Parakeet Cafe in Little Italy
Parakeet Cafe is located in the Little Italy neighborhood of Downtown San Diego, which has seen tremendous growth in the last year. It is situated at the corner of India and Date street, directly across the street from the new Piazza della Famiglia. Parakeet Cafe is the neighbor of Salt & Straw, an extremely popular ice cream chain out of Oregon.
The interior features a trendy vibe with a light and fun design. The cafe is considerably larger then it looks from the outside and has quite a bit of seating. There were several people on laptops and it looked like a comfortable place to either work or study. The atmosphere was inviting and considering the number of people there on a Saturday morning, the noise level was reasonably low.
My Thoughts on Parakeet Cafe:
My wife wanted to check out the place because she got a gift card from another local business. It seems like the owners are doing a good job with getting involved in the community. The cafe seemed very inviting and there was a good mix of people. Some out of towners, some locals, and some “after Saturday workout” crews. The staff was very friendly and helpful.
I got my normal double espresso and my wife got a vanilla latte. My espresso was good, but I’m a bit boring when it comes to coffee so there isn’t much to say about espresso (to be fair, I can usually go into quite a bit of detail about espresso, but this was a week ago and most people don’t want to read those details anyway). My wife’s latte was pretty good. She ordered a vanilla latte, but they forgot to add the vanilla. She typically doesn’t like plain lattes because it is “too bitter”, but she actually did like this one without the flavoring. If prepared correctly, lattes shouldn’t need added flavors because steamed milk has a sweeter flavor. That being said, my wife isn’t a big coffee drinker and still did want the vanilla latte, so the barista fixed it.
For food, I ordered the coconut yogurt bowl and Astrid ordered lemon blueberry pancakes. My bowl had berries, bananas, and granola. I typically order something with a bit more substance, for example the chilaquiles, but for some reason I went with the yogurt bowl. It was really good so I am not complaining. I do want to go back to try the chilaquiles though.
The lemon blueberry pancakes were really good as well. It was the perfect blend of lemon and blueberries, which might sound ridiculous but sometimes places go overboard on adding lemon to food. The presentation is definitely Instagram worthy, but I don’t think dandelion petals taste very good.
There are items on the menu that are for the more adventurous (or trendy) like the “Magic Mushroom Matcha” or the “Turmeric Latte”. They also have a lot of items that could be gluten free, Paleo diet friendly, or vegetarian. I would definitely recommend checking out Parakeet Cafe while in Little Italy!