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MSP'S BEST COFFEE SHOPS

13 PLACES

UPDATED NOV 11, 2019

With Minnesota’s trademark weather extremes, it’s no surprise that locals have quite an affinity for a cup of coffee. Luckily, the Twin Cities have an abundance of independent coffee shops. So the next time you’re looking for a caffeine fix, check out one of these local gems!

author

GINA VAN THOMME

FITT TWIN-CITIES CONTRIBUTOR

Crafting the perfect cup of coffee is a true art, but Mojo Coffee Gallery doesn’t stop there. Here, visitors can enjoy artfully-crafted beverages while checking out the work of other local artists hanging on the walls. While we’re definitely not the first ones to make this pun, it’s too fun to resist: one trip to Mojo, and you’ll be wanting mo’ joe. Fitt tip: sometimes artists will stop by for live demonstrations!

Coffee and cycling is a combo we think many members of the Fitt Fam can get behind. Need your bike fixed up? At Angry Catfish, you can browse the bikes and enjoy an Intelligentsia or Wisconsin-made Ruby brew while you wait. Or, better yet, ride your bike to the cafe and grab a cup of coffee before pedaling around the nearby Lake Nokomis.

With multiple locations between Minneapolis and Saint Paul, you’re never far from a freshly-roasted brew at this TC fave. With killer coffee and rustic decor that looks like a Pinterest board come to life, Spyhouse is a go-to for coffee dates, pounding out homework, or unwinding after a stressful day. Before you leave, be sure to try one of their signature lattes, like the honey and lavender-flavored Spygirl or the caramel-y Carmella.

Cocktail bitters usually draw to mind images of, well, cocktails. But this coffee shop is changing the game by swapping the sugar-bomb syrups found in most lattes for a better, bitter twist. Alongside a full menu of traditional drinks, one of nine signature lattes, The Kingfield (named for one of the shop’s ‘hoods — the other in in Northeast!) combines Hawaiian sea salt, vanilla, and coriander bitters. Fitt Tip: start your week out right with Five Watt’s Sunday Service, a neighborhood gathering complete with a toast bar (!!!) and live organ music.

With coffee from La Colombe and a baked goods menu so tempting that every visit has the dangerous potential of turning into a cheat day (who can resist a good crepe?), Penny’s is a crowd-pleaser. Whether you visit the downtown location or the Linden Hills shop, this place more than lives up to their ‘OK’ logo.

Café Astoria is gold, literally. In addition to traditional brews, they serve a 24k Latte made with an edible gold leaf. And that’s just the beginning of the long list of menu items we want to try here. Right off of Grand Ave., this cafe is a brunch destination with smoothie bowls, crepes, oatmeal and one amazingly creative coffee menu. Café Astoria definitely gets a gold star in our books.

When you drink Peace Coffee, you’re not the only one who benefits from your caffeine buzz. Fair Trade and organic since they first opened their doors in 1996, this shop is parented by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and sources their beans from fairly-compensated farmers. Find Peace Coffee by the bag at retailers throughout the city, or visit their storefront in Longfellow or downtown.

Another staple in the TC coffee scene, Dogwood Coffee is all about quality, from the sourcing to the service. Lucky for us, there are plenty of ways we can get our hands on some of their coffee. You can find Dogwood beans in bags at retailers throughout the cities, savor a steaming cup of at one of three coffee bar locations, or pick up a to-go cold brew from their trailer at a farmers market or food truck festival. However you take your coffee, Dogwood delivers.

Quixotic is quite literally a coffee bar. With both coffee and beer on tap, this Highland Park shop is guaranteed to please whether you stop by for an AM pick-up or a post-work drink. Our recommendations? For coffee, don’t miss the equally tasty and trendy nitrogen-infused cold brew. For beer, you can’t go wrong with a pick from local breweries like Brauhaus and Fulton. Can’t decide? Bent Paddle’s Cold Press Black Ale combines both. Cheers!

Less than a block from the light rail’s Raymond Ave. stop, Workhorse may seem inconspicuous from the outside, but they’re unforgettable once you’ve visited. Every detail about this place has us impressed, especially the museum-worthy latte art. Oh, and speaking of museums, Workhorse converted the former fire hose cabinet outside their front door into a tiny art display that was officially named Saint Paul’s Smallest Museum (seriously… there was even a ribbon cutting ceremony.)

Canteen is an Uptown favorite thanks to their awesome coffee and Canteen Girl baked goods. Here, you can enjoy a caramel latte with a side of one of their signature toasts (we're partial to their homemade Maple Almond Butter). Visit between 10am and 1pm on Saturdays and Sundays for Toast Happy Hour, or check out their Canteen Girl bars at other shops around the Twin Cities.

In search of some sunny LA vibes on a grey Minnesota day? This North Loop newcomer has the cure with their over-the-top coffee elixirs (Espresso Old Fashioneds! Butter coffee!) and menu offerings like lox bagels, acai bowls, and a nitro cold brew cheese dip. In other words, Fairgrounds is total millennial heaven. We’ll see you there!

A venture by the folks behind the lighting company Hennepin Made, this North Loop coffee shop/event space serves up brews from Verve, Oddly Correct, Tandem, and Middle State Coffee Roasters. They even have a full menu that includes weekend brunch. Fitt Tip: keep an eye on Parallel’s events calendar as they’ve been known to host on-site workout events (including collabs with Alchemy!).

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