The District in Tustin has a new resident. Utopia European Caffe is a fast casual concept, open from early morning, to late in the evening. Its prime location — across the street from The Winery, and next to Union Market — is ideal for a morning coffee, a refreshing cold drink after visiting the gym, or a snack after going to a movie.
Grab a menu the minute you step through the doors and peruse while waiting in line. Then, find a seat inside, or on the outside patio, relax and wait for your order to be delivered to you.
Start with a delightful Housemade Rosewater Lemonade ($4), a freshly squeezed lemonade with a hint of rosewater. Or the beautiful Utopian Latte ($5) comprising espresso, white chocolate sauce, rose petals, steamed milk, topped with whipped cream and crushed pistachios. Both are lovely, but a little too sweet for my palate.
I prefer Turkish Coffee ($4), a strong authentic coffee, served in a traditional kahve finjan. Sip on the accompanying water between coffee to soften the punch.
In the morning, I like one of the yogurts on offer. One of my favorites is Blueberry Coco ($7) which includes toasted coconut shavings, blueberries, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds for an awesome crunch. Texturally pleasing, and a healthy start to your day.
If you’re looking for something unique, try the Classic Menemen ($6), a Mediterranean scrambled egg dish with butter, garlic, herbs, green chile, tomato, and served with baguette. I’ve loved this dish since I was in college because an old Romanian friend used to make it. I always thought it was something he made up, so I was surprised to find it is actually a real thing!
Another item perfect for breakfast is Mediterranean Platter ($12). There are three types of cheeses including kashar and feta, tomato, cucumber, green peppers, sliced hard boiled egg, as well as other things to nibble on. I love everything about this item, but definitely want more bread to go with it.
On the topic of bread, Soujuk Kashar Panini ($7) is a delicious sandwich stuffed with grilled spicy sausage, humriye sauce, and melted kashar cheese. The sourdough is grilled — ask for well toasted for a crispier finish — and extra spicy of you like heat.
Depending on how hungry I am during lunch or dinner, I will order the Medii Garden ($9) salad, or a pasta. The salad is a melange of diced tomato, cucumber, onion, green pepper, radish and walnut, sprinkled with sumac, and tossed in a pomegranate sauce with olive oil, and fresh lemon juice. The fresh mint adds another level of brightness to the dish.
If I’m hungrier, I’ll choose one of the pastas. My favorite is the Housemade Manti ($12), a traditional Turkish dumpling stuffed with meat. It is served atop a yogurt sauce, which you should toss before eating. There is oregano sprinkled around the plate, so add as much or as little as you want to your manti, according to your own taste. I like it all mixed in.
There is a lot to choose from at Utopia, and even after many visits, I have yet to get through the entire menu. Looks like I’ll be back again very soon.
Utopia European Caffe
2489 Park Ave
Tustin, CA 92782