Danielle Gyory, '19, studies the menu at Blue Sky Cafe on 4th street in Bethlehem. Blue Sky is many Lehigh students' favorite place to eat, and socialize. (Hallie Fuchs/B&W staff)

Lehigh Staples: Blue Sky Cafe


If you can’t decide between a veggie omelet or a large, fluffy french toast with warm chocolate chips and bananas, you can have both at South Bethlehem’s Blue Sky Cafe.

Blue Sky is best described as cozy with a cool vibe. Music is playing, food is fresh and original and tables are always filled.

“Blue Sky offers a relaxed, laid back atmosphere with plenty of interesting art pieces to admire while you eat,” Kelsey Lynch, ’17, said.

Blue Sky opened in South Bethlehem in 2007, and ever since then, has been a popular brunch destination for Lehigh students.

Two main factors that attract Lehigh students to the cafe are its food and distinct aura. Students can enjoy an affordable and appetizing meal in a restaurant located within walking distance from campus in a comfortable and homey setting.

Leah Holmes, ’17, is a cross country runner who values what she eats. She admires the cafe’s healthy options, as well as its ambiance.

“The atmosphere is very quaint and provides a very comforting vibe,” Holmes said. “It’s the perfect place to go for a relaxed but nice morning meal.”

Blue Sky is not only popular among Lehigh students, but also within the Bethlehem community. Shelli Topping, a manager at Blue Sky, said the cafe gets service from Bethlehem and Allentown residents, as well as Lehigh students.

“I would say 40 to 50 percent of our customers are Bethlehem residents,” Topping said. “During the school year I would say Lehigh students make up 30 to 40 percent.”

Dereck Wallen, Topping and her husband, Chris, became the owners of Blue Sky in September 2015, when the cafe shifted to new management. Since then, popularity is still high because of the cafe’s diverse menu options.

After speaking with a number of Lehigh students, no one item can be considered the most popular. The menu offers a variety of breakfast and lunch options that serve to gratify many different eating styles. It even includes seasonal and monthly specials, such as September’s apple walnut pancakes.

For those who look for a healthy alternative, Holmes suggests the veggie omelet with avocado and a bagel. For those with a morning sweet-tooth, there is a “sweets and treats” section on the menu featuring items like s’mores french toast and pumpkin pancakes.

Fifth-year student Michael Celente said he has tried a couple of different things on the menu, but his favorites are the Steel City Omelet, the Breakfast Burrito and the Mega Breakfast sandwich.

“I like Blue Sky because it’s nice to support a local restaurant as opposed to a chain like Waffle House or Perkins,” Celente said. “The service is great, the coffee is always hot and fresh and everything I’ve ever had on the menu is fresh and tasty.”

Corina Fitzgerald, ’17, enjoys the taste and presentation of the dishes at Blue Sky as well. Like Celente, one of Fitzgerald’s favorites is the Steel City Omelet, but she also orders the Sweet Potato Quesadilla.

Because of Blue Sky’s small size and popularity, the wait for a table can sometimes be long. While sitting at the tabletop is usually seen as a last-minute option, many Blue Sky patrons find they enjoy it.

In fact, many prefer the tabletop option because a seat there means a front-row seat to watch the chef cook meals, allowing customers to see just what goes into their food from the ingredients to the heart and enjoyment of the man behind the meal.

“I like sitting at the tabletop because I like to watch how the chef prepares my meal,” Holmes said. “I like to cook a lot myself, so I like watching how he does things.”

Whether one is a Lehigh student, a Bethlehem resident or a passerby, everyone seems to be in agreement that Blue Sky isn’t just an average brunch place. It’s family-oriented, cozy and provides customers with a creative menu that every taste bud can enjoy.

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