There was a time in Bangladesh where coffee meant the instant sachets in a sea of milk. Slowly but steadily we have gotten away from that phase and now coffee shops have become an integral part of Dhaka food scene. The fresh aroma of coffee beans while you’re working alone or chatting with some friends is definitely a mood booster. And specially now when Ramadan is here and we are all tired, sleepy and cranky all day, a cup of good coffee is definitely what you need to lift up your spirits. And this is the very reason why you will see every coffee shop in Dhaka packed right after iftar. Whether you live in Dhanmondi, Gulshan or even Uttara, there are always good coffee shops just around the corner.
Crimson Cup is one of the fan favorites. Here they take their coffee very seriously. I have noticed that the managers are always around, talking to the customers and making them feel comfortable. Their entire process of taking orders and serving your coffees with the names of the brews written on the side of the cups adds a slightly personal touch to the whole experience. With two branches in Dhaka city, this mini-chain offers some of the finest brews in town. The setting in both the branches are very well thought out; with some tables for those who want to sit alone and enjoy their coffee, as well as the corner side huge huge comfy couches that are to attract the larger crowds who are coming in for a fun hangout. Crimson Cup is mainly a coffee shop so you will find a variety of different blends, perfectly suitable for your tastebuds. Whether you like a chocolatey mocha or a simple cappuccino, they have it all. And if you’re looking for a light snack with your drink, they have a wide array of sandwiches and desserts. The sub sandwiches are not out of the world but are pretty tasty and worth the money if you’re looking for a quick bite. The desserts are a little too sweet for my liking, but if you have a sweet tooth then I am sure you will find them quite savoury. All in all, if you’re looking for a place to chill right after iftar with a hot cup of coffee and something to munch on, Crimson Cup is the place for you.
With coffee shops opening in every nook and cranny, we must not forget the pioneers of proper well-made coffee in Bangladesh. North End is probably one the first true coffee shops in Dhaka. They have numerous branches all over the city and have captured the heart of the city dwellers with their amazing hospitality. Right from the moment when you enter the place, the refreshing aroma of freshly brewed coffee will overpower your senses, and it is for these fresh brews that they have a very loyal fan base. The place is mostly crowded with foreigners and mostly adults are seen here relaxing after a day’s work and even conducting informal meetings with clients. They serve all varieties of coffee and my personal favorite is the Cafe Mocha which has all the ingredients in perfect proportions. North End's brownies are also extremely famous. The “fudginess” and reasonable price is what makes it stand out. For me, no matter how many new shops open up, North End will always be the best. I have been there at least a hundred times but have never been disappointed with the service or the quality of their food.
Another coffee shop worth mentioning has to be Gloria Jeans. This place is renowned to be a little expensive but the quality of their food and service make up for it. The atmosphere is what attracts most of the customers. They not only offer good drinks but also a sophisticated environment to have it. And if you like a little something to eat with your drink then you are certainly in the right place. They offer a wide range of foods, starting from sandwiches to even big filling portions of rice dishes. So, like me, if you are never full even after a huge iftar, you might want to check out Gloria Jeans for a steaming cup of goodness and a little something to keep the monster in your tummy happy.
With Eid holidays being the longest ever this year, I am sure all of you are planning you’re last few iftars with friends and families. And if Iftars are not enough, now you know where to go for some coffee shenanigans.