Restaurant of the Week: The Flinderstreet Cafe

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The Flinderstreet Cafe, 5483 Philadelphia St. (at Central), Chino; open weekdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Apparently named for a street in Melbourne, Flinderstreet Cafe is located within Chino Town Square shopping center just above the 60 Freeway. It has a Target, Burlington, laser tag and more, but also some empty storefronts.

It’s not where you would expect to find a cute, locally owned cafe, but there it is, open since November 2015. I wouldn’t have known Flinderstreet existed except for a friend. I invited her to meet me for lunch since she’s a regular.

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Inside, there are high-top and standard tables, plus a sofa under a sign reading “Relax.” The menu has sandwiches (grinders, paninis, wraps), pasta, salads and, reflecting the cafe’s Down Under inspiration, an Australian meat pie. They make coffees and teas, and a few bakery items, including macarons ($2). The pricing is simple: all pastas are $7.50, grinders $8.50, paninis $8.90, for instance.

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I got a chicken pesto panini. Side choices were housemade chips, salad or, with a small upgrade, soup; I went with the soup. (With iced tea, the tab was $14.47.) My sandwich was okay, my soup, Toscana, better. My friend got a vegetable panini with salad and liked both, and an iced latte ($3.50).

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You order at the counter, but after we sat down, an employee came by with a basket of cookies, for us to pick one each. I took ginger snap. “They always greet you with cookies,” my friend confided.

Now who wouldn’t like a place like that? It’s tough enough to get greeted in a restaurant, much less with cookies.

At this writing, the cafe has just more than 300 reviews on Yelp and a five-star rating, not an easy feat to pull off. Flinderstreet is worth the effort to find it.

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  • DebB

    I love macarons. But $2 per cookie? I have GOT to teach myself how to make them!

  • John Clifford

    Deb, In downtown LA at Bottega Louis we had them as part of our meal, 5 for 12.50 or $2.50 each. Seemed worth it at the time but I don’t think I’d do it often.