No Ordinary Cafe

. July 31, 2019.
The Adams Street Cafe turkey bacon gouda

The Short Course

Kid-friendly: Yes.
To avoid wait: Anytime.
Noise level: Moderate.
Bathroom amenities: A changing table is available.
High chairs: Yes.
Kids’ menu? Yes.
Allergies: Let your server know of any allergies as they have special prep for some foods depending on the allergy.

Once upon a time there was a “young” lady in Toledo who promised never to make assumptions about restaurants ahead of time. That same “young” lady did just that… AGAIN. But she has seen the light and has again renewed her promise to never make rash judgments about restaurants she knows nothing about. Come follow her journey to downtown T-Town to see what she learned.

Come on downtown

I’ve heard the name “Adam’s Street Cafe” over the last few years from a number of folks. I imagined a little breakfast/lunch place that served light lunch fare like fancy single serving quiche and maybe pastries in a diner type setting. I was just making things up in my mind.

Though my family meanders downtown now and again, we’ve made it a point to always take a couple “summer in the city” afternoons and discover something new in downtown T-Town, and we selected Adams Street Cafe as one of our stops. Just as we were about to head out, I thought I should look up the address online. And there it was, their unique sign with a big pig and delicious information about how they also have an in-house smoker. To me it sounded fabulous, but looking at my vegetarian daughter, I helplessly offered, “They might have a salad for you, honey. I’m sorry.”

We made our way downtown and found The Adams Street Cafe down the street from a couple other popular spots and a block away from The Valentine Theater. It appeared to be a great location. Owner and chef John Kerstetter, formerly the head chef of Stella’s in Perrysburg, saw a great opportunity and opened the Cafe in October 2016. Since then, it has grown from serving lunch, to now include breakfast and dinner along with special family style meals on Friday nights. Make note, the Cafe is closed Saturday and Sunday.

Satisfying for vegetarians and carnivores

We loved the atmosphere, which can be described as country chic, eclectic, and welcoming. The artwork adorning the walls, for sale by local artists, is provided through the Toledo Arts Commission. Every table has a different print tablecloth and our food was served on mismatched vintage china; like you might find at your grandma’s house or in your parents’ attic. And oh, the food! You are in for a treat when you stop by.

The Adams Street Cafe inside

The Cafe smokes meats in house. The main menu has several options — sandwiches, burgers, entrees, salads and appetizers, turkey, short ribs, pastrami, beef — you get the idea. But also, to our surprise, the menu lists several mouth watering options for vegetarians. Vegan options pepper the menu as well. And yes, bring the kids because they will be happy to know there are kid friendly options like sliders and chicken tenders served with a drink and fries for only $6.

One of everything, please

On the afternoon we stopped in we enjoyed caramelized onion and spinach dip and brisket chili for starters. My youngest made a wonderful choice of a turkey, bacon, gouda sandwich with fries while my daughter enjoyed her mouthwatering, hearty vegetable hash with a chipotle almond crema. I dove into the smoked beef and beer cheese on brioche served with fries. I had to take a little home for later.

The Adams Street Cafe brisket chili

It was so hard to decide what to order because they also offer about 4-5 specials each week. And again, meatless options are included in the specials too. Every Friday they serve a delectable family style dinner. paired nicely with beers from local breweries. Kerstetter said many of the ingredients he uses are from Ohio, including meat, produce, etc. You can find the specials of the week and Friday night menu listed on their Facebook page (

Bottom Line:

The Adams Street Cafe is a local eatery where they smoke their meats inhouse and everything is made fresh. There are several options on the menu including vegetarian choices as well as weekly specials. It’s a casual, comfortable atmosphere and very family friendly. With so many delicious menu options, you’ll be making plans to return before you even finish your meal.

The Adams Street Cafe
608 Adams St. Toledo 43604
Mon-Thur: 10a.m.-7p.m. | Fri: 10a.m.-9p.m. | 419-214-1819