Minneapolis Coffee Guide: Where to Find the Perfect Brew

When it comes to finding the perfect coffee shop, Minneapolis stands out as a city rich with unique and inviting options that cater to every taste and preference. Whether you’re a local in search of your new favorite spot or a visitor looking to experience the city’s coffee culture, this comprehensive guide to the best coffee shops in Minneapolis is your essential resource. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, our selections are based on quality, ambiance, and the unique offerings that set each establishment apart from the rest.

As connoisseurs of the coffee scene, we’ve taken the time to explore the nooks and crannies of Minneapolis, sampling everything from the robust and rich espresso shots to the meticulously crafted latte art that adorns your morning cup. Our journey has led us to uncover the hidden gems of the city, where the passion for coffee brewing meets the warmth of community. In this guide, we not only highlight the top coffee shops but also delve into what makes each place special, from their sourcing of beans to their role in the local community.

This article promises to be more than just a list; it’s an invitation to explore the vibrant coffee culture that thrives within Minneapolis. Whether you’re after the quiet ambiance of a cozy nook to dive into a book or the bustling energy of a café that doubles as a creative workspace, we’ve got you covered. Our expert insights and insider tips will guide you through the city’s coffee landscape, ensuring that your next coffee experience is nothing short of extraordinary.

So, whether you’re a discerning coffee aficionado or simply in search of a warm, welcoming space to enjoy a good brew, join us as we embark on a caffeinated journey through Minneapolis. Prepare to discover new flavors, make new memories, and perhaps find your new favorite spot among the city’s best coffee shops.

Our Favorite Coffee Shops and Cozy Spots: A Deep Dive

Minneapolis offers an incredible range of coffee shops, each with their own character and loyal regulars. Here are some of my favorites so far:

Backstory Coffee Roasters

Backstory Coffee Roasters quickly became my go-to morning spot. Their skilled baristas make an incredible vanilla latte with just the right balance of espresso and creamy steamed milk. I’d highly recommend trying their nitro cold brew on a hot day too – so silky and refreshing!

Backstory has a minimalist, modern vibe with bright natural light streaming in through large windows. Plenty of two and four person tables make it easy to grab a seat, spread out your laptop and get to work. Prices are moderate, with lattes around $4.50 and pour overs starting at $3. The small shop layout isn’t wheelchair accessible, but the baristas are always happy to bring orders outside.

My favorite thing about Backstory is their dedication to ethical, sustainable coffee sourcing and service with a smile. You really feel the care they put into every cup.

Spyhouse Coffee Roasters

Spyhouse is known for their precision approach to coffee, with carefully calibrated machines and attentive staff. Their baristas can customize your drink’s texture, flavor balance and more upon request.

I’d recommend trying their Vanilla Cortado for a hit of sweetness in a creamy, concentrated espresso drink. Their Nitro Chai Toddy has been my go-to afternoon pick-me-up. The chai masala spice blend mixed with the nitrogen cascade effect is out of this world!

Spyhouse has several locations around Minneapolis. The Nicollet Ave location has a hip, edgy atmosphere with striking brick walls and metal light fixtures. Lots of outlets make it easy to post up with your computer for a few hours. They’re open from 6:30am to 10pm weekdays and 7am to 10pm weekends, making it a great option for early risers or late night workers. The free Wi-Fi is speedy enough for conference calls.

The Get Down Coffee Co.

Get Down Coffee stands out with their passion for showcasing small-batch and single origin coffee from around the world. They collaborate with talented local musicians and artists to create an eclectic, creative vibe. Every evening at 6pm they host live music showcases that draw big crowds.

Some of my favorite drinks are their seasonal molasses latte with hints of warm spice and the Ethiopian pourover with juicy notes of peach and lemon. The avocado toast with jalapeno and radish is a super tasty quick breakfast.

Inside, you’ll find walls splashed with bright murals, hanging plants, and reclaimed wood accents. The diverse mix of chairs, couches and cafe seating make it welcoming for all. Get Down Coffee takes accessibility seriously, with ramps, wide aisles, gender neutral restrooms and printed menus available in English and Spanish.

The friendly staff, community atmosphere, and incredible coffee make Get Down Coffee a neighborhood gem.

