The Raven Cafe is an Edgar Allen Poe inspired cafe in the heart of Port Huron. Nestled between two more modern buildings it is impossible to not notice The Raven Cafe’s uniqueness even from the street.
While downtown Port Huron is home to many old buildings The Raven Cafe is one of the oldest structures in the area. The building’s face is beautifully detailed hardwood with doors on either side of a large window.
Looking closer at the exterior I noticed two reliefs on either side of both doors. The reliefs were of hooded men with ribbons below them reading anger, sloth, pride, and envy. I found the reliefs a nice little atmospheric note with the whole seven deadly sins thing, although I never did find the other three.
As you make your way inside you move through a little corridor where you’ll find a wall-mounted latter and small hatch door leading upstairs. The hatch door leads upstairs to the musician’s area which seems to be inaccessible from the rest of the upper floor, meaning that all those who play this venue have to make their way through this doorway.
I can’t help but think about how interesting it must be to see a musician on their own little platform with no readily visible entrance.
After walking through the short, narrow corridor you enter the cafe proper. Stepping into the cafe you immediately feel the theme hit you. The abundance of unearthly decorations, local art, and rustic old-timey features really blend together to create a warm, cozy, offbeat atmosphere.
From the doorway of the cafe, you can see a small dining area stationed at the front of the house to your right, to your left is the fairly large coffee bar and hallway leading to the back of the cafe where there is more seating.
Walking to the back of the cafe you’ll notice a few tables tucked against the wall. The walls are covered with works of art, photographs, and other clippings as well as a few mirrors. About six feet off the ground all along the walls are bookshelves, these shelves house old obscure or literarily significant works.
At the end of the hallway is a small gift shop area. The gift shop mainly consists of mugs, shirts, and coffee.
On the second floor, The Raven Cafe hosts live music on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I will not be writing about the second floor, as I was personally unable to get up there. Which brings me to my one and only complaint about The Raven cafe, there is a lack of accessibility. Given the fact that The Raven Cafe is a civil war era building and space is already incredibly tight, I don’t feel like I can be too hard on them for not having an elevator.
However, lacking an elevator is the only real accessibility hurdle as there is a large family-style accessible bathroom on the first floor. Across from the gift shop are a few more tables in the back, which are seated almost right up to the kitchen. Despite its big personality The Raven Cafe is quite small inside, and while tight it never feels cramped inside.
The Edgar Allen Poe themed coffeehouse & cafe has a vast selection of coffee drinks, pita pizzas, sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts, and cocktails. Nearly all of the sandwiches and salads have a themed name which is a fun little homage.
I had the ‘Mother’s Sinful’ Sicilian which is ham and pepperoni with melted provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, chopped banana peppers, kalamata olives, balsamic vinaigrette and mayonnaise on a french baguette.
Along with my ‘Mother’s Sinful’ Sicilian I had a Café Crème Caramel to drink.
Even though I had high expectations coming in I was still pleasantly surprised with my meal. The acidity from the vinaigrette and savory saltiness of the olives was cut perfectly by the little bit of mayonnaise on the sandwich. With the moderate sharpness of the melted provolone and the distinct bold flavor of the pepperoni, this sandwich was extremely savory and seriously delicious. The Café Crème Caramel was touted as a “coffee shake” and I found that to be a really good description. The coffee shake was very smooth and had no gritty ice texture that you would find in something like a Starbucks frappuccino. I bring up Starbucks because a caramel frappuccino from there is what I would most compare the Café Crème Caramel’s flavor
The Deluxe Jumbo Lemon Layered Shortcake is a three-layered shortcake with lemon filling between each layer. While very good the shortcake was pretty typical.
Overall The Raven Cafe has a great atmosphere and great food, the only negative is the lack of second-floor accessibility.