Some coffee shops have a special atmosphere, something that pulls you to come there again and again. Here are a few of my favorite ones. This list is by no means complete and it is always fun to discover new ones.
A year ago I was visiting the US and we visited a fun little coffee shop in Waconia, Minnesota called Mocha Monkey. It is full of little nooks and crannies, a book shelf and orginal art. Waconia is outside of suburbia and has the atmosphere of the traditional “small town” USA. I tried their gelato, which is made on site. I would go back for more if they were a little closer!
This bakery has a special place in my heart with many childhood memories. It is a visit filled with nostalgia. I like seeing the craftmanship that goes into the baked goods, watch the cake decorators making their original creations, enjoy a cup of coffee and have a little something sweet to go with it.
This was my absolute favorite place in London. The interior was contemporary and cozy at the same time. They would plug in a toaster at your table so that you would always have freshly toasted bread at breakfast. I really liked the idea of the communal table, kind of like being part of a big family! But since I grew up in a big family, it probably feels quite natural. Their selection of different salads and sweets was amazing. The scents of the salads made me wish that we could have gone back there for lunch.
In Lahti there is a little harbor about a kilometer from the downtown area. Along the water front there are several cafes of which two awakened my interest. The Piano Pavilion is open during the summer and has been constructed out of environmental friendly materials and has a contemporary design. The terrace is right over the water with a minimalistic glass railing that does not block the view of the harbor. The only downside is that its menu cannot compete with the Cafe “Kahvila Kariranta” on the other side of the harbor. But I would go again for the scenery, and the peaceful experience of sitting right on the water and listening to the waves.
On the other side of the harbor in Lahti is Kahvila Kariranta located in an old train station building. They make their own treats in their little bakery in the back. Their products have a genuine home-made flavor that can be rarely found. Since the house is old, it has several small rooms to choose from and for nice summer days, they have a terrace in front.
The words Ilo means joy in Finnish. Kahvila Ilo is a local coffee shop/cafe that takes pride in using local produce as much as possible. They make wonderful salads and cakes. I definitely think that it is the best cafe in Kouvola. I almost think you can evaluate a place by their pulla. If they have good home-made pulla, then their other products are usually great as well. I must admit that if I have errands in town I often make an excuse to stop by. I have become an irregular regular customer!