In Search of the Perfect Shade

Finally, the summer is here, we all sweat and complain how hot it is, and grandmas finally switched from cooking sarma to punjene paprike. As much as some would like to spend the whole summer somewhere indoors and air-conditioned, that's not very likely.

Hydratization is vital for survival, which means from time to time you have to go out to socialize and have a drink. Condition number one, apart from a steady supply of ice cold drinks – shade. Yes, almost all bars in the city have some sort of terrace or an outdoor section, and yes, you can find shade and refreshment under a parasol or next to a fan. But I'm talking about deep, heat-proof natural shade. Like trees and thick walls. I'm talking about tucked away, hidden terraces far from the traffic and scorching concrete. When you find one like that, you never want to leave; it becomes your second living room. Let me share some of Zagreb's perfect summer terraces with you.

“You can never see Medvedgrad’s terrace empty like this, maybe only after the opening.” Image credit: Pivnica Medvedgrad Ilica FB

Not necessarily the best in the city, because this is not a competition, but maybe the dearest to me is the huge terrace full of chestnut trees of Medvedgrad pub in Ilica. It’s big enough and far from the street, and in a very mixed and diverse company you can enjoy great beers and pub grub. A bonus is a secluded children’s playground just next to the backdoor entrance. Speaking of places focused mostly on beer, we have to mention The Beertija pub and club in downtown Zagreb, a place for youngsters mostly, with a lot of space, a lot of beer, music and a unique gallery of rock ’n’ roll sculptures. As the name itself explains it, Dvorište bar in Maksimirska Street is actually a courtyard.  A courtyard that looks like a miniature park and garden and children’s play area all in one. Definitely one of the favourite spots in the neighbourhood. In Trešnjevka neighbourhood, many people seek shelter on the terrace of Pivnica Budweiser pub and restaurant, a branch office of the legendary establishment of the same name in Heinzelova Street. Along with the shade and beer, their trademark is tasty and filling grilled meat dishes.

“The Beertija’s garden is one of a few daily summer shelters in downtown Zagreb.” Image credit: The Beertija FB

If you want to mingle with people from all corners of the world in a really cool place, go to the Swanky Monkey Garden. Although the place belongs to the popular Swanky Mint Hostel, it’s a bar open to the public, where many locals like to hang out. Its terrace is like an unexpected little jungle located in the heart of the busy downtown area. Vintage Industrial Bar is a popular club known for live gigs and its rock orientation, and many people can’t wait for the summer when it opens its beautiful and spacious garden. And the programme includes a number of events, not just music, like pub quiz, film screenings, fairs, BBQ parties… Everything to fill those long summer days to keep you entertained. Not far away you can find A Most Unusual Garden, a bar specialized primarily in gin, but not excluding other fine drinks. In the evening the terrace gets packed with young, fun-loving people looking for good vibes and relaxation. The place is famous for their tree-house, but you’ll need luck to grab a table in it.

“Swanky Monkey Garden offers refreshment in one of the coolest outdoor locations in the whole city.” Image credit: Swanky Monkey Garden FB

Instead of just whining around how unbearably hot it is and how one simply cannot do anything in the city before sunset, be brave and just go out. Rest assured, you can find refreshment and beat the heat if you know where to look. The whiners can always join you later in the evening.

“Always wanted to grab a drink and chillax in a tree-house? It can be done.” Image credit: A Most Unusual Garden FB

Header image credit: Vintage Industrial Bar FB

Author: Morana Zibar / Taste of Croatia