Behind the Bookstore Cafe

Review by: Emily Madsen

Among the tourist shops that line the busy streets of Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard is the secluded coffee-house gem Behind the Bookstore Cafe. Just off the main street, it has a beautiful courtyard under a canopy that is a great place to get away from the crowds. With insanely creative drinks and exotic roasters from Italy and Chicago, the coffee is no let-down. There is a large array of treats and more substantive plates to pair with the drink of your choice.

Of the eclectic drinks BTB offers, Turkish coffee is a must try. Instead of filtering hot water through coffee grounds, Turkish coffee boils water and ground coffee in the same pot. This process, which then includes pouring coffee grounds into the cup, leads to a rich flavor that lasts throughout the drink. One can get it with or without sugar (if you’re not inclined to strong flavors I suggest getting it with) and it is served with a small citrus Turkish delight. The delight is the perfect pairing with the bold and dark coffee to give a bite of brightness, cleansing your palate between sips. The taste is unlike anything I have ever tried before: smooth, creamy and delicious.

For those in search of a late afternoon pick me up, there are espresso martinis and Irish coffees. Or if you just want something funky to spice up your day, BTB serves affogatos (coffee and ice cream), Espresso Shakeratos (shaken and Iced espresso) and matcha lattes (sans coffee).

If specialty coffees are not your drink of choice, BTB has all the classics. Espresso drinks have the familiar strong coffee taste but without the acidity of far too many. Coupled with milk of choice (dairy or non-dairy) or simply by itself, BTB espresso holds its own among many Vineyard coffee shops.

Behind the Bookstore also serves breakfast, lunch, baked goods, and dinner in the summertime. It is known for its phenomenal avocado toast. Built upon on a thick slice of sourdough bread with a crunchy outside and soft inside, this snack is memorable. The hearty bread slice allows BTB to pile on the avocado, olive oil and red pepper flakes. With so many cafes serving avocado toast that is fit for an elf, BTB surprises customers with two massive slices. Although there may not be any twists to it, this toast surely is one of the best.

Whether you’re craving new and creative coffee or simply looking for the classics, BTB is a Martha’s Vineyard treasure.

Directions & Hours

What To Eat

Turkish Coffee

Avocado Toast


Behind the Bookstore Cafe Recipes


What do you think of Behind the Bookstore Cafe?

One Response to “Behind the Bookstore Cafe”

Bob Boyle

August 30th, 2023

I ordered the lobster & linguine. Very disappointing. The small lobster tails were dry and difficult to scrape out of the shells. The sauce tasted like it came out of a jar. I had a Martini that was not very cold and tasted pre-mixed. Not appealing at all.
On the other hand two of our party said the halibut was very good.


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