You know sometimes I really don’t know why I do what I do and then someone posts a review like this on YELP and then you instantly understand WHY!
This comment is so beautifully written and she worked at Cafe Hon at some point but we graduated a lot of people through here in 18 years.
9/22/2010 I didn’t think this place needed another review, but as I was scrolling down, I read something that made me feel the need to say that the owner of Cafe Hon is a very good person. I worked there many years ago and got to know Denise personally. She cares deeply about the community and has shown great kindness to many people. I don’t know if this is the type of thing that makes a Yelp review useful, but there you have it.
This place was the original seed that started the gentrification of Hampden. While I understand that gentrification is a mixed blessing at best, personally I will take some precious hipster boutique with a twee title over a drug corner complete with junkie hookers. I think that some of people’s mixed feelings about gentrification may influence how they feel about Cafe Hon. For what it’s worth, many “old Hampden” folks have been and still are employed there.
Now for the useful part of this review: Cafe Hon opens very early for breakfast, even on the weekends, and they serve a fine breakfast menu. Brunch on the weekends is always hectic. They serve a limited menu on Saturdays and Sundays during lunch – this is due to the limitations of the kitchen. It’s not small but they don’t have the kind of massively huge kitchen like a Greek diner that can serve breakfast/lunch/dinner 24/7. I’m mentioning that because sometimes people are surprised by this. As far as lunch and dinner, you can’t go wrong with meatloaf or turkey platter. The gravy here is fantastic. So are the french fries. The homemade cakes and pies are exceptional – they are fresh, and they go fast. After many years I still crave some of the food on the menu there, but you do kind of need to know what to get. There is a small parking lot in the back that may be worth a try if you are there at an off time, otherwise, park on the street.
There are some great restaurant choices on 36th street that may be more tempting than comfort food, but sometimes you just want some really good french fries with gravy. Cafe Hon is an institution, if you go to Hampden more than once, you’re going to eat there. If you do, you can feel good that the money you spend helps support local jobs (not just for hipsters) and that the business is run by a very decent human being.