Our Little Cafe
138-16 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica
Cuisine: Deli and Spanish
Hours: 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday; 5:30
a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. Closed Sunday.
Phone: 526-4098, 739-6881
The intersection of Jamaica Avenue and Queens
Boulevard, a couple of blocks away from the roar of the Van Wyck
Expressway and its overhead AirTrain JFK guideway, as well as the
glistening blue glass of Jamaica Hospital, is not about subtlety.
It’s an intersection where some of Queens’ biggest
and most well-known municipal and transportation landmarks come together,
an intersection that many New Yorkers—and soon, maybe even international
travelers—have been through, though usually in a speeding vehicle.
Sitting diagonally in one corner of this tumultuous
intersection is a tiny one-story sit-in deli called Our Little Cafe. It’s
an anomalous oasis in a rush of car engines and flashing metal and glass,
like the Queens gas station Jay Gatsby would pass on his drives to
Manhattan from Long Island, and serves passing motorists and nearby
hospital workers faithfully from 5:30 in the morning until quitting time.
The prices are exceptional at Our Little Cafe, where a
standard menu of grilled deli foods is supplemented by a selection of
Spanish dishes and seating for about 20 people at seven tables and a
All breakfasts, for example, are under $3.65 (two eggs
with ham, bacon or sausage, served with home fries, toast and a beverage).
Hot heroes, including the popular Philly Cheesesteak,
chicken cutlet parmesan and meatball parmesan, with "all the
works," are $4.50.
Cold sandwiches with every meat imaginable are
available, too, for $4.50 or less. For those on an extreme budget, peanut
butter and jelly sandwiches with lettuce and tomatoes are only $1.50.
A jumbo burger with everything on it is only $3.50 and
a lot better than the stuff at the popular national burger franchise
across the street.
Very cheap soups and deserts are also available.
The Spanish menu is simple: All platters are $5, served
with rice and beans or french fries and a salad. They include grilled or
breaded beef, fried or baked chicken, meat stews and chicken wings.
The staff is friendly, and the dining area is bright
and airy with a calming atmosphere. While there is free delivery
available, Our Little Cafe is a great place to grab a good breakfast on
the run or have a casual sit-down lunch in an area where slowing down is
not an option.
– Shams Tarek