Warm up in this Local Cafe and Used Book Shop
Next Apache is a cafe and used bookstore with interesting and perhaps even influential Slovak and English speaking clientele that are happy to engage in discussions with a visiting traveler. They are just as happy to leave you alone to grab a book off the shelves and sit back to read.
address: Panenska 28 in Bratislava
(a 3 minute walk from the Presidential Palace)
English books, magazines, and newspapers abound and the place is a welcoming and comfortable place to stop in for a quick cup of coffee or to spend the whole afternoon inside and out of the cold during the winter. If you're lucky enough to get the big red couch that looks like it was pulled from an Edgar Allan Poe story, then you've got the best seat in the house for lounging around. Their English book collection is extensive and varied and will please any reader. Their magazine and newspaper collection ranges from the Economist to the New Yorker and includes Slovak papers as well.
In the day it's a meditative coffee shop, and at night it turns into more of a bar, where beer is the drink of choice. It hosts live music a few times a month which means that some nights Next Apache is packed with loyal followers of its hosted bands.
It is the place to go if you want to start a random discussion with another customer and learn about the local political scene, arts scene, literary scene, or just want to know the latest news around town.
Upstairs at Next Apache, you can find 6,000 Slovak used books, a room that is worth a look, even if just to see what old Slovak books are like.
Next Apache also has a rotating selection of high quality coffees that are written on the slate behind the bar. Their available coffees always include a few fair trade varieties. They have fresh herbal tea and dried teas in teabags as well as beer, wine, other alcohols, aloe vera juice, and gingery ginger ale as well as and a small offering of food. Their pickled cheese comes highly recommended. It is a Central European bar-food staple, made by the owner himself, rubbed with spices, soaked in oil and vinegar. Their cheese is the creamiest I have had.
During the spring and summer, the courtyard opens up and the cafe triples in size. The courtyard has hosted readings, concerts, weddings, and live shows of Slovak artists painting before a full house. During a quiet summer day, you might feel at home with a book in the courtyard of this building that once housed a theological seminary.
If you happen to run into the owner, you can get his opinion about how Slovakia is as a place to live - the man is a Canadian who has made his home here in Bratislava.
Whenever I am looking for a good book, whenever I am looking for a random interesting person to talk to, whenever I want to hear the latest about what's going on (even before the newspapers), I stop by Next Apache.
If you're traveling through town and do not know where to spend the next few hours, just go to Next Apache, and start a conversation. You're guaranteed to create a memory.