Coffee Break: Pappalecco

Shelby Newallis


Pappalecco roughly translates to “lollipop,” an idea reflected in the cafe’s interior decor — orange chairs, high counters and cool chrome espresso machines. Don’t be alarmed if it looks like there’s a line outside the door — it moves quickly. Saturday mornings are busy at Pappalecco, with a crowd of hip 20-somethings and older Europeans all stopping in for a cappuccino ($3) or other coffee infused drinks.

As you walk through the doors, you’ll be greeted with a friendly “Ciao!” from the baristas in this small yet cozy cafe. At the counter, you can watch the baristas create the perfect frothy milk, leaving no need for spoons to ladle out excess foam — everything is done by eye. Despite the crowded and cramped space, Pappalecco’s system is efficient to meet the needs of customers of all types. The personable staff has a genuine care for serving the food and drinks, creating a charming European vibe.

The glass cases are filled with an assortment of fresh paninis, pastries and gelato, causing the subsequent what-to-choose dilemma. If you have a sweet tooth and find yourself craving Nutella on the regular, the marocchino ($3.50) is the drink for you. The marocchino is a traditional cappuccino made sweet with Nutella that’s artfully flecked onto the walls of the glass.

If you find yourself wanting both gelato and espresso, satisfy your cravings with a dessert that’s the perfect combination of both — an affogato, espresso with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top ($4.75). There are plenty of vegetarian options that you can pair with espresso or tea drinks, such as the hazelnut cake, or torta nocciole ($3.75). The friendly staff will bring you your drinks and meal so you can sit down and enjoy the aroma of premium coffee beans.

The relaxing Italian music and outdoor seating make this an ideal place for reading to seeing friends and enjoying an espresso beverage outdoors.

It’s not the best place for intense studying, because of the hustle-and-bustle environment, but it is definitely a nice spot to meet up with a couple of friends for coffee. Pappalecco is perfect for students who keep long hours. Parking can be tricky, so come prepared with quarters for metered street or pay-lot parking. Fortunately, Pappalecco provides you with an authentic cafe experience, since Italy is a bit too far to go for a good cup of coffee.