Russo Americano


I’ve spent my weekend in one of the nearest small towns. Walking around its cozy narrow streets I came across this inviting café.

What could be better than popping into a warm café on a chilly fall day? When you are too tired to continue your town exploring mission but too excited to drink coffee at home. (Un)fortunately, I belong to that group of people who prefer to take photos of different coffeehouses without visiting them, let alone drinking a cup of coffee there.

I know I’m not an example of what a model tourist should be in the eyes of coffee shop owners. Yet I think this owner would be slightly surprised to know that the door of his small cafe can be seen by a great number of people from all over the world. Even if the information about this café existence is the last thing they wanted to see scrolling through their Reader.

No matter how hard the owners try to make their coffee shops look authentic (to me, this antique white table is marvelous) it’s customer service that has great importance in attracting and retaining a loyal clientele. As you may know from my other posts I like collecting stereotypes and myths about Russia and then dispel or confirm them. So I decided to summarize the most common stereotypes about Russian café/restaurant/coffee shop customer service.

Here they are:

1) You have to wait too long for a waiter to notice you.

2) You have to shout to the waiter too loudly because chances are they won’t notice you at all.

3) If you were lucky enough to get your meal, you have to wait too long for the waiter to bring the bill.

4) Do you still hope to see your waiter’s smile? No way. Russians never smile.

5) These places are popular among women with their female friends and you will hardly see a male customer there.

I think that there’s no need to say these are just stereotypes. The bottom line is you have to be assertive to get what you want. As for #5 I tend to think that their husbands or boyfriends exist, but they have probably gone off to war or maybe they are just sitting at a sports bar around the corner. Otherwise, those women are not assertive enough to get what they want.

#WhoKnew #HereToStay #WindowDrinking #AmomentOfCoffeeAmidstTheChaos #WhatAreYouWaitingFor #ForWomenOnly #SomewhereInRussia


30 thoughts on “Russo Americano

  1. Those things pretty much apply in Poland , too , except that it’s changing rapidly there . In America , only # 5 applies. They smile a lot , but they want to get you served and out so they can get in the next customer .. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve noticed another common thing. If this is a family business where a waiter is the owner’s sister/wife/girlfriend/daughter she will smile as if you are a customer of the year. But if she is a hired employee, don’t be surprised if the waitress is a little upset because of lower degrees of the thermometer outside and not much higher tip.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. #3 drives me crazy. Waiting for the bill is my pet peeve about restaurants. But I’ve found that by getting up and preparing to leave, the bill often appears very quickly.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. love your post…I loved sitting in the outside cafes in Europe no sense of urgency to leave, just sit and people watch….in America we have some quaint old coffee shops, but you have to look…to many starbucks, peets on every corner…even though they are setting outside chairs but service is teribble at those,,,you wait on yourself and then literally your on your own…have a great Tuesday..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If I did not have a #Migraine I would actually read this post. Next time you find yourself at a café, would you please read it too me? I’ll let you decide what language to speak😊


  5. Sadly, I cannot pass a quaint coffee shop without venturing inside. Some of my fondest memories occurred with coffee in the old shops of Europe. There was no hurry and I met many nice people. It was a great place for meeting and learning the culture and language.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations Marta, you have also shattered another myth about Russians. They do drink beverages other than vodka. The good thing about waiters ignoring you is that then you can ignore them back and spend an entire day in the cafe without feeling they are wanting you to leave.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. SERIOUSLY. Not ONE single Russian restaurant has stayed open here in Utah. None. They close because business gets slow, and it’s slow because nobody wants to go to a restaurant with that kind of service. Maybe my husband and I will have to come up with something a little more customer friendly.

    Liked by 1 person

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