Vor dem Café oté stehen mehrere Tische und Stühle auf einem Platz. Hinter einer großes Glasscheibe befindet sich das Innere des Cafés.
At oté, you can sip on a coffee or a cocktail right into the middle of the night. Photo: Lucie Hillmann

Cafés in Cologne: a celebration of cake cult and Cologne coolness

Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) in the afternoon is part of civilised culture throughout Germany. But it doesn’t always have to be filter coffee and apple cake like Oma used to make. Cologne boasts a multitude of cafés that aim to create mouth-watering cakes and pastries whilst also being nice places to while away the hours – places with that certain something. And they need something special because the city is full of cafés. We’ve got the coolest ones, the ones with the looks and the cooks. Whether it’s Parisian or Portuguese flair you’re after, coffee or kölsch beer, these hotspots will put a smile on the face of any sweet-toothed visitor.

1. Goodchild Café: divine croissants just like in Paris 

The best croissants in Cologne can be found on Sudermannstraße, not far from Ebertplatz square. Here, at the Goodchild Café in the heart of the vibrant Agnesviertel district, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve taken a wrong turn and ended up in Paris. Their French cakes, pastries and croissants are exquisite and there’s even a glass wall between the café and the bakery so you can watch the croissants being individually rolled by hand. In addition to other treats like French toast and tartelettes, they serve really great coffee from Rösterei Vier. The interior design was inspired by pastry chef Linda’s travels to Sydney and combines a minimalist aesthetic with bright accents that create a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Don’t get there too late though – Goodchild is a “quality before quantity” place, preferring to put their time and heart into small batches of perfection instead of having to throw produce away. So you might find yourself confronted by empty shelves if you get there near closing time.

Sudermannstr. 12, 50670 Cologne

2. oté: coffee, cake and culture

Opened in the Eigelstein district last August, oté is a new gem in Cologne’s café crown. Owners Johannes and André have set out to turn their little glass palace into a new hangout for Cologne’s art and creative scene, a place with a feel-good vibe from morning to night. From 10 in the morning, Tuesday to Sunday, there are homemade cakes to dig into and coffee specialities from roasters Zwoo to savour. The range of cakes changes regularly, with everything from lemon tarte to “chocolate pudding pie” plus vegan and gluten-free options. They’ve recently introduced a compact menu of breakfast goodies, including a yoghurt & granola bowl and fresh banana bread. But it’s also worth staying around for an Aperol to witness oté’s evening transformation into a lively bar that hosts events like readings, DJ sessions and wine tastings. oté is well on its way to becoming one of the coolest cafés in the city.

Eigelstein 122, 50668 Cologne 

3. Bom Dia: Cologne corner-shop charm and Portuguese pastries

If you like things a bit more low-key, you’ll feel right at home at Bom Dia in Cologne’s Südstadt neighbourhood. Located on Vorgebirgsstraße, away from the hustle and bustle, this small café with its corner-shop vibe is famed for its delicious pastel de nata custard tarts, which you can get, served on a tile in typical Portuguese fashion, for 2.50 euros. The atmosphere is laid-back, with tables and seats made of cola crates, where you can enjoy your pastel de nata with a coffee or a kölsch beer. If the weather’s warm as well, it almost feels like you’re in Lisbon. And that’s no coincidence because the owner comes from the Portuguese capital and Bom Dia is his way of bringing a little bit of his hometown to the Rhineland.

Vorgebirgsstraße 1c, 50677 Cologne

4. Café Holm: for sweet-toothed coffee nerds

The name Holm is not new to coffee-lovers as the local business has been selling roasts for several years. But owners Nils and Phillip took the plunge in 2022 and opened their own café in a former butcher’s shop in the district of Lindenthal. Apart from coffee specialities, they’ve teamed up with Miriam, who owns Café Walther, to offer dreamy cakes and gateaux too. The cinnamon buns are a big hit but the cute carrot cakes and the cookies are great too. It’s not just the skilful baking that makes this an impressive place though – the interior design is a delight as well, providing a Scandi-inspired, minimalist backdrop against which to devour your cake. Another plus is that Lindenthal is a bit quieter than Ehrenfeld and the Belgian Quarter so you can sit back and enjoy your coffee and cake away from the crowds.

Lindenthalgürtel 61, 50935 Cologne

5. Wallczka: catering for all your needs, morning ’til night

If you’re looking for cool cafés in Cologne, Ehrenfeld is the go-to district. A bustling neighbourhood and a favourite haunt of the city’s young people, it has stylish cafés galore. Wallczka stands out from the rest thanks to a cleverly designed minimalist interior, excellent cakes and a menu that has something for everyone. With its down-to-earth approach and love of trying out new things, this fusion of café, bar and restaurant manages to exude style without losing any of its Cologne charm. At the weekend, you can breakfast to your heart’s content up until 3pm. In the evenings, the café turns into a lively restaurant with a well-stocked bar. It’s this mix of ingredients that makes this place more than just your run-of-the-mill café: Wallczka has long since joined the ranks of Cologne eateries that are always the right choice.

Subbelrather Str. 295, 50825 Cologne

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