Nothing goes better with Cafenation’s caffeinated drinks than one of its made-to-order crepes. Sweet or savory, the starchy parcels packed with eggs, black beans, and cheddar, Nutella and banana, or other decadent ingredients are made all day long. In the summer, meals almost turn al fresco thanks to the open front windows.
Marilda Kocibelli paints leaves all day. Rather than brushes and pigments, however, her tools are steamed milk and coffee. She runs Dolce Vita Caf?, a casual oasis of handcrafted espresso drinks, cozy little tables, and sandwiches and pastries. Marilda and her staff serve hot, Italian-inspired paninis, such as the carmine, with fresh mozzarella and prosciutto, as well as the tonno siciliano, featuring imported tuna. Hot mugs of lattes and dark-roast coffee bookend meals. The cafe also conveniently provides free wireless Internet.
Five decades ago, Kirio Pantelis wheeled a wooden cart around Kalamata, Greece, peddling syrupy sweets to locals. Today, his son and daughter-in-law oversee the American patisserie and café that evolved from these humble roots, nestled in both Brookline and Brighton. The bakery pays homage to its heritage with walnut-studded cakes and tarts that echo back to communal baking in wood-burning Greek ovens, though the shop draws from all over Europe for luxurious ingredients such as chocolate genoise, poached Turkish apricots, and Belgian cocoa. Puffed éclairs, petits fours, and fruit tartlets evoke the patisseries of Paris, and the bakery’s from-scratch gelato transports tasters to Italy without the hassle of concentrating hard enough to teleport.
Along with these sugary delicacies, the Brighton location also dishes up savory, Mediterranean-inspired fare at a café with marble tabletops and loft ceilings. Diners here fork into cold poached salmon, munch on paninis layered with gruyere or house orange-scented sausage, and savor cold sandwiches filled with roasted pancetta.
The menu of the recently renovated Eagles Deli and Restaurant crams gastro-caverns with fresh Angus-beef patties as well as healthy salads and wraps, its savory eats garnering attention from culinary programs such as the Rachael Ray Show and Man V. Food Nation. The Cowabunga challenge invites diners to try to consume two pounds of burger, eight pieces of American cheese, and two pounds of fries while pretending to surf on an ironing board ($25.99). Slightly less colossal cravings are curbed with the Hot Dog Lovers two-pound frankfurter ($15.99). Herbivorous fangs are kept at bay with delicious greenery such as Wafa's Heavenly salad, packed with torrents of sun-dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and balsamic dressing swirl atop a bed of baby spinach and romaine lettuce ($7.59).
As the name implies, it’s all about breakfast at Twin DO-Nuts. What’s not implied, though, is that this classic diner's expertise extends far beyond pastries. Sure, many diners do drop in solely for the home-style donuts that come frosted or dipped in honey, which Joe Difazio of the Boston Phoenix described as simply “delicious.” But, a full breakfast menu offers traditional omelets stuffed with veggies and meat, egg sandwiches, French toast, and cranberry pancakes for those looking for something more substantial. Twin DO-Nuts also serves lunch, which explains the brown bags often seen picketing just outside the front door. For those willing to take a walk on the savory side, Difazio calls the “quietly scrumptions chicken noodle soup” the “hidden gem of the menu.”
Tealosophy provides guests with a modern take on one of the oldest drinks ever: tea. In addition to hot and iced tea and milk tea, the cafe serves boba tea and shaved snow, as well as fruit smoothies. While they sip, visitors are welcome to access the free WiFi or rent a board game.