147 N 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
If you are looking for a healthy and reasonably priced lunch or breakfast (or both) in the Old City area, Cafe Olé has you covered. I have been inside quite a few times to get coffee and chai (both are excellent), and when I would look at all of the people eating, I made a mental note to come back and try it. And then, I forgot. Well this time I remembered, and the little coffee shop/cafe did not disappoint.
You order at the counter, and they either bring it out to you or they call your order out. I got a hybrid approach.
I was looking for something healthy(ish) so I tried the Mediterranean platter, which came with a generous portion of tomato cucumber salad, a mix of green and kalamata olives, seasoned feta, hummus with a delicious pool of olive oil in the middle, and two dolmathes, as well as two freshly grilled pieces of pita. A generous portion for the $8 price tag, even by my standards. All of the components were fresh and savory. I managed to turn a healthy lunch into a borderline gorge-fest by eating everything on the plate, in addition to the two pieces of pita. No surprise there.
I also had to try the whitefish salad platter, as whitefish salad is a new favorite of mine after being introduced to it by this guy. This whitefish platter, which they mistakenly put in a to-go container (probably because they thought I shouldn't eat any of it after having ordered my first platter), was delicious. The salad itself was fresh and creamy, while the briny capers really tied it all together. They were out of everything bagels (it was in the afternoon), so I just threw these things on a toasted plain, and had at it. I would definitely go back for this one as well.
Cafe Olé fills a gap in fresh, affordable, lunches without having to go to a sit-down place and be at the whims of an often aloof Old City server. I really think I will be eating here quite a bit, especially because I have not tried the Shaksuka yet.