Off the Water photo/TERRI GORDON Caffe Tosi is located just steps from the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan at 516 Pleasant St., St. Joseph.

Archived Story

Taste of Italy

Published 9:21pm Thursday, February 23, 2012

There’s hardly a better place to hole up against the bitter north winds of winter than Caffe Tosi in downtown St. Joseph.

The Caffe started in 1993 as an extension of Tosi’s Restaurant  in Stevensville, well-known for its Italian cuisine and world-class wine cellar.

In March 1998, the Caffe was purchased by Anne Reitz, of St. Joseph, who combined her skills in marketing, retail and management to streamline and develop the Caffe into the Reader’s Choice Award-winning enterprise it is today. Having no experience in food service, Reitz wasn’t sure she could handle the Caffe.

“I thought I’d come in and try it for a couple of weeks,” said Reitz, who has been in business for 14 years.

Caffe Tosi features fresh roasted, fresh ground gourmet coffees and desserts from the renowned Bit of  Swiss bakery, also of Stevensville.

Open for breakfast, their morning menu offers eggs cooked by steam from the espresso machine with a muffin or toast, fresh waffles served with pure maple syrup (fresh fruit and pecans can be added for a nominal fee), two kinds of egg croissants and extra nutty homemade granola with milk or yogurt and fresh fruit.

For lunch, choose from the  ever-changing specials or from the in-house favorites, including panini sandwiches,  grilled panini, pizzas or insalata.

Sandwiches are made with breads baked each morning by Bit of Swiss.

Other longtime favorites include baked salmon with sauteed spinach and Italian tuna salad.

What makes Caffe Tosi unique, according to Reitz, is consistency and quality, the freshness of its foods and a focus on customer service.

Local produce is used when available, and a number of vegan and vegetarian choices are offered.  It also stocks local microbrews and craft beers.

Carryout and delivery are offered with a $20 minimum and 10 percent delivery fee.  Catering, cooking dinner on site, if desired, are available.

In good weather, there is outdoor seating ­— perfect for taking in the sights and sounds of downtown St. Joseph, the clip-clop of the horse-drawn trolley, the bridge horn, signaling cars the bridge is about to open, the shoppers as they stroll past or stop at Caffe Tosi.

Caffe Tosi is located just steps from the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan at 516 Pleasant St. in St. Joseph.

Call (269) 983-DELI, or fax an order to: (269) 983-5006.  The website at www.caffetosi.com offers a fax form/menuand a catering menu.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

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