You find yourself in one of those situations where you know that you want a coffee, but that tasty treat to accompany it sits as an unknown on your taste buds. Our solution is usually to go to the Centro Chia mall. They have eight coffee shops each offering something different. There is everything from typical Colombian breads to American style cheesecakes and donuts. Some places use ceramic cups, while others stick with the paper container. Just walk around until what tantalizes your mouth hits you. But here is a quick review of what you can expect at each one. Most are located out in the hallways. But some have divisions creating a distance from the passerbys. The locations are well spaced out on both the first and second floors.
Michael: Comfortable seats, good coffee, efficient service. This is one of our favorite places. Their counter and a dark colored fence protects patrons from the hustle and bustle around. Large mall doors located across the hallway on two sides provide plenty of natural light. Many of the chairs are padded barrel designed that are very comfortable. Choices for edibles range from such things as palitos de queso (Colombian cheese bread sticks) to cakes and other pastries. We have always received respectable service. They are slightly higher in price on their cakes, but the value you receive with the rest makes the slight difference well worth it.
Graciela: You will find Viganello at the end of a hallway just outside of Carulla.
Graciela: This is the only place in the mall that carries coffee and donuts. And sometimes the taste of a chocolate eclair is too much to resist. They are located next to Oma, but their store is much larger with many more sitting places.
Michael: Dunkin’ Donuts in Colombia is slightly different than those I was used to in the United States. The donuts are not made on site, so you cannot get those hot from the oven melt-in-your-mouth French crullers. However on the good side they have adopted the Colombian method of making coffee per individual instead of dispensing it from a brewed pot. As for seats they have both the traditional table and chairs as well as the padded bucket seats with short round tables. It is among the more relaxing places in the mall to take a coffee break.
American Cheese Cakes
Michael: Their red decoration for barrier and seating is the first thing you notice along with the entrance sign announcing their name. The large glass floor case filled with colors of the various cheese cakes then draws attention. If you are looking for a slice of pie to accompany your drink then this is the place. And they always have customers.
Graciela: Juan Valdez keeps consistency between their stores in terms of products. And their products are always excellent. One of their stores got the number one spot on our 2013 top ten list and two locations made out 2014 listing. The difference is between ambiance and service.
Michael: If you want to a coffee while waiting for the movie then this is the place. It is located just off the food court and in the area of the theater. It is a noisy area. So if you are looking for an coffee shop where you can relax and carry on a conversation while having your coffee then other places in the mall may fit the bill better.
Kling Cake Café
Michael: This coffee shop is in the shape of a circle. Two glass cases offer some very tasty morsels including cakes. There are eight tables with each surrounded by comfortable plastic chairs. Each cup is individually made from an espresso machine and are above average in taste. What gets kudos from me is that they always seem to have enough help on to adequately serve customers even during the rush times such as after church.
Graciela: Located on the lower level Kling Cake Café is near the Davivienda bank where the hallway makes a slight turn. The decorating is overall attractive. Prices are in the medium range but they are a good value for what you receive.
Bermellon Café y té
Graciela: This is probably the café in the mall that we have visited the most. Location is the reason. It is on the first floor at the end of one of the hallways and close to where we have to authorize medical procedures and medicines. Sometimes the wait to get served is more than a half-hour. We enjoy their coffee served in a cup while waiting for our turn to speak with the medical representative.
The selection of things to eat is limited. A single glass case usually has four to five different cake choices. A smaller desk top glass case contains bread type items and cookies.
Michael: They have ten metal tables with chairs plus counter seating. I find their prices to be very reasonable. The coffee comes in a glass cup. The taste is good as each is made to customer’s request. In fact Bermellon is a company dedicated to making great coffee. On their website (which is also in English) they state as a part of their mission statement, “best representative of Colombian coffee and a synonym of excellent quality, taste and aroma of the roasted coffee” Service is ok, but that is something I am more picky about then most other people. The help never seems to smile and on more than one occasion the attendant has seemed more intent on talking with someone than helping us.
Café & Roses
Michael: Located on the second floor between entrance/exit doors number six and seven it is in front of the store Tres Elefantes. Café & Roses is different. Well, I do not see their main focus being coffee. There is a large fridge filled with sodas. Cases for candies and ice cream occupy more real estate. As for coffee taste, I believe their final product could be better.
Graciela: To begin with, I would put their coffee at a solid average if not a little above. It is made for each customer and does not come from a brewed pot. The selection of goodies is where I do agree. It is disappointing, but it seems they want that their main focus to be items that children may enjoy. The positive side to their location is there seems to be less noise. The few plants on the perimeter of the ten tables is a nice touch.
Graciela: Oma is a national brand with shops all over Bogotá, especially in malls. The Oma in Santa Fé mall made our list of top ten coffee shops in 2014. Their coffee always has a rich taste to it.
Michael: While their coffee is always good this location is not going to make the top of our lists. The selection of eats is insufficient and ambiance is off. The place is very small. Inside there is a counter with a few stools. But they are very uncomfortable to sit on. The three tables with chairs are outside the store basically in the hallway with no barrier from those walking. When many people come at one time there is not enough help to quickly serve them.