Cafe Culture in Croatia: Some Cafes to Seek Out in Hvar Town
Life in Dalmatia would cease to exist without cafes, an essential part of daily life. Hvar has a wealth of cafes to choose from, some worth seeking out.
Dalmatia is one large cafe, and it is impossible to spend time there without taking in the relaxed pace of life there without sitting over a cappuccino or espresso and watching the day go back. While visitors may be in a hurry, local officials are not, and the official coffee break, the marenda, is jealously protected and often prolonged.
Hvar Town has a wide selection of cafes to choose from, and recommendations vary from local to local. An important aspect is for the cafe to learn how to prepare an individual's coffee – a skill which, once learned, is rewarded by fierce loyalty. For the passing tourist, here are a few worth checking out.
Situated in the first side street on the right before arguably the finest gastronomic street in Hvar Town, Ka Lavanda is easily recognisable by its distinctive lavender upholstery and door. A local favourite and great place to chill during the day in the cushioned seating by the city wall, the care is a cool evening party venue.
For people watching and gazing at the large boats mooring up, it is hard to beat the location of Cafe Pjaca, located as it is on the corner of the main square next to Hotel Palace and offering great views of the square, the Pakleni Islands and the harbour. The cafe is a great place to relax over a coffee watching the water taxis ply their trade to the islands and watching the rich and famous strutting their stuff.
Just past Hotel Palace and a popular local haunt, Sidro combines waterfront location with sensible prices and friendly service. As good a location as any to while away a morning, Sidro's evening persona is in party mood, with some of the best (and best-prices) mojitos in town.
A great addition to Hvar's tourism offer for 2011 is the opening of Evergreen Park Cafe, which occupies the ground floor of Hotel Park. Situated directly behind the small park in front of the hotel, Evergreen has the prime location but just off the main drag, a (relatively) peaceful alternative to the mayhem on the main square.
The spacious interior with sofas, high ceilings and fireplace has an old world charm, and is sure to be a popular watering hole in the winter months. The biggest surprise was the pricing, with a 0.5 l draught beer costing just 20 kuna in June 2011.
No cafe overview of Hvar Town would be complete without mentioning the coolest cousin of them all. Carpe Diem has become synonymous with the glitz of the town labelled the new St. Tropez, and with good reason, with its A-list celebrity guest list and beach club at Stipanska. By day, the pace of life at Carpe Diem is less frenetic, the views just as stunning and the comfort and service at a higher level.
Top Bar, Hotel Adriatic
Offering probably the best sunset views and style on Hvar, the Hotel Adriatic Top Bar is an excellent way to escape the crowds during the day, while gazing out at life on the square and the harbour below. Surprisingly affordable and open from 11am.
Opened in late May 2011, Nonica is a delightful cafe/cake shop selling excellent coffee and a delicious range of Dalmatian sweets, made from the original recipes of Hvar's grandmothers, which have been passed down through the generations. Located at Kroz Burak 23 behind Hotel Park and next to the Balustrade Estates real estate office.