As we get further into Fall, it’s prime time to stake out places in the city where you can cozy up for warmth, a great cup of coffee, and a satisfying bite to eat. Il Caffe Late, located on beautiful Lenox Avenue in West Harlem, is an authentic café with high-quality hot beverages and that ever-elusive European café setting where you can read a book at your leisure without worrying about waiters throwing you hints to leave so somebody else can use your table. This adorable neighborhood café has a confident sense of style and individuality, and while it doesn’t have an enormous menu, the food and drinks it serves are of high quality. Il Catte Latte is the ideal spot to bring a date for a romantic atmosphere and good food sans ridiculous prices, but it’s also a perfectly wonderful café to go to on your own for peace, quiet, and a beautiful view of Harlem out the window.
Stop by in the morning for a traditional cappuccino, or if you feel like lingering, indulge in the Acapulco Breakfast Platter. At $10, this flavorful dish puts old-fashioned egg dishes to shame with its combination of fresh cheese, scrambled eggs, tortilla, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, lettuce, and mango. Breakfast is served until 1 pm every day, so don’t even have to get up at the crack of dawn to enjoy this portion of the menu.
Il Caffe Latte’s lunch and dinner offerings are impressive; it is rare at a café this small and tucked away to find dishes like the Salmon Burger with chipotle mayo and sweet potato fries, the Black Ink Sea Food Ravioli, or the Sword Fish Steak, which is served with a special mango tequila salsa. It’s delightful to enjoy the café atmosphere and café prices while still being treated to an inventive menu.
The primary draw of a café, however, is always its coffee, and Il Caffe Latte doesn’t disappoint. In addition to regular coffee, lattes, and macchiattos, this place’s Hot Chocolate is to-die-for. None of that instant chocolate powder nonsense; on a chilly Fall day, indulge in a cup of this creamy, dreamy, chocolate-y delight. Il Caffe Latte also serves a great Green Tea Latte and has a small selection of wines and beers. The desserts range from the decadent Brownie Cheese Cake, to classic tiramisu, to good old-fashioned apple pie.
Whether you’re an artistic type looking for a comfy, inspirational spot at which to daydream, or just a fan of good food and coffee, Il Caffe Latte is definitely worth a visit when you’re in the neighborhood.
189 Lenox Avenue, New York, NY 10026