Avril 50

★★★☆☆
  • 3406 Sansom St

    Philadelphia, PA 19104

    Map & Directions
  • 215-222-6108

3.2 5
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I don't know about what the critical reviewer above said-- the drip coffee at Avril 50 is amazing! John makes it several times a day, and even though the pots do sit on a hot plate, the coffee has invariably been delicious. I also frequently buy beans from him, and the only time they were ever stale was when I got the very last few beans in the bin. John had even offered me a fresher batch, but I went for it at my own risk. Still, it was drinkable and better than 90% of coffees out there. The prosciutto sandwiches with walnut pesto goat cheese are fantastic, and he has Chinotto and marzipan! What more could you possibly want?? I highly recommend this place!!

5
★★★★★

I don't know about what the critical reviewer above said-- the drip coffee at Avril 50 is amazing! John makes it several times a day, and even though the pots do sit on a hot plate, the coffee has invariably been delicious. I also frequently buy beans from him, and the only time they were ever stale was when I got the very last few beans in the bin. John had even offered me a fresher batch, but I went for it at my own risk. Still, it was drinkable and better than 90% of coffees out there. The prosciutto sandwiches with walnut pesto goat cheese are fantastic, and he has Chinotto and marzipan! What more could you possibly want?? I highly recommend this place!!

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This is just about coffee because I don't buy 90% of what's in the shop. The brewed coffee is expensive and old. The 6 or so pots sit there all day steaming away on the hot plates. For $2.05 or whatever (some stupid amount over $2 that get's you a half pound of change back) the cup of coffee isn't great. When I forget this and go anyway, I bring my own container which is worth $0.00 in discount.

The whole bean selection is great with a lot of countries and beans represented, but I don't know how fresh it is. I bought a 1/2 lb. bag and it tasted old (IMHO). So when I went in the next time I asked John what was fresh and he said everything is fresh and that it's all brought in every 2 weeks. But I never see people buying beans when I'm in there or hanging out outside Sansom. I figured that I just let it sit too long or didn't brew it right, so I decided to buy another lb. of beans and try again.

But then he started berating me about me being the first person in 27 years to question the freshness of his coffee. He kept saying this over and over "you are the only one in 27 years", etc. So I said never mind. I wasn't going to spend my $ at some place that doesn't respect me as a customer, which is too bad because he's probably right that the coffee is almost always really fresh. But who's going to trust a place that has 6 pots steaming away on hot plates for $2.05? I'll go back to buying my beans from people who value customers.

1
★☆☆☆☆

This is just about coffee because I don't buy 90% of what's in the shop. The brewed coffee is expensive and old. The 6 or so pots sit there all day steaming away on the hot plates. For $2.05 or whatever (some stupid amount over $2 that get's you a half pound of change back) the cup of coffee isn't great. When I forget this and go anyway, I bring my own container which is worth $0.00 in discount.

The whole bean selection is great with a lot of countries and beans represented, but I don't know how fresh it is. I bought a 1/2 lb. bag and it tasted old (IMHO). So when I went in the next time I asked John what was fresh and he said everything is fresh and that it's all brought in every 2 weeks. But I never see people buying beans when I'm in there or hanging out outside Sansom. I figured that I just let it sit too long or didn't brew it right, so I decided to buy another lb. of beans and try again.

But then he started berating me about me being the first person in 27 years to question the freshness of his coffee. He kept saying this over and over "you are the only one in 27 years", etc. So I said never mind. I wasn't going to spend my $ at some place that doesn't respect me as a customer, which is too bad because he's probably right that the coffee is almost always really fresh. But who's going to trust a place that has 6 pots steaming away on hot plates for $2.05? I'll go back to buying my beans from people who value customers.

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.

This is just about coffee because I don't buy 90% of what's in the shop. The brewed coffee is expensive and old. The 6 or so pots sit there all day steaming away on the hot plates. Maybe he changes them, but it doesn't taste like it. For $2.05 or whatever (some stupid amount over $2 that get's you a half pound of change back) the cup of coffee isn't great. When I forget this and go anyway, I bring my own container which is worth $0.00 in discount.

The whole bean selection is great with a lot of countries and beans represented, but I don't know how fresh it is. I bought a 1/2 lb. bag and it tasted old (IMHO). So when I went in the next time I asked John what was fresh and he said everything is fresh and that it's all brought in every 2 weeks. But I never see people buying beans when I'm in there or hanging out outside Sansom. I figured that I just let it sit too long or didn't brew it right, so I decided to buy another lb. of beans and try again. To repeat: I believed him and asked for another pound of coffee.

