As someone with a penchant for geography, I was embarrassed by how little I knew about the Slovak Republic when I boarded a bus for Bratislava– Slovakia’s capital and largest city. I knew Slovakia has a burgeoning natural wine seen. I knew about the so-called Velvet Divorce with the Czech Republic. And I had learned from our friends at European Coffee Trip that the city has a thriving specialty coffee scene. Even so, I was surprised and impressed by the depth, diversity, and quality of the café scene in what’s a relatively small city. Sadly, my limited time and caffeine tolerance kept my experience to three cafés, but if you’re looking for more, I’m sure the baristas at these beautiful cafés can point you in the right direction.
MONO Café is a bit of a trek from the historic city center, but well worth the walk for specialty coffee lovers (it is right by the main bus terminal– super convenient for anyone taking the bus from Vienna). MONO is a multiroaster, brewing up coffees from esteemed roasters like Square Mile, La Cabra, and The Barn. I had a delicious shot of Red Brick espresso, pulled on MONO’s Victoria Arduino Black Eagle espresso machine. The shot was so good, I also picked up a bag of Ecuador, Amaluza to brew at home.
We’ve all been to a coffee shop that doubles as a gallery for local artists. The difference with Dot.Espresso Bar is that the art– and coffee — is actually really good. Roasters on offer come from as far afield as Dark Arts in the UK and Five Elephant in Berlin, though local roaster Ondrejka is also in the mix. Perhaps fitting for a gallery space, they have really smart looking menus as well.
I was impressed by the range and quality of coffees on offer at Bratislava’s multiroaster cafés, but I would be remiss if I didn’t check out the local roaster scene as well. In this category, Goriffee is one of the pioneers in Slovakian specialty coffee. Although they are primarily a wholesale roaster, Gorifee has a small café in the lobby of Bratislava’s Goethe Institut. Luck for us, you don’t have to be a German student to enjoy a cup of coffee or their beautiful patio. I had a sweet and spicy shot of a single origin espresso from Myanmar– a perfect way to wrap up a whirlwind day trip to Bratislava.