Cafe Literato brings European atmosphere near Purdue University

Café Literato transports the essence of European coffeehouses to the local area.

Open for more than a year, the small family owned cafe is located conveniently between Purdue University and the business district of West Lafayette. From the creators of local restaurants such as Cristos and Red Seven Bar and Grill.  The cafe was created exclusively with locals in mind.

Owner John Cristos and his family came up with the brick oven pizzeria and cafe concept.

“The name actually comes derives from the Italian word ‘literati’, which means somebody who pursues scholarly pursuits,”Cristos said. “We thought that was a nice tie-in with the university and that’s where Café Literato came from.”

The restaurant provides customers with access to a coffee bar and a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Many people come to the restaurant to study or to just get a light meal. Patrons can order menu specialties including the BBQ Pork and Corn Pizza as well as the chocolate and spice chai lattes.

While many individuals enjoy the creative menu items, others are drawn to the new age decor and architecture. Customer Nathan Lord says the restaurant’s atmosphere is what brought him in.

“I kind of like how the different sections, you can actually get a little bit of privacy while still having an open atmosphere,” Lord said.  “I like the decor. I’m a fan of wood paneling and stuff, so I really like the decor and tables. It’s just friendly and inviting.”

Chef Felisha Clifton thinks it’s the adaptive nature of the restaurant that sets it apart.

“People can come and relax and study or they can meet friends for lunch,” Clifton said. “We are one of the only few places in town that has a brick oven, as well as a full coffee bar. So it’s nice to be able to come in and you have your full access to the coffee bar and also a full lunch menu.”

For more information on Café Literato, including the menu choices, visit