The best cycling café

New towns and their indecipherable bike scenes can be hard to navigate. Perhaps you don’t know anyone on the scene, nor even where to go to find said people. But do not despair; we’ve curated a list of our current favourite bike cafes that you may or may not know, but should definitely make your next city trip a little easier to navigate.

Standert Cycling Café – Berlin, GER

Le Puncheurs de Berlin, Standert Bikes has become something of an institution for Berlin’s road cycling scene. Ever since Max von Senger opened the shop back in 2012, he’s made sure that Standert Bikes has become known for always serving great coffee, putting on legendary after-work rides and for showcasing the brand’s bikes, which don’t just cut a fine figure on club rides, they also do nifty builds for urban commutes. In 2019 they’re looking to open a second branch in the hip Berlin district of Kreuzberg, with the ultimate aim of having one urban-specific shop, while the other remains more performance-focused.

Website: standert.de

Steel Vintage Bikes – Berlin, GER

If you’re into 1″ threaded headsets and 8-speed cassettes on new carbon bikes with oversized tubing, then you really swing by Steel Vintage Bikes Café. Here’s where coffee, cosiness and traditional steel racing bikes from bygone eras all meet under one roof, providing a good setting for regular Merckx worship. This café is in the heart of Berlin Mitte and really easy to find. The absence of a nearby tram is a blessing when arriving by bike on rainy days. #steelisreal

Website: steel-vintage.com

Rapha – Berlin, GER

There are only very few occasions when visiting Rapha Cycling Club in a new city won’t be a good idea if you want to get your bearings. With high performance cycling apparel lining the shelves, great coffee and many organised rides, these Rapha clubhouse cafes are a must-visit for every cyclist. They’re also pretty chilled places to sit with your laptop and work, or just grab a quick coffee before a ride.

Website: rapha.cc

Schicke Mütze – Düsseldorf, GER

Düsseldorf isn’t exactly a pilgrimage town for road riders, but it has made major inroads since hosting the Grand Depart in 2017. For anyone that finds themselves in this west German city, a visit to the Schicke Mütze should really be on your schedule. Right in the city centre, this welcoming shop is well versed in coffee, apparel, and components. They’ve also got a workshop to build up bikes and do repairs. For an entry into the Dusseldorf scene, the courtyard on Talstraße 22 is a good first port-of-call.

Website: schickemuetze.de

Biosk – Freiburg, GER

Waldsee in the Black Forest is one of those idyllic places nestled in the foothills that’ll make you go ‘aah’. Not just the perfect spot for retelling Brothers Grimm fairy tales, but also for riding. The founders of Biosk deliberately sought out a rather unusual spot for their organic cafe. Originally a greasy chip-serving kiosk on the main street, it has been brought back to life serving locally sourced organic food. Make a quick espresso stop here before heading off into the magical woods!

Website: biosk.eu

Monaco Velo Club – Munich, GER

Munich’s Monaco Velo Club has one major unifying factor with its namesake Monaco: this café is like an island that doesn’t quite fit into its surroundings. An oasis of fine cycling in the middle of a concrete desert. For a pre-ride coffee, post-ride snack, great conversation, or a peruse of the well-stocked bikedress shop that’s adjacent to the café, there’s a lot to do here. Not least join the cycling club of the same name, which hosts rides and events galore. They also have lockers if you want to leave your things here while going for a ride.

Website: monacoveloclub.de

LMNH – London, UK

A forerunner of the bike café scene, London’s Look mum no hands! has become a veritable icon. Now with two locations in the British capital, LMNH is represented exactly where it counts for the road riding scene and an ideal gathering point for social rides. They also have a packed calendar of events to make sure you get your fill of cycling culture.

Website: lookmumnohands.com

G!RO Café – Esher, UK

G!RO prides itself on supporting the local cycling scene and has grown into a staple venue for the region. 25 km southeast of London, the café is located on one of the main exit routes for riders heading into the countryside. Other than their extensive collection of own-brand apparel, G!RO is also the exclusive stockist of Argonaut and Curve. Add in weekly rides and the café’s wide range of food, wine, beer and coffee, and its credentials for pre- and post-ride refuelling are undeniable.

Website: girocycles.com

The Dynamo – London, UK

After an FTP test, there’s only one option for soul food: pay a visit to The Dynamo, which serves up post-interval session pizza (amongst other things). It doesn’t matter whether you’ve clocked off reps on nearby Box Hill, or just done virtual intervals on the very same climb. The Dynamo doesn’t do your standard bike café fare and that’s what great about it. Something different to your classic.

Website: the-dynamo.co.uk

Steel Cyclewear & Café – Paris, FR

From Paris with love: there’s a real gem awaiting you in the French capital and it goes by the name Steel Cyclewear & Café. The best way to describe this boutique is to throw around the words ‘velo, ‘esthétique’ and ‘plaisir’ with the air of a French tutor. Steel made it their mission to embed style into the Parisian cycling scene. With their Steel Cycle Club, they take proof of said style out onto the roads, seeing groups head out every Saturday morning for rides. For discerning cyclists with an eye for style, you will almost certainly feel at home here

Website: steelcyclewear.com

ON Y VA – Barcelona, ES

Riders heading to the Catalan capital in search of more than just beaches and culture should seize the opportunity to explore the mountains on the eastern edge of Barcelona and further in-land. Here’s where ON Y VA comes in to the mix. In addition to rental bikes from BMC, great coffee, and their own cycling apparel, this well-located café also organises a ton of bike rides and stages a one-week ‘Experience’.

