The 5 best coffee shops in Kigali, Rwanda

by | Jul 30, 2023 | Africa, City Getaways, Rwanda | 0 comments

The best coffee shops in Kigali
The best coffee shops in Kigali

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Did you know that Rwanda produces some of the finest coffee in the world? The growing conditions for coffee beans are ideal, thanks to Rwanda’s unique climate and geography. In addition, the country is making great efforts to promote and support sustainable and ethical coffee production

And in recent years, cool and unique coffee shops have started popping up all over Rwanda’s capital Kigali!

They are hidden away at the back of bookstores, boast epic rooftops, roast their beans directly in-house, empower female coffee farmers… the list goes on and on!

I spent some time working remotely from Kigali at the end of last year, and I am happy to report that I found myself in coffee heaven. So here are 5 of the best coffee shops in Kigali, tried and tested by yours truly, that you’ll have to check out while visiting Rwanda’s capital!

View from a terrasse

Inzora Rooftop Cafe

Inzora Rooftop Cafe is the perfect spot for all of you who love coffee and books!

The cafe is tucked away in the back of a bookstore. Their menu boasts a selection of homemade treats like spiced oat gooseberry cookies, or Greek yoghurt with macadamia and chia granola. And, of course, Rwandan coffee, in this case with coffee beans from Rwanda Trading Company’s station in Nyungwe in the southwest of Rwanda.

But the best part of Inzora Rooftop Café is the rooftop – no surprises here. A small staircase leads up to it from the bookstore, and from the terrace, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the valley and across some of Kigali’s many hills.

Inzora is an old Kinyarwanda word (Rwanda’s national language) used to describe a magical red full moon.

Question Coffee

Question Coffee is one of the most well-known and best coffee shops in Kigali. So much more than “just” a café, Question Coffee also offers workshops and farm tours, and every cup of coffee supports female coffee farmers and their families through Sustainable Growers.

The main coffee centre is located in Kigali’s Gishushu neighbourhood. Head there for a delicious cup of coffee made by one of their super baristas. If you get there early, you might even be able to snag a sweet treat, but they usually sell out quickly.

Thanks to the decent wifi and quiet location a little away from the road, Question Coffee is also a great spot to get some work done. If you only get to visit one coffee shop in Kigali, make sure it’s this one!

Head to their website to find out more about Question Coffee’s mission and their tours and courses.

Whenever I travel abroad, I always use Airalo to get an eSim with local data. It’s the easiest way to stay connected abroad!
Coffee shop sign
Tables at a coffee shop

Rubia Coffee Roasters

Similar to Question Coffee, Rubia Coffee Roasters is another café and speciality coffee roastery. And when it comes to interior design, this is hands down one of (if not the) best coffee shops in Kigali: industrial-style interior, decorated with unique lights, bookshelves and wall art, a lively terrace, and a lush and tranquil garden.

But most importantly they really know how to make a great cup of coffee. If you like it as much as I did, you can even get a bag of their coffee to take home as a souvenir.

In addition to this list of the best coffee shops in Kigali, check out these 9+ unmissable things in Kigali too.

Java Coffee House

Java Coffee House in Remera is one of the best coffee shops in Kigali for digital nomads and remote workers. It is a bit of a challenge to find reliable and strong wifi in Rwanda, and I found Java Coffee House to be one of the best places to work from. There are also some booths with plugs where you can charge your laptop.

In addition, Java Coffee House serves great coffee and various meals and snacks like sandwiches, wraps, and salads. And make sure you don’t leave without trying one of their delicious chocolate chip cookies!

Unfortunately, the café is located right next to a busy intersection. This is great if you’re hoping to do some people-watching, but it gets pretty noisy. Keep this in mind and bring noise-cancelling earphones if you’re planning to take calls from Java Coffee House.

Cup of coffee
Cafe with many plants

Shokola Cafe

Shokola Café is located on the top floor of Kigali Library. It’s a cosy space with many seating spots, lots of plants, an amazing book wall and a rooftop terrace with awesome views.

Compared to the other places on this list the coffee at Shokola Café isn’t the greatest (although still pretty good and the bar is quite high), but the menu also includes delicious smoothies, freshly made smoothies, and great brunch and main options.

Shokola Cafe is one of the best coffee shops in Kigali if you’re looking for a place to sit peacefully for hours.

It’s a very calm place away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s also a great place to get some work done, as long as you don’t need a super fast and strong wifi connection.

Rows of Houses

While you’re there…

How to get around in Kigali

Motorbike taxis are a super affordable and fun way of getting around in Kigali. You can recognize motorbike taxis by their drivers wearing red vests and often red helmets and you can usually see groups of them standing at places like junctions or roundabouts.

Flagging them is super easy. If you don’t see a motorbike taxi parked somewhere near you, just stand on the side of the road and wait. Usually, it will take less than a minute for one to drive by. Motorbike rides around Kigali should usually cost no more than RWF 1.000.

Where to stay in Kigali

You can find many great places to stay in Kigali on, from cheap and simple B&Bs or guesthouses, to boutique hotels and luxurious retreats.

  •  Fleur Guest House in the Rugenge suburb is a great and budget-friendly base to explore Kigali, and in close proximity to many of great things to do in Kigali.
  • Heaven Restaurant & Boutique Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel with a wonderful story. It was opened in 2008 as Kigali’s first international restaurant and hospitality training facility, and has since trained over 2.500 locals.
  • Stay at Hotel Des Mille Collines where over 1.000 Tutsi found refuge during the 1994 genocide. Make sure you book a room with “vue panoramique” (panoramic view) for some of the best views of Kigali.
  • The Retreat, one of Kigali’s best 5 star hotels and first eco-friendly, solar-powered resort is the perfect place to escape the hubbub of the city and relax in luxury.
Pin this post on Pinterest to remember this list of the best coffee shops in Kigali for a future trip to Rwanda!
The best coffee shops in Kigali
The best coffee shops in Kigali

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Welcome to my world!

Hi, I’m Sara, a twenty-something Swiss on a mission to become a full-time travel writer and digital nomad.