Kick-Start Your Day: Best Morning Brews

Kick-Start Your Day: Best Morning Brews
Kick-Start Your Day: Best Morning Brews

Need some extra fuel to tackle the day ahead? These spots are known for serving up energizing cups of joe nice and early.

Spyhouse opens at 6:30am on weekdays, making it a perfect stop for an expertly crafted espresso drink or pourover before heading to work. Their Piccolo Latte packs a double espresso shot into a petite 3.5 oz cup for a powerful punch.

Backstory Coffee is also open at 6:30am for all your early morning coffee needs. Grab one of their newly baked cinnamon rolls to go with a 16 oz French Press – the bold, full-bodied brew will definitely get you going.

For cold brew fans, stop by Peace Coffee’s stand inside the IDS TowerCrystal Court which opens at 7am. Their smooth, creamy cold brews come in a variety of flavors like vanilla, mocha, and maple pecan. Sip it while people watching in the downtown skyway system.

The Get Down Coffee Co. opens their doors at 7:30am Monday through Saturday, and 8:30am on Sundays. Their single origin pour over coffees are a lovely, bright choice to start the day. I’d highly recommend pairing it with their fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes for the ultimate morning treat.

Perfect Spots for a Coffee Date

Want to impress your date over cups of freshly roasted coffee? Here are some charming coffee shops around Minneapolis that are perfect for getting to know someone:

In the North Loop neighborhood, Spyhouse Coffee’s chic warehouse location has great date vibes. Share the exotic siphon pot coffee for two – your date will find the innovative brewing process fascinating.

Over in Northeast, Mojo Coffee Gallery has cozy couch corners that invite lingering conversations. Try their cinnamon brown sugar latte and grab a board game from their shelves.

For an artsy, romantic spot, head to Kunsthalle Cafe inside the Guthrie Theater. Order appetizing drinks like the vanilla fig latte or hibiscus cooler. Soak in the gorgeous riverfront views for extra atmosphere.

In South Minneapolis, Maeve’s Cafe has a quaint Irish pub feel with warm lighting, stained glass details, and even a fireplace! Split the expansive cheese and fruit board while sipping their incredible dirty chai lattes.

Dogwood Coffee on Lake St is a laid back option with freshly baked pastries. Order their refreshing grapefruit spritzer and take a stroll along the nearby walking path after your coffee date.

Instagram-worthy Coffee Shops

Instagram-worthy Coffee Shops
Instagram-worthy Coffee Shops

Many coffee shops in Minneapolis go above and beyond to create photogenic environments. Here are some of the most visually appealing:

Spyhouse Coffee’s sleek design with exposed brick and hanging Edison bulbs is super Instagrammable. Their glossy espresso shots and frothy, artful lattes in Zenz amber ceramic cups make every photo pop. The Nicollet Ave location also has an eye-catching indoor bike installation that people love taking selfies with.

Fiddlehead Coffee Co on Marshall Ave is splashed in jungle vibes with hanging plants, skylights, and a real fig tree smack in the center. Snap pics lounging on their vintage couches or capture the lush garden backdrop. Their seasonal lavender honey lattes in pastel blue mugs are totally made for your feed.

When it comes to stunning city views, check out Aesop on the 59th floor of the IDS Building downtown. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide a breathtaking 360 degree view. Capture the downtown Minneapolis skyline behind your cortado for an amazing shot.

A Closer Look: Specialty Brew Methods and Education

Beyond standard espresso and drip coffee, many local coffee shops use specialty brew methods to elevate the coffee experience:

Spyhouse offers amazing pour over coffee brewed to order on a sleek Dragonfly Brewer. Watching the barista’s precise pouring technique is quite mesmerizing!

Fiddlehead Coffee features traditional siphon pot coffee brewers at the bar. The vacuum brewing process extracts a clean, bright cup worthy of your next Instagram story.

At Dogwood Coffee Company, you can request a single cup filtered through their Chemex brewer for a smooth, rich pourover. The wood neck and glass decanter provide a rustic contrast to the stainless steel espresso machines.

Several shops also hold public cuppings and brewing workshops for coffee enthusiasts to hone their tasting and brewing skills. Backstory Coffee Roasters hosts free weekly tastings at 10am on Saturdays to sample different varieties. Sign up for Dogwood’s monthly classes like Latte Art 101 or Home Brewing Basics for hands-on education.

