Philadelphia desperately needed a new coffee shop- one that serves not just coffee, but delicious food all day as well. And while there are many coffee shops around town, we want more than just a muffin or cookie to nosh on. Well, have no fear Bluestone Lane is here, bringing you a Flat White, some killer Avocado Toast, and a cafe with that chill, laid-back Aussie vibe.
Bluestone Lane Coffee is a New York-based, Australian-inspired cafe, currently located at the Warwick Hotel at 17th and Locust streets. Melbourne born owner Nick Stone wanted to bring the coffee from his home town to the United States, and after seeing how New Yorkers drank it all up, he decided to expand to Philadelphia. His first location in Rittenhouse opened November 21, 2015 (and be sure to look for 3 more cafes opening up soon around the city.)
Bluestone Lane is definitely not your typical coffee shop. Their espresso blend is made by Niccolo, roasted in Melbourne, and brought in bright yellow bags to the shelves of Bluestone Lane. Their blend consists of beans in a ratio of 40% Brazilian, 20% Guatemalan, 20% Indian, 10% Ethiopian and 10% from Papua New Guinea. This creates a medium roasted coffee that starts with smooth flavors of milk chocolate and ends with a soft nutty finish. Bluestone Lane’s drip coffee comes from Sightglass, located in San Francisco.
The interior of Bluestone Lane, designed by Julia Sullivan (founder and director of the Caswell Design Group), feels more like you’re right on the Gold Coast, with light wood tables and blue and white accents, than in the middle of a metropolitan city. The atmosphere is relaxed, cozy, and inviting. With complimentary WiFi and outlets along the windows, this is a great spot to linger on those days you work from home or want to dive into a new book.
The original concept for Bluestone Lane was meant to only serve coffee and Australian pastries. However, after testing out a larger menu at their flagship store in Greenwich, NY, they have expanded food service, and now offer brunch all day.
By far the most talked about dish here is the Avocado Smash. Served on top of a thick cut slice of fresh bread (from local New Jersey bakery), it’s topped with homemade tahini, lots of ripe avocado goodness, heirloom cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta, and olive oil. It’s optional to also top it with a cage-free, organic poached egg. You don’t expect much when you hear someone say “avocado toast”, but after sinking your teeth into this dish you’ll never think of it the same way again.
Another delicious option not to be missed in the Mushroom Toast, with sunflower and pepita seed pesto, chunks of sauteed portobello mushrooms, and crumbled goat cheese- topped with a soft, cage-free, organic poached egg. If you like spice, we tried ours with chimichurri sauce instead of pesto for a little extra kick.
By recommendation of the General Manager, Thane Wright, we also devoured the Green Baked Eggs, with chimichurri, cherry tomatoes, spinach, portobello mushrooms & feta, served on a hot skillet with added bacon and a side of multi-grain toast.
Bluestone Lane has options for the gluten-free and vegan foodies too! Try the vegan Almond Quinoa Porridge with almond butter, blueberry compote, banana, seeds & nuts. Gluten-free options include zucchini bread, banana bread, donuts, and various other pastries. We tried the Gluten-free Banana Bread, toasted & topped with fresh ricotta, toasted pecans, fresh banana, drizzled with honey. The dish was extremely light and fluffy compared to other gluten-free options, which are usually pretty dense. Honestly, if we weren’t told beforehand, we would have had no idea that this bread was gluten-free.
Looking for something with authentic Aussie flavor to it? Bluestone Lane is also serving up Vegemite with its Avocado Smash. Most Americans shy away from this super salty spread, but we learned that the proper way to eat it is to toast bread with butter on it, then apply the Vegemite very very lightly. This helps to limit how much salt flavor you are getting.
They’ve also got an awesome ginger and cinnamon flavored Kombucha on tap. If you didn’t know, Kombucha is any of a variety of carbonated and fermented tea, that many people drink for its health benefits. We were able to sample their version, which is served over ice it definitely went down smooth and made us feel refreshed afterwards. For a taste of Australian coffee, the most popular drink they offer is the Flat White, a double ristretto with steamed, silky/velvety textured milk. They also offer Matcha Tea if you’re not into coffee.
Be sure to check out their menu for seasonal specials and soon to come, the Jaffle- a popular Australian grilled cheese type sandwich.
-Arielle and Lea
We’d like to thank Nicolas Stone and Thane Wright for hosting us at Bluestone Lane Philadelphia and allowing us to try so many of your delicious dishes.