While Bratislava is full of cafes, as we all heard, quantity doesn’t mean quality. Especially, quality to your individual taste, mood or purpose.
What makes a good cafe for me is certainly good coffee. But coffee is not the only thing I hunt for. Sometimes I go to a cafe to switch decorations and get some work done, sometimes to have a conversation with a friend and sometimes I crave for relaxation, tea or an ice-cream.
Below you will find the best cafes of Bratislava in my opinion in no particular order. The list is quite personal and what is best for me might not be the best for you. Feel free to explore and just take it as a hint.
DOT. Espresso bar & Contemporary Art Gallery
I liked DOT. from the first visit because of their filtered coffee and the assortment of coffee drinks they offer. Those guys have coffee of different origins and blends and sometimes you’d stumble upon unique ones, like The World’s Strongest Coffee – Death Wish. Baristas know their craft well and would explain a lot about the coffee to you if you’re interested.
Although, something else made me really love this place on subsequent visits. DOT. is not just a cafe, but an art gallery. And gallery is probably the primary focus of the business. This brings a special charm – you somehow feel cozy, because guys and gals on stuff are extremely friendly, yet they don’t appear as professional waiters, they are just like you. And even though sometimes clumsy or taking time to prepare my order, it just makes me smile, as if I was visiting my friends for a coffee.
You’d also find cakes and bites at the DOT. Cafe. The pancakes with Nutella and fruits is my favorite. They have wifi, electric sockets and couches that are comfortable enough for work. It is a nice place to have a coffee, pancakes and get some work done.
Beware of the limited hours of operation!
I like: Friendly staff, set up for work, variety and taste of drinks, pancakes with Nutella and fruits.
This is the place I love and hate. Smoking is allowed, so I hate it because of the odor that stays on you long after you leave. But I can’t stop coming here for their great espresso every now and then!
The interior is decorated in style with old books and couches around. It feels really cozy. If only they’d ban smoking… But it would be a different place then.
If you smoke, rush here for an espresso or a drink in the evening.
I like: Espresso, interior.
KOUN used to be a little ice-cream shop in one of Bratislava’s Old Town side alleys. Lines soon started to build up from the place, sometimes getting to 20-30 minutes wait time! For ice cream! Obviously, it was good, and for the following season KOUN moved to some bigger and more comfortable premises off Hvezdoslav’s Square in Old Town’s heart.
Now besides gelato, you’d get a decent coffee inside and what I come there for from time to time – affogato. If you have never tried affogato, you should definitely try it. It is an espresso over a scoop of ice cream. Even if you don’t like espresso, I’m telling you – it’s worth trying!
If you’re getting a coffee (including affogato), skip the line to an ice cream counter and proceed deeper inside straight to the coffee bar where you’ll be served.
I like: Affogato, ice cream, quick espresso.
Pán Králiček Priestor
Pan Kralicek Priestor opened recently and quickly become one of the most frequented coffee places for me. It is located just across Bratislava’s rather grim main bus station Mlynske Nivy and I come here for coffee, breakfast, croissants and cakes. And all of those things are quite good there.
I don’t feel quite comfortable working in this cafe, but it is quite suitable for reading a book, having a meeting or simply enjoying the food and drinks they have to offer.
I like: Breakfast, quick snack, coffee.
Soho in Bratislava can’t be beaten for a quick and reasonably priced Asian – Fusion meal, but they also serve an adequate coffee and delicious cakes. There are three locations of Soho in Bratislava as of August 2017. Food is equally good at all of them, although the view over a coffee and cake is best on Laurinská street. Grab a seat by the tall window on the first floor, order a coffee, perhaps with a cheesecake, and enjoy the life passing by outside.
I like: Cheesecake, coffee, view.
Yeah, I know, it’s not cool to visit Starbucks those days. Nevertheless, Seattle’s legend came to Bratislava in 2016 and brought soy latte in my life, which weren’t good to me at other places.
There are a few locations in Bratislava’s shopping centers. The ones in Aupark and Eurovea are good options for meetings and getting some quick work done. Otherwise, I’d just grab one to go and enjoy the riverside next to Eurovea.
I like: Soy latte, speed, wifi, setup for work.
This place is a hidden gem. First, they have all kinds of tea, including variety of pu-erh. Second, decent hookah. But third, and most important for me, this tea house is the best place to escape when I require highest concentration and getting some work done.
Beware, you won’t find any coffee here. Although, you will find some delicious bites, like Hummus with Pitas, lots of board games to borrow and relaxing atmosphere, accompanied by a quiet background music.
I like: Quality tea, hookah, relax, wifi, concentration on work.
Located in the middle of pedestrian Bratislava Old Town’s part, Fach cafe is the place for good coffee and delicious snacks. It is a little bit on the expensive side, although their bites are quite good. They also have one of the best Bratislava breads from their own bakery and you can get it to go.
The design inside is quite stylish, wifi is reliable and it is very suitable to work from. The best places to get some work done are at the back of the cafe, though they quickly fill up.
I like: Style, set up for work, coffee, food.
Urban house has been around for a while and perhaps it was one of the first “hipster” places in town. They have quite an extensive menu of drinks and food as well as a wast space, equipped with sockets, chairs, tables and couches, so it is quite potent place for remote work in Bratislava.
On the downside, wifi tends to be unreliable and the space might be a bit big. Still, it is quite popular and you might like it. The cheesecakes are same as in Soho and are really good! There are also sister cafes called Urban Bistro and Urban Space nearby which are similar, but smaller.
I like: Space for work.
W Cafe opens at 7:45 AM on workdays and is a really good option for having breakfast (their scrambled eggs are quite delicious). Besides, reliable wifi and comfortable chairs and sofas make it a pretty good option for getting some work done. And oh, have I mentioned that coffee here is delicious?
I like: Good for work, food options.
Mad Drop is one of the older, “hardcore” coffee shops of Bratislava. Coffee is what people come here for and you’ll find a good variety of traditional and specialty options. Their garden at the back is also hard to beat when wether is suitable.
I like: Coffee options, garden at the back.
Rather new on Bratislava’s scene, Satori Stage is not a traditional cafe. You can rent a space here for your own event, enjoy playing computer games or participate in one of the workshops or events organized here multiple times a week. It is a pretty adequate place to get some work done as well.
I like: Concept.
MONO Cafe is hidden out of sight in one of the residential buildings not far from the main Bratislava’s bus station. Location contributes well to the atmosphere of this small place, but it’s not the atmosphere that makes this place great. It is coffee. You’ll find really good coffee here and sometimes a cake to compliment it. There is no wifi, so you could enjoy the taste in full!
I like: Authenticity, coffee.
Vespa is loved by many locals. It won’t impress you with the interior, but their coffee and croissants make a good pairing. Croissants are freshly baked and can be enjoyed plain, with chocolate or with ham and cheese. This cafe is suitable for a quick stop and their prices are quite reasonable.
I like: Croissants, reasonable prices.
To make the list easier to navigate, here is a map of the cafes listed in this post:
And what are your best cafes of Bratislava? Please contribute in comments.