Lower Eats Side: Black Cat Coffee Espresso Bar

Elena Perez, ’15

If you’re one of the 66% of BHSEC students who walks to school along Rivington St., you may have noticed a new espresso bar between Clinton St. and Ridge St. The Black Cat Espresso Bar with its little black cat logo is undoubtedly adorable, but is this new place any good? How does it compare to Tiny’s Giant?

The primary difference between Black Cat and Tiny’s is definitely the environment. Black Cat goes more for a quiet lounge vibe. The soft twenties Charleston tunes coupled with the plush armchairs and settees creates an environment conducive to studying, whereas Tiny’s is more of a “let’s sit and talk loudly” sort of place. So, if you want to blow off some steam after an awful test, Tiny’s is the way to go. But, if you want to get some work done, or be cozy and chat with a few pals, Black Cat may be better suited for you.

Black Cat and Tiny’s are most similar in terms of their menus. They both sell Panini, salads, coffees, pastries and bagels. However, in addition to these items, Black Cat sells crêpes, a much larger variety of muffins, and macaroons. Personally, I am most excited about the crêpes. There are total of eight different crêpes, five sweet and three savory with additional toppings (you can get strawberries or bananas for an extra dollar). I was surprised not to see the traditional lemon and sugar crêpe available, and the crêpes seemed a bit overpriced. A crêpe with only Nutella will cost you $7.50, and personally I would want to add strawberries to that, which would cost me $8.50 for just one crêpe. However, a savory crêpe with tomato, mozzarella and basil is $7.50.

Another Black Cat exclusive is its macaroons. These tasty treats are available in a variety of flavors ranging from lilac to crème brûlée. Interesting. There is also an incredible variety of muffins, from pistachio to lemon poppy seed, all which are priced at $2.25. The one place in the menu where Black Cat is limited is in its Panini selection (there are no cold sandwiches available). There are 5 Panini options all priced at $8.50. One of the most interesting Panini types is option #3, which is made almost entirely out of different types of cheese. It contains Parmesan, goat cheese, cheddar and mozzarella all in one sandwich! However, there are more sensible Panini options such as #4 containing grilled chicken, mozzarella, pesto, eggplant and sundried tomato and #5 with prosciutto, goat cheese, tomato and arugula. Yum.

But now, Black Cat is first and foremost an espresso bar, so all these menu options are great, but how is the coffee? It’s very good, however not exactly on par with Tiny’s. The majority of BHSEC students go to Tiny’s for the coffee. Tiny’s coffee is the delicious fuel we use to keep ourselves chugging along throughout our stressful days. Ultimately, Tiny’s coffee will remain on its pedestal for its superior quality and flavor. However, Black Cat coffee is very good, and Black Cat is closer to BHSEC than Tiny’s. In fact, Black Cat is only 0.2 miles farther from BHSEC than Adinah’s. So, if you’re used to chugging down the Adinah’s coffee for that boost of energy, you may want to reconsider and head down to Black Cat instead. In terms of coffee, Black Cat knocks Adinah’s way out of the park.

The best part about Black Cat is that it brings a new type of eatery close to BHSEC. As mentioned previously, Black Cat is a prime homework and studying location. If you want to have a really productive double or even triple free, go down to Black Cat. It’s quiet, it has Wi-Fi, and it’s one of those places where you can get one coffee and sit undisturbed in an armchair for three hours. So try a lilac macaroon, and hammer out that essay in an oh-so-comfy armchair at Black Cat Coffee Espresso Bar. Happy Eating! 

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