Koshertown Cafe Review

by Frayda
to-go salmon bowl from Koshertown Cafe

Koshertown Supermarket Cafe is a dairy eat-in with quick lunch options, a parve bakery and a Shabbos take-out. The Kosher Cactus visited Koshertown Cafe in May of 2021. This review was written in June of 2021.

Where is Koshertown located?

exterior of Koshertown, Crown heights supermarket
Koshertown Cafe is accessed via the Koshertown Supermarket

Koshertown is located at 469 Albany Ave, at the corner of Empire Boulevard, in Crown Heights. The Cafe is in the back of Koshertown Supermarket, so it is the perfect place to make a quick errand stop for groceries after a lunch or brunch in the Cafe. 

The Cafe is open from 7:30-5 Mon-Thursday, or 8:30-4PM on Sundays and Summer Fridays.

Koshertown is about a 10-minute walk from the Kingston Ave 3 train, or 12 minutes from Utica Ave 4 train. 

Parking on Empire Boulevard and Albany Ave are sometimes hard to come by, but nearby Montgomery St usually has parking during the hours that the Cafe is open.

Koshertown Cafe was the two-time winner of the People’s Choice Award for the Crown Heights Food Walk, both in 2018 and in 2017. 

Do I need to dress up to visit Koshertown Cafe?

In a word, no. Koshertown Cafe is in the back of a supermarket. Even though the space is beautifully decorated, it is no fancy steakhouse. You’ll most likely (depending on the hour) bump into post-gym coffe runners, carpool moms in a rush, or local business people looking for a quick lunch.

All the food at the Cafe is made fresh each day, but not made on demand. You can choose your bowl of salad from the fridge, and the staff will happily dress, toss and plate it for you. So wear whatever.

What is the service like at the Cafe?

cinnamon bun pastries at Koshertown Cafe
Cinnamon Buns for dayyysss… you can pickup the beauties at the Koshertown Supermarket

All the food at the Cafe comes courtesy of @chefshosh, the chef extraordinaire who created dishes that are delicious and professional, while retaining that home-cooked feel.

You can easily see why this Cafe won a people’s choice award- twice! If the food was presented just a tiny but fancier, it would be a steakhouse. Everything- everything– is delicious. 

This Cafe works differently than most standard restaurants. There are basically three options for choosing food:

  1. Food is pre-plated in to-go containers, so you can make your selection, pay, and head right out. If you want to stay (which I encourage!), the staff can heat up or prep whatever you choose. The eat-in Cafe is strictly dairy. 
  2. Take-out. Although this is mainly a pre-Shabbos option, there’s a small variety of options during the week as well. PSA: get the Eggplant Tahini dip. It’s so good, you could eat it with a spoon. 
  3. Catering. You can have the cafe cater a Shabbos meal, with jumbo-sized portions of take-out, or you can cater an event, with either a dairy or a meat menu. Catering needs to be arranged in advance. 

 What kind of food does the Cafe serve?

Koshertown serves the standard cookies and cakes (you can find boxes to-go in the front of the supermarket), as well as all kinds of coffees. There’s also an assortment of fresh salads that depends on the day, a soup or two available each day, different styles of fish dishes, various bourekas and knishes, and muffins. Get a muffin. 

Koshertown does not have a fixed menu, because the food is made daily with the very freshest ingredients. Soups may vary seasonally, salad ingredients from yesterday’s run may no longer be available today… 

What is on the menu at Koshertown Cafe?

double chocolate mocha iced coffee at Koshertown Cafe
There may be a supermarket view in the background, but don’t let that distract you- this drink is Heaven.

Although Koshertown Cafe does not have a fixed daily menu, they always have the same style of foods available. If you happen to see them though, these are my very favorite dishes:

Muffins. I adore muffins (did I mention that?) and the Muffins at Koshertown Cafe do not disappoint. There are various flavours available, but do yourself a favour and get a dairy Butter Corn Muffin. It’s a sweet, crumbly, dense cup-full of deliciousness. These are also huge, so I always eat half, and save the rest for the next day. And yes, they stay fresh very well.

Nicoise Salad. I’m a big fan of salads that have proteins in them. Nicoise salad has a scoop of tuna, some mini potatoes, olives and green beans, served over an array of leafy greens. 

