Located a few streets back from Commercial St., Artemisia Cafe is tucked away out of the Portland bustle. While tourists are distracted with the trendy brunch spots that come with hefty price tags and hour-long waits, you should be paying attention to this gem hidden in plain sight.
Upon entering the cafe, the ivy-covered wall that lines the entire length of the counter may catch your sight. The sun streams in from the windows, making this a cozy and bright little spot to enjoy your weekend breakfast. All of the food we ordered was scrumptious, hearty, and reasonably priced too. The most notable part about my experience was the little espresso drink I ordered called the Caffè Medici. Containing chocolate, espresso, orange rind and topped with whipped cream every sip was rich and dreamy.
I also tried Artemisia’s signature graham cracker French toast but opted for the berries instead of the Mandarin oranges it comes with. When I asked our waitress if it was possible to switch the fruit topping, she enthusiastically replied with “of course!” She was genuinely very friendly, attentive, and accommodating as she popped in and out to make sure our water glasses were full. The menu description for the French Toast noted: “thick slices soaked overnight, takes a little time.” Good thing this is pointed out for you so you won’t be that surprised to find it heavier and more-filling than your regular French Toast. I really pushed myself to eat half my dish (two slices) so don’t worry if it doesn’t look like a lot to you at first.
The wait for a seat was nonexistent to minimal which I hear is the usual case and there are tons of available on-street parking nearby. We arrived at 9:30 AM on a Saturday and were sat at a booth in minutes. The place was fairly busy, but not packed with lines waiting for you to leave which was nice and relaxing. If I were to bring any Portland visitors for brunch, I would probably bring them here not only for the great food but because of the stress-free and warm environment.