsbrücken

A picture of people dining at Café Johanna in Hamburg, Landungsbrücken.

Café Johanna, Hamburg Café, Landungsbrücken (near the harbour)


Kaffeeklappe is a completely new cafe that opened in March 2015. It’s situated in Wilhelmsburg (an ‘island’ south of the Elbe) which is a little bit of a trek to get to but this area is often spoken about as being the up and coming neighbourhood in Hamburg; but it’s still developing, as yet there aren’t too many bars and cafés there. Kaffeeklappe signals the slow but continuing growth of Wilhelmsburg from a place for just residents to enjoy into a place that’s worth visiting from north of the Elbe. Kaffeeklappe has great food, cake and coffee and has the atmosphere of a sort of artistic living room. The best thing about it is that it’s currently so cheap, they offer a vegan breakfast for 4 euros! And a cappuccino is only going to set you back 1.80. They also offer bircher muesli and vegan porridge. It’s open every day except Monday from 8am – 8pm (on weekends it opens at 10 but then they have an all day breakfast… an Australian institution).

Fähstraße 69, Wilhelmsburg, 21107

Transit: Take the S-bahn to Veddel exit right as you leave the train and get the M13 bus to Stubenplatz (will take just under 20 minutes from Hbf)

Kaffeeklappe Hamburg

Kaffeeklappe is a very nice café in the developing area of Wilhelmsburg.

Kandie Shop

Kandie Shop is so quirky and small and they really do sell candy!! They also make coffee and always have some edgy girl working in there playing streetwise indie music like Frank Ocean or Lorde. There’s not much space to sit inside but plenty of outside space sitting right in between two of Hamburg’s coolest spots: Suicycle and Kaffee Stark. The standalone vegan option is a vegan bagel, I tried it recently and it was grandios.

Wohlwillstraße 16, St. Pauli, 20359

Transit: S-bahn Reeperbahn or U-bahn St. Pauli

Kandie Shop

Kandie Shop, awesome cafe in Hamburg for vegans and vegetarians, Wohlwillstraße, St. Pauli


8 thoughts on “The Best and Coolest Cafes in Hamburg

  1. Pingback: Australia vs Germany. Cultural Differences. Part One. | Vegan Australian In Hamburg

  2. Pingback: Australia vs Germany. Cultural Differences. Part Two. | Vegan Australian In Hamburg

  3. Outstanding post, I loved it. Only issue is that I’m jet lagged and looking for something open before 10 or 11! All the suggestions appear to open later…😞


  4. I’m glad I stumbled into your website, I’m a Melburnian who moved to Hamburg 6 weeks ago, have a tried a few cafes and places where I can find good coffee, to no avail, still has not found a good place that I can come back to. I’m going to try some of these places. Thanks for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s