Do you ever just stop and think about how important of a role does coffee play in your life? How does it brings people together and makes you be the very best version of yourself? How it boosts your productivity and pushes you to get things done?
Coffee is more than just a drink: It’s a culture, an economy, an art, a science — and a passion. And out of this passion we wrote this blog post for you! Out of love and consideration for the potion of life, for the foundation of our mornings, for the magical, wonderful, amazing COFFEE!
After a survey we held on Instagram, 61 % of our followers stated that they can’t start their morning without a cup of coffee and 73 % said that they would be interested in a blog post providing the most-working-friendly-productivity-boosting-best-coffee-shops-in-town!
As Cluj is a student city and a cheap destination for digital nomads who look for quite places where they can sneak-in with their laptops and work on their revolutionary ideas, we thought that we would make your life a lot easier by preparing the list with the best cafes with the strongest WIFI connections, the best views and, of course, the best coffee!
Take your laptop and notebook and relocate your studying-working to a nicer place!
And also, don’t miss Lilla’s insight (in the end) on the best coffee places to spend your morning, afternoon and evening when in Cluj-Napoca.
If feels like a turn back in time. It feels like your grandma’s house, when you were just a little kid and she would prepare a hot chocolate and read you a fairy tale from your what-then-seemed-to-be a giant book. Just like that: coffee, books and a magical ambiance!
Out of love for coffee and out of love for the people that love coffee, Koffer offers you one of the best working environments. Quiet and cozy! And all of this just in the city center, 4 minutes away from the hostel!
WIFI PASSWORD: koffer46
MUST-TRY: A raw-vegan cake & reading a book
DISTANCE FROM THE HOSTEL: 4 minutes
A secret. A hidden nest. In order to get here you need to know somebody who knows somebody who took them here! Even though it is located in the main square, right in the center, you wouldn’t guess it’s there. And once you discover it – you feel like a local, like you’ve became a part of our city!
It is a unique place, a breath of fresh air with trees hanging down from the ceiling and a great view over Piata Unirii and Saint Michael’s Church. How else would you describe the perfect working environment?
WIFI PASSWORD: pesubnori
MUST-TRY: Yolka special – coffee with fir syrup (as Yolka can be traslated as fir from Russian)
DISTANCE FROM THE HOSTEL: 6 minutes
With brave wings we fly! That would be the best description for this café build in a 20th century old building and designed in a very vanguardist way.
We would call it the artist’s nest! From paintings on the walls to butterflies hanging down from the ceiling, among the light bulbs, you’ll suddenly find yourself in Alice and her Wonderland.
If you’re working on a creative project, this is definitely the best place to hide! Plus, they’ve got the best homemade sandwiches in town (vegetarian options included)!
WIFI PASSWORD: papillon9
MUST-TRY: Papillon Pick Me Up
DISTANCE FROM THE HOSTEL: 11 minutes
Are you tired of sofas and luxurious Italian furniture? Are you looking for something different? Eccentric maybe? Well, congratulations! You just found it!
With furniture totally made-out of cardboard and a rich social-life, Atelier will serve you one of the best coffees in town and provide, in the mean time, a very work-friendly environment. Embrace being different, because this very differences are the ones that bring us together. Together, changing the world one-coffee-at-a-time.
WIFI PASSWORD: ateliercafe
MUST-TRY: Tatratea specialties
DISTANCE FROM THE HOSTEL: 7 minutes
Q is a letter. Q is a place. A forbidden dream. An unanswered Question.
And, it is also the best hot-chocolate in the town! With over 30 flavors, you can get it black or white, with nuts, syrups, fruity and floral aromas. Even more, they serve food as well! So you don’t have to worry about anything as long as you have your laptop and a charger.
The Quaint and Queer design is also a very acQuainted aspect that brings coffee lovers together. So, don’t miss your chance to find the answers and discover the Q!
WIFI PASSWORD: aboutpeople
MUST-TRY: Nutella hot chocolate
DISTANCE FROM THE HOSTEL: 11 minutes
What is Insomnia? You would say sleepless nights and dark circles around your eyes. We would say the oldest cafe in the town!
