I hate gender stereotypes, but it’s a fact that every time I step into one of these lovely (see? The chosen adjective already tells a lot) places I can’t help noticing that the percentage of women is about 80%, at least. So, here are 5 cafes and bars and salons de thé where you can go to read a book, have a super indulging time with you girlfriends, do a great lunch or find a girl. If you belong to the latter category, don’t forget to praise the choice of cakes and/ore the décor. You never know, it could be the beginning of something.
Zoo (Strada Maggiore 50)
Decoration enthusiasts and nostalgics of american cakes will love this big space packed with children books, illustrators’ pieces and pretty little items of home design. Children friendly but “not a family bar” (they clearly specify this on their Facebook page), this restaurant-bar – open from breakfast to evening – is a crossover between a Berlin-inspired Kinder café, an american bakery and a salon de thé for hipsters. It hosts live music and art exhibitions, the girls running it have great taste and meticulously update their social pages with inspiring pics, and its clear penchant for whites, cakes, pastels and “pretty-pretty” atmosphere usually attracts pairs and small groups of girlfriends happily biting bagels and cheesecakes, while checking out the always impeccably dressed staff.
Colazione da Bianca (Via Santo Stefano 1)
Blessed by a central position, right between Piazza della Mercanzia and Piazza Santo Stefano, this salon de thé became a real empire in a handful of years, with new branches that opened inside Odeon cinema and Palazzo Pepoli‘s Museum, as well as the other Genius Bononiae‘s museum inside Palazzo Fava (Via Manzoni, next to Via Indipendenza). But the real deal is still the broad space introduced by thick red curtains in Via Santo Stefano, kind of a big lounge with fancy tables and wrought iron chairs, velvety reds and oranges and fancy menus with kawai little dolls on the cover. You can spend a whole afternoon there eating pastries, cookies, slices of cake and sipping tea. A bit overpriced (I was charged 7 euros for a serving of pinza last week, which was kind of upsetting), and perhaps already, and precociously, resting on its own’s laurels, but it’s also a new classic for young girls and seasoned ladies alike.
Il mondo di Eutepia (Via Testoni 5/b)
Hidden in a more discrete corner, but still very central, this is another concept, both more sober and more sophisticated than the two previous ones. Owned by herbalist Katrin and tea expert Daniela, Il mondo di Eutepia hosts in its small, relaxing three rooms just a handful of tables and comfy chairs, in a slow-paced and silent atmosphere where you can read a book while eating vegetarian and vegan breakfasts, lunches and “merende”, and of course trying some seriously and carefully selected teas. They also sell spices and little food and kitchen items, as well as regularly organizing lectures and events around philosophy, health and literatures, and little nice workshops from origami to mandala. Also, they sell natural cosmetic products and can give you advice on ayurveda and herbs.
Fram (Via Rialto 22/c)
Its position in front of CCB’s Rialto Cinema and very near to two yoga schools (Om yoga and Kutir) is reflected in the vibe of Fram Cafe, exuding both urban comfort and a flair for anything organic, healthy et cetera. The inspiration is clearly Berlinese, that is, shabby chic but not too twee or affected, recycled tables and cupboards, free wi-fi, plenty of herbal teas and magazines. It’s the typical place where foreign students meet to study, people work from their computer and charming strangers (now I’m being carried away) take a pause to read a book before a movie. I like it, even if I must say that the lunch offer could be improved (being among the few places serving vegan platters doesn’t mean that anything with salad and lentils can go, or at least it shouldn’t), while I appreciate the range of plant-based milks.
Miss Bake (Via Marsili, 1/C)
This one’s really precious. Small and secluded, with a Northern Europe flair and design, and also the newest of the five, it hosts the highest level of baking art of this list, and by far. Launched by three women, two of whom are pastry chefs, it can count on a delicious ensemble of variations, especially (but not just) on cheesecakes, incredibly beautiful to see and superbly crafted. They create little works of art with usual and unusual ingredients, from violets to figues, excelling in cocktail-inspired cakes (you can have Mojito cake, Sambuca cheesecake and so on) and also brownies, cupcakes, the breton Salidou and the very own, trademarked “ganeau” (a chocolate and water mousse whose name is a variation of “ganache”), used as frosting. Prices aren’t low (but how many incredibly rich and cream-filled slices of cake can you eat?), the very small size of the place can be penalizing, but the playful, artful consistencies you can savor (and comment) make up for it. The gals at Miss Bake also organize cookery classes and cake baking workshops.
All photos have been taken from the Facebook pages of the quoted café. Should you prefer other images and/or want some removed, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org