Urban Standard

Alabama / March 26, 2012 / by Amy
Urban Standard

Birmingham, Alabama not only offered me the subject of my last post, it also gave me an excuse to visit a lovely café. 

Urban Standard, on 2nd Avenue North, is a large and very open café with high ceilings and exposed brick walls. It is very well decorated with interesting lamps hanging from the ceilings and old maps on the walls. There are antiques and interesting objects wherever you look, bringing together old and modern in a very stylish way. 

There’s a couch for those who enjoy lounging, and sturdy wooden chairs and tables of all sizes. There are also chairs and tables outside, in case you feel like enjoying your espresso in the fresh air.

I enjoyed Urban Standard so much that I managed to visit it twice while we were in Birmingham and each time, I had the chance to sample their food. 

For those with a sweet tooth, there is a colorful selection of cupcakes and other such treats. On my first visit, I had a red velvet cupcake to accompany my very tasty chai. The cupcake was extremely moist and the icing tasted smooth and creamy. It had a hint of almond in it, which took my somewhat by surprise on the first bite but was a delicious additional flavor. 

There’s also a lovely menu with the usual café food such as soup, salad and sandwiches, with some interesting twists in the form of flavors from the owner’s native Poland.

For lunch on my second visit, I had an extremely tasty cup of mushroom soup with a grilled cheese and it was one of the tastiest lunches I’ve had yet this year. I also had a latte, which was the perfect balance of coffee and milk. Nice and hot, the coffee definitely stood out without being bitter and overpowering.

The free wifi is great if you have to catch up on research or sending emails, and the food and drink are so good that you’ll happily keep buying drinks to compensate for your internet usage. 

Open late in the evenings (though closed on Sunday), Urban Standard makes the perfect spot to go if you need to meet friends or get some reading done in a busy, pleasant environment. I’ll certainly be visiting again if ever I’m back in Birmingham. 

To learn more about Urban Standard, visit their website.