In Lima, I found myself a teensy-weensy little bit tired for the first time in my trip. Yep folks, the idea of negotiating with shifty-eyed taxi drivers to get to the places one was supposed to see in this scawling metropolis below its oddly permanent grey sky was not quite tempting enough to get me out of bed.
*Tear falls down cheek*
Coffee, on the other hand, certainly was enough to tempt me to shower, dress and generally be socially acceptable out of doors. You see, Lima was the first place since…well, probably ever…in South America where it seemed that people actually understood coffee.
Of course, when I say “Lima,” I mean neighbourhoods Barranco and Miraflores; the places where I spent the bulk of two glorious weeks clad in skinny jeans, half way through a strong coffee, reading, writing, contemplating and generally being the Gringa-Limeña version of a hipster…though without the iproducts, old but new bicycle, checked shirt, thick-rimmed glasses/perfect vision and interest in making fresh bread.
Ahhhh, hipsters. Gotta love ’em. (And sometimes rip their ironic-facial-hair right off their faces, of course.)
Regardless, I did certainly spend way more time than is generally recommended in coffee shops…and so here it is – in no particular order:
Barranco and Miraflores: Top 6 Coffee Shops to be a Hipster At
BISETTI: 116, Calle de Osma, Barranco
Located only a whisper behind Barranco’s famous Puente de los Suspiros (the Bridge of Sighs…Lima – copying from Venice much?) Bisetti is a sweet little minimalist hole in the wall which looks like it would be equally at home in Melbourne, London, New York, Barcelona or San Francisco. Sporting strong coffee, a solid wifi connection, pin-up girl coffee tables, collected coffee machines from throughout the ages on display and little bites available day and night (gourmet toast combinations and mini desserts) wiling a couple of hours away in Bisetti is much too easy.
Hipster rating: 9/10
LA BOULANGERIE: 263, Calle Tarapaca, Miraflores
Close to the Huaca Pucllana in Miraflores lies a monument to pastry, a shrine to fruit tartlets, a homage to the café au lait. La Boulangerie is an airy French style café on a residential street – easy to miss if you’re not careful. More reasonably priced than its co-winner Bisetti, the croissants and pain de chocolates here are piled up high in baskets while glazed tarts and decadent desserts flirt at you from the glass cabinets. The coffee at La Boulangerie is good, yet not to die for – but the atmosphere is relaxed, wifi strong and you feel no pressure to get out quickly upon finishing your treats.
Hispter rating: 9/10
CAFE DE LA PAZ: 351, Calle Lima, Miraflores
This place shouldn’t even be in this list at all, as no self-respecting hipster would ever go to such a café frequented by lunching oldies and grandmas. Unless old folks are now hipster rad?? Whatever, Café de la Paz is the kind of place that has matching salmon-coloured cloth napkins and tablecloths and lays fabric flower arrangements on each table. However, the coffee is served on a mini tray with the milk on the side and a couple of mini cookies are thrown in for extra fun. For that, and the yet again excellent wifi connection, I will forgive them the yukky mini marzipan fruit disaster they included (marzipan is the devil incarnate afterall).
Hipster rating: 4/10 (if grandmas are not in) 7/10 (if they are)
SAQRA: 646, Avenida de la Paz, Miraflores
Saqra lies between antique shops and jewellers on Avenida de La Paz in Miraflores. Obviously used to clientele with more cash than I would be willing to splurge on a regular basis, Saqra is a concept café – all decked out as if a rainbow had been fed magic mushrooms and then been asked to decorate the place and design its dessert menu. Saqra offers artsier-looking yet still substantially-sized mains and just plain wacky desserts. I mean, what IS this??
We were given a tennisball sized sugar net. But points for creativity. Wifi, check. Good coffee, check. Price and a general feeling of needing to get out to make way for the posher dinner crowd brought it down a smidgen.
Hipster rating: 7.5/10
SAN ANTONIO: 770, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, Miraflores
Favoured by business men in the morning and anyone who likes yumminess in the afternoon, San Antonio is a chain affiar offering all manner of cakey wickedness and breakfasty goodness. The café features a sit down area to indulge in (filled to bursting at breakfast time) as well as a pastry shop outside to grab and go. To munch through all the decadence on offer; a few days, an iron gut and a pre-arranged appointment with your dentist and cardiologist would be needed needed.
Hispter rating: 6/10
SOFÁ CAFÉ: 480, Avenida San Martín, Barranco
Ohhh, Sofá Café is just adorable. Sadly, it’s also a chain – but we might be able to forgive that in order to give it points for its freaking comfy sofas. It’s all in a name…once you’ve got yourself one of those bad boys, you’re gone. Off to internet land to find out what beards and bands are big in hipster-land. As an added bonus, the cafés con leche are served in biiiiig mugs. (Oh, and the apple crumble is worth selling your first born for.)
Hipster rating: 8/10