Slovakia’s capital Bratislava still flies somewhat under the radar, but anyone who visits will be enchanted by its beautiful old town with narrow alleys and stunning architecture. I planned a visit on my last trip to Vienna, as it is only a short train ride away, and it completely took me by surprise to discover this rather small city had a very lively coffee culture. Almost every third shop in old town Bratislava was a coffee house, with a fair amount of them serving specialty coffee. There are more than 150 cafés only in the historic center! This diversity of local coffee shops might have something to do with the fact that in old town Bratislava chains like Starbucks didn’t find a grip and are not present as in other European capitals.
Gorila.sk Urban Space
The concept store Gorila.sk Urban Space is a locals favourite and combines literature with quality coffee. It is a great place to start the day as the breakfast menu isn’t short of healthy treats. Check the charcoal board to find out what beans are available on the day you are there! When I visited, for espresso they featured a Honduras by Green Plantation, a Slovakian specialty coffee roastery, and a blend by Square Miles with 75% Ethiopia and 25% Guatemala.
I particularly loved the laid back atmosphere and spacious set-up of Gorila.sk. It is perfectly fine to bring a laptop along or read one of the many books available and spend a couple of hours here. The coffee shop is located at Námestie SNP 30.
Mad Drop Brew Bar
When I had more or less seen most of the old town and got my share of stunning views from visiting the famous Bratislava castle, I was ready to venture into the area around the Technical University of Slovakia to my next coffee destination: Mad Drop. The owners Martine and Jakub are seriously mad about coffee while keeping a sense of humor regarding the coolness of it all.
Yes, Mad Drop is a hipster’s paradise, but anyone will feel welcome here thanks to the friendly attitude of the owners. Whether you want a black or a milky drop, the choices are plentiful. Ask for the mug of madness, if you feel brave enough! This mixture of crazy is a double shot of espresso with 1 dl of filter coffee. What really surprised me was the selection of beans: Mad Drop feature Kopi Wanita roasted by Gardelli Specialty Coffees from Italy who received a SCAA Cup score of 88,75. Another roast available for espresso was a Nicaragua by Illimité Coffee Roasters, who are based in Slovakia. Mad Drop is located at Radlinského street 24.
Pán Králiček Priestor
If you haven’t already exhausted your appetite for caffeine with these two options, you might want to pick up another cup for the way! I bumped into a lovely coffee to go stand brewing Pán Králicek specialty coffee in Postova, a busy pedestrian street, next to Pekáreň Crocus. They also have a coffee shop at Budovateľská 2 in Bratislava.
Too bad I was running out of time, otherwise I would have paid a visit to the Brew Bar as well. If you check it out, do let me know how you liked it!