Not even established enough to have its own website, Cafe Astoria sits at an unassuming street corner, across from a hospital on St. Paul’s Grand Ave. However, Cafe Astoria isn’t your typical independent neighborhood coffee shop that tends to inspire the basic minimalistic cup of a Millenial’s dream. The coffee, which is the farthest thing from minimalistic, is attracting people from all over the cities (particularly teenaged and young adult girls) with its golden, rainbow, over the top creations that scream “I have to post this on my Instagram story!”.
The café opened this past spring, intending on becoming just a small local shop for the downtown St. Paul neighborhood. When pictures of the coffee started to surface on social media, everyone started to head to St. Paul to check out the hype. The place is perfectly made for social media, and from a marketing standpoint, platforms, such as Instagram, have worked wonders for the shop, skyrocketing its popularity while continuing to curate towards the internet. They have already needed to expand the shop to fit the overflow of customers. Cafe Astoria has a typical menu of artisan drinks, both cold and hot, but then, there is the secret menu which contains creations such as the 24K Gold Latte, the Campfire Mocha, the Rainbow Matcha Latte, the Crême Brulé Latte, and the Rainbow Mint Mocha. All amazingly beautiful; it is difficult to take the first couple sips of the drinks out of sheer fear of messing up the designs. However, the taste of the coffee and the subtle sweetness allow for a very enjoyable experience.
- Rainbow Matcha Latte: A nice sweet mix of warm green tea and milk. The colors of the rainbow drinks change every day, so one day the drink could be blue like mine and pink the next day. Either way, they are beautiful and unique.
- Campfire Mocha: Just imagine a s’mores turned coffee and you have a Campfire Mocha! Great for chocolate lovers and anyone craving something fun and sweet. Just look at that giant marshmallow!
- 24K Gold Latte: A wonder to behold. I mean who doesn’t want to drink eatable gold leafs? Boujee and beautiful, the 24K Gold Latte is what made Cafe Astoria into what it has become.
Coffee aside, Cafe Astoria has a great insta-worthy and trendy menu that is perfect for both breakfast and lunch. The signature smoothie bowls are swoon-worthy art-pieces full of fruit, seeds, and great flavors. Healthy and delicious, they have 4 different kinds ranging from “Beehive” to “Berry Berry”. In addition, the café offers both savory and sweet crêpes which truly makes the place feel like a modern Parisian café. They are very simple but definitely hit the spot for a quick meal. There are also homemade pastries, including great scones, as well as sandwiches and an elaborate list of funky oatmeals.
- Smoothie Bowls: Full of fresh ingredients and nutrients, these bowls are just as pretty as the coffee at Café Astoria. The super trendy health craze is thanks to a lot of Cafe Astoria’s popularity (other than the coffee) since people are clamoring to try the newfound smoothie bowl concept.
- Crêpes: Try classics such as banana with Nutella or any of the delicious savory sandwich-like options. Make the trip down to St. Paul to relax, drink a fancy-schmancy coffee, eat a crêpe and a smoothie (if you really want to go all out), and enjoy. Instagram crazy or not, either way, Cafe Astoria is a greatly enjoyable experience where the visible appeal of the food is just as important as the taste.