Cafetaria do Meseu can be found nestled back from the street beside the Science Museum at the north end of Old Coimbra. The front offers shaded seating areas while the little garden at the side is often exposed to the sun; a blessing for some.
Inside the décor is minimal; flat wooden panels and neatly spaced tables with a bar/counter in the corner displaying cakes, fruit and a few dishes available for lunch. Staff are very friendly and generally speak enough English to bridge the language barrier.
The menu is varied and reasonable enough for students, the primary market, to afford and despite the low cost the quality is excellent and the portions generous enough. They are flexible with dishes too, happy to oblige awkward customers like me where possible. I ordered a variation of something on the menu – a green pesto penne dish served with tomatoes, cheese and fresh rocket – all of which arrived promptly and tasted divine.
For drinks there were teas, various types of coffee,fresh juices, smoothies and milkshakes.
The location is good too, high up at the top of the hill at the north side of the old quarter; views from the garden cast across the northern areas of the city.
The atmosphere is relaxed and buzzes with student activity, many there for the cheap drinks and free wi-fi (for which you need university membership). At lunchtimes the garden fills rapidly but people don’t seem to stay too long, presumably heading back to their studies and lectures in the nearby faculties.
Cafetaria do Museu does not accept payment by Visa cards but there is a Multibanco in the library opposite.
All in all I thoroughly recommend Cafetaria do Museu for its excellent food, reasonable prices and enjoyable ambiance.
For more info about them go to: http://www.museudaciencia.org
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