There are a few different things that make us consistently come back to the Vietnamese coffee at this J Street cafe: the extra sweetness from the condensed milk, watching that frothy milk get stirred into the coffee behind their long countertop, and the caffeinated bottom shot espresso kick we get from Vietnamese beans that they roast on-site.
They don’t just sell egg coffees at Càphê Roasters, though—they also have crispy fried chicken bánh mì that are covered in a light syrupy gochu glaze and jalapeño-topped tam gia vi potatoes that we eat like popcorn. It’s a spot where you can chill with a book (there’s plenty of natural light from the tall windows and several mini bookcases if you forget your own), or get some work done while eating fried banana mochi. Many of the dishes here work great for takeout too, which especially comes in handy when you have to speed to Tioga Station but still want to start your day to start with a steamy cup of corn tea and a toasty fried egg sandwich.
Tam Gia Vi Potatoes
These huge cubes of crispy potatoes get sprinkled with peppery rub, and then come topped with scallions and pickled jalapeños that add some oniony and sweet flavor. Plus they throw in a herby goddess sauce for dipping purposes.
Ordering the bánh mì here is like avoiding Kelly Drive on a rainy day: a Philly necessity. For this sandwich, they slather a creamy house mayo on a chewy baguette and stack it with crunchy fried chicken. Outside of the light sugary glaze on the meat, the pickled carrots, cucumbers, and jalapeños get scattered on the sandwich for a tangy kick.
Ba Ngoai’s Porridge
This warming bowl of broken rice porridge is more comforting than wearing fuzzy slippers on a chilly night. As soon as you take the lid off, you’ll be hit with the earthy smell of squash, scallion slices, and crackly shallots. This smooth veggie soup is one of the few things that get us excited about a weekday morning.
XO Egg Sando
This is not your basic sausage, egg, and cheese. The Chinese sausage they use is smoked, the eggs are fluffy, cheddar cheese drips out of the sandwich, and the garlicky aioli brings everything together to make one of the most stellar breakfast sandwiches in the area.