Coffee shops are all the rage these days. I mean, they’ve more than likely been all the rage for a long time, but the increase in young men with beards and young women wearing dungarees has seen brewers and roasteries come roaring back into fashion. Ljubljana is a hipster’s dream, a tiny central European city more affordable than Vienna and with a strange enough name to sound exotic to the idiotic. Lu-Joob-Lu-Jar-Na. Yeah, that’ll do. Can someone take a photo of me leading some vague thing towards something pretty? Do they have Starbucks?
Well, forget Starbucks, and not just because Starbucks is terrible. Ljubljana does a damn fine line in independent (and not so independent) coffee shops, covering everything from hard-to-find joints to spots smack in the middle of touristville (anywhere along the river). Ljubljana is small and compact enough that you can walk around each of the places listed below in one day, although that would lead to all sorts of caffeine-related issues.
Anyway, enough bullshit, on to the coffee. Here are the places to stop for coffee when in LuJoobLuJarNa. Sorry, Ljubljana.
ČOKL – Krekov trg 8
Čokl is the best coffee place in Ljubljana. Now if that were an objective comment there’d be absolutely no point to the next 700 or so words, so there’s more to it than that. Either way, Čokl is as good as anywhere else in town when it comes to pure coffee. These guys know what they are doing and they do it well, which makes for great coffee but a slightly intimidating atmosphere for those folk who just want a ‘latte’. If the weather is leaning to the chilly side then the lack of room inside removes this as an option, but if someone is making a list of coffee spots in Ljubljana and doesn’t mention this tiny spot on Krekov trg, they have no idea what they are talking about.
DAKTARI – Krekov trg 7
We’ll stay on Krekov trg for the time being and head up a couple of doors to one of Ljubljana’s most popular spots. Daktari has got that ‘batshit random’ interior that is so very popular these days, but this has come together over years as opposed to a couple of hours at the flea market. Daktari does a damn fine line in coffee, blending well with the sofas and books and probable poetry readings. It is also one of the places in town that will respond to a request for an Americano with a god damn Americano.
CAFETINO – Stari trg 5
If you’re hoping for a WiFi coffee spot then don’t head here, but if you want excellent coffee in the centre of town and some sleek-ass surroundings in which to drink it, Cafetino is the spot for you. They also have a fine variety of Gin & Tonics on offer, but thats another article for another day. Excellent coffee + peaceful interior + beans you can take home = Cafetino.
SLOVENSKA HIŠA – Cankarjevo nabrežje 13
Despite being located smack-dab in the middle of touristville, Slovenska Hiša can lay claim to being a little different to the conveyor belt of less interesting options along the riverside. The name means ‘Slovenian House’, and whilst that doesn’t mean the house is made out of Slovenia it does mean that you’re going to be getting a whole lot of traditional options here. We’d be lying if we said huge portions of the book weren’t written here. We didn’t realise a meat plate went so well with black coffee. Hey Sandra!
PRITLIČJE – Mestni trg 2
If swathes of the book were written at Slovenska Hiša, then just as much was penned in the way-more-modern-than-us Pritličje. Situated next door to the town hall, Pritličje sometimes comes across as an alternative meeting point hub sort of place, the type of spot that in an ideal world would be located in the centre of town in a prime location but oh yes indeed that is exactly what this is. It also houses a comic book shop, and if you do pay it a visit the toilets are past the bar.
LP BAR – Novi trg 2
With hard to beat views of Ljubljana Castle and the fountain on Novi Trg, LP Bar is one of those spots that has glorious outdoor seating as well as the novelty of being set in a centuries old building. If the weather is good, get outside and take in the views! If the weather is terrible, bunker down inside and guess how high the ceiling is! Or just enjoy the fabulous coffee.
Ljubljana has a lot of coffee spots on offer, and if you’re interested in one of those aerial pictures that has your coffee, some sugar and maybe a leaf or something in it, you’re in luck. If you’re looking for that plus excellent coffee, friendly service, a genuine atmosphere and somewhere to while away the day, look no further than the six places listed above. There’s a joke in there about Ljubljana being small, but as we’re going to write about Jagodina in a few weeks time we’ll hold our tongue.