(Narodni trg 10, Pjaca)
Dalmatia has a very strong coffee culture where every chat, meeting, break, you name it, involves kava (coffee in Croatian). The Splićani take every opportunity to enjoy a cuppa for hours on Split’s Riva seafront promenade, at home, or in a hidden alley in the palace.
As a self-proclaimed coffee snob, I must admit that I have had a tough time finding an awesome cappuccino to enjoy in town and when I discuss my frustration with local friends, I just get an odd stare. Admittedly, my case of coffee snobbism is extreme; I have done a barista course, I used to roast, grind, and brew my own organic beans at home, do latté art, get excited about crema and be the proud owner of a Coffee Snobs membership card. That was the past and now I have shifted to Split where I enjoy coffee in only a few locations around Split; namely Galerija, Paradox, No Stress, and at home.
When my physiotherapist was picking my foodie brain this morning, the coffee topic arose and he told be that a must-visit café for coffee connoisseurs is Viva’s Bar on Pjaca square (Narodni trg). I popped right down to the café on the popular square, with a pit stop in Nadalina for a carob praline, for a chat with the owner and of course a cuppa.
Viva’s Bar is a family owned business from Zagreb with quite a few coffee joints in the capital and just one outlet in Split. They roast all their beans (mainly from Ethiopia and Nicaragua) in Croatia and get bi-weekly visits from barista trainers to ensure their coffee standards are up to par. Unfortunately, the barista doesn’t come to Split so often but the team behind the counter strive to brew the best, and instead of skillful latté art, they do choco-art (which my sweet tooth can live with). I must admit that now Viva’s Bar is in my top five of coffee hangouts in Split.