The history of coffee in Transcarpathian covers more than 5 centuries, and over this time, the locals have taken the art of coffee brewing to perfection. There are many cities in Ukraine with lots of nice coffee shops, but Uzhgorod remains one of the leaders. And that’s definitely not the case when quality is sacrificed for quantity. There is a saying: “Lviv is famous for its coffee shops but Uzhgorod is famous for its coffee”. Lvivers aren’t quick to recognize this, but only until they actually try the Uzhgorodian coffee. It’s no use to describe it; you might as well try to draw love or to sing a dream.
While walking in the center of Uzhgorod, you’re sure to smell that magical coffee aroma coming from the small cafés located along your way. You could drop by any of them and you won’t make a mistake. Excellent coffee is served in the Medelin chain (5a Koryatovycha sq. and others), Korado (24 Voloshyna St. – just across the street from the hostel), Antresol (1a Koryatovycha sq.), Hirchychne zerno (in the same named pass). All these coffee shops are located in the center of the town so you won’t have to spend a lot of time looking for them. Good coffee is also served in more expensive venues such as Lychee (68 Mukachivska St.), Fan-Fan (17 Korzo St.), Old Continent (4 Petofy sq.). The prices may be a bit higher, but the atmosphere, the service and the taste of this magical drink will be worth it.
The locals know how to enjoy coffee; they take small sips and enjoy every drop of this drink. When friends meet in Uzhgorod, instead of saying, “Let’s grab a beer,” they say, “Let’s go get some coffee.” And there’s plenty of places to go: small cozy coffee shops, conceptual Ukrainian-themed venues, expensive restaurants and ordinary chain cafés – everything can be found in Uzhgorod. That’s not to mention bistros and pizzerias, buffets and bars where you will definitely find some of the most popular varieties of coffee. Many venues are open from the very morning till late into the night, some of them round the clock. And be sure that everywhere you will be kindly offered all sorts of coffee and coffee drinks, from espresso to the cold frappe.
If you are not a big fan of popular brands and touristy spots, fear not! There is something special for you in Uzhgorod, too. This coffee shop was opened only recently but it’s already found its place on the coffee map of the town. Reki Manki (5 Korzo St.) is a small but very lovely café located in one of the Uzhgorod’s narrow central streets. The coffee is amazing over here, and they also serve sweet cooked semolina! And don’t forget cocoa with marshmallows as well as delicious homemade sweets. Suffice to say that I have never been to such a cozy place. Locals are fascinated with this café.
It’s hard to say what coffee means for Uzhgorod. Is it just a drink or part of the culture? I’d go for the latter. Coffee is kind of a cult for the locals. They drink it in the morning and late in the evening; they mix it with milk and cream, chocolate, alcohol, spices and even fruits. Here, coffee can be added into desserts, sweets and sauces! It seems like these experiments with coffee will never end. But it’s only for the better because every time you’ll visit Uzhgorod, you will have a chance to try something new and unusual.
Do you think that coffee is overrated in Uzhgorod? Well, maybe, but who cares? Just try it and you will understand everything.