Inspired in every way by the culture of Italy, Caffespresso celebrates the arts. Baristas steam up delicious espresso drinks with intricate flower or heart designs floating on their surface. Cooks grill delicious paninis or toss savory salads and artfully pair them with Italian wines or a delicious pastry for dessert. The owners bedeck every inch of the wall in framed photos and paintings, and musicians set the air aquiver with their acoustic stylings.
For those interested in delving further into the coffeehouse's Italian roots, the venue also hosts language classes and travel seminars. Visitors can even request an Italian board game to play at their table as they listen to music or gobble up warm cookies.
Sandwich eaters, coffee lovers, and music enthusiasts rejoice: Ashland Coffee & Tea has managed to artfully meld all three under one cozy roof. The intimate space hosts a regular lineup of musical guests every Tuesday–Sunday, showering listeners with sounds of bluegrass, folk, and jazz players, who have all vowed to never break into a cappella karaoke versions of The Macarena. Performers and guests can strike a pose with their drink mugs for a fun "mug shot" photo session. Guests can feel free to bring a book to swap for another at the on-site book exchange, or grab a sandwich, omelet, or milkshake from the café menu throughout the day. A variety of coffee drinks are also available, or sippers can build a customized tea at the stocked tea bar.
A gathering place for both children and parents, Cartwheels & Coffee sows the seeds of neighborhood camaraderie with its multi-purpose recreational facility. Inside, an enclosed play area entertains children aged six and under with interactive fun, and a separate section keeps babies captivated with age-appropriate toys. Meanwhile, parents can kick back alongside each other in the Wi-Fi-equipped cafe and sip on locally roasted cups of coffee or recharge with other items from the menu. Special events throughout the week provide a change of pace to normal activities, including singing sessions on Mondays and dance classes on Wednesdays.
Stir Crazy Cafe outfits its quaint dining room and sun-soaked patio with all the accouterments for a cozy afternoon. Baristas brew steaming cups of Rostov's coffee and Black Hand espresso drinks. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, cooks fill the shop with the scent of pastries, wraps, and sandwiches, all of which pair nicely with the selection of wines and beers. Giving guests all the incentive they need to leave room for dessert, they also serve up a collection of fresh pies.
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C Street's façade combines the traditional and the playful, with its neoclassical columns and bold, striped awnings. Jon and Leah Nelson of Richmond.com confirm that this style extends to the food, calling C Street's meals of grilled fontina sandwiches and buttermilk fried chicken breast "unique enough to stand out while still keeping with the familiar." Guests dining on the heated patio start meals with salads of julienned beetroot and seasonal veggies, which lead to duck breast with apple relish and grit cakes. Inside, silky powder-blue curtains and antiqued brass chandeliers bring an old-fashioned sensibility to the 21st century more effectively than a steam-powered cell phone. On Sundays, guests enjoy brunches of belgian waffles and veggie frittatas—a suitably fashionable start to a day of shopping in Carytown.
Whether snuggling onto one of the couches with a mug of coffee, sipping wine on the outdoor patio, or breakfasting in a booth, visitors to Carytown Bistro & Coffee House will find a welcoming space filled with upscale treats. All three meals of the day are available here, as is frequent live entertainment, such as musicians who juggle full cups of espresso. The shop's collection of classic sandwiches features bagels, focaccia bread, and paninis with topping combos that include tomato, pesto, and mozzarella and peanut butter with banana and bacon.