When we ask the locals about where to find good coffee in Bern, almost everyone replies: Adriano's.
We dig the lively atmosphere at Adriano's. Some patrons are on the run on this chilly Saturday morning, swushing through the front door just to down a quick espresso while standing at the bar. More leisurely coffee lovers have secured a cozy window seat to catch up among friends.
Tucked in the corner of this art deco establishment at Theaterplatz is a coffee roaster. Adriano's Bar & Café prides itself to roasting its own coffee blend daily, which we are about to taste.
My cappuccino (5.30 francs) is as good as they get: The milk is frothy, the coffee rich, and there are no traces of bitterness thanks to just the right amount of milk. When it comes to crema, I can never have enough.
Mamiko goes for the "Slow Cold Brew" - on the rocks. (5.00 francs) One of Adriano's roasts is cold-pressed overnight - every night. Since the beans never make contact with boiled water (as in conventional brewing), the result is a more flavorful java with lower acidity. Mamiko swears that "this is the best cold-brew I've ever had!"
As we are sitting at a bar table watching all the action, we try to guess how long Adriano's has been around. The retro decor makes us believe forever (1970's?), but we are off by at least a decade. Adriano's has opened its doors only in 1998.
We learn that you will not find any generic tap beer on the menu. It is the philosophy of this café bar to be unique and more sustainable than other establishments, so the tap is specially brewed for Adriano's. Their lemonade is slow food certified, and their "direct trade" Cola is sourced from Basel.
Our time is up as the front door is getting clogged with others seeking to warm up with freshly roasted coffee. On our way out, we spot a barista serving a heavenly panini, possibly the Pandorato with Sardinian cheese, arugula and parma ham (13.50 francs).
Ahh, Adriano's is just the kind of place that makes us want to be locals...