Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >
Jan 21, 2009 08:16 AM

Coffeeshops with great food?

I am currently in the process of studying for my medical boards. While the library is nice, my preference is to set up shop at a nice coffeehouse and spend several hours there. It makes the experience a bit more pleasant. This of course means that beyond just coffee (or more likely tea, in my case), I am also having a meal or 2 there. Basically, I am looking for a place where
- I can sit for hours without feeling awkward
- Has wireless
- Has awesome food!

I've found plenty of places with the first two, the latter is a bit more elusive...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I know its a chain but Panera Bread has really good sandwiches, soups and breads. Its the kind of place where you can hang out all day. I don't think they have any locations in the city but there is one in Ardmore, if that might work.

    1. i've only had the coffee, but a trusted friend loves the food, so i will recommend LaVa. it's at 21st and south. a very nice space and the menu looks damn yummy:

      1 Reply
      1. re: mazza3

        I forgot about LaVA! I've had their burekas before and they are yummy. Thanks!

      2. My favorite coffeeshop food is the Ethiopian at Almaz, but the tables are small so it might be difficult to work there.

        1. I've been out of downtown for a while, so I can't answer this as well as I could have a few years ago.
          I will say that out in NW philly, both Infusion and Chestnut Hill Coffee are more than adequate, so long as you like vegetarian food (infusion) or soup (CHC).

          In CC, I used to like Tuscany Cafe, and esp. their grilled vegetable sandwhiches, but then they started to have restrictions on how much time you could spend there (dealbreaker for me, even if I understand the need for the policy at some places).
          There are a variety of Bontés in CC; their food seems to be decent.
          I also liked the cafe1/meal/cafe2 strategy - sit for a while studying at Hausbrandt, perhaps, then pack up and eat someplace nearby, then go study some more at La Colombe.

          Can't help w/the wifi; most places have it but not all.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bob Loblaw

            I used to study a lot at Tuscany. During the week they're usually okay with you sitting for awhile, but the weekends they will kick people out.

            My biggest problem with Tuscany is that they steep the tea for you and their barristas do not know much about tea (or just get distracted) because they will let it steep WAY too long, to the point of being bitter, and I need to ask for a new tea. This has happened to me a handful of times...enough that it's not worth it to go back.

          2. For casual food, I love the food at the Java Company at 518 S.4th Street (between South and Lombard) (Queen Village/Society Hill neighborhood.) The coffee is great, too, can't speak for the tea. For food, I love their labni sandwich (open faced yogurt cheese with olives on a fat slab of bread), very tasty salad, and caramelly rice pudding. They have good pastries, and nice looking wraps and mozzarella sandwiches. Have had a nice egg and cheese sandwich, too. Everything is very fresh. A lot of people hang out there and work, so I guess they have wireless.