When the mercury plunges below freezing, and your fingers go numb inside your gloves, there is nothing better than popping into a café to warm up with a hot beverage. So in honor of the winter freeze, here’s a roundup of some of the most highly rated cafés in Northeast Philly.*
1. International Flair
Espresso Café & Sushi bar at 7814 Castor Avenue near Rhawnhurst features an eclectic menu and is listed as serving Kosher food. While a great place to get a coffee, people love the food there for breakfast and lunch where they frequently serve up everything from pastries and omelets, to soups, Israeli-inspired sandwiches, and sushi rolls.
2. Cozy and Homey
Great Awakenings Café is located at 1466 East Cheltenham Avenue. With its comfy couches, books, eclectic artwork, and quiet atmosphere, it can serve as a home away from home (in fact, as you approach, the café looks like it is a house). Patrons say it’s a suitable place to study, read, write or converse with a friend. The café is known for its coffee, espresso beverages, hot chocolate, and pastries. Although it will not help you thaw out, there’s ice cream too.
Finally, in a remarkable program, the café recently picked up coverage for its participation in a “suspended coffee” program which allows someone to purchase two cups of coffee – one for you and one to “pay it forward” for someone in need.
3. Class and Charm
Located at 11903 Bustleton Avenue right here in Philadelphia, with sofas, small tables, a faux fireplace, and a piano, Mondo Dei Dolci café is like stepping into a café somewhere in Europe. It’s an ideal spot to sip your coffee while stocking up on irresistible carbs. Enjoy a wide selection of pastries, crepes, pancakes, fruit waffles, and salads. For dessert, customers recommend their almond cake, tiramisu, cannolis, and an assortment of decadent temptations.
4. Donuts Done Your Way
Factory Donuts is not a sit-down café in the traditional sense, but you’ll find plenty of hot tea, coffee, and donuts there. They sell coffee by the gallon in a “factory coffee box.” You can also purchase coffee and tea in smaller sizes — 12, 16, and 20 ounces.
If you are a donut lover or have donut-loving friends, there is plenty of reason to stop by. You will not only find over 20 different donut flavors here, ranging from Maple Bacon Explosion to French Toast, you can also create your own. The donuts are made to order and tasters love the freshness and wide variety of flavors.
You can check it out and satisfy your sweet tooth at 7114 Frankford Avenue.
A Bonus Café
Although not technically in Northeast Philadelphia, in close proximity to the Bustleton neighborhood (a nearby suburb in Huntingdon Valley) is Be Well Bakery and Café at 2651 Huntingdon Pike, which, with its unique whimsical and cozy ambiance makes patrons feel like they are transformed into a New York City café. With ample seating, an actual coffee bar (complete with bar stools), and even a child’s play area, this place draws its crowds for freshly brewed coffee and drinks, but also health-conscious foods featuring smoothies, pastries, salads, sandwiches, and more.
So if you’re looking for a café where you can defrost on an icy cold day, rather than going on automatic pilot to your trusty favorite, consider exploring something different. You are likely to enjoy the twist of a new café complete with unique surroundings, tempting beverages, and foods you have not tasted before. Maybe it’s time to try a few of the top cafes in Northeast Philadelphia.
*It’s always a good idea to call ahead and confirm the menu, programs, details, and hours before making the trip out there.