>> Café Esencia | Eat the World NYC

10 December 2018

Café Esencia

SPAIN 🇪🇸

Before Café Esencia came to be in real life, it was a Kickstarter campaign that promised a churro café inspired by La Convivencia, or "coexistence," a time period in southern Spain where cultures and cuisines merrily mixed and produced an "awesome flourishing of flavors, aromas, and essences." It is from this that they get their name as well, with the signature pinwheel of the churro spinning underneath the logo.

Before the afternoon sun passes overhead towards the west, the mornings here are filled with sun on clear days, making the small café quite pleasant and always bright. The few tables can fill up quickly if a couple groups are around, but stragglers can usually find a bar seat at the window if need be.


In the United States, churros are often associated with Latin Americans, who have developed a love for them and especially in cities can be seen hawking them on the street or on transit platforms. Before this became true though, the churros have existed in the Iberian Peninsula forever in different forms. Those known as porras ($4.5 for a "small" wheel, above), like the ones served here, are made with a lighter sourdough batter that contains no egg or dairy and is even vegan. Since this batter is much thinner, you will not see the familiar consistent extrusion and instead each creation looks unique as the dough takes a life of its own in the fryer.

The lightness of these is a gift, snacking on them does not leave your stomach heavy. Add the available cup of $1.75 milk chocolate for dipping. In Andalucia, you would also see folks dipping theirs into their coffee, so do not feel bad doing that either.

On certain days of the week they also make a limited amount of tortilla española (not shown), an egg dish not unlike quiche that takes the form of a cake. "Tortilla" does translate as "little cake" after all. Here they make it simply with potatoes and onions, and while it is not typically Andalucian it is definitely part of Spanish culture and cuisine and eaten everywhere in the country. On the days it is coming out of the kitchen here, come early or you will find it already sold out.

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Café Esencia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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