Admit it, sometimes you just want to read a book. Whether you're stuck in endless traffic or just craving a caffeine fix while you get lost in your latest find, it can be hard to find a quiet nook in the chaos of Dhaka where you can just tune out, read a book and drink good coffee.
Thankfully, there are a few coffee places in Dhaka that have the right atmosphere. And just in case you're looking for inspiration, here are a few of our favourite picks from some of the authors attending the upcoming Dhaka Literary Festival (although honestly it's almost impossible to choose).
Top of my personal list because of its amazing coffee, great ambiance and great prices (an Americano is only Tk150), North End is unfortunately still only located in Gulshan. But we can't stress enough on how great their coffee is.
Coffee quality: 5/5
Book to read: The House of Blue Mangoes
In 1899, in the south Indian village of Chevathar, Solomon Dorai is contemplating the imminent destruction of his world and everything he holds dear. -A gripping family chronicle, The House of Blue Mangoes spans nearly three generations of the Dorai family as they search for their place in a rapidly changing society. The novel brings vividly to life a small corner of India, while offering a stark indictment of colonialism and reflecting with great poignancy on the inexorable social transformations of the subcontinent. David Davidar's first novel was published in sixteen countries, and became a bestseller in six of them.
A cafe that's been around for a while, Cafe Mango's menu is not what it used to be, but it always was, and continues to be, a great place to get lost in a book.
Coffee quality: 3/5
Book to read: Mr Mac and Me
It is 1914, and in a quiet village on the Suffolk coast, an unlikely stranger Mac becomes a source of fascination for Thomas Maggs, son of the local publican. Yet just as Thomas and Mac's friendship begins to blossom, war with Germany is declared.
In this compelling story of an unlikely friendship, Esther Freud paints a vivid portrait of a home front community during the First World War, and of a man who was one of the most brilliant and misunderstood artists of his generation. Her most recent publication, it won Best Novel in the East Anglian Book Awards and is one of her most beautiful and masterful works.
At the hearts of Dhanmondi and Banani, Crimson is one of the most accessible coffee places for a lot of us out there. While likely to get crowded after work hours, if you're a student, freelancer or just the lucky person who is free during the day over weekends, it is a really cosy place to read.
Coffe quality: 4/5
Book to read: The Famished Road
Azaro is an abiku, a spirit child, who in the Yoruba tradition of Nigeria exists between life and death. The life he foresees for himself and the tale he tells is full of sadness and tragedy, but inexplicably he is born with a smile on his face. Ben Okri's first novel won the Man Booker Prize in 1991, and combines brilliant narrative technique with a fresh vision to create an essential work of world literature.
For all residents of Uttara, Ajo is a haven in the midst of an ever-growing urban jungle. Especially on a winter evening, it is near perfect for having a nice drink and actually enjoying a cool breeze while focusing on your next read.
Coffee quality: 4/5
Book to read: The Pages of Day and Night
Restless and relentless, Adonis explores the pain and otherness of exile, a state so complete that absence replaces identity and becomes the exile's only presence. An exquisite voice to the silence of absence. Born in 1930, the poet Adonis has led the modernist movement in Arabic poetry in the second half of the twentieth century, and has written more than 20 books in his native Arabic.