FAB Cafe is a wonderful addition to the East 4th Street Cultural District between Bowery and 2nd Avenue. FAB Cafe has both an understated shop front and is nestled between theaters and studio spaces, which makes it the type of place one could easily walk past – as I almost did. If it were not for a sudden downpour of rain, I would have missed out on this Lower East Side gem and that would have been a real shame.
FAB Cafe is small and cosy indoors but somehow maintains a calm and even tranquil atmosphere. This makes it a truly wonderful place to read, write and study. Quite suitably, FAB Cafe also has free WiFi, with the password available on request. For the more socially inclined, it also measures up as a spot to people watch. Given the creative neighbourhood, one is likely to eavesdrop on some interesting banter. After all, FAB Cafe is not only a cafe but also somewhat of a community hub. Local artists are able to display their works in the cafe and the staff themselves are more than likely to be moonlighting artists.
The staff are very friendly without being at all overbearing or pretentious, which is conducive to the overall relaxed and casual mood. Furthermore, the 'artista baristas' are happy to make your drink of choice the way you want it – from the popular MUD coffee served straight-up regular, to milk based espresso drinks, in addition to a range of teas. Exotic cold drinks, such as Mexican Cola and Italian Hibiscus Soda, are also available alongside old favourites, including Coke, Seltzer and Root Beer.
There is an impressive array of breakfast, light lunch and dessert food options. Breakfast foods include fresh bagels, croissants, cinnamon toast, as well as a diverse range of muffins and baked loaves, with tantalising flavours such as Zucchini Walnut and Banana Chocolate Chip. A selection of slices, cookies and brownies are also available throughout the day. Lunch options are kept fairly basic but are nonetheless delicious and nourishing. A rotating selection of soups and quiches compliment a standard menu of gourmet sandwiches.
FAB Cafe is the perfect place to spend time before a show at one of the many local theaters - but it is also worth the trip alone.