Sebs Cappucino has been a neighborhood mainstay since 1991. Formerly Sam's Cafe, Seb and his brother Matteo took over the business after a few months behind the counter learning how to make what the locals consider to be the best cappuccino in the city.
Walking into Seb's is like walking up to a neighborhood counter in his childhood home of Sicily. You're not going to find overstuffed chairs and complimentary newspapers while you sip a trendy, overpriced drink. The counter is humble stainless steel, and the regulars eye you up and down while you order from the the small menu board hanging amidst the dozens of postcards that serve as decoration.
While Seb admits that some customers, women in particular, might be intimidated by the handful of young men that hang around and smoke outside, once you walk through the door you realize that this cafe is a neighborhood institution enjoyed by many.
Customers greet each other like old friends here, while takeout is available (there is even a takeout window) most people come in to enjoy their coffee the proper way - in a glass at the counter over conversation.
Seb won't tell you where he gets his beans. He hand picks the blend, and in any glass there are no fewer than 4 varieties. What makes his coffee special is the way he reads each customer that comes through the door, and watches their faces as they react to their drink, with an aim to giving them exactly what they want every single time. He's humble, but his pride is evident in the tight, creamy foam that sticks to your glass, long after you've reached the bottom.
Drink options are standard, nothing trendy - just honest, authentic latte's, machiato, espresso and of course cappuccinos with prices ranging from $2-3. Try a "real Italian breakfast" of a latte and a ricotta canoli delivered fresh from Calabria Bakery every Saturday. Sometimes he has pizza, but it's gone quick.
In the back is a good spot to gather and play some rummy or watch Serie A matches on the big screen. Given the amount of Italian football decor, you might not feel at home sporting a Man U jersey.
Sebs is open 5am to midnight, every day of the week.