Urban Standard is a favorite for everyone from writers and artists to students and professionals. Located on a trendy stretch of 2nd Avenue North, where Birmingham's first urban bike lanes have been striped, this refurbished office space is filled with as much character and charm as it is with art, great food, and caffeinated drinks. The original idea for Urban Standard was for it to be a workshop/gallery for local artists as well as proprietor Tomek Wrzesien. The idea somehow morphed into the concept of a coffee, breakfast and lunch nook with antiques and artwork. Be enticed by the aromas, come for the flavors, and stay for the atmosphere. What Makes it Great Urban Standard gets their coffee from a North Carolina based roaster, Counter Culture Coffee, and the menu items were developed from the owner’s family recipe book. If the menu is any indication of what meals were like at Tomek’s house, then we want an invitation to the next family feast. Tomek Wrzesien is from a Polish family that is well-familiar with the sophistication of the European coffee scene. With the exposed brick and walls loaded with artwork and corners occupied by statues and artistic merchandise, you could easily spend a good chunk of time just exploring every inch of what makes Urban Standard so fascinating. You can’t go wrong here for breakfast or lunch, but our recommendation is to fuel up for the day with the Urban Breakfast Plate and a French Press coffee. Or you could always try Mini Market sandwich, which is ham and swiss on a warm croissant with poppy seed mustard with a beautiful latte complete with latte art that will warm your heart before you take the first sip. Sit down and relax on one of the sidewalk bistro tables as you plan your day, watching the city come alive around you. Come for lunch and enjoy menu specialties such as the flavorful Hippie Gumbo full of seared tofu drowning a neat hill of brown rice. Or if you’re in the mood for something that breaks the mold of ordinary, try Tomek’s Polish Street sandwich, made with ham, capicola, salami, swiss and provolone with pickled red onion and mustard sauce. For a light snack, you must have the Urban Hummus, the most delicious hummus you’ll ever taste. Who is Going to Love It This is the place for a patron of the arts. With mismatched furniture and the glass-front wall that allows the sun to stream in and brighten up the place, Urban Standard is impossible to get anything “to-go”. You’ll feel the impulse to sit and relax, open your laptop, or pull out a pen and finally write out that poem that has been rolling around in your head. Creative thinkers, professionals, art-appreciators, downtown frequenters and everyone else will feel at home in this unique rustic-chic coffeehouse. Directions, Parking and Fees In the heart of downtown, Urban Standard is easy to locate from any direction at 2320 2nd Ave N. The hours are Monday - Friday 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed on Sunday.