Urth Caffé

Best Chain Cafe, June 2005

It’s not hard to get a buzz these days. But the Urth Caffé, which started as a mail-order business in 1989, blends the most conscientious brews: Its premium organic beans are grown in the shade of original rain forest canopies on farms where sustainability is an imperative. Owners Shallom and Jilla Berkman are about to open their fourth café in town. We’re impressed with the expediters who take orders at the back of the line, so by the time we get to the register, we’re good to go. Along with fine teas and easy takeout items like muffin-size bread puddings, crunchy biscotti, and flaky croissants, the good Urth serves eggs, salads, sandwiches, tostadas, and quiches indoors and out on the breezy patio. There’s valet parking to boot.