Finns are among the biggest coffee-drinkers in the world. So if you ever come here, I bet you won’t be able to avoid the traditional ‘kahvi ja pulla’ (‘coffee and bun’) break during your stay. And if you happen to visit my hometown, the historical old capital city of Turku, on the south-western coast, by the Baltic Sea, here is my, totally personal, recommendation of where to go for the best cup of joe.
CaféArt (Läntinen Rantakatu 5, www.cafeart.fi)
My all-time favourite, not least for the picturesque milieu of wooden houses by the river Aura, not far from the Cathedral or the market square. In the summertime the café extends to the pavement and side of the pedestrian street, offering a wonderful view of the riverside, and great opportunities for people watching, let alone the fact that coffee always tastes even better in the fresh air.
Apart from the location, my main reason for preferring this café over all the others in town, is the tasty and always reliable coffees, prepared with care of locally roasted beans by award-winning baristas. Tea-lovers can also a good selection of leaf teas. CaféArt may not be at its best in the eats department but different sandwiches and quiches, buns and cakes are always on offer. In the typical Finnish custom, no table service but ordering and paying at the counter, even if you are sitting outdoors.
Inside, there is plenty of space, and nice separate “nooks and crannies” to cater for groups of different sizes. The decor is quaint but quite ordinary. Yet, as the name of the place suggests, the changing art pieces, exhibited on the walls, add interest. If you are on your own, sitting by the riverside window is ideal for daydreaming – weather permitting, of course. Free wi-fi is also available. Personally, I really enjoy the nice, bubbly atmosphere of people, working, having informal meetings, chatting and talking. This place is not often empty or quiet! And more plus: unlike many cafés in our town (beats me why!), CaféArt is also open on Sundays between 11am-5pm. Warmly recommend!