While European cafes traditionally thrive on the concept of languishing over a single coffee and pastry during the course of an hour, there is a growing trend here to enjoy a latte and a snack on the go. Bratislava has many coffee shops that offer either or. But the owners of Good Times Coffee Roasters saw the potential for something slightly different. While living in Australia, they realized there was a way to offer both and brought this concept back to their home in Slovakia.
The shop stands in the purlieus of Nové Mesto and Starý Ružinov. This is an evolving area of the city where numerous half-finished construction sites tower over communist-era apartment tracks and picturesque Neo-Baroque buildings. There are gems here, such as Park Račianske mýto with its memorial rose garden and aerial fountain. The neighborhood has a diverse, welcoming vibe characterized by its motley residents: young tattooed couples, strolling nuns, bubbly children with balloons. This is not a tourist haunt – this is sample of real Bratislava.
Good Times is charmingly petite. But the high ceilings and minimalist decor prevent the space from feeling cramped. And while the seating is limited, they managed to transform each corner into a cozy nook. Moreover, the sunlit site is just ideal for savoring craft coffee and treats.
Perhaps the most striking feature of Good Times’ interior is the exposed brick wall that extends the length of the shop. Fading from rust tones to chalky eggshell hues, the brick is industrial in both a modern and antique sense. It is an amalgamative touch that blends the stark man-made elements of the space with its earthen details.
WHY IS GOOD TIMES SPECIAL?
Of course the main reason to visit Good Times Coffee Roasters is to enjoy the terrific specialty coffee. They offer their own coffee brand Good Times. The place serves as a cafe and a roastery showroom. The coffee and espresso that they serve here is strong, with a sharp, pleasant acidity and well-balanced bitterness. Beyond the classic black coffee and cappuccino offerings, there is a refreshing Iced Latte and the unique, though increasingly trendy Espresso Tonic.
The Affogato is pure decadence. Robust espresso is poured over a milky, vanilla bean ice cream with hints of tropical nuts and sweet cream. As the ice cream melts, the Affogato becomes less a dessert and more a fantasy Espresso shot. Caffeinated ice-cream you can drink! It’s awesome.
There is also Cascara here. While this beverage is relatively new to cafes, it is gaining popularity as a drink that blends the best of coffee and tea. Cascara is made from the dried skins of coffee “cherries” – the outsides of the fruit from which the seed, or as we know it the coffee bean, is harvested. The resulting drink is lower in caffeine than actual coffee and can replicate the light, sweet nature of tea.
But let’s talk about the sweets . . . we tried the cookie, the caramel cheesecake, the nougat cheesecake, and the carrot cake. These desserts are amazing. The stream of regulars who popped in and out of Good Times during our visit left with various treats on paper plates and giant smiles. This is for sure a testament to credibility of these offerings.
Whether grabbing a coffee togo before work, stopping in as a regular to chat with your favorite barista, or treating yourself to a leisurely weekend with ALL the sweets, we highly recommend Good Times and welcome this delightful cafe to Bratislava.
Author: Jennifer Brown