Elixr is a Philadelphia–based coffee shop and roasting company that has three outposts across the city, but in October opened a new spot on Penn’s campus. They've opened what they are calling a "coffee cart" at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at 118 S 36th Street, where they serve up awesome coffees and baked goods from Machine Shop Boulangerie. (Ed. Note: Their chocolate chip cookies and lattes are verified bangin'.) 

The barista stated that about 50% of the customer base is students, many of whom desire quality, pour–over coffee closer to Penn’s campus. Many of the customers had traveled to Elixr’s Center City spot, but this new cart provided the coffee they desired in a more accessible location. 


Photo: Ha Tran


When talking about the coffee, he mentioned a Cortado, which he described as a “latte shooter” with the perfect ratio of espresso to milk. He noted that their coffee is a much lighter roast, which is something unique in this area, as most coffees are a dark roast. I don’t really know what these things mean, but apparently that’s awesome. What I do know is that their pastries are delish and their coffee is pretty darn good, too. 

Elixr also offers a great study spot. The ICA is an oft–overlooked study and conversation space on campus. It has huge windows, large tables, and a gorgeous interior. When you walk in, you are transported off the campus and into another world filled with amazing art and the smell of awesome coffee. The space is silent besides the whistle of the espresso machine, which provides for a more quiet atmosphere than other coffee shops on campus. The interior is all white with splashes of color from the robin's egg blue modern chairs to the art on the walls; it's different than the other eateries on campus, with natural light floods that floods the space and creates a relaxing but productive place to work. 

The ICA has also created a set of stickers and postcards for the cart that are available only there. They're are perfect for laptops decorations, as they capture the combination of the two aesthetics to create something unexpected and refreshing; just like the cart itself. 

The Elixr Coffee Cart at the ICA is open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Stop by soon for a dose of good eats and good place to crack open those books.


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