Mediterranean Mocha

Katie Holland

A hand-chalked sign on the sidewalk in front of the Crepe & Coffee Palace lures customers inside, promising fresh squeezed juices, Turkish crepes and organic coffee. Once inside, the exotic atmosphere and delicious food are enough to keep people in.

A 10-minute walk from the Fullerton stop on the Red Line, the Palace, 2433 N. Clark St., is situated near the bustling corner of Clark and Fullerton. Cars whizzing by on the street outside are the only indication that the quaint cafe is not located in the Mediterranean, as its decor suggests.

The ambiance of the Palace is low-key and comfortable. About 10 wooden tables dot the quaint dining area, most of them set only for two. Sunlight pours through the wide glass windows, making the bold colors of geometric printed tapestries stand out against burnt orange walls.

Antique teapots share shelf space behind the counter with vases of dried flowers and jars with foreign words printed on their fading labels. Woven baskets cradle bunches of bananas and brightly colored cocktail umbrellas.

The menu boasts a long list of crepes of the dessert variety, as well as more sandwich-like ones. Patrons also can opt to build their own crepe or salad bowl. Try the Crepe Aziz, a combination of Nutella, a chocolate hazelnut spread and paper-thin slices of strawberries and kiwi. Portions are fairly large and reasonably priced.

The afternoon crowd was light with only a few tables in use. The pleasant middle-aged waitress even had time to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee herself while keeping an eye on customers.

The Palace is a friendly Mediterranean retreat from the busy Chicago streets and a nice place to hang out and chat.

— Katie Holland