For a truly authentic, old-world Italian caffe (European coffee bar) experience, consider visiting Caffe Aurora in Poughkeepsie’s Little Italy district. This charming family-run caffe bakery has been serving the Italian community as far back as the 1940s, well over a half-century.
This area was established in the early 1900s when a flurry of Italian immigrants arrived from New York City to find a new life and open their businesses. Today this neighborhood remains strongly tied to the Italian traditions while welcoming many different cultures.
You don’t need to travel to the West Village in New York City to experience the charm of this traditional time-honored establishment that serves good coffee and delicious pastries prepared fresh daily. It’s located on Mill Street near the Train Station and the Hudson River. The ambience is authentic, simple and classic, a bit funky, certainly charming and well-worth visiting. The great thing about Caffe Aurora is that it is not only a full-fledged bakery offering traditional Italian pastry/bread recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, it is a comfortable gathering place with plenty of tables where you can sit down and enjoy a cappuccino and some biscotti or a rum baba and not feel pressured or intruded upon.
Perhaps you’d like to sit at the espresso bar that just so happens to also serve Italian ices in over 25 flavors. During your visit, you may be lucky enough to catch hearing one of the regular patrons speaking Italian to one another.
The tables are detailed with old newspaper stories under glass tops, old fashioned sugar bowls, some with metal lids and spoons. The Caffe has lots of plants throughout, shelves with packaged coffee for sale, ceramic/china platters and dishes, some that match, and in some cases, some that don’t. The ambiance is warm and inviting, reflecting the community and the patrons who truly love coming to the Caffe!
There are oodles of cookies alongside traditional Italian pastry standards, from rice pudding to French petits fours, cream puffs, rum baba, biscotti, éclairs, pignoli cookies, sugared almonds, cakes, fruit tarts, daily baked breads, candies, as well as sugar-free and gluten-free cookies. Custom wedding cakes and seasonal delights such as chocolate bunnies at Easter are very much a part of Caffe Aurora’s offerings.
Walking into Caffe Aurora is stepping back in time to celebrate the best of the Strippoli family traditions of baking with the longstanding pride in keeping a culture alive and well.
145 Mill Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601