Freedom a la Cafe | Facebook | T: @freedomalacart | IG: @freedomalacart
123 E. Spring St. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43215
Open Mon-Fri, 7a-3p; Sat, 8a-3p
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/Y/Y
Freedom a la Cart has been around as an organization for several years, with the all-important mission of fighting human trafficking in central Ohio. It does this by employing and empowering survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation through its growing catering business and now – a public cafe downtown!
Freedom a la Cart made its home in a building on Spring Street tucked between Third and Fourth Streets, with street parking and a small lot next to it. And while the cafe is the public-facing front of the business, much of the structure is taken up with its catering kitchens.
The cafe space features big windows, so it’s filled with natural light. There’s a long communal table in the center, with smaller tables lining the sides, and a small patio out front. You order at the counter and they bring your meal to you.
On some of my visits, I’ve seen little sandwich board signs on the counter introducing you to your baristas and sharing their favorite drinks. This, to me, is a small part of playing out their mission, but humanizing the people behind the counter and connecting you with them.
In addition to breakfast and lunch, the cafe offers baked goods and coffee. We’ve tried scones, croissants, muffins, cookies – all good.
Solid coffee service, too. I’ve enjoyed a cappuccino and an iced dirty chai – all very well done.
The small but focused menu features sandwiches, salads, and bowls. The rosemary breakfast sandwich is one of the big hits from the breakfast menu, and rightfully so. It takes a soft and buttery croissant roll and fills it with a fragrant mix of soft scrambled eggs, provolone, a house-made rosemary lemon breakfast sausage, arugula, and a lemon aioli.
One my second visit I tried the bacon quiche, which was wonderfully creamy but held its structure. It features a flaky crust, and is filled with bacon, cheddar, and scallions. And it comes with a small chop salad with kale, beans, sliced apples, and a nice vinaigrette.
One of my dining companions ordered the green breakfast bowl and gave it a hearty thumbs-up. It layers a rosemary parmesan cheesy farro with green pea hummus, microgreens, zucchini salad, crispy beet chips, and a poached egg.
I may be partly biased because my office is a block away, but Freedom a la Cart’s cafe is a great addition downtown. It’s a terrific spot for breakfast, lunch, or even just coffee and a croissant, and they serve wholesome and flavorful dishes, all focused around a vitally important mission.