Walking into the open, one-room space on Yale, it's almost impossible not to let out a perceptible "Aww!" When it comes to the pantheon of adorable, Down House is just above a butterfly landing on your finger and slightly below a panda falling down. Big, stately couches fill the middle of the room, little flowers dot every table and bills are delivered in vintage hardback books (Darwin, of course). The walls are a relaxing shade of blue, with a vintage bicycle mounted on one as the largest visual focal point aside from the spacious bar at the front. It's homey yet refined.
Part coffeehouse, part café, part bar, Down House seems to always be open, with brief, locally-focused and well-executed menus available for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night and brunch. The breakfast tacos are fantastic, the gouda, chevre and tomato sandwich on rye is simple but irresistible and there's something magical about the chocolate chip cookies, which are always served just warm and gooey enough.
Down House's hybrid system can make service confusing. Seating is open, and no matter where you sit — the bar, the couches or the more traditional tables — there's a server to wait on you. Order one of their craft brews if you happen to stop in-- they're known for keeping them local.