After spending my first summer in Rochester as an undergraduate – something I highly recommend all students do at some point – I found myself indulging in the plethora of restaurants scattered throughout the city, pretty much every other day.

Strolling down the renowned Park Avenue area toward the end of August, I realized I had spent a significant amount of time in every restaurant, caf and ice cream parlor in the immediate vicinity – all except Caf Cibon.

Seemingly easy to miss because of its size, Caf Cibon is situated right on Park Avenue and is full of aesthetically pleasing decorations and furnishings. Often, when the weather permits, outdoor seating is available, allowing customers the pleasure of socializing while simultaneously people-watching. This time around, my guests and I decided to mosey on up to the large windows on a U-shaped plush couch with a wooden table.

The quaint and bohemian feel reminded me of the authentic European cafs and bistros I’ve frequented for a number of years abroad. Honestly, the only thing that was missing was a waitress with an accent.

The waitress was detailed with her daily specials albeit slow service. It even took a while to get a glass of water and she forgot the lemon!

After waiting 20 minutes for a panini – a Santa Maria to be exact – I was getting antsy and annoyed.

However, once brought to me, I dug into the best panini I’ve eaten in Rochester – for only seven dollars! Filled with roasted chicken, avocado, cheddar cheese, onion and tomato with chipolte pepper pesto, the panini with a small side salad hit the right spot that afternoon. With the bread grilled to perfection, the simple looking panini was full of the correct combinations for a splendid taste.

To further my enjoyment, I opted for some carrot cake as dessert. Though generic, the cappuccino that was ordered alongside ended my meal in simple balance.

On top of that, Cibon is a Rochester Every Day business, and with my handy-dandy RED sticker, I got 10 percent off the bill.

Looking at their Web site, the caf claims to be musically eclectic during the day and describes itself as an “ultra lounge” during the night. Having not experienced a night scene as of yet, I hope to sometime in the near future, perhaps then the four stars will turn into five.

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Buitrago can be reached at

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