By Amanda Marchese
Take a stroll in Little Italy, and you can't miss it. Caffè Italia is located on the main street, near the famous Italian grocery store, Milano's. Walking into the caffè is like traveling to Italy, but more wallet friendly. Every time I visit, I'm welcomed by the murmur of conversations from customers and baristas in Italian, as well as the sweet-sweet smell of Italian treats. Caffè Italia is reminiscent of an old caffè in Italy where everyone knows your name and your regular order. Unsurprisingly, the caffè has gained loyal customers who have been going there for years. I say "caffè" instead of "café" because of the very simple fact that this coffee house is Italian not just in its brew, but also in its essence.
The place is buzzing, there's a television in the back playing the soccer game, the espresso machine is sizzling, and the place is bustling with people--inside and outside. The caffè offers typical espresso-based beverages, like lattes and cappuccinos for $2.75 and espressos at $1.75, as well as Santal Juices and Italian soft drinks. And if you're in the mood for a snack, they also have a variety of sandwiches, cornetti (croissants), and of course, panettone.
Caffè Italia is owned by Luciana Serri and her two daughters, Laura and Nadia. I recently got the privilege to talk with Laura Serri, who takes care of payroll and baking her famous carrot cookies. In our interview together, I discovered the true meaning of Caffè Italia, as well as a few secrets.