Salmon Bowl. This is toasted vegetables and couscous layered over romaine lettuce, roasted sweet potatoes, a ranch dressing and a perfectly done teriyaki salmon to top it off. 

Cobb Salad. Featuring the titular corn, fresh salmon, cherry tomatoes, purple onion and quartered hard-boiled egg. Everything about this salad screams ‘fresh’. 

All the to-go portions are so, so well made. I have yet to taste anything at all from the Koshertown Cafe that was poorly done. 

Does Koshertown Cafe deliver?

You can order anything from Koshertown Cafe through their gmail account (there’s a link to it on their instagram page). You email them requesting a form, and they send you an itemized list of every single deliverable item both in the Cafe and in the store. It’s a little archaic, but it does work.

You can also order via JMenu, who do have a specific menu for immediate delivery. Be warned, though, that you may get a call about modifying your order due to availability. If you can, just visit in person. 

Does Koshertown do Shabbos takeout?

Tahini Eggplant dip from Koshertown Cafe in Crown Heights
Tahini Eggplant dip- a.k.a the Best Dip Ever.

Shabbos takeout is the primary business of the Koshertown Cafe.

Although they can cater an event for any night of the week, if you pop in on Fridays you’ll find fresh kugels, roasted vegetables and a wide variety of fish and chicken. All of it is available to take-out.

We’ve tried almost everything, and I can say with certainty that the Potato Kugel from koshertown is the best potato kugel in New York City. Hands down.  

Is the Cafe wheelchair accessible?

The Koshertown Cafe space has been recently renovated. It is big, with enormous windows along the street wall that let in natural light.

The entrance to the cafe is through the shop, and there is a convenient ramp that leads up into the Cafe.

The Cafe has a wheelchair accessible restroom in the back. 

What is the vibe of Koshertown Cafe?

cobb corn salad at Koshertown Cafe Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Cobb salad, made with (obviously) the freshest corn

The cafe space sits (as mentioned) in the back of a supermarket.

Why don’t more supermarkets do this? It is so convenient! Imagine not having to make a choice between stopping to grab pasta for supper, or meeting a friend for coffee? Now you just have to find parking once.

Also (I’m on a rant here, sorry), if I like your pastries to buy and take home, why wouldn’t I like your pastries to eat with a friend… without having to do dishes? (ok, rant over.)

The Cafe itself has been recently done up, and the space is beautiful. There’s incredible wait staff behind the counter, who will patiently answer your questions about allergies and help you make a purchase. 

Is Koshertown Cafe kid-friendly? 

So, um. Sadly, there are no high-chairs. There is a ton of space to get a stroller through.

Also, although the menu is not specifically kid-friendly, you can choose something (yogurt? Bamba? A challah roll?) from the front to give to your small child. There is, quite literally, a supermarket of possibilities.

For older kids, you can choose a Cheese Sandwich, and have the staff press it in the panini maker. I have yet to meet a kid that dislikes cheese paninis. 

Are there vegetarian options at Koshertown Cafe?

koshertown Cafe, Crown Height, interior
On Fridays, there are tables and tables of take-out options in front of this gorgeous counter

All of the lunch options are vegetarian. Some of the sandwiches and salads are vegan.

Most of the salads are Whole30, and there are a few keto and paleo options also.

All the food is pre-packaged, so you’ll be able to clearly see what ingredients are on the label, in case of allergy concerns. 

What Hashgacha is the Cafe under?

Koshertown is under the Kosher supervision of CHK, the Vaad HaKashrus of Crown Heights. All dairy products are Chalav Yisroel. The meat products are Lubavitch shechita. 

All the products sold at the Cafe are either Parve or dairy, and the Shabbos takeout is clearly marked as either Parve or meat-y. 

Final Thoughts

Koshertown Cafe is not the kind of place that we usually review. The vast majority of customers are stopping in briefly to pick up, have ordered take out, or have wandered over while shopping to grab something to nibble on.

In pursuit of this article, I convinced (let’s be honest, it wasn’t hard) a friend to meet me for lunch and sit in the Cafe.

For my lunch of a salad, a coffee and a muffin, I paid $17.

And you know what? It was worth every bite. 

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