As a frequent customer of the Third World Café (located at East 53rd Street and South Kimbark Avenue, across from CVS), I’m offended that James Kraft called it “the worst-run coffee shop I’ve ever been to” (“Weary Epicurean,” 2/26/08).
Okay, so the service is a little slow. But the Third World Café is a small neighborhood operation, not like Starbucks or Einstein Bros. They don’t have as many people behind the counter, but the people who work there are definitely friendlier than in Cobb. The manager, Robert, knows me by name.
Good things take time, especially when it comes to food. The Third World Café doesn’t just serve coffee. They have sandwiches, smoothies, and salads that they actually make from scratch, unlike the C-Shop. My favorite item on the menu is the Waldorf salad: mixed greens, Granny Smith apples, grapes, gorgonzola cheese, and walnuts. You can also get your greens with tuna or chicken salad on top for another $2 or so. For the health-conscious among us, the light but tasty lunch fare at this café fills an important niche.
The Third World Café is a little pricier than some of its counterparts, but their fare is fresh and tasty. They have also just rolled out a discount card, where you get a stamp for every $3 purchase: after 10 stamps, you receive a free brownie, cookie, or medium coffee/latte.
I also find the atmosphere relaxing. There are comfy chairs you can curl up in, and the space isn’t as cramped as at the Istria Café. And where else can you ponder local art on the walls as you take your cappuccino?
If you want a fast caffeine fix with munchies to go, stay on campus. But if you’re inclined to take a short stroll to a nearby café with charm, free Wi-Fi Internet (after 4 p.m. on Saturday with a nominal purchase), and good food, the Third World Café is your best bet.
Class of 2010