Kitab Cafe: Coffeehouse with Hamtramck Flair

Amanda Frantz '23, Supervising Photo Editor

In the heart of Hamtramck, right on Holbrook Avenue and just off of Joseph Campau Avenue, sits Kitab Cafe and Bookstore, which celebrated its soft opening this January. This newly-renovated cafe offers coffeehouse staples as well as unique options inspired by Yemeni and Arab-American culture.

Kitab Cafe offers a wide variety of baked goods, beverages and sandwiches. With dairy-free and vegan options as well as gluten-free options on the way, there is something for everyone. A common theme I noticed among menu options was the combination and balance of flavors.

The vegan lemon cupcakes were fluffy with the perfect amount of lemon flavor, while the raspberry chocolate croissant, made by Canelle, had raspberry jam, pink dough and a nice tartness accompanying the sweet flavor.

I also tried three beverages from Kitab, including Grandma’s Golden Tea, which was a lemon and honey tea with a kick of turmeric. The Adeni Tea, a black tea with milk, sugar and cardamom, had a classic, balanced flavor while the Hamtramck Latte offered more of a spiced, dynamic flavor. The menu had standard pricing and the turnaround time was very quick despite the lively store environment.

As it is Yemeni-owned and located in the first Muslim-majority city in the United States, Kitab Cafe finds many ways to accommodate its Muslim customers. While presenting Halal substitutes for every meat on the menu, Kitab also offers unique opening hours from 6-2 a.m. during Ramadan.

Kitab, named after the Arabic word for “book,” also offers a selection of stationary, journals and books in both English and Arabic. With a cozy interior, reminiscent of a modern Corktown or Rivertown loft, it is a great environment to cozy up with a book.

At only a 20 minute drive from South, Kitab Cafe is not too far from home, but may be off the beaten path for the average Grosse Pointe student. However, it is near several popular restaurants and only a 10 minute walk from Keyworth Stadium. Whenever you should find yourself in Hamtramck, Kitab Cafe is a delicious, reasonably-priced option to keep on your radar.

The cafe has a cozy atmosphere with a warm, industrial design and accents of Islamic art.