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As Warsaw progresses into one of the coolest cities in Eastern Europe, it’s time to explore some of the more local districts of the city. Sandwiched between the city’s Praga-Południe (Southern Prague) and Praga-Połnocna (Northern Prague) quarters is Nowa Praga (New Prague). The last few years have seen a fascinating transformation here. Old factories, industrial buildings and residential squats have been turned into wine bars, quirky cafés and late-night bars. Delve into this pick of cafés in Nowa Praga.
The irony here is that you are having your coffee in Nowa Praga (New Prague) in a café called Stara Praga Kawiarnia (Old Prague Café). No matter, the interior décor here is sublime. There is a piano to play, paintings on the walls, little cosy alcoves and all kinds of miscellaneous items around the room. The venue is carpeted and, of course, Stara Praga Kawiarnia serves good coffee and cake. There is also Wi-Fi though it can be intermittent.
The well-hidden Fochy i Fanaberie could just be the coolest find on this side of the river. Apart from a wooden sign placed on Ząbkowska Street, you wouldn’t even know this place exists. You head through the alley into a courtyard and are faced with Fochy i Fanaberie. It translates into English obscurely as ‘Sulks and Frills’. On weekend nights, the venue has live music and chats, and the walls are adorned by paintings, many of which are drawn by Justyna the owner.
4Pokoje translates as ‘Four Rooms’, and that’s exactly what it is. A small café separated into four very different rooms. It is an easygoing hangout for daytime coffee, tea and cakes or to make use of the Wi-Fi. By evening, it is an ideal spot to meet some friends for a few relaxed drinks. It has an alcohol license and beer on draught.
Zakład Mięsny translates as ‘Butcher’s Shop’ and manages to incorporate a butchery, a café and a bar all into one. A superb tasty menu includes wood-fired pizza and gourmet burgers. Friendly staff love to chat, the Wi-Fi is fast, and the walls are furnished with interesting knick-knacks from days gone by. There are mirrors, dentist chairs and old telephones and a good selection of soft drinks, hot drinks and cocktails. The artistic décor and lighting make for a cosy and warm ambience. There are also nine beers on tap, and it’s on a handy corner close to the Dworzec Wilenski metro station.
This place is a stunning little venue that almost typifies the up-and-coming café and bar scene in Nowa Praga. The name W Oparach Absurdu translates as ‘in the fumes of absurdity’, and this completely fits with the interior. It’s all a little obscure, absurd and peculiar. A balcony overlooks a poky corner bar, cosy sofas touch the window, and the narrow corridor at the back feels like a dining room. Coffee, tea, beer and spirits are served from the low bar on the right-hand side. Live music is played at weekends, which adds to a great atmosphere in what is such a small and compact café.