A friend of mine recently alerted me to the presence of a small little cafe in Miraflores that has great coffee and carrot cake. Being an inherent fan of carrot cake I had to go check it out. The Cafe is called Arabica, and it's located on Calle Recavarren 269, Miraflores (follow Berlin away from Pizza Street and take a left).
As you can see from the above photo, the cafe is a tiny little castle squeezed in between more conventional buildings. Arabica is a true cafe with atmosphere. You get the sense that it's the pet project of a young couple who want nothing more than to serve coffee and live their lives. As a result the coffee is actually good, the service is better (because it's by the owners and not some corporately-trained apathetic 17 year olds like you get at Starbucks), and there aren't a whole heard of pseudo-intellectuals sitting around with dark glasses pretending to write a novel on four thousand dollar laptops and inherently annoyed that you aren't casually walking up and asking them about what they're working on (which gives them the chance to ignore you with an air of superiority).
There are about 3 distinct areas all with furniture that is kind of thrown together haphazardly (the way a true coffee shop should be and the way that garbage Starbucks only aims for [and misses]).
We sat at knee high table that was surrounded by cushions next to a bookshelf filled with parlor games from 1962. It was nice! Then came the coffee. Frankly, I don't know much about coffee, but I know what I like and this was good. The sandwhich was a ham and cheese croissant (anything served on a croissant is good). As far as food goes, there wasn't much on the menu, this is a coffee and small sandwhiches shop and what they do, they do well. Ahhh, the carrot cake with the little frosting image of a carrot on the top. Excellent.
My girlfriend had never tried carrot cake, so I gave her a forkfull of mine to which she responded: "It doesn't taste like carrots!" I hadn't really thought of it before but I suppose her assumption of the flavor caused a moment of explosive confusion in her mind when she got a taste of what she was actually eating (like, for example, if you're expecting to have a drink of orange juice only to take a long draw of what is actually chicken noodle soup). But carrot cake is the best postre to order when in the presence of little kids because they always assume it's going to taste like carrots so they don't ask for any, haha! You've got to be quick with little kids. They're all cute and all, but be careful with your sweet things around them or they'll gobble them all up! Don't let their small size fool you, those little suckers can EAT! Remember that if you're some kind of fascist communist who thinks that all coffee shops should be the same then enjoy your marxist blend at Starbucks around the corner.
But if you believe in a free market and capitalism and individual ownership, remember it's your duty to seek out small, off-the-beaten-path fare like Arabica.