The best coffee shops in Sarajevo

by Kathi Daniela

It is obvious that I as a coffee lover feel at home in a country where the coffee culture is the backbone of society - plans are made over a cup of coffee, a coffee shop is where you meet friends, discuss life, laugh or just kill time. For me as a typical Western European it is sometimes difficult not to gulp down my coffee and then rushing on to the next appointment. Bosnians don't do that. They take their time drinking coffee - it is a ritual that is celebrated.

So it's no wonder that thanks to the Bosnian coffee culture, Sarajevo has many really good cafés to offer – from your normal cappuccino to Bosnian coffee, which is made similar to Turkish coffee, there is something for everyone.

What's so special about Bosnian coffee?

Classic Bosnian coffee is served in a typical coffee set consisting of four parts: The copper tray with a džezva (the coffee pot) a šećerluk (a small pot with sugar and Turkish Delights) and the fildžani (the small coffee cup). 

You drink Bosnian coffee is slowly and without sugar. Those who find it too bitter dip the sugar into the coffee, let it melt on their tongue and then take a sip. Turkish delights help against the bitter aftertaste.

Even in a Bosnian house you will not be served coffee without sweets. There is no occasion in a Bosnian household where you are not offered a coffee. For visits, after dinner or simply in the afternoon, when the family gets together to talk about the day.

A quick "how to" for making Bosnian coffee

For Bosnian coffee, very finely ground coffee is poured into the džezva and then infused with hot, not quite boiling water.

Then everything is mixed well and brought to the boil. The coffee rises very quickly in the džezva - before it boils over it is removed from the heat, this process can be repeated one to three times. 

This creates a fine froth, which is first placed at the bottom of the cup before pouring the coffee over it.

Espresso Lab

The Bosnian Starbucks. When the traditional coffee gets too boring, you can get Iced Frappuccino, Moccha Latte and incredible brownies here.
Zelenih beretki 18

Caffe tito

This place is all about Marshal Tito. You drink cappuccino while the dictator laughs from the wall, next to a discarded tank. Strange, but a hot spot in Sarajevo.
Zmaja od Bosne 5

metropolis

A Sarajevan classic! Fresh coffee and incredibly good cakes at three locations in the city. My favorite store is on the:
Maršala Tita 21

ministry of cejf

Really good, traditionally prepared coffee and tea and a beautiful view of the old town and Sarajevo's main square.
Kovači 26 

Caffe von Habsburg

When it's stormy outside, sitting in this café with its brown wood panelling makes you feel warm and cozy again. Plus: Hot coffee with cinnamon - the speciality of the house - do their part in making you feel all warm and fuzzy too.
Branilaca Sarajeva 13

spazio caffé

Drink typical Italian cappuccino or hot chocolate under parasols in a quiet side street. Accompanied by a portion of Italian ice cream or a cake!
Radićeva 11

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