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Bratislava's Top Outdoor Drinking Spots

It is a warm afternoon or evening and all you want to do is sit outside with a drink - and maybe a friend. Bratislava offers some pretty good options and the best ones fall into three categories: those with a scenic view, those well-positioned for people-watching, and those that offer the cozy, casual feel of a good ol' beer garden. We list the best of these types that the capital has to offer, plus some other options that do not fit conveniently into any of our categories, but are worth mentioning.

Best People-Watching

These tend to be places located on areas of heavy pedestrian traffic. Wile away at any of these long enough, and you are bound to get a gander at a parade of styles.
Café Maximilián- The best representative of the capital's new class of cafés, Maximilian makes the most of where it is. Squeezed into a narrow space next to EduScho on Hlavné námestie, the café's seating spills out on to the cobblestone square. From there, take in the ever-more-beautiful heart of old town with the Roland fountain in the foreground and the old City Hall in the background. But on sunny days, have a backup plan because seats go fast. $$. Hlavné námestie, % 335-474. < 10:00-22:00, M-Su.
Spaghetti & Co. - Across from the opera house at the entrance to the revitalized korzo pedestrian strip, the outdoor tables at Spaghetti & Co. are extremely popular. This place is great for a drink or much more - the menu is extensive, offering dozens of choices. With any selection, you can count on quality and freshness. The spinach is out of this world. $$$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Gorkého 1. % 332-303.
Jadran Gril- Jadran is also benefitting from the increased pedestrian traffic on the korzo. If you are hungry, indulge in the kebobs and gyros. $$. CC: yes Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Rybná brána 5. % 10:00-20:30 M-Su.
Korzo- Situated near the bank of the Danube, around the corner from St. Martin's cathedral on the edge of the old town, Korzo offers a rare combination of a historic setting and the opportunity to watch passers-by. It's an excellent place for either a comfortable business lunch or dinner before or after the opera. $$$. CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: no. Hviezdoslavovo námestie 11. % 334-974. < 9-23:00.
Corleone Pizzeria- Look out on the park at Hviezdoslavovo Square as you fill your stomach with thin, wide pizzas. We highly recommend the loaded vegetarian pizza. The service is quick. $. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Hviezdoslavovo nám. < 10:00-22:00, M-Su.
Café Grémium- The few tables out on Gorkého ulica are not the city's most picturesque, but they're on a busy sidewalk near the opera house. $. Gorkého ul. 11. % 321-151. < 8:30-23:00 M-Sa.
Best Beer Gardens- The typical beer garden on our list is not on a major thoroughfare, but on an average city side street; a place where the regulars know to find it and feel comfortable and the chic keep their distance.
Mamut- One of the biggest beer halls in central Europe serves Budvar drafts by the truckload. The courtyard's covered tables are good for groups of about a half dozen. Swing your spurs on Fridays to live Country music or sit back and relax with Thursdays' jazz. Make table reservations in advance. $. Cintorínska 32, % 321-151. < 10:00-24:00 M-Su.
Smíchovský Dvor- Well-priced and tasty Slovak specialties. Staropramen flows from the tap and the streetside beer garden is nestled on a back street around the corner from Obchodná ul. with a Bavarian facade. $. Mariánska 6. % 324-163. < 10:00-22.00
Prešporská Kúria- A complex of outdoor and indoor seating. Waiters in the restaurant wear traditional costume and serve dishes like an aromatic mushroom soup, pirogi stuffed with sheep's cheese, and carp with butter and walnuts. On many a summer evening, live folk musicians help set the mood. $$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Dunajská 21. % 367-981, 367-277. < 11:00-23:00, M-Su.
U Konzula- No place in Bratislava has gone further out of its way to emphasize a pleasant outdoor dining experience. U Konzula's wooden tables and benches sit in a pastoral rose garden surrounded on three sides by ivy-covered brick walls. The service is good and the Slovak fish, turkey and palacinky specialties are better, but it is the atmosphere that sets U Konzula above the rest. $$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: no. Res: yes. Palisády 40. % 533-4301. < 11:00-23:00, M-Su.
Prašná Bašta- Sitting on Prašná Bašta's back patio, tucked away in an alley corner of the old town, one feels like a guest at a 19th century townhouse. Stained glass, tables tucked in nooks, and gothic, high-backed chairs give this restaurant an extraordinarily cozy feel. The food is tasty and cheap, mostly the basic Slovak menu with some twists, such as smoked trout and Armenian salad. Be prepared for a long evening - the service is friendly but slow. $$.CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Zámočnícka 11. % 334-957. < 11:00-23:00, M-Su.

Best Views

If romance, privacy, and serenity are what you seek, then one of these spots may be just the place you are looking for. Prices tend to be high, but that may impress your guest.
Modrá Guľa- A quiet place for a business lunch and a well-stocked bar for a happy hour drink. The penthouse terrace has views of the Castle and Hotel Forum. Try the pork cutlet on dumplings with cheese sauce or the halušky stuffed in ham and cheese. $$$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Suché Mýto 6. % 335-546, ext. 4006. < 11:00-24:30, M-Sa.
Aušpic- You get it all from your seat: the subtle sounds of the Danube rushing by and the romantic sight of the sun setting behind the castle. Its natural setting on the Petržalka bank of the Danube is Aušpic's greatest strength. The service and the food, including shark salad and calamari, are excellent. $$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Viedenská 24. % 850-916. <11:00-22:00, M-Su.
Café Propeller- Sluggish does not begin to describe the staff here. This is a true shame, because the location, right on the Danube, cannot be beat. But when you are forced to hunt down service not once, not twice, but three times, it makes you want to hunt for a new place. $$. Vajanského nábr. % 334-596. < 10:00-20:00 M-Su.

Best of the Rest

These spots do not fit the aforementioned descriptions, but they are plenty good in their own right.
London Café- Located at the British Council, this is a favorite spot for English-speakers to grab a leisurely sip or bite. The quiche is great for lunch, as is the tunafish sandwich. Good soups and salads as well. A serene place to catch up on world news as written in English. $. Panská 17.< 9:00-21:00.
Music Café Hysteria- A Tex-Mex restaurant, the food is tasty but amounts vary with who is in the kitchen. The margaritas are the best ones in town. Two pool tables and a lively crowd, dancing is not unheard of here. This is a little tricky to find - follow the signs to the Chinese restaurant in Zimný Štadión. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Odbojárov 9. < 11:00-2:00 Su-Th, 11:00-5:00 F-Sa.
Rolo Café- During the day, the café is a kind of suave European coffee bar. At night drink Pilsner Urquel downstairs with a cliquey crowd or retreat to the upstairs for a variety of coffees while overlooking Štefánikova ul. $$ % 491-773. Štefánikova 33. < 10:00-24:00.
Harley-Davidson Saloon- Next to the cemetery in Ružinov, you're likely to find leather-clad bikers dismounting from their choppers and swaggering into this place, which looks like it's from a Hollywood movie set. Inside, they've got pool tables, pinball, poker machines, and more than 40 kinds of whiskey. Food starting at 5 p.m. includes guláš, hamburgers, steak tartar, sausages. $$. % 423-585. < 10:00-22.00

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