I include this one in the Hidden section, because that’s how it is located: I was very close to missing it, although I roughly knew where I was heading, following the advice of fellow cafe-goers on a Cracow-oriented forum (I only found it because I practically tripped over their A-board outside the gate to the courtyard).
The place lured me in with promises of an atmospheric decor and romantic solitude. It wasn’t what I expected, and I left the place pretty quickly, as I felt rather alienated in the shady, dim-lit room, crammed with old-style furniture and with walls covered in illustrations of herbs…
Yet, I can imagine its charm if visited with a close friend, or even one not seen in years. There is a mystical feel in the air (maybe it’s history speaking through the walls of the 16th century building that in its time was a cultural centre of Cracow’s intelligentsia), that makes silence here seem to hum an enchanted story… Not that there is much silence, as the place seems pretty popular, despite being hidden in a, well, nook.
I am not a person who can sit in such surroundings and contemplate a sandwich that my stomach had desperately cried for. The sandwich traveled with me to my hotel, as the lovely staff readily offered to wrap what I left of it as for take-away; I did stay long enough, however, to contemplate the coffee, which somehow fit perfectly in the ambiance.
When only I saw “Coffee of Gods” on the menu, I knew I would not be having a mocha this time. And when I was told that one of the ingredients of this intriguing drink were walnuts, I did not need to know more; I was sold (nuts are my guilty pleasure, I have you know).
This, I think it’s safe to say, signature coffee, is advertised as a “bitter-sweet mystery”. To be frank, I did not find anything bitter about it, but it definitely was sweet. I detected cinnamon in the works, apart from the already mentioned crunchy nuts take in with every sip. OK, maybe it wasn’t as strong as an Olympic Ambrosia, but definitely worth a try.
Especially in the company of a friend and an old album of your childhood photos…
P.S. Although I didn’t exactly feel at home in this little cafe, you cannot deny it potential. The service was very polite, although not overly attentive; there was no lengthy waiting for your order being taken or delivered as there was always someone ready to serve you, but, at the same time, they were minding their own business whilst you were minding yours. I was also satisfied with the choice of sweet and savoury foods that make this as much of an atmospheric coffee shop as a tranquil stop-over for lunch.
P.S.2: Zakatek = Nook. Just to clarify.