Best New Coffeehouse - 2005
Monkey Bean Coffee and Bistro
Where once lurked the Cutthroat Cafe, a gruesomely dubbed greasy spoon that took over from the equally gruesomely named Butcher's Block, there now sits the altogether cuddly Monkey Bean, a neighborhood joint for the rapidly improving Ballpark neighborhood. In a city clogged with cafes, Monkey Bean apes no one: Everything from its huge menu to its vibrant decor is full of originality and soul. Ricotta-cheese pancakes? Peanut butter and jelly? Bubble tea laced with chewy pearls of tapioca? It's all here. There are also shelves stocked with board games and an impressive array of books, not to mention free Internet, a cozy patio and virtuoso baristas. Whether you're looking for a quiet, solo midweek break or Sunday brunch with the crew, this Monkey suits everyone.