Campos Roastery & Kitchen is a beautiful oasis on Salt Lake City’s gritty Edison Street.
Light woods, green plants and the smell of freshly brewed coffee greet guests who seek out this slightly hidden shop between State Street and 200 East and 200 and 300 South.
The windows and doors of Campos open to the street as visitors sip espresso drinks and other coffee creations while chatting or working.
The Australian-based Campos opened its first U.S. café in Park City in December 2017, ahead of the annual Sundance Film Festival. The initial success of that location, according to the company website, led it to open this second location in Salt Lake City.
Company officials say they cultivate social good in each of the regions where they buy coffee — from building schools in Papua New Guinea and Ethiopia to sending Australian heart surgeons to Rwanda to operate on children in need.
Choose from a wide variety of coffee offerings — either iced or hot — made with sustainably grown single-origin or blends created by Campos.
If you prefer tea, there are nine flavors ($4) presented in a beautiful service reminiscent of the company’s Australian roots. Cold brew ($4.50 or $5) and kombucha ($4.50) are also on tap.
For a sweet treat to get you through the afternoon, look to the coffee and ice cream affogato menu to put pep in your step. The maple and smoked Maldon salt affogato ($6.50) features espresso over Utah-made Normal maple ice cream and sprinkled with smoked Maldon salt. There also is a classic ($5.50) and an affogato of the week.
Although Campos is a coffee shop first, it does serve breakfast and lunch, and mealtimes are bustling with diners.
What you’ll get is still a work in progress. In its short time in the downtown restaurant scene, the menu has undergone significant changes. On my first visit, we were told we wouldn’t be able to order anything from the lunch menu until noon, so we were left for more than 15 minutes without our order being taken. On my next visit, this element had been remedied with the appearance of a full all-day menu that offered a number of positive updates.
Take, for example, the Edison burger with fries ($12). When I first ordered it, I added a fried egg ($2) and bacon ($2) and it was possibly the blandest, most overcooked piece of “special blend beef patty” I had ever tasted. A return visit yielded a new and improved Aussie beef burger with beetroot and pineapple relish ($12 sans fries) that delivered on flavor and moisture.
Similarly, the smoked Utah trout ($14) with pickled onions and duck egg has morphed into trout toast for $14.
New to the revised Campos menu is also a short list of daily specials offering everything from the aforementioned affogato of the week to additional toast options. We were drawn to the blistered shishito peppers with hazelnut honey and goat cheese for $9 one afternoon. We were delighted with the pepper preparation and generous portion of goat cheese hidden beneath the pile of roasted shishitos. Our server suggested that these might be a regular menu highlight if not in slightly different form.
Several holdovers from the original menu remain, too. Corned beef hash ($14) with beets and a creamy fried egg aioli and the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich ($11) made the cut for breakfast items.
Shrimp and grits with smoked bacon and roasted tomatoes ($15) was a culinary masterpiece to the eye and palate. Plump, smoky shrimp and thick chunks of meaty bacon were served on a base of grits and late summer tomatoes slowly roasted to coax out every ounce of flavor.
Campos also has introduced the Aussie meat pie ($13). A flaky shortcrust is filled with hearty Vegemite-braised short rib and a side of tangy, housemade tomato sauce for dipping. A fresh arugula salad as a side counters the richness of the pie nicely.
Service also is still solidifying. The personnel are kind and helpful while the customer-service systems need help. During my first visit, no fewer than four servers delivered drinks and food to the table, and a different person took our order than the one who cashed us out. The next visit we had one server who sat us, took our order, delivered our food and closed our check. Unfortunately, it took 20 minutes after we had finished our meal before we were able to flag him down to pay because orders are handled via handheld devices the servers keep on them.
There is potential at Campos Roastery & Kitchen, and the establishment seems happy to listen to customer feedback and make changes where needed. Once they’ve settled into the right rhythm, look to Campos to deliver on espresso-based drinks and elevated food offerings in the heart of downtown.
Heather L. King also owns www.slclunches.com and can be found on social media @slclunches.
Campos Roastery & Kitchen
★★ 1/2 (out of ★★★★) An oasis of hip and cool emanates from this sleek new downtown coffee cafe that offers espresso-based drinks and tea along with breakfast and lunch. Menu ranges from toasts and grain bowls to heartier dishes including shrimp and grits and meat pies.
Food • ★★
Mood • ★★★
Service • ★★
Noise • 2 bells
Location • 228 Edison St., Salt Lake City; 801-953-1512
Hours • Monday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Online • https://us.camposcoffee.com
Price • $-$$
Children’s Menu • Yes
Liquor • No
Reservations • No
Takeout • Yes
Wheelchair access • Yes
Outdoor dining • No
Onsite parking • Yes
Credit cards • All