Cereal cafes in Europe serving Lucky Charms
Cereal cafes in Europe serving Lucky Charms This photo taken July 10, 2016, shows Pop Cereal Cafe in Lisbon, Portugal. Cereal cafes have spread around Europe as young professionals tap into a yearning for nostalgia and novelty with blends of sugary American and foreign cereals. (Pop Cereal Cafe via AP/Albert Stumm via AP)
Cereal cafes in Europe serving Lucky Charms
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Travelers wandering the streets of European capitals in search of old-world charm might just as likely stumble upon from the New World. The might find a bowl of Lucky Charms.

Cafes serving American breakfast cereal have exploded in popularity in Europe. Young businesspeople are tapping into both nostalgia and novelty. Customers pay between $3 and $9 a bowl. In U.S. supermarkets, you can buy entire boxes of cereal for less.

In the last two years, cafes have opened in many cities. These cities include London, and Paris. They include Madrid and Barcelona. They include Lisbon and Berlin. They include Hamburg and Manchester. The trend also has a place in the Middle East.

There's no single model for the cafes. But they tend to offer at least 100 brands. The also offer dozens of fruit and candy toppings. They offer sweet syrups and several kinds of milk. The milk includes nondairy and flavored varieties. 

Many also serve coffee. They serve cereal-flavored milkshakes or soft-serve sundaes. Many provide inventive takes on Rice Krispies treats. These are like tiered cakes. The cakes are made from marshmallowy layers of Fruity Pebbles, Apple Jacks and other sugary cereals. Rare varieties from foreign countries also bring in homesick expats.

A classic bowl with milk is still the standard. But they're often topped with combinations. These combinations go far beyond what most Americans would recognize as a breakfast banana sliced over Corn Flakes.

Pop Cereal Cafe is in Lisbon. It has a very popular mix that includes Froot Loops and Rice Krispies. It also has mini marshmallows and dried strawberries. It is topped with strawberry syrup, a waffle cookie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It is served with a side of milk in a glass bottle.

"Cereal has existed for what, a hundred years?" This was the question posed by one of Pop's three owners, Filipe Vicente. He is 32. "But for a hundred years it was cereal and milk and that was pretty much it. Now this product has so many varieties. The combinations are endless. We think, what about ice cream or pudding? Why not?"

Brightly colored boxes line the shelves at Pop. This is for both practical and decorative purposes. A bunkbed and padded benches let patrons doze off for a quick nap. Pop also has hosted events. These include a pajama party with a live band called Beliche. That is Portuguese for bunkbed.

Vicente was a mechanical engineer until 2016. He said they got the idea from seeing Cereal Killer Cafe in London. It was the first of its kind in Europe. Identical twins from Belfast had opened it in 2014. That was after they saw cereal cafes in the United States. It was also after watching the 2007 independent movie "Flakes." Now Cereal Killer has two more stores in England. It also has branches in Jordan, Dubai and Kuwait.

Cafes that had opened in Chicago, Florida and Texas have since mostly closed. But two flashy entries opened recently in New York. One is a Kellogg's-branded flagship near Times Square. The other is inside a designer sneaker store in Brooklyn.

But nowhere has the trend caught on quite like it has in Europe. In Europe, grocery stores never stocked the hundreds of varieties that fill entire aisles of American supermarkets.

Nicolas Castan is one of three people behind El Flako. It is in Barcelona. He said the lack of experience led to some risky combinations after they opened in the spring of 2017.

"Almost half the people would make their own but they wouldn't finish it because they were making really weird mixes, like Froot Loops with chocolate Krave," said Castan, who previously worked in public relations. "So, we tried to make sure the combinations are balanced with both flavor and texture."

On one recent afternoon, all of El Flako's 20 seats were filled, mostly with Spanish speakers who giggled at the menu's fruity, chocolatey, honey or healthy combinations. Lining the white shelves around them were colorful boxes of Sugar Smacks, Disney Princess and dozens of others cereals. There were also potted plants labeled with first names of famous rock singers like Patti, Jim and Alice. A soundtrack of The Doors, Jimi Hendrix and The Clash pumped out of the speakers.

Castan, 29, said the nod to classic rock points to the origins of the boxed-cereal boom in the 1960s and '70s. "We have a concept of going back to the roots, returning to being a kid, back to the origins."

The combination of novelty and atmosphere were enough to attract Maria Roca. She is a 19-year-old student from the University of Barcelona and came back a second time with a friend, Nuria Amor.

"It's not cheap, but it's not really expensive," said Roca, who had a 5.60 euro combo of Cookie Krisp, Choco Krispies, Kinder chocolates, M&Ms, bananas and chocolate milk. "And it's something original, so I wanted to show her."

Would they be back?

"Yes, for sure," said Amor, who had Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Apple Jacks with honey, apples and wheat milk. "It was really good, and you wouldn't do that at home."

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/cereal-cafes-europe-serving-lucky-charms/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why might eating a cereal in a cafe be appealing to customers?
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COMMENTS (57)
  • Alexis-bla2
    10/19/2017 - 08:09 p.m.

    I think that eating cereal in a cafe would be appealing to customers. I think this because at home you usually don't have many types of cereal but at the cafe they do. You would also not think to try crazy flavor combinations. Even though you could buy a whole box of cereal in the U.S. for cheaper it is still fun to go to a cafe and eat it there. Another reason is that they also sell other things there as well.

  • BrianaM-del1
    10/19/2017 - 09:41 p.m.

    eating cereal in a cafe may be appealing to customers they may feel more at home

    • LizziM-dec
      1/19/2018 - 09:49 a.m.

      They could probably go home to feel at home.

  • graceh-cel
    10/20/2017 - 12:06 p.m.

    Eating cereal in a cafe would be appealing because they offer a variety of mixtures of widely enjoyable foods to go along with an everyday breakfast item. These cafes create a fun and interesting way to appreciate an old and timeless meal in a more extravagant way.

  • ionicaj-cel
    10/20/2017 - 12:30 p.m.

    I think that this is a really good idea. A lot of people will agree with me that cereal is better in the middle of the night or some time other than in the morning so imagine being able to just go there at night time to get breakfast and take a nap. Very cool.

  • brycew-orv
    10/21/2017 - 04:36 p.m.

    the reason it might be appealing to other customers, is because cafes don't sell cereal, not only cafes but restaurant's, breakfast places, fast food places, etc. People don't sell cereal no where

  • Andies-orv
    10/23/2017 - 07:19 p.m.

    How do people come up with this stuff? I can't believe that people actually pay the price of 3 to 9 dollars, when cereal box costs less.

  • Jaron-moo
    10/25/2017 - 11:24 a.m.

    This place sounds really cool. I would love to go there and make all kinds of different cereal combinations.

  • Brandon-moo1
    10/25/2017 - 02:14 p.m.

    I learned that a bowl in Europe cost $3 to $9 (USD)in Europe when you could get a whole box for less in the United states.

  • Emmett-moo
    10/25/2017 - 02:16 p.m.

    This was very interesting! I never knew that "Cereal Cafes" were a thing before I read this article. And I learned a lot of other interesting things too.This was an amazing read!

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