Fork in the Road: A Topeka restaurant specializes in coffee & food made from generations of recipes

Topeka Café to celebrate two-years in business
Live at Five
Updated: Aug. 22, 2023 at 11:00 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Topeka restaurant specializing in coffee was named after a South American bird.

Dishes prepared by Cafe Quetzal — also known as ‘Coffee Church’ — are from recipes passed down from generation to generation. Some dishes include a breakfast burrito, a breakfast quesadilla, muffins, Quiche, and dishes not typically made for breakfast like a grilled cheese sandwich, cookies, and a pasta salad.

Even Cafe Quetzal’s “Pastorista” (Pastor/barista), Christine Potter, says she loves the food.

“It’s difficult for us when people come in to recommend something from the menu because we love all of our food,” said Potter. “It’s bursting with flavor. It’s made with love from recipes that we have passed down from our families. My personal favorite is the breakfast quesadilla. It’s full of yummy delightfulness like cream and cheese. It has meat, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, onion, and all kinds of delicious, overflowing, bubbly goodness. We are very excited about our desserts. Our coffee cake is very popular. It’s my mother-in-law’s recipe.”

Cafe Quetzal is celebrating its second anniversary from Thursday, Aug. 24, to Saturday, Aug. 26, with events planned like a fundraiser called “Charting the Course” on Thursday night from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., an open mic night on Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. open to all artistic expressions, and a “Passport Adventure” party with live music, a cook-out, free activities for kids, a silent auction, and scavenger hunt.

Barb Muench, business manager of Cafe Quetzal, says the Cafe also offers a separate meeting room for customers free of charge, but only if the customers will buy coffee and treats.

“Our goal is for every person that walks through our door to feel valued [and] cared for,” said Muench. “We often get the comment that there’s just such a great vibe here, and that’s what we wanted. Uh, a warm, bright, welcoming atmosphere where people are comfortable. We love it when people meet their friends here and spend a couple of hours enjoying soft, comfortable chairs, our couch, and enjoy each other’s company and time together.”

“Cafe Quetzal is a wonderful place,” according to Reverend Kevin Rea. “The staff and the atmosphere is relaxing, always greeted with a smile. We may come in and get hyped up on caffeine, but spiritually and emotionally, and we enjoy the atmosphere.”

”We would love for you to try Cafe Quetzal because it is a locally-owned business that puts [its] heart and soul into every dish that we make,” said Potter. “So it’s made with love, and it tastes that way. We tell people that, you know, we do charge for the food and drink, but the entertainment here is free.”

Cafe Quetzal is in southwest Topeka at 2111 SW Belle Ave. Suite A and B. Its regular hours are from 6:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sundays.

A fun fact about Cafe Quetzal, according to Muench, is that the Cafe is named after the Quetzal, a bird native to Central and South America and the national bird of Guatemala. Muench says the Quetzal cannot live in captivity, representing a strong symbol of freedom.