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 the bills are delivered in vintage hardback books (Darwin, of course). The cinderblock walls are a relaxing shade of cerulean 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 and 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 winners, the gouda, chevre and tomato sandwich on rye is a simple but irresistable winner, and there's something magical about the Down House 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.