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in Humboldt Park or in West Side or Division on the Blue line

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Cafe Colao

View Map2638 W. Division St., Chicago
Tel: (773) 276-1780
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Editorial Review of Cafe Colao

Chances are you've lived your entire life thinking that there is only one kind of flan. Well, you've been duped. You fool. Right your wrongs and go to Cafe Colao, where the flan runs like wine.

We're talking selection here, folks: flan con queso, flan con vanille, and flan con queso and guava. (Does anyone know the Spanish word for guava?) Each slice abounds with flavor and that slippery quality that makes eating it oh-so-much fun. Compliments to the owner and chef, Wanda Colon, a Puerto Rican-born woman who introduced Cafe Colao to the culinary creations of Little Puerto Rico a few years ago.

Every day Wanda, her son Damian, and other members of the Colon family bake the day's ever-changing pastry selection: Que sitos (sweet cream cheese rolls) rank the most popular among customers, along with muffins, croissants, cheesecake and cornbread, to name a few. Strong Puerto Rican coffee comes freshly brewed but never available in decaf. Why? "If there’s none in Puerto Rico, there’s none here."

In addition to pastries, Cafe Calao serves breakfast and lunch. Choose from a variety of sandwiches, including eggs and ham and cheese in any combination on a croissant ($3.95). The lunch special changes daily, and normally consist of a plate of food that includes rice and beans, a meat (chicken or beef), bread and a salad. For those on the run, try the matamonchi. Literally translated as "to kill the munch," this sandwich consists of ham, cheese, bread and butter. It hits the spot and kills the appetite.

Puerto Rican music livens up the homey cafe, and musicians plays at the outdoor seating area during the summer. Family pictures adorn the walls, and almost every patron has developed a relationship with the Colon family. It's a home away from home.

Average cost: <$10

Centerstage Reviewer: Emily Fiffer

User Reviews

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7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday

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chicago, metromix