Coffee aroma is probably the first association coming into the mind of those who have already visited Lviv at the bare mention of this city. People come here not only to admire the architectural beauties, but also to feel the incomparable intelligent charms of the city, and to indulge in its amazing bohemian atmosphere. And a Lviv coffee house is the best place for this purpose. Apart from gastronomic delights embodied in excellent coffee in the most unbelievable and fantastic interpretations, and delicious sweets, here you will treat yourself to emotional pleasure – looking into the very soul of the ancient city and feeling its pulse beating.
Being an exciting entertainment for tourists, coffee is the core of life, the cornerstone, and the tradition of generations for the citizens of Lviv. Locals like to say that “everything starts with coffee – morning, business, and love ....” No wonder, acknowledging this philosophy, the locals treat this drink with a gentle hand: coffee making, as well as coffee drinking, is regarded here to bean art akin to a solemn performance. Do you know that being a true “blue blood”, coffee shows a strong dislike for close proximity to someone else? In Lviv, the coffee masters are well aware of its somewhat snobbish nature, that is why they treat coffee with respect – nothing but coffee can be ordered in a true coffee house. Any foreign scent “kills” the intricate flavor gamma of the noble beverage, leaving only primitive flavor chords – the gourmets can’t let it happen for the world. Visiting a classic coffee house, do not count upon rich gourmandize – you will be offered nothing more than a pastry or a candy. Speaking of rituals, one can’t help mentioning, for instance, that the traditional Lviv coffee must be made in a cezve (no coffee machines – God save you!). Moreover, ordinary gas is no good for the “solemn performance” either – heated sand only, as in this case both the cezve and coffee are evenly run hot, fully unveiling the taste of the drink.
With this approach, no wonder there are a great many coffee houses in the city – they are almost as numerous as pharmacies and banks. Lviv hosts coffee houses that are known to every local and almost every tourist, but still there are almost secret houses, safely hidden in a maze of back alleys – it is hardly possible to get here by chance. Though, a common trait of all coffee houses is an inalienable quiet atmosphere and a luxurious choice of the favorite drink – most Lviv coffee houses offer up to 40 coffees. The imagination of local barista is truly vast – from the “commonplace” alcohol spirit to coffee “incrustation” with golden dust.
Perhaps, one can hardly think of a better time to get familiar (or deepen one’s knowledge) with the Lviv coffee culture than the quiet September days, when the city traditionally hosts the Coffee Festival. Guests are to enjoy music, dances, parades, and of course tasting – since every coffee house will try to surprise its visitors with something unusual. The coffee house tour of the festival King and Queen will become the high point of the event. The best of the best will be chosen by the majesties personally. Admittedly, almost every coffee house of the city of Lviv is worth awarding this honorable title. Visit the festival and become personally certain!
Zolotoy Ducat (Golden Ducat) coffee house (20 Ivan Fedorov Street)
Being one of the most famous Lviv coffee houses, the Zolotoy Ducat zest is 27 sorts of the so-called fresh-coffee. They say the freshly roasted and ground coffee differs from an ordinary one as much as freshly baked bread contrasts with well-handled bakery. Moreover, here you can enjoy the “hot pitch” – coffee with dark chocolate, nuts and cream in flames.
Pіd Synoyu Pliashkoyu (Under the Blue Bottle) coffee house (4 Russka Street)
This, the most “Lviv spirit” coffee house was named after the first coffee house in Vienna, opened in the XVII century by the Galicia aristocrat Yuri Kulchitsky. The atmosphere as well as recipes for drinks and pastries fully complies with the name – everything here represents time spirit of the Austrian Caesar Franz Josef. Apart from coffee, here you will be offered a great variety of strong liqueurs.
Pіd Klepsydroyu or Dzyga (Under Clepsydra) coffee house (35 Armianska Street)
This is not an ordinary coffee house, but a cult place gathering the aristocracy of talent, the Lvov bohemians, and “advanced” tourists. This site usually hosts various art exhibitions – the influence of the neighboring Dziga Art Gallery is distinctly felt. Lard topped with chocolate and the Flame Coffee burning with rum of brandy are considered to be local zests.
Italiansky Dvorik (Italian Patio) coffee house (6 Rynok Square)
This coffee house is situated in a single Italian patio of Lvov – the patio of XVI century historic building by the name of Kamenitsa Kornyakta. Apart from its unique retro atmosphere, wonderful coffee, and lovely music, the coffee house pleases its guests with a very “filmable” architecture – newlyweds love coming here for beautiful wedding photos.
Vіdenska Kava (Vienna Coffee) coffee house (12 Svobody Ave)
Situated on the square by the Opera House, this coffee house is one of the oldest, most famous and beloved Lvov “coffee temples”. Its history dates back to 1829. Videnska Kava is loved for democratic atmosphere, elegant classic Viennese design, and, of course, delicious coffee and pastry. The Lvov policy elite traditionally choose this house for business and amicable meetings.
Galka (Jackdaw) coffee house (6 Kovzhuna Street)
This is one of the most popular Lviv coffee houses. Apart from breathtaking coffee, here you will be offered no less breathtaking desserts made mainly from cheese. Galka is a reference coffee house in every respect: interior, choice, and service level are at their best here. There is also a branded store here, which makes it possible for the guests to warm their evenings with the Lviv coffee aroma at home – no matter where their homes are.
Svit Kavy (Coffee World) coffee house (6 Kafedralna Street)
Situated in the very heart of the Old City, in a small patio facing the Cathedral, this coffee house is one of the most favorite places of the Lviv intelligentsia and clerisy. This house has nearly the largest Lviv collection of different sorts and varieties of coffee. The choice of cakes and pastry is also quite impressive.
Tsar Kava (Tsar Coffee) coffee house (27 Rynok Square)
The menu of this house situated next to the City Hall traditionally pleases its guests with a wonderful selection of coffee, coffee-based drinks, a great many delicious desserts, and homemade cakes and pastry. It is worth mentioning that the free and quiet atmosphere – brick arches, wooden ceilings, antique sideboard, and copper air vent pipes– invites you to enjoy unhurried careful coffee drinking and lengthy conversations.
Tsukernya (Candy Shop) coffee house (3 Staroevreyska Street)
Situated in the Old City, this cafe enjoys enormous popularity with visitors being ready to meekly wait for a table. Here coffee and sweets are made to traditional Galician recipes from natural ingredients only. Moreover, the choice of pastry and confectionery is enormous and commands the largest part of the menu – 90%.
Veronica coffee and pastry house (21 Shevchenko Avenue)
This is the real Mecca for sweet teeth – every local will admit the choice here is truly one of the city’s most impressive one. Cakes and handmade chocolates, cookies and pies, croissants and a huge selection of bread – everything is not only incredibly delicious, but also amazingly beautiful – genuine artworks.
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