food for thought: coffee shops

10 Nov

This week’s food for thought question is: What is your favorite coffee shop?


Before I begin, it is worth noting that I am picking my favorite coffee shops not just on their coffee but on the overall experience they provide.

My favorite close to home: Nokomis Beach. I like that I will always see someone I know there and the main dude (yes, I said dude) always knows what I want even though I’m not there that often. It has a great overall vibe, you feel like family and it’s close to Lake Nokomis and Minnehaha Parkway. If you’re on your bike or on a run, it’s a fabulous pit stop.

Honorable Mention: Riverview Cafe. Super cute and they have live music on the weekend. It is a great place for a cup of joe and a piece of cake after a movie at the Riverview Theater. It is also connected to the Riverview Wine Bar which is superb – great snacks, great wine and an awesome atmosphere. It’s just a great corner of the city that all should frequent when they can.

Honorable Mention #2: Fireroast Mountain Cafe. I have mainly frequented this place at their stand at the Midtown Farmer’s market and from that experience I’ve gone to their actual shop a few times. They make all of their bakery items in house and from scratch and only use butter (no shortening) which you just have to love.They use organic ingredients and they always have vegetarian and vegan options available.  Brette is a huge fan of their walnut date scone and I recently had their granola for breakfast and it was fantastic. For tamale lovers, that is one of their specialties. They sell them at the market and it is one of their big sellers at the shop.  I’ve heard great things about their food and would definitely recommend it as a lunch spot in addition to a picking up coffee and a pastry.

If I’m in the neighborhood: Moose & Sadies. I used to love going there when I worked near by. Cool venue, good coffee (Peace Coffee) and great food – including a quiche of the day.  In addition to great food and coffee,  I always felt cool and hip being there. So, when I’m in the neighborhood, I always stop by to get that hip feeling.

Special occasion coffee shop: Cuppa Java in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood. I’ve never actually had coffee there, only their Chai Tea. They make their own blend and it is sooo good. I refer to it as Crack. In fact, I refer to the shop as Cuppa Crack. This is why I only go there a couple times a year (it is the pre-meeting place for the ladies I visit the outlet mall with twice a year).  You should go there, but proceed with caution. I am not responsible for what happens after you try the chai.

Favorite Chain: If I have a choice and it’s available, I pick Dunn Bros, then Starbucks, then Caribou. I prefer Dunn Bros.’s coffee the most and the general atmosphere.  Starbucks has the most “healthy” food items. I love that I can get oatmeal, a banana, or a spinach/egg wrap. I do also enjoy their pumpkin spice and their green tea latte.  Caribou has decent coffee. I will drink it without a problem. I’m not a fan of much else there. The food does nothing for me and their specialty drinks are just not the special compared to the locals.


I don’t drink coffee, SO… I probably don’t get into coffee shops as much as the average joe (heh heh, no pun). That said, I DO have the occasional latte (when I’m not pregnant), and I most frequently drink chai lattes. I don’t actually have a favorite coffee shop, so I’ll list off a few here that I sometimes visit and will give the merits of each.

Java Jacks: If I had to pick a favorite this would probably be it. They are always busy, have a colorful clientele, friendly service, decent chai, and are connected with RUSTICA BAKERY.

Sister Sludge (46th & Bloomington): This is the coffee shop closest to my house. I’ve actually probably only been there a total of five times, and have always ordered the chai, which tasted fine. I’ve never sat inside and hung out.

Riverview Cafe: Like it there, like their chai, like their baked goods. I would sit there and study when I was a grad student. More recently I’ve frequented a few times with Ryan, but their kiddie toy area grosses me out, so we’ll probably avoid it during flu season.

Bread and Chocolate: This is a very special coffee shop visiting place if I’m in the Grand Ave. area. I’ve never had their coffee, but their hot cocoa is exceptionally good and their baked goods are to die for. OhMyYum, I need to go there ASAP.

I don’t really care for Caribou much at all, but will go there if it’s the only place around and I need a hot beverage. I don’t like their chai. Starbucks is probably my fave chain coffee shop.

And readers…how about you? Are you a coffee shop snob? Or do you stop at SA on your way to work for some java and call it a day? What is your favorite coffee shop??


8 Responses to “food for thought: coffee shops”

  1. Fav Sista November 10, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    Well, out here in rural MN we have the Roadhouse Coffee shop which is fairly new. I have been there a few times. I love the owner, she is great and works to build rapport with everyone. Their coffee is fine. The atmosphere is a bit too forced western. However, people there are so relaxed everyone just joins into the conversation of the day so that is kind of cool. They also make great smoothies so teens love it too.
    As for chains, I am with Jen and would choose Dunn Bros. I got hooked on them through son #1 as that is his favorite as well.
    I’m interested in trying some of what you recommend. Next time I make it to the big city, perhaps I can make a visit to one or two.
    Last, I am with you Anne, Bread and Chocolate is awesome! Truly enjoyed that experience.

  2. Ann November 10, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    I have no favorite…oh, wait, it’s my very own coffee shop in my kitchen at 5:45 every morning!! The sound of the beans grinding wakes me up. Anything dark roast for me. Smooth, not bitter. We usually have Starbucks because my hubby gets gifts cards through work and I am all about anything free or discounted. BUT Wednesday morning I’ll be enjoying the Guatemalan coffee my “fav sista” just gave me..YUMMY.

  3. Jessa November 10, 2009 at 10:34 pm #

    Java Jacks

    I lived 50 yards from this place. Superfun!

  4. Fav Husba November 10, 2009 at 10:51 pm #

    Coffee is at the heart of my being. I like it bold and black. Cream and sugar are for wussies. I go to Jazzman’s. Never heard of it? That is because it is some Sodexho brand that they put on corporate campuses. It isn’t bad, but the corporate vibe will suck the soul right out of you.

    Otherwise, if I had to choose, Java Jacks is my favorite, especially when you can sit outside under the awning when it is raining. Nice.

  5. Susan November 13, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    Dunn Bros at Grand and Snelling. First one, best one.

  6. Jackson November 13, 2009 at 6:59 pm #

    I’m not much of a coffee drinker. If I do go somewhere for a coffee it would be Starbucks which is almost right next door and I always get a soy latte. During the holidays I get the ginger spiced latte with soy. Yum!
    I do not like Caribou at all.

  7. Jen L November 14, 2009 at 9:46 pm #

    mmm… Bread and Chocolate. Why are you torturing me, Anne? I’m going to have to come down and visit you so we can shop along Grand Ave. and have hot chocolate at B&C. And then share a cake at Wuollet’s!


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