I stumbled upon Aroma Espresso Bar while strolling around Tribeca looking for something light, healthy and most importantly, tasty to lunch on. Little did I know that Aroma has been around since 1994 and is the largest and most successful espresso bar chain in Israel with more than 90 branches around the world. When you first walk in the atmosphere of Aroma is friendly with an innovative look to its decor. Since it was a warm but drizzly day in the city I knew I was craving something refreshing, but still comforting. My guest and I started off with two unsweetened ice teas. Out came the teas in a funky cup that was fun yet practical. We poked our straws in and began to sip. Once we gave our order at the “bar” we headed to a window table towards the center of the eatery. Red and white tiling and strung, modern chandeliers hung from the ceilings. Fresh breads and pastries were showcased behind the counter tempting as ever.
As our server came to the table he delivered our two soup specials of the day, one tomato basil with rice and one vegetarian split pea ($4.95 each). Both came out in deep soup bowls and were just what the rainy day called for—warm and delicious exactly what was expected. I couldn’t get through my entire bowl so I asked if the server would kindly wrap it up. “Sure, just pick it up on the way out. We’ll have it all set for you.” Perfect! Following the soup came our huge sandwiches. I decided on the grilled chicken classic on whole wheat (grilled chicken breast, Joe’s Dairy fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, arugula and Aroma sauce (mayonnaise, olive oil, herbs & spices) on their baked-daily Aroma bread, $9.90. This sandwich was massive. I cut it into fours and dug in. The chicken was tender and tasty and the “mozz” as us Italians call it, was fresh. Next came my guest’s order, the classic tuna (Italian tuna, red onions, arugula and Aroma sauce (mayonnaise, olive oil, herbs & spices) on whole wheat bread, $8.90. The tuna was one of the best I’ve had. Light, fresh and no add-on needed. A squeeze of lemon was just right.
My guest and I were pretty full from our huge bowls of soup and hearty sandwiches, but we couldn’t stop at an espresso bar and not try the coffee and pastries. Both of us ordered two cappuccinos to go. We also asked for them to doggy bag us a rugelach (traditional Israeli rolled pastry with chocolate filling, $1.95) and a halva pastry (rich, dense and sweet sesame-based confectionery, $2.70). On our attempted walk from Church Street to 56th and 1st, (we managed to walk about 30 blocks before grabbing a subway) we knew we had earned a bite of those pastries! The cappuccinos were the perfect afternoon pick me up followed by the most delicious rugelach I have ever had. It was crusty yet doughy and had the perfect amount of chocolate filling inside.
Aroma has a large menu for on-the-go breakfast treats such as their all-day power breakfast of eggs any style, side salad and homemade bread, mini pancakes, hot oatmeal and muesli cups. Aroma’s lunchtime options range from salads to soup and sandwiches to iced beverages. See the full-menu here. If you live or work around Manhattan be sure to order by phone for pick up or delivery from any of their four main locations in SoHo, Tribeca, Upper West Side and Midtown.