The article in Slovak Obchodná Street is one of the busiest locations in Bratislava, stretching for about 1 km from the famous Michalská Gate to Kollar Square. Even though most shops are not of the classiest kind, the street is always buzzing with shoppers and good food seekers. As the day turns into night, Obchodná turns into a vibrant entertainment zone with clubs, bars, and numerous restaurants. There is a number of eateries to choose from, however, sometimes it's worth checking out the lesser known places hidden in its tiny alleyways. And Bistro St. Germain is definitely the case.
To get to this tiny hidden gem, you will have to enter a tiny sideway just opposite Martinus bookstore. To make life easier for you, here's a picture of the entrance (from Obchodna Street). You may even notice a sign "Bistro St Germain" standing at the entrance of the alleyway.
Whether it's the exterior with menu board placed outside the cafe or a retro style interior with hundreds of old books, vintage armchairs, wooden board games and a bird cage, everything is designed with care down to the smallest detail. The only problem you might encounter is the lack of seating since this place is really smallish. We had a problem to find a free table for ourselves, but fortunately for us, one of the guests didn't show up.
The first thing we noticed were an extremely attentive, polite, cheerful and non-intrusive waitresses. The level of service provided exceeded our expectations, so if you seek an elevated level of service and quality in every aspect, you should give this place a try. It definitely is one of the best cafes in Bratislava.
When it comes to menu, Bistro St. Germain seems to follow the "quality over quantity" philosophy, which is why some might find their food selection quite poor. Don't let this fact discourage you, we guarantee that meals on their menu will satisfy your taste buds. Whether you pick a typical French quiche, grilled cheese, chicken or beef burger, you won't be disappointed. Everything is healthy, moreover, semi processed or processed products are absolutely off limits.
We were looking for a hearty, satisfying lunch, so beef burger with bacon and avocado dip with oven-baked potato chips proved to be a very wise choice. You may ask yourself, how did this little Bratislava cafe with French look cope with not-so-french meal? Well, here's the result:
The burger was delicious! Ok, to be honest, I'm a raw tomato hater, so I wasn't happy to see tomatoes in my burger (they were not mentioned in the list of ingredients), but that's just my personal preference. And one more thing... If they used a homemade whole grain burger bun, it would be like heaven in my mouth. But again, that's my personal opinion.
My female partner (and a coffee lover) ordered Latté, with which she was absolutely satisfied. I couldn't resist brewed Pilsner (as always :) ). Prices were a bit higher, but nothing unusual for this part of the city.
Back to the prices… They were lower than we expected for this type of café. Here are some selected items from the menu (with prices):
- Quiche Lorraine with salad (150 g) - 3,50€
- Grilled Camembert with raspberry sauce, salad and grilled baguette (200 g) - 5,70€
- Pork fillet with fig and cranberry sauce, lettuce and mashed potatoes (250 g) - 7,90€
- Hummus with vegetable sticks and baguette (175 g) - 4,50€
- Baked potatoes, sour cream sauce (250 g) - 2,90€
- Lemonade from freshly squeezed lemons 0,3l - 1,40€, 0.5l - 1,70€
- French hot chocolate served with fruit and almonds (0,12l) - 2,90€
- Tea (0,35l) - 1,90€
- Bonaqua (0,33l) - 1,60€
- Piccolo/Espresso (7g) - 1,30€
- Viennesse coffee (7g) - 1,90€
- Cappuccino (7g) - 1,90€
- Café Latté Double (14g) - 2,20€
Once we finished our meal, there was enough time to enjoy the atmosphere of this lovely place. Notice those irresistible desserts, stylish pictures, those who want to play chess can do so...
You'd expect old shabby books nobody would even dare to touch. The opposite was true. The vast collection included hundreds of books ranging from Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novels, Edgar Allan Poe's poems to pathology textbooks. They simply have something for everyone.
So, here's the final summary of our visit:
+ exceptional service
+ great food, drinks, nice coffee
+ acceptable prices for this type of a bistro
+ lovely atmosphere
- we didn't visit toilets, however, they are said to be among the best in the city
If you happen to be around Bratislava and your stomach starts growling loudly, check out Bistro St. Germain. And like we've already said, don't forget to make a reservation in advance since the place tends to be crowded (but still very cozy) most of the time, like a contender for the Best Cafe in Bratislava prize should.