Next up in the 2022 Coffee Spot Awards is the shortlist for the “Coffee Spot with the Best Outdoor Seating” Award. Celebrating all those wonderful Coffee Spots with excellent outdoor seating, this was won last year by Caffi Caban.
To qualify for this award, it’s not just a case of sticking a couple of tables or chairs on the pavement outside your coffee shop. Too often, what could be a lovely spot is marred by traffic noise, or cramped conditions, or just being in the wrong place. The best outside seating is often away from the road and passing pedestrians and offers shelter from the wind, rain and/or sun (although rarely all three at once!). Fortunately, there are plenty of Coffee Spots which do exactly that and this is one award I could have filled many times over!
You can see the shortlist after the gallery.
There are 15 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
We start off in my old home town of Guildford with relative newcomer Tattam’s. As well as a large interior, spread over two floors, Tattam’s has a number of tables which spill out onto the pedestrianised street. Even better is the sheltered terrace at the back, where you’ll find a gazebo which helps keeps the elements off and, in the winter, the heat in. Tattam’s has also been shortlisted for the Best Cake Award.
Betty Berkins has a wonderful setting in the hills of Northeast Wales. There’s an extensive outdoor seating area, including a large, partially-covered terrace, with views across the Dee Estuary, more outdoor seating in front of Betty Berkins itself, plus plans for another terrace at the rear (with more excellent views). Betty Berkins has also been shortlisted for the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot and Best Cake Awards.
Our shortlist moves to Berlin and the original Five Elephant in Kreuzberg, which opened 10 years ago on the leafy Reichenberger Straße. Occupying two rooms on the ground floor of a lovely old Kreuzberg tenement , there’s as much seating inside as there is outside on the broad pavement, where you enjoy the shade of some magnificent, mature trees.
Staying in Berlin, Bonanza has two neat outside seating areas. The first is on the busy street at the front of the shop, while the second, and arguably the best, is tucked away in a hidden inner courtyard, providing respite from the bustle of the nearby Gendarmenmarkt. Bonanza has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Filter Coffee and Best Espresso Awards.
There’s clearly something about Berlin and excellent outdoor seating. Father Carpenter is the third of five Berlin entries on this year’s shortlist, making the cut thanks to its magnificent courtyard setting, this time in the heart of Mitte. The interior’s not too bad either, while the coffee and food are outstanding.
Next in the parade of Berlin entries is Ben Rahim with another courtyard setting, this time in the famous Hackesche Höfe, a series of interconnected Art Nouveau courtyards dating from 1906. There’s as much seating on the cobbled courtyard as there is inside, with benches delineating a neat seating area full of tile-topped tables and low, wooden stools.
Leaving Berlin, we come to the Bay Area in California and Saint Frank Coffee which is opposite the Caltrain Station (which earned Saint Frank a place on the shortlist for the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station Award). Making the most of the area’s mild climate, all the seating is outside on a large, shady terrace, the tables nestling under several trees and parasols.
Staying in the Bay Area but moving across to the East Bay, we have Devout Coffee and its awesome patio space. This is tucked in between the coffee shop (on the left) and the roastery (on the right), he two buildings taking turns to provide shade at various times of the day. Devout Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot and Best Cake Awards.
Back on the Peninsular, Coffeebar in Redwood City occupies the Fitzpatrick Building on the pedestrianised part of Broadway. This allows it to have an extensive outdoor seating area, which spills out onto the street, the tables nestling under the shade of two tall, mature trees.
The final Bay Area entry is from San Francisco, where Linea Coffee Roasting + Caffe occupies the old Intelligentsia roasting facility on Mariposa Street in Potrero Hill. There’s no indoor seating (due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic), with Linea taking advantage of the area’s mild climate with a neat stepped terrace outside on Mariposa Street.
Coming briefly back to the UK, the original CSONS in Shrewsbury occupies the ground floor of an old building on Milk Street. The seating is spread across multiple rooms, but it’s the large, sheltered courtyard at the back that has earned CSONS a place on this shortlist.
Back in the USA, Niedlov’s Cafe & Bakery has a pair of tables on the pavement on the busy Main Street. A better option is the sheltered, leafy garden that’s tucked away down the side of Niedlov’s. Fenced off from the street/parking lot by waist-high railings, this features plenty of trees and shrubs to provide shade, along with its own water feature. Niedlov’s is also on the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot and Best Cake Awards shortlists.
Our fifth and final Berlin entry is The Barn in Café Kanzler. This Berlin institution can trace its roots back to 1825 and is easily recognisable in its current incarnation, a rotunda on top of Kurfürstendamm’s Kranzler-Eck shopping complex. While you can sit in the rotunda itself, there’s also a 360° wrap-around balcony and a rooftop terrace. The Barn has also made it onto the shortlist for the Best Cake Award.
Our last two entries are from Austin, Texas, starting with Flat Track Coffee, which shares space with bike shop, Cycleast, on Cesar Chavez Street. This is another coffee shop with two outside seating areas. The first is a neat terrace in front of the store, while the other is a gorgeous hidden patio, tucked along the building’s left-hand side. Flat Track has also been shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot and Best Flat White Awards.
Staying in Austin, Fleet Coffee is another which takes advantage of the mild climate and only provides outdoor seating. In this case it’s a table and bar in front of the store, with a small, shaded seating area off to the left. Like Flat Track Coffee, Fleet Coffee has also made it onto this year’s shortlist for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
A special mention needs to go to the following:
The winner will be announced on Monday, 2nd January. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2022.
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