3 Little Figs

If you blink, you might miss it. Except that there’s a line out the door, winding down the block, and a smattering of bright blue chairs dotting the sidewalk … so you’ll likely find your way. Inconspicuously nestled between homes on Highland Avenue sits 3 Little Figs, a tiny, bustling cafe where owner Katie Rooney and her team turn out breakfasts, brunches, and lunches worthy of the love and affection of the masses.

This place is the definition of a neighborhood café, an endearing spot where queuing up for a buttery Lavender Biscuit and expertly pulled cappuccino is well worth the wait. No matter the time of day, it’s nearly impossible not to be diverted from your intended order by the offerings in the small pastry case, filled with distractions like hunks of Sweet Potato Spice Cake impeccably adorned with a drizzle of icing, and Apple Cider Donut Muffins the size of a child’s fist.

And that pastry case isn’t the only test of will. Snagging one of the limited seats and settling into a hefty Pepper Biscuit replete with bacon, egg, and cheddar will not quell the longing that comes from seeing the vibrant Lox on Toast at the table to your right, or the duo of Spinach and Sausage Breakfast Pies to your left. A stronger person would admire the view. A smarter person would get back in line and order a dessert course, like the not-too-Sweet Ricotta toast dusted with cinnamon and swirled with honey, or the Lil’ Figgy sandwich filled with almond butter, banana, cinnamon, and honey.

Somerville’s Spring Hill doesn’t have to be your neighborhood for this to be your spot.

Next door is 3 Little Figs’ colorful kid sister, Health Club. Go for the veggie-focused menu of salads and smoothies but stay for the spot-on ‘80s neon vibe.

To avoid the line, you can order and pay online (get it?!) before arrival.

If you’re looking to post up with your computer and enjoy a lavender biscuit and a latte, do it during the week. Weekends are a wifi-free zone to accommodate the hungry crowds and encourage human interaction.

Must Haves

  • Every bite is equal parts buttery and punchy with black pepper, egg, cheddar, and (optional) thick-sliced bacon.

  • Salty prosciutto paired with sweet fig spread and tangy goat cheese might sound like a decadent combination, but this sandwich pulls off a satisfying intersection of sweet and savory while still feeling lightweight.

  • The simplicity of a decadent layer of smooth ricotta on a thick toasted slice of sourdough dressed up with swirls of honey and cinnamon is a killer combo—it can satisfy a sweet tooth without being overly sugary.

  • Only available on weekends, this square slab of pie is packed with a full breakfast: egg, potato, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and local pork sausage tucked into a buttery crust. Utensils not required.

Fun Fact

Owner Katie Rooney says her cafe’s name is a nod to her Mediterranean roots and the three women—she, her mother, and her sister—at the heart of the bakery. We think it’s also a great play on the title of a particularly porcine children’s tale.

Tastes of 3 Little Figs

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