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Cafeteria with a View

Leaving the Kunstmuseum in Chur, Switzerland last week, by chance I looked up. OK, maybe not by chance, the Alps were all around me so I was constantly looking up. On the rooftop of the Manor department store across the street I could see there were people eating on an open terrace. It was lunchtime so I rallied my husband and we scurried across the street and rode the store escalators to the top floor. Purely by chance, I had discovered Manora, a cafeteria with reasonably-priced, really good food and a spectacular 180 degree view of the alps!

For years, I’ve known that European department stores often have very reliable cafeterias with good food and reasonable prices. In Paris, I love the expansive view and the roast chicken at Galeries Lafayette. But wow, on our recent trip — the views!

In addition to the Manora in Chur, I “discovered” that Galeria on Zeil in Frankfurt has a fabulous, I mean fabulous, city view and
Coop in Davos across from Jacobshorn Bergbahnen has a sweet territorial view up the mountain.

This coming February, I’m looking forward to the cafeteria at El Cortes Ingles on the Placa de Catalunya in Barcelona. Is there maybe one in Madrid with a view, too?

Tell me about your favorite cafeteria with a view.

Posted by
5158 posts

The Manoe Sept store in Lucerne also has a nice roof top food court with views of the town.
Thx for sharing !

Posted by
7024 posts

My favorite caf with a view is the Café in the Crypt in St. Martin-in-the-Field in London, near Trafalgar Square. No outside view but there's nothing like eating underneath the ground surrounded by medieval tombstones and graves. I love the view here!

Posted by
797 posts
  • @Mardee, agreed, Café in the Crypt in St. Martin-in-the-Field in London was wonderful. I also paid to do a rubbing, can't recall the cost, but brought it home & framed it looks great.
  • Not sure if this counts, but the Café Marly terrace overlooking the pyramid at the Louvre was frankly more memorable than many of the paintings by the time we got a chance to eat something. Excellent Cesare salad with a glass of champagne was not inexpensive but excellent and if you walk indoors it overlooks the ancient sculpture part of the museum.
Posted by
870 posts

In September of 2002 I had a wonderful luncheon at the dining room of La Samaritaine in Paris, which I believe was on the seventh floor of the department store. The food was good - what I remember most was the kitschy 1950s decor. I was troubled to learn years ago that the store had closed. In searching for it today, have learned that the space is now the rooftop bar/restaurant [Le Tout-Paris] of the luxury Cheval Blanc hotel. Looks very contemporary.

As for a memorable cafeteria, we had lunch in Prague at the Czech Kitchen/Ceska Kuchnye [was in the RS guidebook] at Havelska 23. The "view" is the insight into blue collar Czech cuisine - possibly a holdover from the Soviet era. A true cafeteria - with trays and steamtables - and virtually no English spoken - it was a memorable cultural experience.

Posted by
136 posts

The top floor of Illum in Copenhagen, called The Rooftop, has several restaurants that have a great view with indoor and outdoor seating. But it also has a coffee bar that has some seats outside where you can enjoy your beverage with a nice view of the Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center (the former St. Nicholas Church).

And I definitely concur on the Cafe in the Crypt; I always stop by for lunch for afternoon tea when I’m in London.

Posted by
581 posts

I’m a fan of the cafeteria at the top of El Corte Ingles in Barcelona. Fantastic views and a relaxed place to eat (particularly early evening).

Posted by
332 posts

Thanks everyone for all of the great responses so far! I‘ve got a good list of cafeterias to check out on my next couple of trips.

I, too, have enjoyed lunch at the Crypt of St Martin-in-the-Fields. As long as we‘re broadening the question to include pretty/interesting cafeterias with good food, I’ll toss in the cafeteria at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London - stunning decor, a nice cream tea, good hot food choices and a lovely courtyard.

Posted by
2590 posts

I've been to that cafeteria in the El Corte Ingles but don't recall the view. Strange. Maybe because I was focused on finding socks.

The cafeteria at the Getty Center in L.A. has a pretty extraordinary view, but so does the restaurant and the restaurant has a full bar.

Just sayin'

Posted by
9889 posts

I agree with the Rinascente in Milan just next to the Duomo, and yes to Galeries Lafayette.

I also like the cafeteria upstairs at John Lewis in London on Oxford Street.

I am so excited to learn of the options at Illums Boligshus in Copenhagen, will definitely visit there next time I am there. (I mean we went to the shop last time but not upstairs to anywhere to eat).

Great topic, Jen !

Posted by
3903 posts

The sandwich shop in the library near the Duomo in Florence. Inexpensive food with a great view of the Duomo.

Posted by
5158 posts

Any rooftop cafeterias to recommend in Amsterdam, Haarlem, Bruges, Delft, Leiden, or Ghent?
Thanks so much!

Posted by
467 posts

In Vienna, on Floor 7 of the Steffl Department Store, the cafe has an excellent view of St. Stephen's Cathedral.