Website: onyvasportsculture.com

Espresso Mafia – Girona, ES

100 km northeast of Barcelona is where you’ll find the beating heart of the European bike scene: Girona. The pros have known this for years, and now legions of amateurs are cottoning onto the trend too. A visit to Girona wouldn’t be complete with tasting the town’s best espresso at Espresso Mafia. Really well located in the small town for meet-ups before or after your ride, here’s where to meet likeminded souls. #anotherone?

Website: espressomafiagirona.com

La Fabrica – Girona, ES

The Meier’s strike back. La Fabrica is the third venture from former pro Christian Meier and his wife Amber, who also run Espresso Mafia and The Service Course. While Espresso Mafia focuses on the coffee, La Fabrica is primarily known for its delicious food as well. A visit to Girona wouldn’t be complete without at least one brunch at La Fabrica.

Website: lafabricagirona.com

Federal Café – Girona, ES

This particular Federal Café is in the centre of Girona, but you’ll also find branches in Madrid, Valencia, and Barcelona. Its name is borrowed from a small town in New South Wales, Australia, which left its mark on the café founder’s psyche. Run by an Ozzie pro for Team UAE Emirates, this café has transported a small part of Federal to Girona. A great place to while away time after a day spent riding or just for a quick espresso, we think you’ll like Federal Café.

Website: federalCafé.es

La Bicicleta Café – Madrid, ES

La Bicicleta Café in downtown Madrid sees itself as a hub for likeminded individuals, a creative workspace, and a venue for all sorts of bicycles. Nip by for a quick pre-ride coffee, or attend one of La Bicicleta’s events. They live stream races, which makes professional cycling that bit more social if you come down in a group to watch, or just raise your head every now and then from your laptop to see if the break sticks.

Website: facebook.com/labicicletacafe

Sartoria Ciclistica – Como, IT

This fairly new café is in the centre of Como, which is nestled onto the bottom corner of Lake Como. Who needs to take a yacht out on the lake when you can cycle around it? Sartoria Ciclistica is known for delicious bagels (we can confirm that), great brunches, and road bike hire. They’ve got their own cycling club, which you may join for a ride out into the surrounding mountains. Don’t worry if you haven’t packed any cycling kit for your Lake Como holiday – Sartoria Ciclistica can kit you out fully, including energy bars in your new jersey pocket. Whether you’re after a post-ride cappuccino or an Aperol Spirtz, you’ll find your fill here. The café’s own ‘Ghisallo Power’ coffee roast is so good that we’d suggest taking at least a kilo home with you.

Website: sartoriaciclistica.cc

Up Cycle Café – Milan, IT

‘Up Cycle’ in two senses of the word, the two founders of this café truly believe in sustainability and have a real eco-conscious attitude. Beyond great coffee, tasty food, and a fix for your cycling addiction, Up Cycle Café is therefore also a spot for educating yourself on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. It’s the sort of attitude that’s needed in a country known for its major rubbish problems caused be widespread corruption, of which the long-term effects are slowly being understood.

Website: upcycleCafé.it

Cranks & Coffee – Copenhagen, DEN

‘When only the best is good enough’ is the confident, self-proclaimed motto of this Danish bike café in the suburb of Klampenborg, just 10 km up the coast from Copenhagen. The small, tight-knit team consists of a three-time World Champion, a skilled mechanic, and a model for Pas Normal Studios. The three cycling fans have immortalised their shared passion with this café. They host rides every Thursday at 17.45, and cyclocross sessions at 10 am every Saturday. How much for that lactic acid? That’s on the house.

Website: cranksandcoffee.dk

Veloropa – Copenhagen, DEN

Veloropa is probably the only bike café with its own podcast (or are we wrong?). Set in the well-to-do district of Frederiksberg in the world’s most bike-friendly city, you’re in the right place whether you’re a commuter, a weekend warrior, or just bike mad. Cycling icons like Bjarne Riis and Brian Holm are regular fixtures here. There’s a busy calendar of events too, including rides and quiz nights.

Website: veloropa.dk

Kring Brussels – Brussels, BEL

Where do diplomacy and cycling meet? Answer: in the centre of Brussels. If you’ve had a rough meeting at the European Commission and all you want to do is go for a bike ride, this is exactly the right destination. A much-loved bike café and shop, Kring Brussels also has its own racing team. So if you’re looking for company on a Brussels loop, try this place first.

Website: kring-kring.com

Peloton de Paris – Mechelen, BEL

You’ll find Peloton de Paris 30 km south of Antwerp in the heart of cobbled country where the drama of the Spring Classics play out each year. Run by a Belgian couple who quit their regular jobs and decided to open a bike café, Peloton de Paris represents a café, a community hotspot and a popular meeting point for rides. It now produces its own apparel with a growing fanbase around the world.

Website: pelotondeparis.cc


Bianchi Cafè & Cycles’ design concept powered by Autogrill and Bianchi comes as a chest of glass in which the bar and and restaurant spaces unfold in an unmistakable Celeste Bianchi shade. Wood, exposed bricks and iron are the materials used bringing back to the mood of the historical Bianchi factory in Milan. Beside the bar and restoration service, the whole Bianchi bike top range – e-bike, road and mountain bike – is displayed in a dedicated area, along with a complete line of parts and accessories.

Website: bianchicafecycles.it

*…these cafés were chosen by our discerning team of editors in an unashamedly Europe-centric way

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Words: Aaron Steinke Photos: Café Owner