Minsk is one of the most Soviet cities in the world. It certainly feels unique in its European context, and very reminiscent of provincial Russian capitals. From the moment you arrive at the international airport, you realise Belarus is flooded with Chinese students, dodgy casinos, and Turkish tourists. Let’s talk about the top specialty coffee shops in Minsk though!
Lately, however, Belarus is opening up. A formerly very closed post-Soviet republic, Belarus is changing fast. But the USSR flag still stands at the Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War.
With the introduction of a simple visa-free regime for 74 countries, Belarus is getting ready for a new industry: tourism.
Minsk is full of KFCs, McDonald’s, and other western-style shops. How about cafes and coffee shops?
Specialty coffee shops in Minsk
As a coffee addict myself, the first thing I did was check out the best cafes in town serving specialty coffee in Minsk. Here’s what I think about the coffee scene in Minsk.
Kitchen Coffee Roasters
Kitchen Coffee Roasters is a small cafe located near the local yiest Factory and quite a walk from the center. The best thing about it is that it’s located to an area full of street art in Minsk.
Their beans are quite decent (Ethiopia Nensebo’s, Kenya’s AA, etc), and got 250gr roasted bags at 20/25BYN, roughly 10-15USD. Filter coffee is 4BYN.
Why Knot? is a more stereotypical third-wave-wannabe coffee shop with the with a coffee roasting operation. Beautiful faces and plenty of people wearing AirPods and working on their MacBooks. Located near the train station and about 25 min walk from the Nemiga area.
They sell a small selection of roasted beans at 200gr for about 18BYN.
Mesto is a popular cafe near Victory square, just opposite of Zerno, another famous specialty coffee shop in Minsk.
They serve Kitchen Coffee Roaster, and Sea Lion beans. Aeropress is about 4.5BYN.
Zerno is one of the best coffee shops in Minsk, and probably where you can sip the best hand-brewed coffee in town.
Also a roaster, Zerno exhibits with price its trophies. Coffee here is pricier than anywhere else, Aeropress is 5BYN.
Other Coffee Shops
Flter is another coffee shop. Location is decent but the cafe itself is quite basic and did not quite convince me.
Specialty Coffee Shops in Grodno
Grodno is probably the most appealing Belarusian city for tourists.
Compact and cosier than both Minsk and Brest, Grodno is worth a visit.
The city also has a couple of decent cafes where you can sit and enjoy a good Aeropress or excellent cappuccino.
Prokhodnaya Cafe (aka as Prohodnaya) is a locals’ favorite.
Serving Kitchen Roasters brews, it has a comfortable sitting area and it’s a good place to meet up with locals. Hand brews cost 4BYN
A small cozy cafe offering alternative brews near the city center, just 100m away from the Great Choral Synagogue.