Kava Bars and Cafes: The 3 Main Differences

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Kava bars are a rising phenomenon across the world. In many cities today you can show up for a good kava drink and some nice company. However, where do these new kava bars fit in? They are not really traditional bars and they are not like cafes in any way; here are the 3 main differences.

When it comes to comparing kava bars and cafes there are 3 main differences. First, kava bars normally are open during the evening while cafes are open during the morning. Second, a kava bar will have almost no selection of food to eat while drinking kava. Third, cafes are built as places to get work done while kava bars are designed around socializing.

Kava bars are a great place to meet new people and share ideas. Most kava bars across the United States and Europe are built with this in mind. The team here at Kava-Bula helps people build out their own kava bars with this mentality in mind. When done properly you can get a great bar that will be around for years to come.

Let’s jump into the article ya; these are the 3 main differences between kava bars and cafes.

Difference 1: Kava Bars Are Normally Open at Night While Cafes Are Open During the Morning

One of the main differences between a cafe and a kava bar is the hours in which they operate.

A cafe traditionally opens around dawn and closes sometime in the early afternoon. This is because a cafe is designed around selling coffee and tiny treats. Not many people want to buy coffee at 8 pm at night you know. As such normal hours for a cafe are around 7 am-3/4 pm.

A kava bar on the other hand is a place where people go to socialize and relax after a hard day’s events. Because of this most kava bars open up around noon and stay open until 2/3 Am. These longer hours allow for people to also get work done at the kava bar but this is not the whole purpose of the kava bar.

When you go to a kava bar check out the hours they operate. You will notice that they stay open extremely late. Some kava bars here on the islands have a “?” next to the hours they close because they often will simply stay open until 3/4 am if people keep on coming in.

While some kava bars offer coffee they hardly sell any after 2/3 pm in the afternoon. Kava is the main beverage that gets sold and the entire bar is set up to be an inviting place for people to socialize.

Difference 2: A Kava Bar Normally Does Not Offer Food While a Cafe Does

Another main difference between kava bars and a cafe is that a cafe will offer food to go along with their drinks.

When you go into a cafe anywhere in the world normally there is a menu of drinks. These drinks can range from tea o soda to coffee but in almost all cafes there is almost always a menu for small food items. This food can range from baked goods to entire meals. This is because a cafe is designed as a place to meet people at or get some work done.

A kava bar on the other hand is designed as a place to socialize. Most people show up to drink kava and meet new people or old friends. Most kava bars will not offer food outside of some chips. You won’t find bar food at a kava bar. That’s not to say that a kava bar can’t offer food if it wants to, we just have not seen many do that.

Simply put a cafe will have an entire menu of food while a kava bar will just have a list of drinks to choose from.

Difference 3: Cafes Are Designed as Places for Meeting up With Friends or Getting Work Done

This difference comes down to the purpose behind kava bars and cafes. A cafe is designed as a place you go to either work or meet up with people you already know. A kava bar on the other hand is designed around a place you go to meet people you have never talked to before; it’s more of a socializing place.

When you go to a cafe you will notice almost immediately that everybody is off in their own corner. Some people are getting work done while others are there to meet up with friends. It’s hard to meet new people at a cafe randomly without a lot of effort. That’s fine, that is the purpose behind a cafe.

On the other hand, a kava bar is designed completely around forcing people to talk to random strangers around them. From the drinking ritual itself to the relaxing effects of kava you will find that random strangers start talking to you more often at a kava bar. It is hard to explain but you will realize this almost immediately after walking into a kava bar; it is more inviting.

Simply put, people go to kava bars to socialize with random people. People go to cafes to meet up with people they already know or to get some work done.


That’s about it for the 3 main differences between a kava bar and a cafe.

It all comes down to the hours of operation, the presence of food, and the type of people. A kava bar is more of a place for socializing while a cafe is more of a place to get some work done. The team here at Kava-Bula loves to go to both; we go to kava bars to socialize and cafes to get work done.

As always bula to you!


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