Now open: Pilsen coffee shop La Catrina Cafe | Bleader

Now open: Pilsen coffee shop La Catrina Cafe

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A coffee shop where you could actually get some work done
  • A coffee shop where it's possible to actually get some work done
The exterior is so unassuming you could easily walk right past the new Pilsen coffee shop La Catrina Cafe—but inside it's a different story. Owners Salvador and Diana Galicia have turned their double storefront on 18th Street into a welcoming, comfy-chic space furnished with tables handmade by Salvador and elegant upholstered chairs along the front window. On offer are Lavazza coffee, loose-leaf organic teas, and baked goods—croissants and scones, etc—from Pilsen's Beurrage and Sweets by Shaun.

There are tempting-looking sandwiches and soups such as fire-roasted vegetable available as well, but the most distinctive item might be the xocolatl, Aztec chocolate, the drink used in Aztec ceremonies. Made without dairy or sugar, it's served cold or at room temperature in a shot glass—more would be too much, Leticia Rodarte, who's behind the brew told me. "It's an explosion of sweet and chile powder," she said. "You either love it or you hate it."

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La Catrina's grand opening is today, April 12, featuring a 4 PM ribbon cutting and live Brazilian jazz by Luciano Antonio from 8 to 10 PM. On the walls of the cafe through May 5 is a collection of early-20th-century works by photographer Agustin V. Casasola, best known for his striking images of the Mexican Revolution.

La Catrina Cafe, 1011 W. 18th, 312-434-4040; Mon-Sat 6 AM-11 PM, Sun 8 AM-10 PM

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