A lot of people smoke in Croatia and unfortunately it’s quite common to smoke in bars, cafes and clubs. There was a ban on smoking inside places that don’t have a special ventilation system but that didn’t last long. Since it’s quite hard to find non-smoking places in Zagreb, here’s a list that might help you enjoy having your coffee smoke-free. All of these places have terraces so those of you who can’t enjoy a cigarette-free coffee can visit them during the warmer seasons as well.
BASEMENT WINE BAR
Right at the bottom of the old and famous Zagreb funicular in Tomićeva Street – you’ll find Basement, a non-smoking wine bar. It’s actually a cellar offering quite an impressive selection of extraordinary wine from all over the country. The cozy cellar interior, reasonable prices, Croatian wine complemented with local cheeses and meats sound like a fabulous way of relaxing in the evening.
The tiny Dežman passage is one of my favorite parts of Zagreb. It’s in the city center, connecting Zagreb’s busiest street Ilica with the wonderful park of Tuškanac – protected from all the city center noise and commotion. Velvet is a cafe with a very charming vintage interior. The old books, beautiful paintings and the vintage furniture give a sensation of a classy old apartment. Exceptional cakes, creamy coffee and a nice selection of teas are especially pleasant during warmer seasons when the wonderful flower decorations by Saša Šekoranja highlight Velvet’s romantic terrace.
Dežman bar might be my favorite bar in Zagreb due to great offer of food and drinks, very professional service and a great warm atmosphere. It is located just a few meters away from the charming Velvet cafe in the Dežman passage. The comfy yet classy interior is decorated with wooden tables and chairs and black boards that have menus written on them. There’s a lovely wooden terrace in front that’s open throughout the year – during the winter there are heaters and blankets.
Besides a great selection of coffee and teas, great craft beer, fine wines and extraordinary cocktails mixed by professionals – the food at Dežman bar is quite famous as well. Tasty breakfasts, sandwiches with extraordinary ingredients, pates, daily soups, tarts, pies and desserts are the work of Cristian Cabalier, an amazing MasterChef.
Kino Europa is the center of Zagreb’s intellectual, arty and trendy life, located in Varšavska Street, right next to the famous Flower Square. It is actually a lovely and chic cinema built in 1925 which now hosts the famous Zagreb Film Festival. There’s a cozy cafe in the foyer decorated with comfy and colorful sofas. The huge terrace in front is always full, regardless of the season. Kino Europa is the choice of many during the Saturday morning špica, for after-work drinks, for pre-movie or pre-party drinks. The offer includes a big variety of beverages and if you want to have a bite give their sandwiches a try.
Located in the beginning of Gajeva Street this restaurant/cafe/bar owned by the Croatian football legend – Zvonimir Boban is one of the most famous Zagreb spots. The place consists of a charming cafe in the ground floor with a wonderful, quiet and heated terrace (for those who can’t relax without a cigarette) and an Italian restaurant with an extraordinary variety of food and wines downstairs. This is a place to get dressed up a bit and have a sophisticated drink or a meal amongst Croatian society’s upper crust.
Atrij is one of the most charming cafes located in the heart of Zagreb, right next to the ZKM theatre. It has been redecorated and it now shares its interior with the famous Torte i to cake place – so you can have a cake with your coffee. The cafe is covered in glass which allows the sunlight to warm and brighten up the place. The lovely interior is perfect for having a smoke free coffee during the day or a smoke free drink in the evening.
Jutro is a shabby chic decorated place in Zagreb’s Teslina Street in the city center. However, it’s somewhat isolated from the city’s fuss as it’s hidden in the courtyard of a building. It’s a perfect place to have your morning coffee or tea with some breakfast, to have a delicious piece of cake throughout the day, to have a glass of rakija or beer in the evening or to listen to some good live music. And all of that in a smoke free place.
Galerija Lav is located in Opatička Street in the Upper Town between the Stone Gate and St. Mark’s Church, two of the most famous tourist sites in Zagreb. The place that many might but should not miss has the most romantic terrace in Zagreb, while its charming interior works both as an art gallery and a cafe. Comfy sofas surrounded by the works of art make the interior special while the interesting choice of beverages intrigues the guests.
CAFE BAR FINJAK
Located in Vlaška Street Finjak cafe is one of those places for which it’s worth to take a 10-15 minute walk from the city center. At Finjak one can feel as if he/she was back in the 20s. The cafe is divided into 2 separate spaces – the light one for non-smokers and the dark one for smokers. Both have vintage interiors based on Zagreb fashion in the 20s. The chandeliers, old clocks, vintage lamps and old coffee machines make the interiors special, while the chairs and tables from the old Esplanade hotel terrace decorate the charming terrace.
Booksa is located quite close to Finjak cafe, about ten minutes from the main square. This special little place is a library, a bookstore, a cafe and a gallery. It’s also a club, and its members enjoy many benefits, like discounted beverage prices and access to the club library. The interior is very warm and cozy – comfy sofas are surrounded by shelves filled with numerous books, so you feel as if you were in a very comfortable home library. During the warmer seasons people also sit in front of the place reading books or chatting.