This city may be a modern and, in parts, futuristic place but that doesn't mean that you can't find plenty of the historic Hamburg, too. At these classic cafés, cake and coffee is still prepared the old way, with time and attention to detail.
Café du Passage (Winterhude)
Lattenstieg 4, 22299 Hamburg
Nestled away on a footpath between the busy Lattenkamp and Alsterdorfer streets is the little Café du Passage. The French owner prepares the café au lait just like in her home country. There is breakfast, daily specials, quiche, coffee and cake - all homemade. The café also has a small tea shop.
Café Paris (City Centre)
Rathausstraße 4, 20095 Hamburg
Café Paris is a bit tricky to define. Depending on the time of day and exactly what you're after, this beloved spot could be your new favourite café, restaurant or even bar. In the mornings, it tempts patrons with sandwiches, baguettes and croissants as well as a variety of international breakfast options. For late risers, breakfast is served until 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. At lunchtime, Café Paris serves delicacies such as salmon, beef medallions or the Plat du Jour - French finesse included. In the evenings, French classics such as oysters, steak-frites and bouillabaisse are on the menu.
Café Koppel (St. Georg)
Koppel 66, 20099 Hamburg
Located in a courtyard building parallel to the Lange Reihe street in St. Georg, it takes a little searching to find Café Koppel. But rest assured - the search is worth it! In summer visitors can sip their coffee or eat their cake in the garden. Most of the products are organic and many are homemade as well, but herbivores in particular are in good hands here: with a daily rotating menu of exclusively vegetarian and vegan dishes, there is no shortage of plant-based variety. Even the VEBU (Vegetarierbund Deutschland e.V.) are fans, having made Café Koppel a regular meeting place in Hamburg.
Speicherstadt Kaffeerösterei Café (HafenCity)
Kehrwieder 5, 20457 Hamburg
In the café section of the eponymous coffee roastery, visitors can enjoy beverages from freshly-roasted coffee and espresso as well as homemade cake. The old warehouse from 1888 adds to the unique atmosphere. Coffee lovers can watch the ships pass by while surrounded by decorative antique coffee machines and roasting equipment. Make sure to check out their second café location in Eppendorf as well!
Café Borchers (Eppendorf)
Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 1, 20251 Hamburg
A mixture of bar, café and restaurant, Borchers has been a fixture in Eppendorf for over 100 years. The traditional and extensive German menu means nobody leaves with an empty stomach: Tarte flambée, pizza, pasta, soups, salads or burgers - Borchers has it all. The Sunday breakfast buffet is beloved by Eppendorf locals, while the daily selection of homemade cakes is reason enough for anyone to visit.
Café Klatsch (Karoviertel)
Glashüttenstraße 17, 20357 Hamburg
Café Klatsch is a cosy cellar café in the Karoviertel with alternative-casual (one might also say old-fashioned) decor befitting its location and a pleasant and charming atmosphere. The waffles are fresh and tasty and the breakfast is plentiful and served until 7.30 p.m. A good place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Cafe Canale (Winterhude)
Poelchaukamp 7, 22301 Hamburg
As the name suggests, Cafe Canale is located directly by a canal - the Mühlenkamp canal to be precise. So close is the café to the water that coffee and cake can be served directly into passing canoes and kayaks - simply ring the bell and enjoy a welcome break from your boat trip. The rest of the café is very comfortable as well, and the canal view certainly doesn’t hurt. The home-made fruit-filled streusel cakes with whipped cream are legendary. On Sundays, hungry visitors will find a large breakfast buffet.
Klein und Kaiserlich (HafenCity)
Am Kaiserkai 26, 20457 Hamburg
The coffee house on Kaiserkai quai offers traditional Austrian coffee specialties, cake and breakfast. The look is modelled after classic Viennese coffee houses and channels this special inspiration well. Spots on the terrace offer a beautiful view of Vasco-da-Gama square and the museum port.
Café Galᾶo (Winterhude)
Alsterdorfer Str. 48, 22299 Hamburg
Looking for Portuguese treats in Hamburg? You might think first of the Portuguese quarter near the harbour, but these delicacies can be found in Winterhude too. Café Galᾶo offers snacks like traditional nata custard tarts, tosta mista, and tapas. The menu varies on a daily basis, bringing you away to Portugal for the length of a lunch break. The eponymous galᾶo coffee is always a good choice too.
Café Gnosa (St. Georg)
Lange Reihe 93, 20099 Hamburg
Café Gnosa on St. Georg's Lange Reihe is a Hamburg institution. It was one of the first 'official' gay cafes in town, and it's still going strong more than 20 years later. It's not just the out and proud atmosphere that has kept it so popular all this time though - it's also known for having one of the largest and most beautiful cake selections in the city. It's a hot destination for queer and straight patrons alike, so don't be surprised if the queue for a table stretches out the door at times. But rest assured that a table at Café Gnosa is well worth the wait.
Hüftgold Café (Winterhude)
Winterhuder Weg 142, 22085 Hamburg
You needn’t be a morning person to enjoy breakfast at Café Hüftgold on Winterhuder Weg - the most important meal of the day can be enjoyed all day long. Visitors can also browse daily newspapers while the hearty flan, soup or salad is prepared. All cakes are homemade and highly recommended.
Café Unter den Linden (Sternschanze)
Juliusstraße 16, 22769 Hamburg
Café Unter den Linden is a small oasis of peace in the middle of the bustling Schanzenviertel. The friendly café has been spoiling its guests with home-made cakes and dishes since 1982. The furnishings are fondly reminiscent of a classic Viennese coffee house. In summer you can relax on the terrace with a coffee or a beer from 9:30 a.m. until 1 a.m., and the large selection of newspapers and magazines also ensures you'll never be bored.
Café Lindtner (Eppendorf)
Eppendorfer Landstraße 88, 20249 Hamburg
At the Konditorei Lindtner café you can experience the traditional German coffee house culture of old. The freshly brewed coffee is served in a pot with a warmer, the cakes are traditional favourites like black forest, petit fours and German baumkuchen. Breakfast at Lindtner is a treat as well. Monday to Friday mornings diners can choose from a variety of à la carte options and on weekends there is a buffet.