You finally decided to take that camping trip to Kickapoo State park, but you still can’t figure out a good place for brunch the day after. Here’s where Cafe 13 in Danville comes to your rescue.
My friends and I were faced with the aforementioned dilemma on a recent camping trip. Looking around for good brunch places, but having already tried many other places, we decided to give Cafe 13 a try. Located in downtown Danville, Cafe 13 is approximately a fifteen minute ride from Kickapoo State Park, and approximately forty minutes from Champaign. Cafe 13 offers the charm of a quaint small-town café with great food and desserts.
As soon as you enter the restaurant, you realize it’s almost like a small house that has been repurposed to serve as a café. This adds to the coziness and overall homey feel of the place. There is a loft area where there are board games and TV, along with a number of couches so you can kick back and relax. There is also a room with a dining table where you could possibly have meetings or small get-togethers. The walls are adorned with art pieces by local artists, and plants are lined up along the windows.
Cafe 13 focuses on crepes, sandwiches and salads. All of these are freshly made daily. You'll need to arrive before noon, or you might miss out on the fresh sandwiches. We were really excited about the crepes, and ordered almost all the different available options. We also ordered an omlette that was accompanied with bread and fresh fruit.
The best thing that we had that day was the savory brunch crepe ($8). It is the brunch special, and you really can’t miss out on it. It consisted of a whole crepe with scrambled eggs and bacon crumbled on top, followed by shavings of parmesan and an amazing lemon drizzle. The lemon drizzle was creamy and citrusy and paired really well with the soft crepe and crispy bacon. I can’t recommend this dish enough.
Coming in a close second were all the small sweet crepes we tried. We tried a blueberry crepe and a strawberry Nutella crepe ($3.50; $4, respectively). We intentionally chose the smaller sizes so that we could try two different versions. Filled with store made blueberry jam, the blueberry crepe was really good, however for me, the strawberry Nutella crepe eeked out a narrow victory in this round due to the tartness of the strawberry pairing well with the richness of the Nutella.
The omelette was pretty standard with the options of adding ham, turkey, bacon, peppers, red onions, or portobella mushrooms ($3, plus $0.50 for each addition). The fruits accompanying the omelette were very fresh and rounded out our brunch nicely. For drinks we tried the strawberry steamer ($2.25), a regular coffee ($1.80), an espresso ($2) and a fruit smoothie ($4.25). The espresso was good and strong. A steamer, as I found out, is just frothed milk with a syrup, which in our case was strawberry, and I think kids might really enjoy this drink. The fruit smoothie seemed to be made from fresh fruit (not frozen) with hints of banana, kiwi and strawberry. We also had a fresh cream and strawberry puff which seemed freshly baked and I really want to try more of their baked goods ($2.25).
The overall service was quick and courteous. You could see the cooks making the omelettes, crepes, and salads to order. The prices were also super affordable. A sandwich will set you back by $5, while a side like pasta salad or fresh fruit will add $1.50 to it. These prices are great for something that is being made in front of you and you can vouch for its freshness with your own eyes.
The other thing that you notice in the cafe is a medieval knight statue at the door, along with small homages like "Free Invisibility cloaks – Help yourself" at the coat hanger. It's small things like these that really add to the ambience of Cafe 13 and you know the owner really cares. All in all, everyone in our group enjoyed the food and we can’t wait to go back and try even more crepes next time.
13 N Vermilion St
T-F 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sa 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Photos by Mayank Boob