Best places for coffee in Bled Slovenia (and 1 for tea)
Slovenia is a coffee drinking nation. Coffee is often not a destination, but a pitstop on the way. That is reflected in the wide availability and sometimes limited choice. Tea is a rarity. I drink long black coffee (dolga kava) similar to but sufficiently different to americano. My wife prefers bela cava (while coffee) similar to latte. “Kava z mlekom” will get you coffee with milk. Espresso is always served with a glass of water and a spoon and sugar (if it is not already on the table. All around Lake Bled there are places to take coffee.
There are many very good reasons for visiting Slovenia in the winter. One is vroča čokolada (hot chocolate); my absolute favourite is at Art Café. Another is kuhano vino (mulled wine); my favourite is found on a cold evening served in one of the stalls in the Winter Wonderland.
My favourites and recommendations:
I have never had a bad coffee in Slovenia. It is worth knowing that Illy is manufactured in the country and many people would go to a cafe advertising the brand. I don’t mind.
I cannot settle for one place; I have these favourites, more or less in this order. They are each different, unique in their style. They do great coffee and snacks. The staff are helpful and friendly, and their menu extends beyond just coffee if you want to dally a little longer.
cesta Svobode 8a, 4260 Bled, Slovenia
This is a very stylish little café, mentioned at the very beginning of the book as one of the first you find when you walk from the bus to the lake. Again, tiny inside but a large terrace where you get views of the lake and castle. The natural shade from overhanging trees protects you from the sun on the hottest days. There is room for children to play in this family friendly place. Caffe Peglez’n is favoured by locals as well as visitors. Good coffee, some snacks. A good place for an early start in the morning. It’s usually open by 7:00 am when you can buy jam filled croissants (rogljički).
cesta Svobode 7a, 4260 Bled, Slovenia Phone: +386 4 576 71 79
It is popular with students from the business school and the hospitality college nearby and with younger tourists. People mostly sit outside. It is open from about 8:00 am. Simple snacks are available all day, and the coffee is very good.
The whole atmosphere changes when the evening approaches and Art Café turns into a party place. The bar stays open until the small hours, especially Friday and Saturday nights.
If you are in Bled in the winter, Art Café does great hot chocolate. Highly recommended.
Grajska cesta 3, 4260 Bled, Slovenia Phone: +386 4 574 16 16 www.smon.si
Slaščičarna Zima (until recently known as Slaščičarna Šmon) has been part of the culture of Bled for over 100 years. At the climax of Bled Nights when 15,000 candles float on the lake, they nestle in egg shells saved at there.
This cake shop fits into a category of its own, “best pastry on the planet”, and would be very highly rated in any league of cafés and restaurants. The cakes are superb. The restaurant is famous, and it deserves the reputation. If you go nowhere else in Bled, walk up hill from the bus station and take coffee and cake here.
Ljubljanska cesta 4, Bled 4260. Phone: +386 4 574 40 44
There are six or seven places for coffee, drinks or food in the shopping centre. Music themed Apropos has the style and the tasteful background music as well as excellent coffee. It is a music themed tiny café with a larger seating area outside where the music theme continues.
Svobode 18, 4260 Bled, Slovenia Phone: +386 (0)4 575 37 21 www.brdo.si/en/vila-bled/caf%C3%A9-belvedere
I think we can safely say that the pavilion has the best view of the island – you can almost reach out and touch the church. Known as “Tito’s Tea Room”, the historic building was designed by Jože Plečnik, the architect responsible for much of classic Ljubljana and parts of Kranj. It sits on stone stilts in the grounds of Vila Bled.
You can get to it via Hotel Bled or by the gate from the shore of the lake. If you are driving from Bled, past the main gates of Vila Bled following the road to the right and then you can drive to the small car park. Or you can walk that way, too.
Café Belvedere is open from 27 April to 8 June: 14.00 – 21.00. 9 June – 10 September: 10.00 – 21.00. 11 – 24 September: 10.00 – 19.00
Jasmin Tea Room
cesta Svobode 10, 4260 Bled, Slovenia Phone: +386 4 574 38 27
If you are a tea drinker, after a few days in Slovenia you are going to be parched. Tea is a fruit infusion rather the dried leaf from India. Although Okarina Restaurant does a lovely marsala chai.
Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of a busy shopping area, Jasmin Tea Room is a small, interesting place beside the Tourist Information office. It rarely gets too busy and you can sit in the largish restaurant area or on the small terrace. It is one of the few places in Bled that serves excellent tea as well as fruit infusions. There is an accompanying shop a few metres away around the corner where you can buy tea, infusions, table-ware, cups, mugs, presents to bring home and tea-making paraphernalia.
Ljubljanska cesta 7, 4260 Bled, Slovenia Phone: +386 31 382 055
Even though it is in the Hotel Krim building beside the EuropCar hire office and a hairdresser, K-Bar is a little off the beaten track. It is a cool and shaded place with good, value for money coffee and croissants (rogljički) in the morning. Much used by locals rather than visitors.
Triglavska roža coffee shop at Infocenter Bled
Ljubljanska cesta 27, 4260 Bled
The Triglavska roža coffee shop is small, the choice is limited, but it is charming, and the setting is excellent. You can get breakfast in summer months there. The terrace there is very relaxed. Checkout the Infocenter’s exhibitions and shop – but take some coffee and cakes.
Shopping Centre Plaza
You can’t miss it. Right under those multi-coloured canopies slap bang in the middle of the shopping centre. There is a group of separate seating areas distinguishable by the logos and colours. Which café serves you depends on where you sit. I have no particular recommendation, but out there in the open air, with good views particularly of Bled Castle. A perfect place for people watching over a glass of Cockta with lots of ice.
Cockta? Never heard of it? Read on …
Insider Knowledge – Cockta
Looking for something non-alcoholic on a hot day to help cool you down? Yes, sure there is Pepsi and there is Coke, but why not drink something Slovenian? Cockta might look like one of those American imports, but it does not taste like them. The fizzy drink is made from some 11 herbs – the most prominent being rosehip. It was invented in the early 1950s in Slovenia (then part of Yugoslavia) when Coke and Pepsi were not available.
To quote one of its advertising slogans, “Brez kofeina – brez kisline – brez heca!” (No Caffeine – No Acid – No Joke!)
More about rogljiček
You will find these fresh and warm in most cafes every morning. The are a Slovenian pastry similar to croissants. They are filled with jam But you must be early as they sell out quickly. Worth getting up for.