Escape to Peace Middle East cafe

Karley Bolenbaugh | Mercury Staff

If you’re ­tired of the same chain coffee shops, try Peace Middle East for desserts, pastries, teas and unique coffee from Syria and Turkey. If you’d rather stick to your routine cup of joe, they also have typical cafe drinks to sip on while you bask in the location’s contemporary but comforting ambiance.

Located seven minutes away from campus, the coffee shop opens at 10 a.m. every morning. Their butter croissants sell out fast, so it’s best to get there early. Pastries are typically less than $5, with drinks ranging from $6 to $10. The cafe serves a variety of lattes alongside Turkish coffee, which is traditionally brewed to have a foamy top. Rather than the typical English breakfast or earl grey teas served at other cafes, Peace Middle East serves Palestinian, Moroccan, Arabic and Syrian teas, which have a more earthy and herbaceous flavor profile. You can buy a single serving of the tea or a pot to share with others. While their drinks are plentiful, save room for their various treats, including muffins, croissants, baklava, cheesecake, ice cream, waffles and toast.

The atmosphere of the place is calming and warm, matching their slogan, “The peace your soul deserves,” placed above the fountain in the center of the cafe. With gentle light streaming through the windowpanes, modern furniture and a quiet atmosphere, Peace Middle East is the perfect place to study. I spent a good thirty minutes comfortably working there uninterrupted, surrounded by beautiful geometric wall designs. Its proximity to campus and quiet atmosphere makes it the perfect study spot for finals season.

The pastries are on full display upon entering, ranging from standard fare like cookies and croissants to giant raspberry macarons and baklava, a Middle Eastern dessert made from layered phyllo dough, chopped nuts and delightfully sweet syrup. While pricier than a chain bakery or coffee shop, the vanilla matcha and baklava are well worth it — despite the $14 price point for both. The baklava was incredibly flaky when I bit into it, coated in a delicious pistachio crumble. The matcha was on the sweeter side, but still was a refreshing way to wash down the sugary treat.

Overall, if you’re looking for a relaxing place to study with unique flavor profiles, Peace Middle East is the perfect cafe for you.

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