Catalyst Café​ Opens This Week in Cambridge

The quick-service offshoot of Catalyst Restaurant is focusing on house-made pastries and healthy bowls.
catalyst cafe veggie bowl

The veggie breakfast bowl at Catalyst Café. / Photo provided

For the busy tech community in the Kendall Square area, breakfast is often an afterthought. Not anymore: Catalyst Café, a quick-service offshoot of Cambridge’s Catalyst Restaurant, will open in the neighborhood on Thursday, February 9, Eater Boston reported. The shop will focus on quick bites, small eats, and light lunches for those on the go.

Chef and owner William Kovel, who also owns Catalyst up the road, also aims to accomodate dietary restrictions. Kovel himself follows the Paleo diet, and his wife has a gluten sensitivity, so he created dishes to be customizable and flexible. He recruited Catalyst alum Laura Molina as head chef, and together they settled on a European-style café looking to keep things simple.

“Our goal is to deliver my interpretation of classic café food in an environment where professionals serve professionals. And we’re going to do that inside of an 8-12 minute turn-around time,” Kovel says in a press release.

For speedy service, the shop will offer an online app for easy ordering, and provide portable chargers for diners in a rush. Catalyst Café will also offer a full catering menu aimed at nearby offices.

The menu features light eats like a veggie breakfast bowl with tortilla strips, black beans, and a fried egg; meatless breakfast burritos with home fries and chipotle aioli; and sandwiches ranging from a Mediterranean wrap to a hearty Reuben. Any deli meats the restaurant uses are sourced from Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions in Waltham. Much of the menu encourages swapping out ingredients to fit each diner’s needs.

A number of bakery items, like assorted pastries and croissants, will be made in-house each morning. Wash down that morning meal with hot and iced coffees, orange juice, and teas. Or, choose from a small selection of smoothies, like the Kendall Square Supercharger, with apple, kale, and strawberry.

The sleek space will keep things simple as well, with communal tables and window counters, and a calming color palette. A large honeycomb sculpture looming over the dining space is an ode to its sister restaurant close by.

Catalyst Café will be open weekdays from 7 a.m.-5 p.m.

Catalyst Café, 75 Binney St., Cambridge, 857-259-6410, catalystcafecambridge.com.

Coffee and pastries at Catalyst Cafe. / Photo provided

Coffee and pastries at Catalyst Café. / Photo provided


Alex Wilking Alex Wilking, Contributor at Boston Magazine awilking@bostonmagazine.com