Hidden gem

This next cafe is right in the center of Coruña but it´s tucked away, and you probably wouldn´t know about it unless someone told you. This was the case for me, when a friend of mine who used to live on Calle San Andres discovered it. It´s called La Marmota and she suggested we go there for lunch one day, which we did, however I was a bit disappointed. The menu options were interesting and caught my attention, but they weren´t executed well. When it came time for dessert, I was very pleasantly surprised. They had an incredible range of cakes and all of them looked wonderful. I went back again with my boyfriend one day and we shared a piece of mocha cake, which was absolutely delicious.

I decided to visit again to give you the most recent review and to see if anything had changed. I went in the early evening on a weekday so there weren´t many people inside, and I sat in my favorite spot: a big floral sofa tucked into wall next to a beautiful display of baked goods. To decide what to order I went over and took a look at the refrigerator where they keep all of the cakes. Here, unlike the other cafes I visited, they specialize in full size cakes and bizcochos, so it´s not your typical cupcakes and brownies kind of place. All of their cakes looked incredible and they even had one with chocolate, peanut butter and pistachios! I was considering ordering that, but the cheesecake+brownie is what really caught my eye.

The nice young waitress quickly brought the dessert and coffee to my table. The portion of the cake was enormous! The bottom layer was a rich, dense brownie and the top layer was a soft, creamy cheesecake. It was incredibly rich and delicious, but so much so that I couldn´t finish it! I asked for a small plastic container to take the rest home with me. The warm, cozy interior and friendly service made me feel very comfortable and I enjoyed my experience at La Marmota. The lunch menu had changed a bit as well and the desserts are always changing. If you have a sweet tooth, this is the place to come. Whether you come for breakfast or for an afternoon pick me up, you won´t be disappointed.


A Monte Alto secret

There´s a place here in Monte Alto that I first heard about from a Facebook post by a fellow American girl living in Coruña. She said that there´s a place called Migas which is run by a young American woman and her food hits the spot. Since I live in Monte Alto, I just had to check it out. I first went one day during the summer when I had an incredible craving for a brownie, and it did not disappoint. For the purpose of this blog, I decided to revisit this spot and to try something different.

I arrived one afternoon on a cold and windy day, and the cafe was completely full. There were friends catching up, families having a sweet bite after school, and a father and son in search of some coffee. I decided to pick out a few items and take them home to enjoy them. The girl working had her hands full, between attending to the customers and going back to the kitchen to make the fresh homemade juices and smoothies. While I waited, I looked at the options in the bakery case and had to make a difficult decision. There were vegan muffins, three different types of brownies, three different types of cheesecake, and a selection of cupcakes. She even had a pumpkin scone! It´s so hard to find pumpkin flavored products here because it´s just not such a cultural phenomenon like it is in the States.

Finally the nice waitress gave me a small to-go box with my selections: carrot cake and tiramisu cupcakes. I took them home to eat them with a hot cup of tea. The appearance alone made me want to dive into them right away. The carrot cake cupcake had a base that was exactly the moist carrot cake style I was looking for, filled with walnuts and plump raisins. The frosting was a cream cheese frosting, very rich and dense with crumbled walnuts sprinkled on top. It was so rich that I actually questioned eating the other cupcake at that moment or saving it for the next day. However it didn´t take me long to start on the next cupcake [I wanted to eat it while it was fresh ya know ;)]. The yellow cake base had a small inner part that was soaked in coffee, and the frosting was made with smooth and airy mascarpone. It was topped off with a dusting of cocoa powder.

These cupcakes were to die for and probably the best quality cupcakes in town. The first time I had gone to Migas I met the owner and she´s an incredibly kind woman. She even suggested that I come on Saturday mornings to check out her brunch that includes fluffy pancakes with maple syrup! Basically I´m in love with this place and am so grateful that it´s right in my neighborhood. For a unique selection of sweets, great quality, and kind service you absolutely must visit Migas.

Just the classics

On my next stop, I decided to check out a place right next to the Plaza of Maria Pita in the heart of Coruña. I had heard about Sweet Place from a few friends and had walked past the cafe several times, and I was curious to see what it´s like. Once again I was accompanied by my boyfriend, who has no problem eating American style desserts (especially after our recent trip to the US for Christmas). We went after the holidays which was a nice relief from the crowds and we had more time to relax and enjoy the experience.

The bakery case was quite empty because we had gone fairly late in the evening, but there were still delicious looking options available. We ordered a cappuccino, a lemon cupcake, and an oreo brownie. The waiter was friendly and fast and we were served in no time. The cappuccino had a lot of chocolate inside and on top, which makes it more of a mocha, but we thought it left something to be desired. The lemon cupcake was light and had nice flavor, however the sugar in the frosting was quite overpowering. The cake was a basic white cake and it was your typical American cupcake, no more and no less. The oreo brownie was probably the winner because it was served warm and was soft and gooey. The crumbled oreos on top provided a slight crunch and it was just delightful.

The interior is very similar to Moon Cake, with white and pastel colors adorning the walls, and small tables for groups of two or four. They offer a variety of cupcakes, cheesecakes, brownies, coffee and smoothies, so there is something for all tastes. Overall we had a pleasant experience at Sweet Place although I wouldn’t give the highest rating to their sweets. For a centrally located cafe with variety and decent prices, it did the job.

Delicious and quaint

The first stop on my sweets tour is a familiar one. This past year some American friends of mine told me about a place called Moon Cake. They said the cupcakes were delicious and after checking it out myself I agreed 100%. So I decided to revisit this cute establishment located right in the center of Coruña on Calle Galera to try some of their other sweet offerings.

Our timing wasn’t the best that day as we went on a Saturday evening just before Christmas. The place was filled with families and young children and the two workers were quite stressed from the crowd. At the front counter we ordered a brownie, chocolate coconut cupcake, chocolate chip cookie, and a coffee. We had to wait quite a while for them to deliver the food to our table, but after the first bite of that brownie I completely forgot about the delay.

The brownie was a thick square full of rich, dark chocolate flavor. It was soft and fudgy, just as a brownie should be. The coconut cupcake, which was probably our favorite, had a soft chocolate cake base and the rich, buttery frosting seeped down into the center of the cupcake. It was topped off with a hard chocolate shell and coconut flakes. The beautiful combination of the chocolate and coconut flavors made me feel like I was in paradise. The chocolate chip cookie was something I was really looking forward to trying because in my opinion it’s very hard to find a soft, American style cookie here in Spain. The cookie was thick, had a crunchy outside and soft inside, and just the right amount of chocolate chips. I was very pleased! The coffee was hot and strong and just the right size to accompany all of those delclious things.

Although the service was slow at first, the waitress apologized many times and was very pleasant with us. The interior of the cafe is painted a soft blue and pastel colors abound in the decor. There are plenty of seats for customers and even a small terrace in front to enjoy in the warmer months. All in all, Moon Cake Bakery is a definite must if you’re looking for some very well done treats at a great price in a cozy environment.