Located in what used to be a Gelato Classico, the new Snake & Butterfly cafe—or, to be precise, Factory & Lounge—in downtown Campbell links three hard-to-resist treats: artisanal chocolates, gelato and espresso. The cafe, which opened late summer last year, builds on the well-established reputation of the noted confectioners, who have been handcrafting organic, fair-trade chocolate bars in unusual flavor combinations since 2007.

The high-ceilinged corner space is lit by a pair of impressive frosted-glass hanging fixtures and two large walls of windows. The seating is in rattan-style chairs around small, round marble-top tables—with several overstuffed chairs for longer lounging periods. Extra tables take advantage of the wide sidewalk on Campbell Avenue. A corner bookshelf contains an eclectic selection of paperback and hard-cover fiction, as well as toys to amuse those too young to be satisfied with one of the cut-above espresso drinks (sourced from Barefoot Coffee Roasters). A bit of retro chic is provided by two old-school school desks—the one-piece kind with hinged, lift-up tops under which students used to squirrel away broken pencils, rulers and the erasers.

My latte was satisfying and rich, a perfect foil for an exquisite salted fig caramel with a blue glaze on top. The selection of chocolates showcases Snake & Butterfly’s main occupation with intriguing flavor combinations like apricot bourbon and jalape–o dolce de leche. A large, glass-fronted counter with a shiny red base contains two dozen flavors of gelato, some of them not encountered all that often: pumpkin, honey lavender and coppa mista. On a warm day, Snake & Butterfly would be the perfect spot for an affogato—a scoop of gelato gently melting into a shot or two of espresso.

The cafe also serves pour-over coffees, hot chocolate and chai, as well as some gluten-free baked treats. Of course, this is also the place to pick up wrapped bars of S&B’s chocolate, jars of flavored caramel sauces and four-packs of truffles. A excellent last-minute option for Valentine’s Day is a box of chocolates inside a dark-chocolate box (no waste that way), for $30.

Snake & Butterfly hosts a variety of events, including live music, trivia sessions, tastings and even a book club. The cafe opens at a leisurely 10am and stays open into mid-evening.

Snake & Butterfly
191 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell; 408.466.4023

Looking for other options for coffee and espresso? Visit SanJose.com’s South Bay Coffee Houses directory.