The vibe of Hatchways Cafe matches the food. Bright and modern, with yellow booths, green plants, and lots of natural light, it’s a place you’d expect to turn out healthy, unfussy meals the second you walk in. And it does, with a chef’s touch.
I wandered in to the recently opened Victory Park spot the other day after hearing that it’s the first coworking cafe in the country to boast its own chef. The restaurant, which is also open to the public, is situated on the first floor of modern coworking space Hatchways and led by chef Keith Cedotal. Tristan Simon, the man behind neighboring Billy Can Can, hatched the idea of marrying coworking with chef-driven cuisine. Why should you have to eat mediocre food while toiling on your laptop?
I’m not a fan of eating mediocre food, and I like my lunches to be by-and-large healthy, so I had high expectations for Hatchways. The menu (that I spent way too long staring at) offers sandwiches, toasts, bowls, salads, and soups, and ingredients like gochujang, caper crème fraîche, and yellowfin tuna. There’s also a coffee and tea bar with an extensive selection. I was recommended a Rise + Shine, which includes cold brew, oat milk, and honey. It was a subtle but refreshing midday pick-me-up. If I worked at the coworking space, I’d probably drink one every morning.
To satisfy my hunger, and that of my coworkers, I grabbed a $7 toast with almond butter and strawberry preserves to start. It was simple but satisfying in a way that only almond butter can be. Flax seeds sprinkled on top provided a nice crunch. From the pastry case, I selected a brown butter blueberry muffin that I heard from multiple mouths “tasted healthy, but in a good way.” They were right.
A turkey avocado sandwich on housemade multigrain was well worth $11 with its harissa aioli, sprouts, and turmeric zucchini pickles. And a squash- and lentil-packed veggie soup was replete with the zest of turmeric, an ingredient the chef seems to favor—which is good for someone like me who regularly enjoys drinking the pressed liquid form of the natural anti-inflammatory. Trust me, it’s good for you.
The health consciousness continued with a hummus and power green salad, a tornado of nutrients like green chickpea hummus, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, sunflower sprouts, avocado, and lemon-chia vinaigrette. Aside from the greens turning slightly soggy, the plate was pleasantly tangy and made me feel like the Hulk, or Superwoman, or something. I was energized for the rest of the workday.
If you have a Hatchways coworking space membership, you can order any menu item to be delivered to wherever you’re typing. You don’t even need to get up. If you work elsewhere, like me, well, you won’t mind stretching your legs.