Don’t judge a city by its coffee shops

Because the bulk of my free time is during the kids’ school hours, I thought I’d spend every morning of my first week in a different one of central Salzburg’s many coffee shops. Nothing like a latte and a little bit of Candy Crush  Jane Austen to make the most of my free time. I’m getting old and boring, I know.

Hopefully I can come to an ultimate conclusion about the best coffee in central Salzburg, to save everyone else wasting time and money in dodgier places.

Monday

I’m in a little deli, Fasties, miffed that there is only uncomfortable bar stool seating. There’s no wi-fi either, but it’s a friendly place, selling Austrian style lunches. €3,20 for a latte to drink in, served in a glass with some water and a coffee biscuit on the side.

Given the cafe’s rather obvious location (tourist trade), the price is as I’d have expected, though the place doesn’t have much style, not much atmosphere. The coffee was alright, but I think I’m too British to get used to this coffee-in-a-glass thing. I’m deliberately being really picky here.

5/10

Tuesday

There was me thinking I’m difficult to impress and boom, Tuesday happened, and I might as well call off the search right now. I was drawn to Grad 220 by its near faultless TripAdvisor record so I headed in that direction, very near yesterday’s deli.

The place has a really funky design, while still managing to be warm, cosy and friendly. It sells itself on its coffee knowledge; numerous beans to choose from, and buy bagged to take home. I’m pretty clueless myself, but it definitely seemed like they knew their product well.

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And here it is, my favourite latte to date (ever, not just this week), served with a delicious nougat biscotti thing and a glass of water. €0,40 more than yesterday at €3,60, and well well worth it.

It’s gonna be hard not to go back tomorrow.

9/10 (not quite sure what gets you 10…)

Wednesday

Yeah okay, so I went to the same place, of course I did.

But only because it was absolutely chucking it down and my Converse totally can’t deal with it. Proper miserable.

So can you really blame me for going back?

Thursday

I dragged myself away from the reliable comfort of Grad 220 to visit, on recommendation, Afro Cafe, located right off Getreidegasse in the center.

The whole vibe is a load more fun, it’s all about that 60s/African design, which is really well coordinated; great attention to detail. It’s more of a social place, somewhere I’d really love to visit in the evening (cocktails!) or hang out with friends during the day. Grad is more serious, more business-y; better for chilling out with a book.

The added benefit of Afro is a) the free wifi, and b) the outdoor covered seating, great for people watching in all weathers, ha. The latte was delicious as well, served in a quirky mugs with a glass of water and a biscuit, standard.

I’m really impressed, great experience. I want a cocktail now.

9/10

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Friday

To conclude my week of coffee (pretty sure I’ve given myself a lactose intolerance), I visit Kaffee Alchemie, pretty near to Grad, situated along the river. It’s a convenient location (right next to my bus stop!) with a lovely view of the other side, though the traffic does spoil it a little.

It’s an arty place, with books and magazines nestled next to purchasable coffee paraphernalia on the shelves, and classical music playing. The works of Oscar Wilde sit on my little table; symbolic… The whole place seems a little bit pop-up, it’s not as carefully designed as the other places, but it’s all the more quirky for it.

The coffee, yes it was delicious, but no biscuit, and you help yourself to water. €3,50, which I’ve come to accept as standard.

With a little more attention given to the interior, I think this would be a really lovely little place, but (and this is a big but) there is no toilet! I can’t possible rate a coffee shop highly if it doesn’t have anywhere you can pee! How can I possibly relax for an hour or so with a coffee and a glass of water in this situation?!

For that reason, 6/10 (it wins over Fasties for its quirkiness).

Verdict

If you want a quiet atmosphere, go to Grad. If you want a fun hang-out, go to Afro. Simple as. No need to consider anywhere else.

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2 responses to “Don’t judge a city by its coffee shops

  1. Hi! I love coffee too, and I’m going to be an au pair near Wels (Upper Austria) starting in November! Maybe we can drink coffee together sometime. 🙂 I like your blog!

    Like

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