If you get lost in a latte at Catedral Cafe, you might start to believe you're relaxing in Rome. The Little Village coffeehouse channels a classic Italian cafe with its Gothic-like chandeliers and panini-heavy menu.
Housed in a beautiful, brick corner building decorated with tasteful furnishings, Catedral served as the bakery owned by Maggie Gyllenhaal's anti-establishment character in Stranger Than Fiction, but drew a steady neighborhood crowd long before its close-up. A spiral staircase leads to the second level, which can be rented out for private parties and meetings. On the main floor, comfortable seating gives way to a row of computers available for use (for an hourly fee). Both rooms let in an abundance of sunlight, but the prime seat is at the small table in front of a window on the main level, which has an unobstructed view of the bustle outside.
The food at Catedral Cafe is a mix of classic coffeehouse fare and Italian country cooking, including a few pasta dishes and intriguing takes on bruschetta (one comes topped with pesto and caviar). Breakfast is served all day, with prices ranging from $4.95 for a Belgian waffle to $6.95 for breakfast paninis. Sandwiches, like an amazing smoked salmon on a croissant, come with a choice of pasta, potato salad or a small garden salad. A visit to Catedral wouldn't be complete without an iced Mangopuccino (milk, mango and espresso) or a sweetened Espresso Cubano.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Chuck Sudo