July 26, 2019

A Specialty Coffee Shop Tour of Montevideo, Uruguay


The capital of Uruguay is a vibrant and culturally rich city. Montevideo is Uruguay’s largest urban centre and often comes highly rated in quality of life rankings. The city has an eclectic mix of architecture with historical buildings, high-rise towers, and beachfront clubs all competing for space. It’s also home to a quickly growing specialty coffee scene.

Since approximately 2013, third wave coffee has rapidly expanded in Montevideo, with new coffee shops and roasteries opening all the time. Read on to find out more about where to go for a great cup of coffee in Montevideo.

You may also like Meet The Coffee Shops Brewing Up Uruguay’s Third Wave

A view of Montevideo. Credit: thegermankid

Why These Five?

Montevideo has lots of good coffee shops, but I chose these five spaces because although they are very different from each other, they have the same spirit. These are cafés where there is a respect for quality and desire to share information about specialty coffee.

Erica and Gregoire Bouthier inside Café Gourmand. Credit: Café Gourmand

1. Café Gourmand

Café Gourmand is a family business that was founded by Erica and Gregoire Bouthier, from the USA and France respectively. They roast their own coffees and offer excellent quality food with nods to their countries of origin. Come here for freshly baked bread, Saturday brunch, or an innovative lunch special.

The café is well-located for visiting tourist sites, so it’s a great place to take a break with a coffee and pastry, or to stop for lunch between attractions.

WhereConstituyente 1869
AtmosphereRelaxed and welcoming
Espresso MachineFaema
Coffee OfferingsEspresso-based drinks and pour overs made with house-roasted beans from Finca La Maria, Colombia
Must-Try DrinkEspresso
Retail OfferingsBags of house-roasted beans
Food & Other DrinksFull breakfast, brunch, and lunch menus, freshly baked pastries and bread
Nearby SightsWell-located for many tourist attractions, including the Palacio Diaz and Fundacion Mario Benedetti museum. Close to Parque Rodó.

The Montevideo Omelette at Café Gourmand. Credit: Café Gourmand

2. Craft

Owners Diego and Nieves have merged specialty coffee with homemade vegetarian food in this chic space. They offer locally roasted coffees, including ones from MVD Roaster, which are brewed as V60 and Chemex, as well as offering espresso-based drinks.

The minimalist space is conveniently located for tourist attractions and the Punta Carretas shopping mall. It also hosts events including vegan dinners, music, and yoga classes.

Inside Craft. Credit: Craft

WhereJosé Luis Zorrilla de San Martin 286
AtmosphereBright and modern
Espresso MachineFaema E71
Coffee OfferingsV60, Chemex, espresso-based drinks made with locally roasted beans
Must-Try DrinkChemex
Food & Other DrinksFull vegetarian menu, kombucha, fresh juices
Nearby SightsCentral shopping districts and tourist attractions including the Rambla, an uninterrupted path along the coastline of Montevideo, and the Museo Zorrilla sculpture museum.

A pour over and toasts at Craft. Credit: Craft

3. Sauco Café

Founders Federico Roche and Federica Caviglia set up Sauco Café with an aim to create a space that offers all of the specialty coffees roasted in Uruguay. Located within Casa Arbus, a photography co-working space, it is also serves as an exhibition space for photography.

Located close to the Rambla, the coastline path around the city, and Parque Rodó, a beautiful green space, Sauco Café is a great place to take some time to relax.

Inside Sauco Café. Credit: Sauco Café

WhereCanelones 1989
AtmosphereArty, relaxed
Espresso MachineAstoria
Coffee OfferingsEspresso-based drinks and pour overs made with beans roasted in Uruguay
Must-Try DrinkLatte
Retail OfferingsBags of roasted beans from local roasteries
Food & Other DrinksFull brunch and lunch menu, baked goods
Nearby SightsCentrally located and convenient to many tourist attractions, a walk along the Rambla, or a stroll in Parque Rodó.

A bag of roasted coffee and photography equipment on display at Sauco Café. Credit: Sauco Café

4. Café Nomade

Café Nomade was opened in 2016 by Nacho Gallo, with the idea of ​​changing coffee culture in Uruguay. The name comes from the original enterprise of offering specialty coffee from the back of a Vespa. Today, three fixed premises in different areas of Montevideo continue the aim of bringing quality coffee to as many people as possible.

Come here to try locally roasted beans prepared as espresso-based drinks, AeroPress, V60, Chemex, and French press. Nacho has a number of future projects in the works, including a coffee education centre.

WhereCanelones 2154
Espresso MachineFaema E71
Coffee OfferingsVarious origins roasted by MVD Roaster prepared as espresso-based drinks, V60, Chemex, AeroPress, French press
Must-Try DrinkV60
Retail OfferingsBags of roasted beans from MVD Roaster
Food & Other DrinksFull menu including brunch options and baked goods
Nearby SightsCentrally located and very close to Fundacion Mario Benedetti museum and Parque Rodó.

The busy interior of Café Nomade. Credit: Café Nomade

5. Tándem

Owners Catalina Vaz Martins and Leonardo Angulo combine specialty coffee with bicycles. This is a place dedicated to community, offering bicycle rentals and hosting events as well as great coffee.

The bright, airy space is welcoming and has a relaxed atmosphere. Come here to enjoy a micro lot coffee and chat with the staff members about bicycles, coffee, or something else entirely.

The exterior of Tándem. Credit: Tándem

WhereConstituyente 2039
AtmosphereRelaxed and friendly
Espresso MachineAstoria
Coffee OfferingsVarious origins roasted by Cafetto Prado and prepared as espresso-based drinks and pour overs
Must-Try DrinkCappuccino
Retail OfferingsBicycle accessories
Food & Other DrinksSweet and savoury snacks, fresh juices
Nearby SightsCentrally located, close to universities and attractions including Parque Rodó.

Inside Tándem’s bright space. Credit: Tándem

Montevideo’s coffee scene has changed a lot in recent years and there’s no shortage of specialty cafés. Whether you’re lucky enough to live in Uruguay’s capital city or just visiting, make sure to stop by at least one of this list and meet some of the locals who are dedicated to quality coffee.

Enjoyed this? Check out A Specialty Coffee Shop Tour of Santiago, Chile

All views within this opinion piece belong to the guest writer, who is a local of Montevideo, and do not reflect Perfect Daily Grind’s stance.

Want to read more articles like this? Sign up for our newsletter!