BCT (Before Cafe Tola), every Saturday and Sunday morning, Liam and I would have mommy/son time over a Venti iced coffee and croissant at that coffee joint that is on every corner. However, that has all changed since we were wise enough to explore beyond the land of green straws and Oprah teas. Now, every weekend morning - right at 7am when they open - Liam and I head to Cafe Tola to get a fresh out of the fryer empanada and Metropolis iced coffee.
This little pop-up shop like stand is in the heart of Southport Corridor next to Jewel. While it could easily be overlooked because of it's size, the bright and vibrant outpost is hard to miss. Although it's more fitting for a Logan Square or Bucktown type of neighborhood, I'm SO happy that it's within walking distance from us. With variations of empanadas like Spicy Pork Verde, Chorizo and Egg, Black Bean and Goat Cheese, Nutella and Banana - it's hard to walk away with just one in hand. However the menu doesn't stop there. In the window are sugary pastries and donuts that are too sweet to miss, but more often than not I notice people just come in for their great selection of coffee and other drinks (like a firecracker popsicle inspired tea concoction).
Liam absolutely LOVES their empanadas (can't you tell by the sneaky hand that made it's way into my shot) and I'm obsessed with the coffee, so for us it's a win/win. If you're in the hood (or even if you're not) and in the market for something delicious, Cafe Tola is a must. And no worries if you have a toddler that is skeptical about trying new foods - there's something for everyone on their small but mighty menu.