The perfect blend of coffee and literature


Leyla Vilic

Protagonist Cafe is located in Soulard on 9th Street has a large selection of books, coffee, and tasty treats.

School can be stressful, and sometimes we have to romanticize our homework and tasks in order to have the will to complete it. After much searching, I have found the perfect spot to destress but still have the motivation to complete what I need. If you enjoy a place that combines coffee, pastries and books, I have the perfect place for you.

Located in Soulard on S 9th Street, Protagonist Cafe is a literary cafe that houses multiple shelves of gently used books that you can borrow or buy on your visits. They house over 5,000 books that are organized by genre and author’s last name, and each book is “pre-loved and priced for sale,” according to their official website.

When I first walked in, I was mesmerized. It was a Gilmore Girls dream come true. The furniture and seating options were all antiques and each had its own character and story behind it. The statement pillows were adorable as well, with one reading “Just one more chapter.”

Along with comfortable seating and rustic bookshelves, the cafe has an array of coffee and dessert options. It was hard to choose which coffee I wanted to try, especially since there were some unique and different options. For example, they offered Snickerdoodle Lattes with brown sugar and cinnamon, Sunshine Lattes with turmeric and ginger spice mix and the Black Forest Mocha with dark chocolate and non-alcoholic amaretto. I chose to try the Raspberry Mocha, and the coffee and chocolate were rich, fresh and delicious.

Their desserts were delectable as well. Many food options were vegan, which is wonderful for the diverse community that travels to the cafe. I tried the well-known vegan cinnamon roll, as well as the vegan berry crumble bar. Both were nothing short of mouthwatering, and I would definitely order them again.

All in all, I did not find anything negative about the cafe other than limited seating and pricey merchandise, but the experience I had was wonderful. Everyone was incredibly kind and welcoming, and I had a great, productive visit. If you’re ever in Soulard and have some homework to do or books to read, visit Protagonist Cafe.