Traveling Tidbits

Coffee Call – A Baton Rouge Tradition

Baton Rouge is a pretty big city. Driving down the busy streets and visiting its many historical sites can make it hard to find the right place for a cup of coffee and a good casual Louisiana breakfast. Good thing there’s Coffee Call! Founded in 1976 by Vincent Cannatella Sr., Coffee Call has become a traditional stop for people looking for a venue that has it all: a big lobby for socializing, fast and friendly service, and some pretty dang good beignets.

Coffee Call Lobby during a slow time.

Coffee Call operates on a cafeteria style system with the ordering station at the far end of the room. Grab a tray and simply let the staff know what you’d like, whether that’s a muffin, a sausage biscuit, a bowl of hearty gumbo, some of their fluffy beignets, or any one of their amazing sandwiches. Yes, you can have a Baton Rouge Poboy with a side of beignets! Lunch is served between Monday and Friday, 11am to 2pm, and you can even get a sandwich/soup/sandwich combo with selections like a French Dip, classic Italian, or even Barbeque. Also, be on the lookout for some of their weekday lunch specials.

For those joining for breakfast, they offer the typical array of hot beverages like coffee, hot chocolate, and Vanilla Hazelnut – which also come iced if you’d prefer. But it’s the beignets that keep people coming back for more! If you get straight hot coffee, you can get refills yourself at the designated self-serve station. And for those who are on the go, they have a drive thru. Don’t have time to sit down for a cup of gumbo? Grab a container from the big fridge in the lobby and take it home for the family! They even have quarts of pre-made iced coffee and other to-go meals. And of course, no iconic restaurant would be without souvenirs for sale with their logo. Don’t forget to grab your own bag of Coffee Call coffee grounds before you leave as well.

Finger Beignets at Coffee Call (author photo)

On my recent visit to Baton Rouge – and not wanting to take a chance on the hotel coffee – I visited Coffee Call, unsure of what to expect. Honestly, I was a little lost, given the non-traditional ordering system. Thankfully, the staff were very patient with my odd request for an order of a single sausage patty, iced coffee, and beignets. I was trying to eat light. The service was incredibly fast, and as I watched from a distance, I could tell the employees had their methods down solid to ensure speedy turnaround times for orders. I would highly recommend the finger beignets if you’re not looking to get powdered sugar all over you. They were a less-messy alternative to a lovely Louisiana breakfast staple, and I didn’t get a speck on my black shirt. I was disappointed in the limited selection of coffee, but one can hardly expect a casual café to specialize the way Starbucks does. Coffee Call caters to the regular crowds who aren’t interested in fancy and exotic drinks and there’s something admirable in their commitment to tradition and simplicity. Everyone who walked through the doors looked to enjoy their visit and utilized the lobby for a number of purposes. I saw families having breakfast, a small book club gathering, a couple of business meetings, and a number of students on their computers. Coffee Call looked to be a home away from home for some of these locals and I was glad I stopped in for just a little while.

Hours: Monday – Thursday, 6am – 10pm; Friday – Sunday, 6am – 12am
Address: 3132 College Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Phone: 225-925-9493

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