Local Lunches Under $10: A Tale of Three Cafes

Riverhead, Battery, and Georges Town Cafes ...

Article by Emily Deming & Felicity Roberts

Georgestown Cafe and Bookshelf, 73 Hayward Ave.

  1. Sandwich and coffee ($5+tax). Inspired by the Sprout’s Bravocado, I chose cream cheese, avocado, and (non-Sprout) chicken on toasted baguette from the listed options. The cold cut could have used additional cuts. But the bread was tender, the cream cheese generous, and the avocado ripe. Coffee was fresh but not strong.
  2. Soup with Empanada ($6.95+tax), mocha ($2.75 + tax). The spinach soup with the lemony-green essence of fresh mown grass in a small vintage pyrex mug complimented the hearty crusted, warm chicken-and-cheese filled homemade empanada. I love the option of “paying less and eating less” as balance to standard high prices and huge plates. The espresso drinks here well out-pace the coffee drinks.

Atmosphere: Stools at the huge window bring sun and showcase the clash of cultures in Georgestown. The Cafe is “light” with natural lumens but also with no deep, cozy, character to the seating. The real art on the walls, large bookshelf to peruse/take/add to, and proximity to MUN and Holy Heart make you wonder how the neighbourhood got along before they opened.

The Battery Cafe, 1 Duckworth St.

  1. Asiago chicken sandwich ($6.52+tax), coffee ($2.25+tax). Though boxed in a cooler, not made to order, the sandwich had tons of white meat chicken the consistency of pulled pork, melted asiago, tomato, lettuce and a hearty layer of marinated mushrooms. The ranch style dressing was slathered on, but still this sandwich is the bomb. The coffee, Detour, speaks for itself.
  2. Day-old sandwich ($3.26+tax), cortado ($3.48+tax). The day-old roast beef and brie was decent and I love a deal, though even fresh it wouldn’t have been dreamy. The beef wasn’t rare enough and the surprise addition of hummus not quite right. The “Cortado” (espresso with a drop of steamed milk) was flavourful and strong, not a hint of sour.

Atmosphere: Close to coffeeshop perfect. Cozy, intimate, and bustling all at once.

Riverhead Coffee House, 687 Water St.

  1. Coffee and a bagel with spread (2.50+tax). This deal is offered only on Fridays and is up there with the Costco hotdog for best lunch-deal ever. The cheddar Jalapeño bagel was very large and equivalent to a high-end grocery brand. Drip coffee is the Island-local Trinity Coffee Co. The espresso is Illy. (subtext: coffees trump espresso drinks here).

Atmosphere: A running shop. Literally. It shares space (and owners) with Biped Sports. Even if you are a runner, the décor of the mini soccer field size room feels sparse, but the back wall of neon sneakers provides colour. It’s an interesting marriage but one that, in this case, just might work. Especially as a part of the growing and eclectic small retail trend on the West end Water Street. I just hope they use some of the vast space they have to set up a ping pong table.

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