After quickly outgrowing its first two locations, Transitions Bookplace and Cafe made the leap to this space, designed by experts to house the perfect bookstore. Even if you usually roll your eyes at the self-help genre, it's worth your time to check out the shop's selection.
There are shelves full of guides to just about any activity that could possibly make you feel good, from pet care to aromatherapy to sex. You'll walk out inspired to nurture your artistic side, deepen your yoga practice, start your own business...you get the idea. Frequent workshops and meet-the-author sessions (check the website for schedules) offer an opportunity to take your learning off the page.
But "bookplace" is only half its name. Transitions' cafe goes beyond the normal scones-and-tuna-sandwiches fare found in most book chains. In line with the independent store's holistic wellness theme, the cafe serves a range of mouthwatering salads, soups and sandwiches that showcase fresh fruits, veggies and cheeses (and offers free wi-fi to boot).
Try, for example, the smooth-blended gazpacho, garnished with creme fraiche, or best-selling tasting plates like the Jerusalem platter or the chips and salsa (featuring mango-jicama salsa). The fontina-caponata panini is a melty, fragrant indulgence, and the chicken salad (served on whole-grain bread with arugula) is so good that when the manager attempted to go all-veg, the protest from cafe customers was loud enough to put it back on the menu. Lunch items range $5.50-$9. The cafe also carries Intelligentsia coffee drinks and outrageous organic desserts (try the ginger-creme scones) from Bleeding Heart Bakery.
Centerstage Reviewer: Julia Steinberger