Across the small Zámočnícka street from the Prašna bašta Restaurant is Bratislava's Kaviareň na rohu.
photo: Ján Svrček
Name: Kaviareň na rohu
Address: Zámočnícka 8
Open: Mon-Sat, 10:00-22:00
English menu: No
Telephone: 5441 3431
Rating: 8 out of 10
Those seeking to avoid the mad rush of Michalská ulica in the Bratislava Old Town need only duck down the narrow Zámočnícka street, one of Bratislava's more picturesque thoroughfares. Just 50 metres away, where the road curves down towards Františkánske námestie, ringing mobile phones, techno music pouring out of the main street pubs, and the drone of the masses are all quickly left behind.
On this seemingly forgotten street sits the Kaviareň na rohu (Café on the Corner). Above all else, it's quiet - a characteristic the waitstaff readily boasts of.
"Nothing ever happens here," says one waiter proudly. It's not that he's being disloyal to his employer, it's just that the folks at Kaviareň na rohu understand and appreciate what they have: a quiet corner in the middle of a bustling city centre.
The clientele, says our affable waiter, usually consists of dating couples, gossiping middle-aged women walking their poodles, students taking a time-out to study, and local musicians seeking inspiration "far from the madding crowd".
Customers can sit either at the seven tables located among the plain interior, coloured biela káva (white coffee - what Slovaks call coffee with milk), or at one of the three outside tables on a small deck snugly fit into the skinny street.
If you decide to sit outside, our waiter tells us, rest assured that you'll be seated in the shade: "The sun never shines here," he says, again proudly. The street on which Kaviareň na rohu is located slices between reconstructed early 20th century multi-storey buildings, thereby explaining the waiter's comment. The tall buildings shield the café's outdoor customers from the heat of the summer sun.
"Nothing ever happens here," one waiter says, later adding: "The sun never shines here."
photo: Ján Svrček
The menu is typical of Bratislava's cafés: six variations of coffee served at around 30 crowns a cup. The ľadová káva (Ice coffee) comes highly recommended, topped off with a healthy head of whipped cream and a single coffee bean. The Ice Cappuccino, however, is nothing special, as it tastes similar to the commercial drink available at any supermarket.
Ice cream and fruit deserts are also served, as are some 65 types of alcohol. Slovak Tokaj wine (costing 255 crowns for a half litre bottle) is one of the seven wines on offer.
Kaviareň na rohu is a neighbourly little joint, particularly for those seeking to read a book or talk to a friend without an excess of noise. Indeed, the only sounds you're likely to encounter are those of passing pedestrians taking pictures of each other in one of Bratislava's quaintest locales.