Décor and delicious coffee makes Alfredo Café in Banská Bystrica a real treat.
photo:: Soňa Bellušová
Tel.: 088-43 02 500 111
Credit cards: no
English menu: no
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:00-19:00, Sat. 9.00-19:00, Sun. 9:30-19:00
In the center of Banská Bystrica, surrounded by full-service Slovak-style restaurants, sits a spacious Slovak "House of Sweets" which offers the kind of milkshakes that make you want to slurp the bottom of your glass like a child. If you are looking for a place to meet in the center of the town for a quick coffee or a calorie fix, this is it.
The 80-seat café, on SNP square in this central Slovakia city of 85,000 inhabitants, is suitable for visitors of all age, for trendy young couples through the weekdays and families with children on Sundays. Although there is no English menu, the place is popular with English speakers, and the waitresses will be pleased to help you . In the summer, the place's French doors open out onto the pedestrian mall, and you can eat your gelato in the sunshine.
Inside the café, two rooms are decorated with wooden chairs and marble tables. The walls are painted in rich yellow and covered with "old" , and often quite amusing, advertisements in English, French or German. Even if your friend is late meeting you, just reading the walls might keep you from getting bored.
Called a "cukráreň" , or " house of sweets" in Slovak, Alfredo's prices for a wide range of Italian-named coffee drinks, ice cream, and sweets are quite good. Espresso goes for 16 Sk, café ristretto (extra small coffee) for 16 Sk, and a caffé doppio (double espresso) for 28 Sk. Latté macchiato (espresso with hot milk) costs 18 Sk, cappuccino is 19 Sk. You can also get espresso with cream and hot chocolate, as well as tea.
What you can't miss are the café specialities. The café serves exotic juices like strawberry or freshly-squeezed orange and grapefruit juices for 42 Sk which is a real treat of the place. For summer days they scoop up rich plates of gelato and good quality milk shakes. The generous shakes come in 11 different flavours , such as banana for 26 Sk or stracciatela for 28 Sk. Ice cream dishes, or "zmrzlinové pochúťky", include chocolate ice cream with orange cocktail (28 Sk), fresh fruit and cream, Strawberry Love (a mixture of strawberry and vanilla ice cream, frozen strawberries, strawberry sauce and cream costing 45 Sk.)
Apart from these "yummy foods" you can also order typical Slovak sweet cakes like "laskonka" or "parížsky roštek".
To get to the Slovak-owned café, look for the Zlatý Bažant restaurant on the left side of the square when walking from Dolná street. Alfredo's is nearby and its big glass windows make it easily recognisable. Step onto the café's nice wood floors and relax for an hour or two.