Where to start? It depends on from where you come to Liberec. When driving, you must definitely stop at bistro Jíme s Mírou, located just next to the highway where beside coffee you can experience the great cuisine of Lady Míra. When you get here by bus, do not definitely miss Kofeinplac where Pavel and Marek serve the best coffee in former newsagent’s booth right next to the bus stop at Fügnerova Street. In case you arrived to admire the beauty of Liberec by train, a nice surprise in the form of good coffee is waiting for you directly at the station, in Café+. But you don’t have to worry that this is all that Liberec can offer for you. The opposite is the truth—your trip along the design cafés of Liberec has just begun.
On your way from the railway station be sure to stop at recently finely and exemplary reconstructed Pytloun Grand Hotel Imperial which offers not only modern architecture from prominent Czech designers on its premises but also the great coffee you can enjoy in the hotel restaurant Zlatý Kohout. Before you start heading to the city center which is dominated by the Liberec Town Hall, make a quick turn to the local answer of Berlin’s Kreuzberg—you won’t regret it. In old, partly very shabby building with an unrepeatable atmosphere so typical for similar sites in other European cities, you will find several places that you surely should pay attention to.
For example, the legendary pub Vokno which was redone by Mjölk architects and turned into the literally iconic place of current and young Liberec where is never lack of good coffee and entertainment. Or Bistro Široká which offers not only the modern Scandinavian design but also excellent meals and coffee. Locals also love this place, named by the street where located because of its tapped prosecco. To make Bistro Široká even more popular, the owners—Tomáš and Klára—organize there largely attended fashion bazaars. No wonder they have appeared at the prestigious choice of five most trendy places in all the Czech Republic. The only thing which might be quarreled is the Bistro doesn’t have a terrace— this doesn’t have to be a bother while just across the street there is the most stylish out-of-town space you can imagine.
In the notional center of the district—the square local people call simply and only as Papírák, here you find two places which deserve to get your attention, each of them for a different reason. Café U dvou buchet which is lovingly looked after by Mrs. Dagmar with her daughter breathes unrepeatable homy atmosphere where the time goes by significantly freer. On the contrary, Stereo Cafe is a place where time flies at an incredible speed and active is mainly at night. Roman, its owner, here also organizes new exhibition every month where young talented authors present their works. As the title Full Moon Gallery prompts, private view of the exhibition is always held on the day of the full moon.
Another magical place at your disposal is when you walk up the Papírák towards one of the main dominants of Liberec—Church of St. Anthony the Great. In its neighborhood, you find Kafe Kytka. Providing beside good coffee you also look for a modern and stylish bouquet, you cannot choose a better place in Liberec. As the name states, Ondra and Tereza offer also beautiful flowers and choosing it, you surely make happy even the most demanding flora adorers in the world. From a café full of flowers, it’s only several steps to the main square and the lovers of good coffee don’t have to worry to miss an opportunity again. In a small shop in the archway, you are welcomed by Fofr Kafe which a bit deludes by its name—while this is an asylum for those who are not in a hurry and want to peacefully enjoy their coffee, enjoy life and admire the view to the Liberec Town Hall. Fans of the classical style of cafés truly salute to Café Praha, located at the corner of the main square already since 1906.
Right across, at the beginning of the Frýdlantská Street, you will find Jedno Kafe. Kristian and Marie offer there not only excellent coffee but also lemonade of their own which comes by extraction of the freshly roasted selective coffee in cold filtrated water with the addition of fruit juice and sparkling filtrated water. All of this served in the design, clean and abstemiously interior which cannot deny Scandinavian inspiration. Jedno Kafe paid attention to such details as a faucet for tapped water or tidy rolled towels at the restrooms. In the same street, you can also find Kino Varšava which was a few years ago literally saved before perishing by a group of enthusiasts. It was taken unprecedentedly stylish and generously for our standards. The result arrived not too long after—the reconstruction of the foyer where you can find the café has been awarded by prestigious architectonic prize Grand Prix in the category of Architectural design, minor structure building and the artwork in the architecture in 2015.
To another design cafés, you must take a trip from the main square, direction to Lidové sady. First, you will reach vegetarian bistro Mikyna, known for excellent coffee and food in all the Czech Republic. It’s not an exception that lso people from Prague come here to have lunch. Týna and Ondřej will surely advise you and serve what they also make at their homes. Little off the side is a café place called Sweet City. Don’t be put off by this fact and don’t miss it—you would definitely regret it. Brothers Karel and Martin not only sell the coffee, but they also roast it. And so well that their brand Nordbeans you can find literally in cafés all over the country. You can get a gift package of their specialty coffee also in our information centre.
As you can see, there’s a lot in the area of coffee and design what today’s Liberec can offer. It’s time to discover.
Text: Petr Vondřich, Jizerské ticho