Cosmopolitan Cafe: Where Egg Creams And Crepes Go Hand In Hand
The lowest part of Manhattan doesn’t have many lunch spots that I would term “whimsical” but I think I’ve found the closest thing at Cosmopolitan Cafe’s soda fountain on W. Broadway (at Chambers). It’s a tiny space, focused on the soda and ice cream fountain in the back but they also serve amenu entirely under $10 consisting of crepes and a few daily specials like a burger and sandwiches. Look for the smiling ice cream cones on the scaffolding next to the entrance – and don’t get it confused with the pricier cafe around the corner on Chambers.
When I was there specials included grilled cheese and a dirt cheap $6.95 burger with some roasted potatoes (which were actually tater tots!) but I steered myself toward the crepe menu. There were standard savory varieties like ham and cheese and one with asparagus, but a chicken pot pie crepe ($8.50) caught my eye and that’s what I ordered. I also couldn’t resist a chocolate egg cream ($2.95) both because it seemed like a bargain and because I’d never had one before. It’s also really hard to resist getting something from the soda fountain since it takes up half of the cafe and the words ice cream are in huge letters in two different spots on the wall.
My lunch completely filled the rectangular container it was in with a little salad thrown in on top to make me feel better about my decision to eat a crepe as my mid-day meal. Minus a buttery crust, this thing did taste just like a chicken pot pie and the filling was delicious.
There was white meat chicken, potato, carrot and celery and just enough sauce to make it pot-pie like but not enough to make it completely soggy. You could say it was just right, and I thought it was a decent deal since most crepes downtown tend to be in the $7 to $8 range.
I drank most of the egg cream on my way back to the office because it was a long walk and it hit the spot. I’m not sure what a “proper” egg cream is supposed to taste like, but this one had a good seltzer undertone while having enough chocolate syrup and milk to make it seem like a less fatty chocolate shake. I’m fairly certain the woman who made it threw some vanilla ice cream in there, too, which isn’t traditional but who was I to argue?
Service is a bit slow during prime lunch time, so I would recommend the Cosmopolitan Cafe if you have some time on your hands and want to sit and sip a cappuccino or eat a sundae for lunch.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- An old-timey soda fountain plus cheap food? Sold!
- I can pretend an ice cream sundae counts as lunch.
THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- Service is, shall we say, slow.
- Having a crepe for lunch is not going to fill me up.
Cosmopolitan Cafe Soda Fountain, 95 W. Broadway (at Chambers), (212) 766-3787