Tomato and mozzarella sandwich and matcha latte. SAMANTHA DELLILO/Keys Weekly

The minute you walk over the threshold of Café Moka’s newest location in Tavernier, it feels like you’re stepping out of the Keys and into a quaint coffee shop where it’s always fall outside. 

I swear I even heard a “whoosh” of all my stress leaving my body when I walked in. This can be a place you stop by for a quick bite or coffee to go, but it should be the place you’re finding a little spot to sip and nosh while doing some remote work. 

During my last visit I made it a point not to get my usual order, and tried everything else instead. Right off the bat the matcha latte had me hooked. Something I never would have ordered in the past now is my new favorite. A few staff members insisted I try the ham and cheese croissant and I actually wasn’t that excited but caved in. I thought I love their croissants but I know what ham and cheese taste like, I didn’t want to waste an order on a ham and cheese croissant. 

Wowzah. Again, I was wrong. The way the fat from the ham meets the fat from the butter in the croissant, which then meets the fat in the cheese, they meld into a whole new flavor. Another new go-to. The tomato and mozzarella sandwich is such a fresh and light lunch. The mozzarella was creamy and with just the right amount of salt. The tomatoes had little bursts of sweetness while the arugula brought the nuttiness. 

The star of the sandwich for me was that pesto. I could slather that pesto on everything. I also gave their gluten-free banana bread a taste; who knew I wouldn’t miss the gluten? I took half of that banana bread home and it was even better cold from the fridge. Lastly, I had to try the quiches, which were bursting with flavor. The goat cheese and veggie quiche was my favorite.

I know I’m all over the place in this article jumping from sweet to savory, but I was all over the place during this visit. I tried everything. The most classic item I had of the day was definitely the almond croissant. Order me an almond croissant and an oat milk latte and I’m a happy girl. 

Café Moka has a cult following so I know I will get yelled at one way or another for not trying this or that, but I promise I will be back. On my way out I always check the beverage fridge because they stock some seriously fun and unique drinks. You’ll see me add one or two every time I’m checking out. I actually can’t wait for the next dreary, stormy day for me to head in there with my journal. I’m telling you the whole place is a vibe we don’t normally get down here. Café Moka is not your typical Keys spot and I’m thankful for that.

The matcha latte
Samantha Dellilo has been in the Keys since she was 1 day old, so definitely consider her a Conch. Holding a passion for food since she can remember, while most kids were watching Barney, she was watching Emeril. "Being half Cuban and half Italian, food in those cultures is considered a love language. It's a total experience whether eating out or cooking." She's been with her other half, Marky, going on 17 years. The two met when they were 9 years old at Key Largo School. Samantha owns Florida Keys Eats, which is a blog of "must eat, must see, and must dos" from Key Largo to Key West.