Tonight I met one of my favorite dining out companions for dinner in Harvard Square. She works in the area and asked if I had ever been to Crema Cafe. Despite frequenting other Harvard Square spots (Border Cafe, Cambridge 1, Tory Row, Grendel's Den, Grafton Street, Upstairs on the Square) I had yet to set foot in Crema.
Crema Cafe is located right in the heart of Harvard Square next to Hidden Sweets on Brattle Street. The Cafe has a few outdoor tables and a surprisingly expansive indoor space. The weather tonight was absolute perfection and every outdoor table was taken. We walked inside and I was immediately put at ease by the cool, bohemian vibe of the space.
The entire right wall of the Cafe is exposed brick (which I find so raw yet elegant). There were a variety of seating options - two bars with stools, high top tables, small two person tables and tables for large groups (hello, Harvard study groups!). There is seating on the first level and a staircase that leads to a loft level that overlooks the whole place.
You stand in line to order from the menu which is written on chalkboards above the registers. On the recommendation of my date (she eats here several times a week) I ordered a vegetarian sandwich that came on wheat bread with sweet potato, avocado, green apple, caramelized onions, sprouts and hummus. Sounds like a hodge podge, tastes like a flavor symphony! I was blown away by the bold and fresh taste of this odd mix of ingredients. Huge thumbs up!
My date ordered a chicken, spinach and artichoke sandwich that came on homemade focaccia. Hello, yum. We both ordered a side of house made sweet potato chips which disappeared in an instant. To wash down our incredible sandwiches I had the hibiscus spice tea and she had the Moroccan mint tea. Both were fantastically brisk!
While we were waiting in line to order our dinner, I had noticed the incredible spread of desserts behind the counter. After two long work days we both decided we could splurge and hatched a plan to split two different desserts. We ordered the German chocolate cupcake and the oatmeal cookie.
The cupcake was a fluffy chocolate cake topped with a rich, sugary frosting. When I took the first bite I could feel my mouth turn upward in a blissful smile.
The oatmeal cookie was packed with dried cherries, chocolate chips and walnuts. The cookie was the perfect texture - baked on the outside, chewy on the inside. I could have eaten 10 more sitting right there.
If I were rating, I would give Crema Cafe a perfect 10 out of 10. A beautiful space, indoor and outdoor seating, fantastic sandwich, salad and soup options, unique hot and cold drinks, and a dessert offering that would make any sweet tooth ache. On your next trip to Harvard Square, be sure to make a stop at Crema.