Café Culture

I love cafés; going there with friends to enjoy the atmosphere and gossip, or going alone with a good book or a magazine. The best thing is if you can find a table by the window so you can watch the life go by. People-watching is an undervalued way of passing time.

I came to realize how great having proper cafés really is only when I moved abroad. In my home town, Turku, proper cafés were extinct still in the beginning of the 21st century. Most of them were service station-like diners which were part of some huge super market chain. They kind of killed the idea of a proper café culture before the idea even came up. Thankfully my city is waking up with this matter and it already has some of the best cafés in the country with more opening all the time.


In most European countries cafés are places where you can go relax with friends or alone. Nobody would give you a second glance if you sat in the centre of the space alone reading a book. Quite contrary in Turku, I found out many years ago. People look at you strangely like you are maybe a little weird or with pity as if sitting there alone meant you had nobody in your life to sit there with. Thank goodness this weirdness has changed dramatically in the past few years!  

Today I tried a new place, Moods (pictures above). Lovely little bistro on the edge of the Old Town next to the UFO bridge, great setting. It didn't hurt that sun was shining like never before. I had a quiche with bacon and goat cheese (Bryndza) and it was a perfect warm-up for such a windy day. Can't say much about the service, at least it wasn't exactly rude... The only real minus point comes from the ugly trays. Who ever came up with those should be fired.

Café Diglas, Vienna
 Bratislava is known for it's great selection of cafés and bistros. The thing is, regular tourists probably miss them, because the best places here are not the most visible ones but instead places for which you might have to take a turn away from the main street into a small alley that doesn't look like much. That is one reason why Bratislava isn't quite as tourist-friendly a city as Rome and London. Instead of having a list of places that you have to see, you need to know someone who can show you these hidden gems.

UFO Bridge
I still have hundreds of cafés and bistros to explore here, but one thing's for sure: the best chai latte in the whole wide world comes from House!


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