Coffee drinking in Split is so much more than just a consuming hot beverage. It has nothing to do with western-type grabbing one of those big mugs with coffee-to-go on the way to a meeting, work or wherever you can go in a rush. Surprisingly, in spite of centuries of close contacts, it also has a little to do with Italian-style espresso shots. Here, on eastern Adriatic shores it's a way to drink rakija, not coffee. Here, this custom is much closer to its variations in the eastern Mediterranean. Ottoman Empire was much closer to us than anyone can imagine.
If someone invites you "let's have a coffee", it doesn't even have to be about drinking a coffee. It can also be a beer, rakija, glass of wine, or whatever you like. What's actually important is the ritual. There is no need to look further - the best way to enjoy Split like a local is simply to adjust to this custom. Sit at any café terrace, order a coffee, put your sunglasses on, and remain that way as long as you can. Partner is recommended, but optional.
Everything is a social ritual when it comes to coffee, even the way you order it. There are countless combinations of coffee, hot or cold milk, cream, and you can find them all in Split. It should be important part of any dictionary in Split: small espresso, macchiato (large or small, with warm or cold milk), cafe latte, cappuccino, etc. Just name it, and waiter will bring it.
Everyone in Split has his or her favourite spot. It can be anywhere by the sea, like Žbirac at Bačvice or Dvor or Procaffe, it can be somewhere within ancient or medieval parts of Split like in Luxor, Teak or NoStress, and it can be at Riva, city's main promenade, like at Fro, Ars, Bobis, F-Marine...
Nevertheless, it's not even important what the name of the venue is. All that matters is that there are people around, to look city life, and become a part of it. Coffee IS a way of Split city life.