Warsaw has no shortage of local legends that make their districts come alive, but charming us the most over the course of the year was none other than Cafe Bar Havana…
History has a funny habit of repeating itself. Opened in the 1960s in what was then the Merkury Department Store, for two decades Havana was celebrated around Żoliborz for its groovy jukebox and jelly concoctions. Three years ago, it was revived anew, only this time as a bar-restaurant-café crossover.
Set on the first floor of a PRL era tower, the super cool interior offers up a coherent display of retro posters, luscious plants and light wood trimmings that are respectful of this space’s former life.
Perched among hip freelancers and theater types learning their lines, sip away on trendy bio wines, adventurous lemonades, craft swigs or specialty coffee sourced from local roasters. And if you’re looking for something more, then there’s also a vegan menu of solid reputation.
But ask anyone, and it’s Havana’s atmosphere that really stands out – warm and engaging in winter, outside of the Baltic months the L-shaped terrace is the place to be seen: whereas Warsaw’s other sky bars fill with aspiring George Clooney lookalikes (y’know, big watches, white shirts, Merc keys jangling), you get the idea that Havana would be happy if Pete Doherty walked in with a crumpled hat and a cig dangling from his lip. It’s all the better for that.