Caffè Pallino, on SE Division, is not a bad place to go if you´re looking for a place to get together and meet for breakfast or lunch. I went there on the recommendation of another café owner in Southeast PDX. When I walked in, the barista at the counter greeted me pleasantly. She didn’t have too much to say about the coffee, though, except that it was from Caffè Umbria. The double espresso she made was drinkable.
The café space is very open, with several large, south-facing windows. It looked like they would open up onto the street during the summertime. I enjoyed the light, airy feel of the café that the windows provided. Sunlight happened to be pouring in that day, a rare treat in Portland for this time of year. The café has two large common tables, a couple couches and some smaller tables along each end of the café. I saw several groups come in and use the large tables while I was there.
In addition to coffee and pastries, Caffè Pallino has a wide offering of food. It has an open grill (open until 2pm), so as you might imagine, the café smells like food. You can get everything from hash browns and eggs for breakfast to linguini for lunch (and probably dinner too—I’m not sure which food offerings are available after the grill closes). I was really tempted to try the grilled Nutella sandwich but didn’t think I needed the calories. The café also had several different flavors of gelato that looked tasty.
Unlike most cafés I have visited in Portland, Caffè Pallino also has a full liquor license. If you’re looking for a place to grab a drink after work, or if you’re looking for a nightcap after an early dinner, the café is open until 9pm most nights. I might have even seen some limoncello up on the wall behind the counter.
If you’re just looking for a coffee-centered café, Caffè Pallino is probably not what you’re looking for. But the food looked good and the prices seemed reasonable, so if you’re looking for a light meal with friends or want to take your significant other out for dessert, it is probably a good option for you.
Address: 3003 SE Division, Portland, Oregon 97215 (map)
Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-9pm
Coffee: Caffè Umbria
Free Wi-Fi? Yes (ask for the password)
Recommend it? Neutral-No, if you’re a coffee purist. Yes, for the gelato.