Jill Fink moved to the Fairmount area of Philadelphia in 1999. She found that she had no where to sit and chat with her friends and neighbors over a cup of coffee. Back in the day, you could still smoke inside bars (remember that?). She had never worked in the restaurant industry but found herself opening up Mugshots Coffeehouse in June 2004. Originally located at 21st and Fairmount Avenue, the cafe derived its name being across from the Eastern State Penitentiary and even was decorated like inside Al Capone’s cell (complete with tasseled lampshades and Oriental rugs).
The slow pace of construction only built excitement and anticipation among its neighbors. After opening more employees were hired just to keep up with demand. In 2013, Mugshots has moved to its current home at 1925 Fairmount Avenue. They strive to build a relationship with their customers and community while providing locally sourced products. Counter Culture Coffee is Fair Trade certified and ethically sourced. It is served alongside a variety of smoothies, juices, sandwiches, wraps, salads, homemade soups and baked goods. Vegan and gluten-free menu items are also offered.
To start your day why not try the signature Mugshot made with coffee and a double shot of espresso. If you prefer something more fruity we tried the Staff’s Favorite: Berry Nutty Smoothie made with peanut butter, blackberry and boysenberry, and whey protein. If you can handle it- for breakfast and brunch they’ve got Banana Baked French Toast with Yards ESA Multigrain Pullman, bananas, walnuts, shredded coconut, homemade seasonal jam, and PA maple syrup. We can’t miss a Breakfast Burrito made with two baked eggs, Lancaster cheddar, black beans, salsa & sour cream, grilled in a whole wheat tortilla and add bacon or guacamole for an extra charge. The Quiche is also a great choice with rotating options.
The menu offers a variety of items with clever prison-related names such as The Alcatraz Salad with Koch’s smoked turkey breast, avocado, mixed greens, goddess dressing, or Bonnie & Clyde Sandwich with organic chicken breast, spinach, walnut basil pesto, tomato, provolone, and grilled on ciabatta. We tried The Capone Wrap which has been popular with customers since opening. It is made with Koch’s smoked turkey breast, Green Meadow bacon, tomato, avocado, romaine, and garlic chili aioli.
Stop by and enjoy some outdoor seating as well as tables inside where you can enjoy the displays of local artists work hanging on the walls and rotating about every 2 months. The staff even includes many of these talented artists. Tuesday nights are also Open Mic till 9 pm. Mugshots is also a pick-up location for Philadelphia Food Works, a local farm share program.
Mugshots is offering pick-up via online ordering, but no delivery options at this time. However, they do have catering options. Mugshots “Farm to Office Catering” leads the revolution in sustainable meetings and events through socially and environmentally responsible food and coffee service. Mugshots is an approved vendor for the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. They offer locally their farmed foods in compostable and recyclable disposable containers for less environmental impact and an earth friendly alternative. Gluten-free and vegan options are available too.