If you’re in Bergen, Norway, make sure you visit BarBarista on Øvregaten 12.
May Vik Medås, who started café BarBarista 13 years ago, and whose sassy portrait is on full view to customers, isn’t just the heart and soul of this quaint café in Norway’s second largest city. She is also the queen of the café! “I have a throne here which I sit in everyday,” she explains, handing over a business card which proudly proclaims her job title as dronning – queen !
Quirky, Eccentric & Welcoming
BarBarista is quirkily furnished with knick-knacks hanging from the ceiling and plastered around the walls. The tables and chairs are eclectic and there’s a collection of records behind the bar which May’s husband uses when DJ-ing. No matter how long you gaze at the ceiling you can’t quite make everything out. In fact, you could probably visit BarBarista fifty times and still see something different hanging there. “My home is exactly in the same style,” Medås says, glancing up at the array of hanging lamps, photos, records, and other knick-knacks hung from the ceiling. “If it’s ugly, I simply have to have it. I put so-called ugly things on display here to show people that you that anything can be beautiful. You can use anything as decoration if done properly.” May is continually adding to her collection. “I get the stuff from friends, customers, second-hand shops, giveaways,” she says. “I’m always on the look out for something different, something ugly so I can help to make it beautiful.” BarBarista, just a three minute walk behind Bergen’s famous Bryggen which overlooks the harbor, has a tasty selection of homemade food on offer. The waffles are definitely gooi: the maple syrup, brie and cashew nut waffle is a must-try and the waffle with fresh goat’s cheese and cured ham also rocks delicious! Depending on the time of day and what you fancy, you can have coffee, beer or wine with your waffles, all served with a smile.
A Café with a Difference
During the day BarBarista is a welcoming, friendly café with a wide range of food and bevarages on offer. At night the place transforms into a bar where locals stop off for drinks, a bite to eat and listen to some music. You can also hire BarBarista for events and parties. “I spend more time here than at home,” May says, laughing. “I want BarBarista to be somewhere locals and visitors can come and spend time and hang out. I want them to feel at home.” “Bergen really needed something like this,” says May, who runs the café with her husband, who also doubles as the in-house DJ. “That’s why I started BarBarista. Bergen is a friendly, international town. But it needs something special for the locals, something extra special for the visitors.” BarBarista is definitely gooi!