At the beginning an art gallery, the now-café amazes with a bohemian interior, the colorful chairs and the hanging bottles making it look like a kaleidoscope of colors. It is also the best place in town to observe and get to know locals while meeting each other for a beer, as it turns into a very popular student meeting point in the evenings.
Their terrace is specially recommended for those of you looking for more tranquility while working.
WIFI PASSWORD: INSOO888
MUST-TRY: Insomnia coffee
DISTANCE FROM THE HOSTEL: 7 minutes
The coffee shop that makes you PHIL good!
This time, with a more grounded interior, a high ceiling and a what some would call a New-Yorkese design, the café is a very good place for business meetings and more conventional workers.
Suitable for enjoying the morning’s tranquility or for getting your work done in a very productive and dynamic environment, Phil’s is always a good idea.
WIFI PASSWORD: phils2015
MUST-TRY: Cafeaua v60
DISTANCE FROM THE HOSTEL: 9 minutes
That’s it! Now, you have the freedom of choice, depending on your coffee-preferences, your location when in Cluj and what is your soul longing for.
And if you still can’t decide, we hope that Lilla(one of our most favorite guests so far)’s insight could help you make up your mind a little bit.
My usual efficiency-run/power-morning-go-to-café is Meron. This place is bright, spacious and not the last located in the very center of Cluj – more than I can ask from a co-working space, vibing with powerful music and they make their coffees with a lot of expertise and care.
As they not only pay attention to creating their coffees but to their customers and their special needs, they already know that I am into the artisanal, third-wave coffee, my usual go-to is the pour-over Chemex, which process is not only spectacular to observe, but which provides a long lasting fragrant flowery taste.
Although, they might look like a café chain, they do put a lot of knowledge and effort into the game – they do play an active role in the third wave movement – they use high quality beans, many of them are single origin, they use lighter roasted coffee and they even microast a few of their coffees
During the week, they are happy for digital nomads, providing plenty comfortable chairs of power outlets and if you are lucky they might invite you a small improvised barista course, sharing the magic behind each carefully brewed cup.
Favorite seat: the seats in front of the windows (great view on Strada Napoca and Piata Unirii), or the yellow armchairs in the back
Favorite drink: Chemex, Orange-Basil Lemonade
Favorite food: Banana bread, chocolate cookie, freshly baked croissants (no vegan options unfortunately )(Negative: Little less happy about the passive aggressive signs suggesting that laptops are not at all welcome during the weekend)
My after lunch (not)guilty-pleasure is to have a smoothie at the café/(Hungarian)bookstore Koffer. I have a passion for books and being able to read as many for free while drinking something delicious, is like being at an adult playground for me.
Koffer does not only look like a comfy living room with a million books, but also has the biggest selection of non-dairy milk among the cafes I have visited in Cluj so far – on an average day providing soy, vanilla soy, almond, rice and coconut milk alternatives. The best thing that can happen to me is to have a banana-peanut-butter-matcha-chia smoothie with coconut milk and have the most amazing window seat working away on a spacious table.
Favorite seat: window seat, surrounded with books, facing the passer-byes
Favorite drink: banana-peanut butter-matcha-chia-coconut milk smoothie
Favorite food: one of the amazing vegan/raw cakes – all of the yum
When I crave some evening inspiration, an extra boost, I go to Yolka, which I could best describe as a bar from the world of Lewis Carroll`s Alice in Wonderland. Not everyone receives the permission to enter the secret lands of Yolka – to find it, you need to know someone, who knows someone, who has been here before…Yolka is not a café, it is rather a piece of art, a different universe, a performance in motion – located in a flat, on the second floor of an apartment building, only reachable through a rather low-key backyard. When you enter you feel you leave the real world behind and you are suddenly surrounded with like-minded crazy individuals who share a secret common passion – whatever that might be. The place consists of 4 rooms, all with different atmosphere – one with a small rain forest on the wall, the other is showing the sky and the enchanted creatures who nest there.
” There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! ”
Favorite seat: the big table between the two main rooms – so I can be in the middle of all happenings.
Favorite drink – one of the non-alcoholic signature cocktails, like Spring Blossom or the specialty tea Jasmine Ting Yuan
Favorite food: popcorn
Is it coffee o’clock already?
Tell us what is your favorite place!
by Eva Bunici for TRANSYLVANIA HOSTEL