Food and Local Business Editor
Located at 487 Seneca Ave., on the corner of Greene and Seneca avenues, one block from The Footlight, Central Cafe Seneca is the owners’ first business with a Queens address.
The cafe is open every day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and patrons can enjoy La Colombe drip coffee for only $1 from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., as well as from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (when there may or may not be discounted pastries from the day available as well!).
Castillo and Valerio, both from Bushwick, tell us that their new location in Ridgewood is different from the first Central Cafe, explaining that in addition to the food menu, they also serve the juices and smoothies folks have grown to know and love at Owl Juice Pub.
The strong friendship between Castillo and Valerio makes the space feel very welcoming, to say the least! Calling their regulars “family,” Castillo reveals that several dedicated fans donated plants to the new space and even lent a hand in setting up their new spot.
Their menu has grown and changed as their customers told them what they wanted. “The Hummus Avocado [sandwich] was from one of our first customers,” reveals Castillo.
Valerio’s husband Andrea Monorchio helped develop many of the “Italian inspired” items on the menu, such as the Morgan Sandwich ($8) with mozzarella, pesto, and roasted red peppers on ciabatta.
One location of Owl Juice Pub, which is located within the fitness store Soul Fire in Williamsburg, solely offers juices and coffee, like first Central Cafe on Central Avenue has stuck to food and coffee—but when Castillo and Valerio expanded to the storefront Owl Juice Pub on Wyckoff Avenue, they combined the models of both.
Central Cafe Seneca essentially has the same menu as Wyckoff Avenue, but the owners are proud to reveal that they are focusing on offering a wider variety of vegan options with their new storefront, particularly vegan baked goods. “We are listening to everyone’s needs, and we really want to bring in a lot of more vegan choices—it’s nice to spruce up the menu!” says Castillo.
The owners are in the process of testing out different vendors for vegan baked goods and have already brought in Sunrise vegan bakery’s cookies ($3).
Besides the juice and delicious sandwiches, another element binding all four locations together is the colorful chalked menu lettered by Owl Juice Pub employee Sergio Reyes.
In fact, when I first walked into Central Cafe Seneca, a month or so ago, I knew immediately that Castillo and Valerio were owners purely based off of the penmanship from the menu (and then, of course, in recognizing all of the names of the sandwiches, smoothies, and juices, of course!).
The new shop currently faces a construction site across the street on Seneca Avenue for new apartments. Valerio divulges that several longtime regulars of Central Cafe, which opened in 2009, have recently moved to Ridgewood. “When they see us, we’re like, ‘Hey, I remember you!’, and they’re like, ‘Yeah, we moved out two years ago!’ and we’re like ‘oh my god!’ and they’re like, ‘Yay, you’re here!’” smiles Valerio.
Make your way to Central Cafe Seneca, Bushwick!
Central Cafe Seneca
Cozy cafe on the corner of Greene and Seneca avenues with sandwiches, bagels, vegan pastries, and coffee!
487 Seneca Avenue, Queens, NY, 11385 (Located a short walk from the Dekalb Avenue stop on the L train)
Mon-Sun: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.