One of the things I was most struck when I returned to Cluj was the difficulty I had in finding a good place to have a coffee and croissant on weekend mornings. Well, in over 2.5 years since my return, I have found solutions, and I am now willing to share where to go in need:
1. Delice de France – little pastry shop in Iulius Mall. This recently open pastry shop makes the best croissants in Cluj. The coffee’s not the most incredible, but it’s good enough. The weirdest thing about their opening hours: on saturday they’re only open between 8 PM and 10 PM -no, it’s not a typo, I meant between 8 and 10 in the evening, i.e. 2 hours total open, in the evening. I’ve yet to find an explanation for this weird schedule. In the rest of the days, schedule’s standard – morning to evening.
2. German Bakery – this bakery in the Sigma Center in Zorilor has the best overall selection of breads, sandwiches, and pastry in town. And their croissants are also delicious. However, the big problem for me is they’re mostly a takeaway place and the only coffee they have is from a vending machine. Even worse is that this coffee is only served in paper cups!
3. the third place is a bit tricky, as there’s no clear third. Several places have croissants, but none of them stands out. One option is obviously Starbucks – their croissants are surprisingly good and their big plus is it’s a non-smoking venue. Other options are River Caffe (downtown, by the river, near the BT headquarters), Baracca restaurant on Napoca street, and BT Cafe, downstairs in the BT HQ.
If you know any other places and would like to recommend, I’ll update the post as necessary – I’m always willing to try new locations.
Edit: this list’s suffered from changes (unfortunate ones): see this later post