Last week I saw a “tweet” on twitter announcing Robert Plant (of Led Zeppelin fame) had just stopped in at Benelux Cafe for a cup of Joe. It was only then that I realized there was another great coffee bar in downtown Raleigh I needed to check out. Benelux Cafe is located along the cobblestone streets of the City Market area adjacent to Moore Square Park in Downtown Raleigh. Their name is derived the names of three Western European nations: Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The cafe opened up about five months ago and features coffee from local roaster Joe Van Gogh and select Belgian beers.
On my first visit I enjoyed a cafe’ mocha and impressed with the Joe Van Gogh coffee and how the drink was prepared. It had a nice chocolate flavor but it didn’t overpower the coffee with too much sweetness. Benelux also serves wine in addition to their coffee and beer offerings so there is something on the menu for everybody. On the food side of things they sell breakfast and lunch sandwiches and wraps along with a few salad offerings and pastries that I look forward to trying in the future.
It just so happened that my first visit to Benelux coincided with the “First Friday” gallery walk downtown so there were two featured artists in the cafe displaying and discussing their work. The cafe is just around the corner from Artspace making it the perfect spot to visit for a break from taking in art from all the nearby galleries. The cafe’ is spacious and has comfortable seating with good lighting. They have flat screen tv up on the wall which I thought was nice because it isn’t distracting with the volume off and it provides an opportunity to go out and watch sporting events without going to a loud bar.
I’ll definitely be a regular at this excellent new addition to downtown Raleigh and look forward to seeing if they host any music acts or open mics down the road. For more info about Benelux and any upcoming events at the cafe’ you can check out their facebook fanpage or follow then on twitter @BeneluxCafeUSA.