This amazing place sits quite unobtrusively half way between the University of Warsaw campus and the university library, in Browarna street, and seems to hold little promise to an undiscerning – or uninitiated – eye.

However, those who decide to go in will find themselves in a world of its own, defined by book-lined walls, assorted old furniture and an atmosphere unlikely to be matched or re-created anywhere else.

Tarabuk has much more to offer, though. Being essentially a bookshop-cum-coffee bar, it is the feeding ground of choice for its
natural clientele: students and university staff. They come here to hold classes, read, surf the Internet or simply have coffee and browse from among a plethora of books, mostly academic.

In the evenings, Tarabuk hosts many different events such as book promotions or meetings of the Stoics’ club. On Sundays, the place goes into ‘family’ gear, with regular fable-telling for toddlers and whole families coming here to spend a leisurely afternoon playing some board game like Monopoly.

The food is another story: one thing that is predictable about the menu is that you’ll love what you eat – otherwise everything on it is subject to change, depending on the chef’s mood. Of the menu, soups are said to be particularly yummy, and the selection of teas and coffees – excellent.

“I started this place because the idea of combining books and a quiet atmosphere in which to enjoy them did my heart good”, said Jakub Bułat, who runs Tarabuk as a family establishment together with his wife, Anna.
Indeed, that this place is run from the heart is felt instantly once you go in.

If not to meet with friends, I go there for the time. The moment I enter, it stops, or rather – waits outside. Inside, I take my coffee and find a place on some cosy sofa. There, undisturbed by mundane worries, lulled by the soft murmur of conversation, I sip and ponder – what is past, or passing, or to come.

Dorota Szmajda

Quiet location between the University and the University Library
Homely and friendly atmosphere you will not find elsewhere
Selection of books from many fields (albums and guidebooks in English
and other languages, also Polonica and Varsaviana)
Vergnano coffee plus delicious homemade cakes and pastries at reasonable
credit card
Ecological teas
Vi-Fi Internet connection
Smoking area outside

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