Vegan and Gluten-Free Delights

For specialty diets, many Minneapolis coffee shops offer plant-based milk alternatives and gluten-free treats:

The Get Down Coffee Co. has a dedicated oat milk latte with brown sugar syrup that’s incredible if you’re vegan. Their gluten-free blueberry morning muffin is sweetened with maple syrup instead of refined sugar.

At Peace Coffee, you can customize any espresso drink with oat, soy or coconut milk for free. They also have clearly labeled gluten-free baked goods like the double chocolate cookie and banana chocolate chip muffin.

Spyhouse Coffee bars use local Coco Moon oat and coconut milk that steam and foam deliciously. They offer gluten-free treats from local bakery Nadia Cakes, like snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies.

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The Remote Worker’s Haven: Co-Working and Study Spaces

Need a peaceful spot to work on your laptop and get stuff done? These coffee shops offer spacious seating, abundant outlets and lightning fast Wi-Fi:

Mojo Coffee Gallery has a dedicated co-working space called “The Studio” with roomy tables, noise-dampening panels, and super fast 100 mbps Wi-Fi. Open from 6am to 6pm daily.

The second floor of Spyhouse Coffee Warehouse is perfect for spreading out. The long communal table has plenty of outlets built right in. Countless metal hanging lamps add great ambiance without making it too dark.

At Peace Coffee’s Minnehaha location, you can work for hours at the large wooden tables by the window with cozy bench seating. There’s an outlet for every seat along with speedy Wi-Fi.

Seasonal Sensations and Limited-Time Offers

One of the best parts of exploring Minneapolis’ coffee scene is sampling all the seasonal specials and limited edition drinks. Here are some to look out for:

When summer rolls around, Backstory Coffee crafts a refreshing honeydew basil cold brew. It’s available for just a few months and sells out quickly.

For autumn, Fiddlehead Coffee’s pumpkin pie latte with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla is a huge hit. It’s topped with freshly grated nutmeg for a final flourish of fall spice.

Spyhouse Coffee has a holiday candy cane latte that tastes just like a minty candy cane in a cup. They whip it up fresh daily in December, so get it before it’s gone!

Award-Winners and Community Champions

Several Minneapolis coffee shops have been recognized nationally for their excellence:

Dogwood Coffee Company won the 2020 Good Food Award for their Los Delirios honey-processed coffee from El Salvador. The Good Food Awards celebrate tasty, sustainable food and drink.

Peace Coffee took home multiple 2022 Good Food Awards across different coffee categories. Try their award winning Panama Gesha coffee next time you visit!

The Get Down Coffee Co. won “Best Cafe” in Minnesota from Eater Awards 2021. Their care and innovation elevates everything they brew.

In addition to accolades, many shops like Spyhouse, Backstory and Peace Coffee actively support their local communities. They partner with and donate to organizations like The Family Partnership, Appetite for Change, and Partners in Food Solutions.

Your Turn: Reader Recommendations and Hidden Gems

While I’m still discovering all the gems Minneapolis’ coffee scene has to offer, I’d love to hear your tips! What are your favorite local coffee shops or specialty coffee drinks I should try next? Any hole-in-the-wall spots I might have overlooked or new cafes I should check out? Let me know in the comments – I’m always down for more amazing coffee adventures in this caffeinated city!

Conclusion

From locally roasted bean blends to cozy cafes to specialty coffee brewing, Minneapolis has so much to offer dedicated coffee lovers like myself. The culture of quality, community and passion that emanates through so many of these shops and roasters is truly special. I hope this guide provided a glimpse into the diversity and excitement of Minneapolis’ thriving coffee scene. There are always new cafes and roasts to discover in this dynamic city. So grab your reusable coffee mug, explore some of these spots, and let the adventures continue! What will your next coffee discovery be?

4 thoughts on “Minneapolis Coffee Guide: Where to Find the Perfect Brew”

  1. I used to love Spyhouse on 25th and Nicollet but apparently there are now 5 of them and they look kinda corporate. No longer a coffee house and more a cafe. Bob’s Java Hut on 26 and Lyndale is a blast during the summer. Used to be a big biker hangout, always lots of activity. Caffetto on Lyndale and 22nd has pinball machines so I love it regardless of quality.

  2. Caffeto is my favorite. They have pinball and some arcade games as well. Open till midnight. It’s like a dive bar but a coffee shop.

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