As befitting a student town of its size, Novi Sad has plenty of caffeine to go around. Narrowing the selection down to a choice few is no easy task, but we are more than capable of doing so. If you’re after coffee in the Serbian Athens, seek out the following stops.
Cafe, Contemporary, $$$
Loft is one of the busiest cafes in town | @ Loft - Coffee & Lounge Bar/Facebook
Loft has proved its popularity with its two locations across the city, and it isn’t difficult to see what the buzz is about. It is almost as if a student came into a lot of money and decided to open a cafe, successfully managing to blend opulence and gritty credibility in the process. It is also an excellent spot to pick up some breakfast, although good luck tearing yourself away when the plate is clean.
Taking coffee very seriously indeed | @ Pogon Coffee/Facebook
Coffee for people who love coffee. That isn’t Pogon’s official slogan but it could well be, as this little industrial (in a good way) cafe on Dunajska is a caffeine lover’s paradise and then some. The modern interest in minimalism is on display when it comes to the interior, but the brews are as good as anything you’ll find in the region, let alone the city.
Radio by name, radio by nature. Okay, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but fans of old school ways of sending information via radio waves are in for a major treat here. The sublimely friendly service and splendid coffee help, but the masses of old transistor systems are clearly the main event. The walls are also adorned with no small amount of unorthodox art. Two thumbs up from us!
The oldest tram in the city is a fine place for a coffee | @ Trcika Novi Sad/Facebook
An abandoned tram might not seem like the obvious location for a cafe, but that is exactly what Novi Sad’s Trčika is. Not just any tram either, but the very first one in the city’s history, long out of use in a transport sense but long appreciated by lovers of caffeine citywide. It gets a little chilly in winter, but this is as cosy and cute as cafes are going to get.
A great place for all the family | @ Kafa & Kafa/Facebook
The clue is in the name, right? It doesn’t take a scholar of Serbian to work out that it means ‘Coffee and Coffee’, and there’s no shortage of the good stuff here. A short walk from the historic city centre, the only downside is its relative lack of size means it is full more often than not. If you can find a seat, consider yourself lucky and savour the brew.
Not your usual cafe | @ Startit Community Bar/Facebook
No smoking cafes are an even rarer beast in Novi Sad than in Belgrade. Startit Community is one such place where dark clouds of emphysema are forbidden, so you can imagine how popular this is with the younger generations. That alone makes it worthy of a visit, but the coffee and other drinks back it up in a more than capable manner.
As much a drinking hole as it is a caffeine station, Graffiti feels every bit the comforting homage to alternative culture that it is. Old rock posters adorn the walls, all interspersed with unusual artefacts and a sense that you have wandered into a house party that everyone is invited to. There are also darts, which get a big green tick from us. When you add in the questionable animal sculptures and hotchpotch furniture, you’re on to a real winner at Graffiti.
One of the classiest spots in Novi Sad | @ Petrus Gasto Bar/Facebook
Petrus may well be the fanciest place in town, but this shouldn’t be taken as a negative. There is more than enough curiousness about the art on the walls to dispel any fears of exclusivity, and that is clear enough from the varied clientele that congregate around the central bar.