I love working downtown. It’s something I’d always wanted to do and being a small part of the Central Business District (CBD) has been great. Between taking the bus to work, regular walks to and from Over-the-Rhine, lunchtime trips across the Roebling and back, markets (and food trucks!) on the Square, taking the streetcar to Findlay Market, and all of the other goings on in our urban core, I’ve really enjoyed the past near year working in and being connected to the CBD.
That said, one of my favorite things to do is explore new lunch places. One of the biggest things about the CBD is that many places are only open for lunch, or close after a very early dinner. Thus, it can be difficult to try many places downtown. If you find yourself in the CBD during lunch, a few of my favorite lunch places — that I’ve had so far — include Fred & Gari’s, Ingredients, Hathaway’s, Silverglades, and Servatii. But I’m always looking to try somewhere new.
Enter Caffe Barista, a deli and bodega situated on the ground floor of 4th and Plum Lofts. Large blue awnings welcome the outside in, where the menu features breakfast sandwiches, burritos, and omelets; plus soups, salads, and sandwiches. There are even daily specials. I’ve probably never told you how much I love a good Philly Chicken sandwich, but I love a good Philly Chicken sandwich. It’s a great default menu item I’ve grown to trust in situations where I can’t decide or am unsure, particularly when eating lunch, so that’s what I went with.
My favorite part of most meals is the bread, so it’s important that — especially on a sandwich — the bread is soft and delicious. Well, with bread baked fresh by Giminetti Bakery and Shadeau Bread, the sub bun was obviously outstanding. I ordered at the counter, got my hot sandwich in about five minutes, then paid $6.50 for my Philly Chicken and a bag of chips and was out the door. I went around 1pm, so the wait was minimal, though I hear the line can be longer during peak times.
Another reasonable lunch option with a large menu, good service, and even a small grocery for everyday items, including beer and wine? And longer hours than most lunch restaurants in the CBD? Yeah, sounds good to me.
Featured Image: Overview of the deli side of Caffe Barista, where you order on the right, pick up on the left, and have snack options and drinks to choose from while you wait.