Ten Legendary Cafes from Literary History

Writers tend to enjoy cafes. The camaraderie, the flurry of work surrounding them. Writers often enjoy drinking in public as well — at least, drinking their beverages among friends while thinking about their characters and their plot points.

What are some of the world’s most lauded literary cafes? Where did these writers nibble their kibble and put pen to paper?

  1. The Literary Café in St. Petersburg, Russia — Fyodor Dostoevsky & Alexander Pushkin

Before he died in a duel, Pushkin reportedly visited the Literary Café.

  1. La Closerie des Lilas in the Montparnasse area of Paris, France — Henry James & Gertrude Stein

Hemingway also described the area immediately surrounding this café in The Sun Also Rises.

  1. Antico Caffe Greco near the Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy — John Keats & Hans Christian Andersen

This café has been in operation since 1760.

  1. Pedrocchi Café in Padua, Italy — Lord Byron & Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle)

Padua is home to one of the largest cafes in the world, and this is it.

  1. Café Montmartre in Prague, Czech Republic — Franz Kafka & Max Brod

It’s named for an area of Paris, but for good reason.

  1. La Rotonde in Paris, France — F. Scott Fitzgerald & T.S. Eliot

Hemingway calls this one out by name in The Sun Also Rises, too.

  1. Café Braunerhof in Vienna, Austria — Thomas Bernhard
  2. Grand Café in Oslo, Norway — Henrik Ibsen & Roald Dahl
  3. Caffe Giubbe Rosse in Florence, Italy — Mina Loy & Charles Wright
  4. Simply Grand Cafe in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA — authors & poets TBD

These last four, while worthy of comment, are known as much for their potential as for their historical output.