I’ve been enjoying lots of take out and to-go cocktails during this pandemic, but I couldn’t be more thrilled to enjoy brunch at a cafe table in the vibrant area of Lawrenceville. If you’ve been cooking a lot and need a break or just want to dine out for some semblance of the old days, add Geppetto Cafe to your brunch list.
While the glamorous trip to Paris for a perfectly cooked crepe and coffee might be canceled, we can travel over to the sunny streets of Lawrenceville for this quirky French cafe. There are a few tables outside with a tented covering for some shade.
Inside, the cafe is a book nerd’s dream. It kind of reminded me of the Há Café no Alfarrabista cafe in Lisbon, Portugal, but it’s more playful.
All throughout the cafe are books and little wooden dolls hanging from the ceiling tiles and on the chandeliers. I’d be really surprised if you don’t remember Geppetto from Pinocchio, kind of a big deal for Disney movies and it’s been pretty famous since the book came out in 1883. (Here are the basics, Geppetto is a woodworker and the wooden doll turns into a real boy – hence the name lol.)
It’s important to note that not only is this a very cute brunch spot, the staff was all wearing masks (correctly) and the restaurant was very clean!
If you’re quarantine crew includes a few friends, I’d recommend doing this brunch tapas style so you can try a little bit of everything. Geppetto’s has a variety of crepes, French toast, Liege waffles, Paninis, and Salads. It was impossible to choose!
Whenever I go to a restaurant that specializes in crepes, I am so torn between savory and sweet. After a big debate with my server, he helped me decide on the Prosciutto crepe. It’s one of the savory entrees that features this incredible honey aioli and fresh mozzarella. All of the savory crepes are served with a side salad that I was surprised was really light and fresh.
Crepes might be the star of this lawrenceville cafe, but the French Toast sandwiches definitely steal some of that spotlight. My boyfriend ordered the Monte Cristo French Toast sandwich which was a delicate balance of savory and sweet, and it was oh so cheesy.
Finally, dessert. It’s no secret that I’m absolutely nuts when it comes to my Nutella obsession, so it’s no surprise that I could rave about the Mixed Berry crepe COVERED in Nutella for a while. Instead I’ll say that the fruit was deliciously fresh and I loved the whipped cream presentation.
Lots of coffee!
You won’t find mimosas on this drink menu. Geppetto’s Cafe doesn’t offer cocktails, but they have a big tea selection, milkshakes, all kinds of coffee (including Turkish coffee), and HOT CHOCOLATE WITH NUTELLA.
I needed lots of caffeine so I tried the Turkish coffee, which was the perfect kick. Then it was hot so I tried their iced coffee with a shot of Hazelnut syrup. (I was buzzing!)
All in all, this brunch hit three major points for me – great location, lovely decor, delicious food. It would be a fabulous place for a casual brunch date or to take friends from out of town.
Address: 4121 Butler St. Pittsburgh, PA 15201
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