The incarnation of the word “cozy,” Penelope’s is warmed by wooden tables, a fireplace, a rear patio and book-lined shelves. This café-cum-shop features great food, unusual gifts, paintings, jewelry, pottery and an eclectic selection of new and used books, including children’s books. You line up, create a sandwich (vegetarian on olive bread, tuna on sun-dried tomato bread) or order soup or a salad, then choose a table or a comfy chair and settle in. Mornings are quieter, with a small selection of coffees, teas and pastries (weekends the menu expands a bit). It’s a great place to meet a friend for a simple, tasty meal and a good long talk.
1029 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada, 818.790.4386, penelopescafe.com, American. B & L Tues.-Sun. No booze. AE, MC, V. $-$$