Recommending a cup of coffee to a Philadelphian is almost as dangerous as trying to sway a native’s choice of cheesesteak. But that doesn’t mean we can’t point out some coffee shops that offer bites way better than a day-old croissant.

Cafe con Chocolate (2100 Norwood St.) has the requisite coffees, but you would be short-changing yourself if you didn’t stay for a bite from the unique Japanese-Mexican fusion menu. The latest cultural blend is the tempura cod tacos, crunchy fish renditions with chipotle slaw, guacamole and queso fresco. Or keep it more Mexican with the straightforward and delicious huevos rancheros.

(2100 South St.) burekas present a twist on the breakfast pastry. Stuffed with Bulgarian feta cheese, mashed potatoes, mushrooms or spinach, these phyllo dough-wrapped pastries are a tasty, flaky way to start the day at the cozy South Street cafe.


Cafe Lutecia’s (2301 Lombard St.) quaint corner location makes it look like a nice spot to pause over a cup of morning Joe, but a look at the menu lets you know the French cafe is serious about its sandwiches. Our favorite, the Gaulois, combines salami, pecans, Brie and lettuce — and it’s served on a wonderfully crunchy and fresh French baguette. There is also a selection of quiches to try, and you can’t go wrong with the half-sandwich and tomato bisque combination — it’ll fight back that first bite of fall.



– Arthur Etchells is a local food blogger. Read more at


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