Oromo Cafe: Bringing flavors, inspirations from around the world to Lincoln Square

Wed. August 24, 2016 11:13 AM by Ross Forman

oromo cafe

photo credit // oromo cafe

New coffee shop opens with a modern, creative, healthy and mostly home-made menu

Chicago, IL - When Cenk Duman started planning a new restaurant over a year ago, it was going to be a small yet worldly coffee concept café that served coffee in styles from around the world. He found the perfect spot in Lincoln Square, in a former clothing boutique, thus, a complete build-out was needed, as they added commercial plumbing, HVAC, a kitchen, a storage area, bar, and more. 

"It was a lot of work, but it was well worth the time and effort. The space is beautiful and everyone is impressed upon entry," said Duman who, on Aug. 6, officially opened Oromo Café at 4703 N. Lincoln Ave.

Chef Corey Joseph, 25, made the eatery and barista a must-visit destination – with a modern, creative menu that integrates flavors and inspirations from cultures around the world, including organic ingredients and superfoods.

"The key to a successful restaurant/coffee shop isn't just to get people in the door, but to keep them coming back," said Duman, 24, who was born and raised in Chicago's northwest suburbs and now lives in Andersonville. "Having years of service experience, I have a true understanding of how important it is to connect with every person who walks through the door, and make sure they leave with a smile on their face and the excitement to tell all of their friends and family about their experience at Oromo Café."

After all, Oromo has way more than your standard fare. Oromo Café features house-made nut milks, house-made syrups, and a menu full of artisan lattes and tea beverages. "We are heavily focused on sourcing as many organic ingredients as possible, which not only benefits the health of our customers, but the health of our planet as well," Duman said.

The entire menu is guilt-free. "We integrate organic, raw ingredients with superfoods and our house-made nut milks which are raw and the perfect dairy alternative," he said.

One of the most popular offerings so far at Oromo has been Hazelnut Horchata Latte, made completely from scratch, in-house, with fresh rice milk, toasted hazelnut milk, coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and maple syrup. "It pairs with espresso perfectly and is rich and creamy for everyone to enjoy hot or iced," Duman said.

Another popular offering is the Golden Mylk Latte, which Duman said is a special recipe of an ancient Indian elixir to which they added espresso. The drink features house-made almond milk, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, ashwagandha (a powerful superfood used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries), vanilla, and a pinch of black pepper to aid the body's ability to absorb and utilize the active ingredient in turmeric, he said.

"The inspirations for the concept and menu stem from our obsession with organic ingredients, superfoods, and modern design and innovative recipes," Duman said. "Ultimately, I'm trying to make people in our community realize that food is medicine that's a great way to live by. Knowing that everything you eat is either healing disease, or feeding it."

What is, and why, Oromo?

Oromo are the indigenous people of Ethiopia, Duman said. "They were one of the earliest civilizations to ritualize coffee into their culture, which has resulted in the insane coffee culture we have today. Coffee culture has so much diversity around the world, offering countless combinations of ingredients which can pair delightfully with coffee and tea. So that's why we used (the tag-line), 'Culture-Conscious-Coffee.'"

Oromo Café, located at 4703 N. Lincoln Ave., is open Monday through Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Fridays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on the weekend from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information, go to: www.oromocafechicago.com