This mostly student-swarmed coffee shop draws in patrons thanks to its size and casual atmosphere. Music is always blaring at just above cafe-appropriate levels, making Cafe Ambrosia "your dorm away from home." An elevated wooden bar with stool seating is railed off along the street-side windows, and on the main floor you'll find the standard scattered wooden table-chair combos, as well as worn-right couches in front of a dormant fireplace and even an occasional black lounger. The stools at the bar are fair game, although tacitly "reserved" for regulars.
The downstairs area is just as spacious but usually draws the uber-casual crowd; futons make an appearance with more couches and tables, each with its own eclectic, garage sale-looking lighting that will either leave you squinting to read or make your eyes heavy enough to force your face into the cushions. Wi-fi is free and sometimes moody and plugs are a hot item, as per usual in study-heavy cafes.
Ambrosia offers a complete espresso bar, as well as loose-leaf tea and enough Monin options to concoct some definite one-of-a-kind lattes, which are all reasonably priced. (Don't try to sneak in without buying a beverage; the baristas will track you down!) Although Ambrosia generally doesn't serve the best drinks in the world, an occasional gem like the chocolate chai will appear out of nowhere. Employee recommendations like the honey vanilla latte and chocolate mint delight make good choices as well. A pastry case is full of your average scones, bagels, etc., and made-to-order turkey, ham and vegetarian friendly sandwiches are worth ordering if you want more than munchies.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Puhala