I recently finally made my way to the border of Echo Park/Historic Filipinotown to check out Gigi’s Cafe and Bakery, a Cuban bakery down on Temple Street just west of Alvarado. I can sum this place up in just two words: delicious and cheap.
I recommend pretty much everything here; they have pastries, sandwiches, baguettes, pupusas, tamales, coffee and breakfast. You’ll usually find a group of older Cuban men socializing outside on the sidewalk or inside at a big table. Everyone is friendly and the crowd diverse – suffice to say there’s something for everyone (even us vegetarians)!
I would suggest trying, first off, the plantains with beans and crema – it’s a lot of food for one person but feel free to share with friends. Pastelitos de guayaba y queso for a mere 75 cents are melt-in-your-mouth flaky goodness, and by far my favorite. I’ve heard they have great Cuban sandwiches as well!
They are quick in the kitchen if you order breakfast, but expect to wait a little while in line while they take orders (totally worth the wait). We’ve heard that from 8-9:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, tacos, baked goods, and coffee is half off.
Next stop: La Caridad Restaurant just across the street!