With homey Italian-American fare served in a single, cozy room, May Café is representative of its neighborhood—the pace is leisurely, the prices are reasonable, and everything is a bit better than you expect.
The breakfast egg sandwich, dusted with dried oregano and basil and drizzled with olive oil, is so satisfying you’ll never tolerate fast food equivalents again. Maple oatmeal arrives with fresh berries, flax, and sunflower seeds for a healthy-yet-tasty upgrade. Lunch is mostly sandwiches—grilled tostinos (on Brownberry bread, no less), subs on Italian rolls (get the classic submarine with mortadella, capicola, and salami), and Old World delights like the May Special, with tart, marinated artichokes balancing prosciutto and mozzarella on substantial focaccia.
Vegetarian options are plentiful: the verdura and melanzana sandwiches will make believers out of eggplant skeptics. Soups and specials change daily—the tomato basil and white chicken chili were spicy standouts. (The phone rang several times with callers hoping for their favorites. You can also check the website.) For those used to an urban pace, the food may take longer than expected.
“I hate to rush,” chef and owner Karolina Mikesell admits. Luckily, May Café is the sort of place that begs a linger. The organic coffee, roasted by Seven Hills, is excellent. Relax, order a caffe mocha or an affogato—a scoop of Madisono’s gelato with a shot of espresso—and stretch your lunch break to Italian proportions.
May Café, 5 Main St., Milford, (513) 831-2233, maycafemilford.com. Breakfast and lunch Tues–Sat.