Café brings new life to Old Town

Stroll through Old Town Bratislava and a surprising revelation will hit you, "My goodness, this place is alive...." After many years, a dormant center has come to life. The newest addition to this rebirth is the Viennese style café, Kaffee Mayer - reclaiming its old habitat on Hlavné námestie.
In the dying days of the Austrian-Hungarian empire in the early teens of the 20th century, the café served a vibrant crowd exotic coffee and tea, fancy cakes, with upright service. The present café aims to bring back that atmosphere. Inside, antique paintings, maps, vases and photographs take you back to that time. The most striking painting is that of the Austrian-Hungarian queen Elizabeth known as "Sissi," a frequent visitor to the café in the late 19th century, in a cozy room at the back of the café. There is room for 70 people inside, and covered seating outside provides an excellent spot for people-watching.


Kaffee Mayer is breathing life into Bratislava's Old Town.
Daniel J. Stoll

Stroll through Old Town Bratislava and a surprising revelation will hit you, "My goodness, this place is alive...." After many years, a dormant center has come to life. The newest addition to this rebirth is the Viennese style café, Kaffee Mayer - reclaiming its old habitat on Hlavné námestie.

In the dying days of the Austrian-Hungarian empire in the early teens of the 20th century, the café served a vibrant crowd exotic coffee and tea, fancy cakes, with upright service. The present café aims to bring back that atmosphere. Inside, antique paintings, maps, vases and photographs take you back to that time. The most striking painting is that of the Austrian-Hungarian queen Elizabeth known as "Sissi," a frequent visitor to the café in the late 19th century, in a cozy room at the back of the café. There is room for 70 people inside, and covered seating outside provides an excellent spot for people-watching.

The fruit cakes are delicious and moist, but some of the chocolate pastries are dry. The coffee is good with variety the biggest plus. There are 13 different kinds of coffee from a normal espresso (22 Sk) to the Kaisermelange (79 Sk) in which you can keep the cup. The ice-cream is marvellous (49 - 86 Sk). The café also serves a variety of light meals, good for lunch - but not to fill up the stomach. Meat and spinach strudels in a cheese cream sauce are unique and tasty. The service can be entertaining, with some waitresses complete with nose rings and green hair to tall stiff waiters who might knock a glass or two off a table.

Though crowded and trendy, Kaffee Mayer is helping to breathe life into Bratislava again.

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