College Dining on a Dime: Cafe Mio Wows as a Local Wonder

Looking for a cozy place to relax and eat a meal that won’t stress out your wallet? Café Mio, located on Route 44/55 in Gardiner is the place to go for a cozy atmosphere with delicious food at an affordable price. The owner, Mike Bernardo, gave me the inside scoop on his love for food and everything local.

“My love of food and farms led to wanting to have my own place where I could showcase the greatness of the Hudson Valley,” Bernardo said. “Gardiner is a great small town within a great proximity of many farms.”

Working with local farms creates a sense of teamwork and community between restaurateurs and local farms. But how does this sense of community benefit the customers who are eating what is presented to them?

“More and more people want to know where their food is coming from and are becoming more educated on how it’s produced,” Bernardino said. “We try to go about what we do as a local restaurant and use the best quality products we can.”

Café Mio works with several local farms and coffee roasters including Full Moon Farms, located in Gardiner, which according to their website, “proudly offers grass fed beef, pastured pork, lamb, goat and free range chicken.”

For their local coffee, Café Mio works with Phillies Bridge Coffee Company, which is located in New Paltz. According to their website, they’re a “specialty coffee micro-roaster” and their coffee is sold throughout the Hudson Valley at stores like Adams in Kingston and served at eateries like Moxie Cup (ask for the specialty option!).

And Café Mio doesn’t just respect the aspect of teamwork/community; they’re also extremely environmentally conscious.

“We try to use as much local and sustainable products as we can, we compost, recycle fryer oil, use biodegradable Togo containers,” Bernardo said. “Also, our coffee is fair trade and many other things.”

I’m a lover of all types of grilled cheeses so whenever I get the chance to try one I have never had before, I go for it. For only $8 (and for $1 extra served along with their delicious thin cut fries), I decided to get a classic grilled cheese with a twist: grilled cheese with tomato and avocado.

On crusty bread, with ripe tomato and avocado and the cheese bringing the whole sandwich together, it was a perfect lunch to enjoy either with your favorite book or your favorite people. The fries are salty and crispy (the best type of fry) and went along beautifully with this cheesy sandwich.

Since it is also located very close to the Rail Trail, it’s also a nice place to cool down with a very delicious iced coffee that only costs $1.75.

Café Mio can be found on their website or on Facebook as Cafe Mio.