Yesterday, I had an appointment that bought me down to the Pilsen neighborhood in the lower west side of Chicago and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and explore. While exploring, I came across a little gem nestled within the neighborhood called Step Down Cafe. Figuring I had some time before my appointment and since it had been an hour since my last cup of coffee, I decided to step inside.
Upon entering the intimate, yet inviting, interior of the cafe, I couldn't help looking around at the walls filled with vintage signs and works of art from local residents of the neighborhood. One of the things I love about neighborhood coffee houses is that they have the freedom to determine the look, atmosphere, and product that they choose to sell. After I received my order, I sat down at an empty table and had a great visual to look at as I sipped my coffee and ate my pastry (it was breakfast time after all :)
The coffee was neither too strong, nor too weak. I found myself thinking to myself as the first sips of coffee traveled from my mouth down my throat that the flavor of the coffee was just right, just like Goldilocks :). The best part about the coffee house was the affordability of the drinks and food. It was quality at affordable prices, and in the city of Chicago, that is a godsend. The blueberry/cranberry muffin was moist and was a great way to start the morning while I looked at some of the other food options on the menu (a good combination of treats, breakfast items, and lunch/early dinner selections).
Not only was the interior and product first rate, the thing I loved most about this place was the location to which it is located. It's on a corner of the residential/business section of Pilsen, so the customer base will most likely be locals and employees. I was there for about an hour and there was a steady stream of people coming during that time period with a very short wait time and plenty of seating (the pic above was taken during a few minute gap where they were unoccupied).
So in conclusion, if I happen to come to the Pilsen area again in the future, I will definitely will be stopping by to try some of the other tasty items on the menu. If you live close to Pilsen, or within Pilsen, it's on the corner of Racine and West 21st Street so you should come check it out :)
Filed under: Reviews