There are an abundance of coffee shops in and around our great state. And why shouldn’t there be? Meeting for coffee is a great way to start the day, to break the ice on a first date or to spend an afternoon with a dear friend or loved one. Take a walk down any main street and you’re sure to spot one or two little java joints. Some of these coffee shops go above and beyond their call of duty (to serve piping hot caffeinated beverages) and serve up a whole menu of other items. These are some of the coffee shops you’ll find here in Minnesota that feature more than just coffee.
5001 Penn Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55419
This new, up-and-coming coffee shop nestled near 50th and Penn in South Minneapolis features fair trade and organic coffees and teas as well as pastries, sandwiches and treats from local bakeries. Sparrow Cafe opened its doors New Year’s Day 2013 and is creating a little following of its own. If you find yourself out and about and in the neighborhood, stop by for a cinnamon morning bun, almond croissant or a maple bacon long john for breakfast. The lunch crowd will be equally as pleased with sandwiches on its ever-changing menu such as the smoked ham sandwich made with locally sourced meat from a farm in Minnesota or a rosemary Dijon roast beef sandwich.
2451 Nicollet Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Spyhouse has been a staple of Uptown Minneapolis for years. It could be that each cup is brewed by drip, pour-over or French press, that the baristas take fervent care of each cup they create or that it is the place to see and be seen. It’s the place where hipster meets artist meets businessman meets nurse just getting off her shift. It’s the place where everyone is welcome to enjoy a carefully crafted, steaming cup of joe. Spyhouse goes above and beyond your typical cup of coffee and serves you coffee with a smile and maybe even an edible flower on top to garnish it.
2038 Marshall Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Andrew Kopplin, the owner and cafe’s namesake, is passionate about coffee. He takes special care in hand selecting the beans to make sure their full flavor potential is met, and that they were grown and harvested with no pesticides or harmful chemicals. Kopplin’s boasts that its espressos are made from grass-fed milk from local and organic dairy farms. Kopplin’s goes beyond the standard cup of coffee by knowing exactly who is growing the beans, how they are being harvested and stored and even how and when they are getting shipped to the St. Paul storefront. One more standout? This cafe has its own book club and frequently hosts art-related events and shows.
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Jerabek’s New Bohemian
63 W. Winifred St.
St. Paul, MN 55107
Jerabek’s New Bohemian got its start over 100 years ago when a Czech immigrant opened a common bakery in St. Paul. Years later, Jerabek’s uses the same recipes and traditions for its pies, cakes, breads and pastries. Today, when you stop into this coffee shop on West Winifred Street in St. Paul, you’ll find a wide array of coffees and baked goods as well as vintage household items and gifts. This is a great place to spend a weekend afternoon with a good book.
317 Main St. S.
Stillwater, MN 55082
Daily Grind in Stillwater features a menu with a wide array of items. Beyond coffee, you’ll find smoothies, milkshakes, grilled sandwiches, cakes, bars, cookies, salads and more. All of the selections are great options either to start out your day or after you’ve already hit Main Street popping in and out of gift shops. Inside you’ll find tables, chairs and sofas (think Central Perk on “Friends”), all excellent places to rest your feet and look over your purchases of the day.
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Amber Ranzau lives on the edge of Uptown in Minneapolis and is a gal about town. She frequents the local restaurant scene, loves to support new and local businesses, follows the latest and greatest fashion and design trends, and she does all of this while working as an interior designer, spending time with her man, The Specialist, and taking care of her two goldfish Felix and Petunia and their tankmate Huey the Snail. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.