Los Cafetaleros opened up this month as the latest addition to the coffee purveyors of Little Italy . The College Street spot is the new retail location for the micro-roastery in Woodbridge which owner James Guittirez opened up just over a year ago. In contrast to nearby spots like Manic and The Common , the interior of the cafe is pretty sterile, and not entirely inviting when looking for a spot to hunker down for the day.
The cafe specializes in Latin American coffees and treats with some pretty tasty goodies and lunch options so I decide to test out the guava and cheese filled pastelito (a fillo-like pastry) but am seriously tempted by a the beef or chicken empanadas on the menu (alongside other sandwich options like the Naan-A Grilled (naan bread in lieu of panini). Alongside these more traditional items are some seriously delicious looking LaRocca Creative Cakes as well as a range of other pastries (hello, Whoopie Pie!) and tasty gluten-free options from a local baker.
Nestled in the back of the spacious cafe is a small market-style selection of local goods from Wildly Delicious Fine Foods - a selection of preserves, marinades, spreads and oils that make me want to run home and start cooking like my name is Julia Child. There are also a range of retail bags of the namesake coffee available for purchase throughout the store.
Here's the thing about Los Cafetaleros. The coffee is good-the Guatemalan beans used for their espresso are rich and bright, pairing really well with the sweetness of the steamed milk in my cappuccino ($3.00). It's not a bad new spot for the neighborhood. In fact, I think it's great that this section of College Street is continuing to grow so much. Situated right between the new Smoke's Poutinerie locale and the Monocle Store , there's a lot of potential for cafes and restaurants opening in the hood.
When I stopped by, it was pretty clear that Guitirrez and his son have a lot of great ideas for the cafe and, with time, perhaps the cafe will grow into the incredible amount of space they have. In the meantime, head to Los Cafetaleros for a solid cup of coffee and some tasty treats, but you may want to grab your goods to go.
Note: this post has been updated since the original version was posted to reflect the name change from La Casa del Cafe to Los Cafetaleros. Photos by Morris Lum