The capital of Uruguay is a vibrant and culturally rich city. Montevideo is Uruguay’s largest urban centre and often comes highly rated in quality of life rankings. The city has an eclectic mix of architecture with historical buildings, high-rise towers, and beachfront clubs all competing for space. It’s also home to a quickly growing specialty coffee scene.
Since approximately 2013, third wave coffee has rapidly expanded in Montevideo, with new coffee shops and roasteries opening all the time. Read on to find out more about where to go for a great cup of coffee in Montevideo.
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A view of Montevideo. Credit: thegermankid
Why These Five?
Montevideo has lots of good coffee shops, but I chose these five spaces because although they are very different from each other, they have the same spirit. These are cafés where there is a respect for quality and desire to share information about specialty coffee.
Erica and Gregoire Bouthier inside Café Gourmand. Credit: Café Gourmand
1. Café Gourmand
Café Gourmand is a family business that was founded by Erica and Gregoire Bouthier, from the USA and France respectively. They roast their own coffees and offer excellent quality food with nods to their countries of origin. Come here for freshly baked bread, Saturday brunch, or an innovative lunch special.
The café is well-located for visiting tourist sites, so it’s a great place to take a break with a coffee and pastry, or to stop for lunch between attractions.
|Atmosphere||Relaxed and welcoming|
|Coffee Offerings||Espresso-based drinks and pour overs made with house-roasted beans from Finca La Maria, Colombia|
|Retail Offerings||Bags of house-roasted beans|
|Food & Other Drinks||Full breakfast, brunch, and lunch menus, freshly baked pastries and bread|
|Nearby Sights||Well-located for many tourist attractions, including the Palacio Diaz and Fundacion Mario Benedetti museum. Close to Parque Rodó.|
The Montevideo Omelette at Café Gourmand. Credit: Café Gourmand
Owners Diego and Nieves have merged specialty coffee with homemade vegetarian food in this chic space. They offer locally roasted coffees, including ones from MVD Roaster, which are brewed as V60 and Chemex, as well as offering espresso-based drinks.
The minimalist space is conveniently located for tourist attractions and the Punta Carretas shopping mall. It also hosts events including vegan dinners, music, and yoga classes.
Inside Craft. Credit: Craft
|Where||José Luis Zorrilla de San Martin 286|
|Atmosphere||Bright and modern|
|Espresso Machine||Faema E71|
|Coffee Offerings||V60, Chemex, espresso-based drinks made with locally roasted beans|
|Food & Other Drinks||Full vegetarian menu, kombucha, fresh juices|
|Nearby Sights||Central shopping districts and tourist attractions including the Rambla, an uninterrupted path along the coastline of Montevideo, and the Museo Zorrilla sculpture museum.|
A pour over and toasts at Craft. Credit: Craft
3. Sauco Café
Founders Federico Roche and Federica Caviglia set up Sauco Café with an aim to create a space that offers all of the specialty coffees roasted in Uruguay. Located within Casa Arbus, a photography co-working space, it is also serves as an exhibition space for photography.
Located close to the Rambla, the coastline path around the city, and Parque Rodó, a beautiful green space, Sauco Café is a great place to take some time to relax.
Inside Sauco Café. Credit: Sauco Café
|Coffee Offerings||Espresso-based drinks and pour overs made with beans roasted in Uruguay|
|Retail Offerings||Bags of roasted beans from local roasteries|
|Food & Other Drinks||Full brunch and lunch menu, baked goods|
|Nearby Sights||Centrally located and convenient to many tourist attractions, a walk along the Rambla, or a stroll in Parque Rodó.|
A bag of roasted coffee and photography equipment on display at Sauco Café. Credit: Sauco Café
4. Café Nomade
Café Nomade was opened in 2016 by Nacho Gallo, with the idea of changing coffee culture in Uruguay. The name comes from the original enterprise of offering specialty coffee from the back of a Vespa. Today, three fixed premises in different areas of Montevideo continue the aim of bringing quality coffee to as many people as possible.
Come here to try locally roasted beans prepared as espresso-based drinks, AeroPress, V60, Chemex, and French press. Nacho has a number of future projects in the works, including a coffee education centre.
|Espresso Machine||Faema E71|
|Coffee Offerings||Various origins roasted by MVD Roaster prepared as espresso-based drinks, V60, Chemex, AeroPress, French press|
|Retail Offerings||Bags of roasted beans from MVD Roaster|
|Food & Other Drinks||Full menu including brunch options and baked goods|
|Nearby Sights||Centrally located and very close to Fundacion Mario Benedetti museum and Parque Rodó.|
The busy interior of Café Nomade. Credit: Café Nomade
Owners Catalina Vaz Martins and Leonardo Angulo combine specialty coffee with bicycles. This is a place dedicated to community, offering bicycle rentals and hosting events as well as great coffee.
The bright, airy space is welcoming and has a relaxed atmosphere. Come here to enjoy a micro lot coffee and chat with the staff members about bicycles, coffee, or something else entirely.
The exterior of Tándem. Credit: Tándem
|Atmosphere||Relaxed and friendly|
|Coffee Offerings||Various origins roasted by Cafetto Prado and prepared as espresso-based drinks and pour overs|
|Retail Offerings||Bicycle accessories|
|Food & Other Drinks||Sweet and savoury snacks, fresh juices|
|Nearby Sights||Centrally located, close to universities and attractions including Parque Rodó.|
Inside Tándem’s bright space. Credit: Tándem
Montevideo’s coffee scene has changed a lot in recent years and there’s no shortage of specialty cafés. Whether you’re lucky enough to live in Uruguay’s capital city or just visiting, make sure to stop by at least one of this list and meet some of the locals who are dedicated to quality coffee.
Enjoyed this? Check out A Specialty Coffee Shop Tour of Santiago, Chile
Written by Alicia Radi of Cafetto Prado.
All views within this opinion piece belong to the guest writer, who is a local of Montevideo, and do not reflect Perfect Daily Grind’s stance.
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