But then he started berating me about me being the first person in 27 years to question the freshness of his coffee. He kept saying this over and over "you are the only one in 27 years", etc. So I said never mind. I wasn't going to spend my $ at some place that doesn't respect me as a customer, which is too bad because he's probably right that the coffee is almost always really fresh. But who's going to trust a place that has 6 pots steaming away on hot plates for $2.05? I'll go back to getting my coffee from *$$ where they at least don't yell at you for buying their products, even if it is crappy coffee.

0
★☆☆☆☆

This is just about coffee because I don't buy 90% of what's in the shop. The brewed coffee is expensive and old. The 6 or so pots sit there all day steaming away on the hot plates. Maybe he changes them, but it doesn't taste like it. For $2.05 or whatever (some stupid amount over $2 that get's you a half pound of change back) the cup of coffee isn't great. When I forget this and go anyway, I bring my own container which is worth $0.00 in discount.

The whole bean selection is great with a lot of countries and beans represented, but I don't know how fresh it is. I bought a 1/2 lb. bag and it tasted old (IMHO). So when I went in the next time I asked John what was fresh and he said everything is fresh and that it's all brought in every 2 weeks. But I never see people buying beans when I'm in there or hanging out outside Sansom. I figured that I just let it sit too long or didn't brew it right, so I decided to buy another lb. of beans and try again. To repeat: I believed him and asked for another pound of coffee.

But then he started berating me about me being the first person in 27 years to question the freshness of his coffee. He kept saying this over and over "you are the only one in 27 years", etc. So I said never mind. I wasn't going to spend my $ at some place that doesn't respect me as a customer, which is too bad because he's probably right that the coffee is almost always really fresh. But who's going to trust a place that has 6 pots steaming away on hot plates for $2.05? I'll go back to getting my coffee from *$$ where they at least don't yell at you for buying their products, even if it is crappy coffee.

Pros: Great for magazines and chocolate

Cons: Not good coffee for $2.0

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I used to live in West Philly years ago and remember this place fondly. The chocolates from Belgium and France that could be found nowhere else, the outstanding selection of French language and British magazines, and when I smoked, there were always the best premium cigarettes. I plan to visit next time I'm in town. I seem to remember that the name of the place is taken from the first time the owner saw Paris. Such a special thing he took that moment and created this shop. And there is better espresso in South Philly than there, but none so fine, sadly, in my corner of San DIego.

2
★★★★★

I used to live in West Philly years ago and remember this place fondly. The chocolates from Belgium and France that could be found nowhere else, the outstanding selection of French language and British magazines, and when I smoked, there were always the best premium cigarettes. I plan to visit next time I'm in town. I seem to remember that the name of the place is taken from the first time the owner saw Paris. Such a special thing he took that moment and created this shop. And there is better espresso in South Philly than there, but none so fine, sadly, in my corner of San DIego.

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This is a really fun place to get international magazines & newspapers & quirky cards that no one ever seems to carry. Avril sells greeting & postcards ranging from the amusing to the downright bizarre. They also have a tantalizing display of chocolates, tea leaves that you can buy in bulk, & an assortment of aromatic coffees to go.The tiny store, which is run by a Penn professor, is in a great location, on a narrow cobblestoned block off Walnut St. A few stores down sits the excellent White Dog Cafe, one of the best restaurants & theatre hangouts in West Philly. Expect to find crowds spilling out of the Annenberg & headed here most nights. Avril closes early.

PROS: unusual cards, great block, good coffee
CONS: tight parking

4
★★★★☆

This is a really fun place to get international magazines & newspapers & quirky cards that no one ever seems to carry. Avril sells greeting & postcards ranging from the amusing to the downright bizarre. They also have a tantalizing display of chocolates, tea leaves that you can buy in bulk, & an assortment of aromatic coffees to go.The tiny store, which is run by a Penn professor, is in a great location, on a narrow cobblestoned block off Walnut St. A few stores down sits the excellent White Dog Cafe, one of the best restaurants & theatre hangouts in West Philly. Expect to find crowds spilling out of the Annenberg & headed here most nights. Avril closes early.

PROS: unusual cards, great block, good coffee
CONS: tight parking

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