food and beverage underground

COFFEEMANIA

by Maria Nosova
(Moscow, Russia)

Started in 2001, Coffeemania has developed into a very successful chain of some 10 coffee houses, the majority of them centrally located. The most popular one is on Bolshaya Nikitskaya street, next to the conservatory. I once overheard a French speaking guy referring to it as located on the “Rue de la Conservatoire”.


Coffeemania serves arguably the best cappuccino in the city. No surprise some of their barristi are international award winners.

The interior is unpretentious and accommodating. However do not be misled. Though the coffee house looks democratic, their pricing policy is definitely not. So, be prepared to face a check matching that of a nice restaurant.

The crowd is very versatile: quite a few foreigners, mostly English- and French-speaking, rather based in Moscow than tourists, “white collars” and creative people with their business meetings (two or three laptops at a table is not unusual), all girls` reunions, romantic couples, serious business people and even celebrities.
This is one of a few places in Moscow providing not only attentive, but also friendly service. One really feels at home and it is even acceptable to get a bit spoiled, that is to ask for some adjustments in the dish from the menu to make it better suited to one`s taste or needs.
However there is little room for improvement in the food domain. The menu caters to all tastes. There is a breakfast section providing every possible morning choice, from healthy to traditional fried eggs. Breakfasts are served till 12 at week days and till 1 p.m. on weekends. Other menu entries include salads & starters (give a try to Bakinskiy salad of halibut and Azerbaidjan tomatoes), wok dishes (Singapore fried noodles is my favorite), soups and mains. And last, but not least, the desserts. Those are really something not to miss. No wrong choice here, everything is so perfect, that please beware of getting addicted.

My only criticism of the chain is the wine policy. They offer a limited selection of mediocre wines, all badly overpriced.
There is almost always a line to get in Coffeemania at Bolshaya Nikitskaya, at least at peak hours. To be honest, I do join that line with some regularity. What for?

Perfect cappuccino, fabulous desserts, “ambience” and, in summer, one of the best terraces Moscow has to offer.

Cheers,
Maria

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