Literato: singular of litarati, “persons interested in literature or the arts”

On the weekends, I am rarely on campus. I either go home to see my family, or I have other things going on that keep me away from Purdue. So, on the rare weekends that I find myself on campus, I try to make the most of my time by cleaning my apartment, doing laundry, and catching up on my studies.

However, if I am stuck in my apartment all weekend by myself, I tend to find it hard to be productive. After about an hour of working on homework, I tend to find my way to Netflix to watch an episode of my favorite show, or on social media catching up with what is going on in my friends’ lives.

Now, I know that I am not the only person who has this problem, but I tend to approach it by finding a place elsewhere on campus to maximize my productivity. In high school, I could regularly be found at the coffee shop in town after class, or at Starbucks on the weekends, especially if I was working on a group project with classmates. At Purdue, there are so many more options for places to sit down for a few hours with my laptop.

So today, I decided to check out a cafe that my roommate recommended to me. Even as I type this, I am sitting at their bar with my laptop, a vanilla latte and their “rustic ham & cheese panini” with a bowl of fresh fruit. This place is called Cafe Literato, and I am honestly shocked that I had never heard of it until this semester.

When I first walked in, I was astounded with how big the place was, and how many people had chosen it as their spot for coffee dates, lunch, and to work on homework. For as small as the cafe appears from the outside, it is actually very spacious, and provides a very unique, trendy atmosphere.


Students working on homework together in the front seating area of the cafe.


Honestly, when I sat down and sipped my coffee out of a large red mug, I felt like I had just sat down in Central Perk, the coffee shop from the television show “Friends.” While it is known for its coffee, hence the “cafe” name, it is definitely not anything like a Starbucks, and has its own, very unique menu.


My vanilla latte in a red mug.

For starters, they have an entire third of their menu dedicated to pizza. (And if anyone knows me, they know that pizza is the way to my heart.) They also had sandwiches, salads, and of course, all kinds of coffee. Because I will be having pizza this evening, I ordered a panini and it was amazing. The only thing I thought to compare it to was Panera (one of my favorite places), and it was definitely better than any panini that I have ordered there.


My rustic ham & cheese panini and fresh fruit.

Additionally, the service is incredible. The employee that took my order was genuine and polite, and made sure that I felt welcomed. Also, while I was sitting at the bar watching people get their coffee, I saw a girl took someone else’s order by mistake and walk out the door. The person who had ordered it said she thought that was what happened, and without hesitation and a smile on her face, the barista made her a new drink. To me, that is good service.


Sitting at the bar, where I was able to watch the baristas work behind the scenes.

I wondered around the shop a bit and snapped some photos in the hope that I would be able to capture the atmosphere with my iPhone, but it is hard to do it justice. It’s one of those places you just have to visit to check out for yourself, and I would highly recommend you do.


Cafe patrons in the main seating area.

The only thing that I did not like was that it was challenging to find a seat with an outlet close by to plug in my laptop. That’s not to say that there weren’t plenty – this place just seems to be so popular that all of those seats were taken, which speaks volumes about the place in itself.

It was also a bit pricey, but in my mind, it was worth it for the experience. I ended up spending $12 on a coffee and a panini. If you’re interested in visiting but want to check out their menu first, they have a great online website. It is located on Northwestern and Lindberg.


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