seeking quality coffee houses in the USA


New member
Sep 23, 2004
on the road
Visit site
I'm on the road in the USA, exploring the country. I like excellent coffee and like very much to spend tme in coffee houses working (writing), reading local newspapers, and talking to "the locals." I'm interested in identifying good coffee houses as I travel - if you have suggestions, I'd like to hear from you. More to the point, I'm looking for an efficient way to track coffee houses down as I travel.

At the moment I'm in Minnesota, heading towards South Dakota and Wyoming, will be in Colorado after that. So I'd like to hear of coffeehouses in those states. Others will follow!

My idea of a suitable coffeehouse includes:

- excellent coffee, of course. Bias towards places that roast their own, but that's not necessary. I drink plain coffee, no fancy drinks, no flavored stuff, etc.
- pleasant atmosphere to hang out. I have a slight bias towards places that are not imitating the atmosphere of Starbucks (though many Starbucks wannabes have great coffee and I'm delighted to go to them). I like places where people talk to strangers, places supporting the local community, places selling organic and/or fair trade coffee, places using their walls to display and sell the work of local artists, etc.
- free wireless internet access. That seems to be increasingly common, and it's a huge advantage for me. Electric outlets to plug in the laptop are a major asset too.
- no smoking - I think that might be almost universal.

I'd like to hear your recommendations, and your suggestions of how to find good places! If anyone knows of any books on coffee houses in the US, I'd be interested to know of them, as well.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
Boca Raton
Visit site
GYPSY?? Hide the children! :shock: just kidding...wish you luck in finding local shops...there was a website that coffee shops would send links and info about their shop..I will look for it and post it later...was reading your site a bit this morn...not sure I could give all my crap away and jet...but all the power too you...good luck!
The transfair web site and use their store finder. You can also call roasters themselves toll free and ask for a coffee shop in a given city.

Green Mountain Coffee (888) 879-4627
Peets 1.800.999.2132
Buck's County 800-844-8790
There are 2 indepdents in Grinnell, Iowa. One is typical college coffee bat and the other seems like a trendy urban coffee bar that got lost in small town Iowa.
I bet every college down has some great coffee shops.

you get the idea. Have a great trip.


New member
Nov 1, 2004
Kankakee, IL 60901
Visit site
if you ever get around the Chicago area, we are about an hour's drive south, off of I-57, in downtown Kankakee.
We opened our gourmet coffee bar in Feb. 2004 and moved a few doors down in September. Our customers couldn't wait for us to re-open. They didn't like having to get their coffee at gas stations, etc.
We don't roast our own coffee, but the company we get it from ships it out to us the same day it is roasted. We get it within 3 days.
We will have wireless internet for laptops in the near future. We have electrical outlets, comfy sofas, and a no-smoking environment.
Hope you can visit us sometime along your travels. You won't be disappointed!


New member
Sep 25, 2003
Syracuse NY
Visit site
This glaring blank space in the world of online information resources was something I once started to address but at the time I lacked the time resources and software interface to properly address it. I still own the URL and think I should get back to it when time permits, perhaps using the Invisions discussion forum software.

In the past I also did a great deal of traveling for work related reasons but never found any single resource where this information was readily available.


New member
Oct 18, 2004
Visit site
Owen - you could set it up like this BB and have people post their cafes. Maybe one topic for owners listing their own, and another for reviews from customers of different shops.
That way you wouldn't need to do all the leg work :-D


New member
Jan 11, 2005
Burlington, VT
Visit site

I was (am?) exactly in your situation! So I just recently took action and did something about it.

I don't want to promote another site here on this forum (and a good forum it is!), but your post seemed to specifically address it.

I just created www.l to act as a centralized cafe review website. Launched it just yesterday. I've got three reviews of my own on it, and I'm hoping to get thousands more. But, it's up to you guys to help populate it!

Cruise on over and submit reviews of cafes that you've been too, and with any luck, we'll have a national database of cafe reviews faster than you can down your espresso. ;-)

And please note, it WAS just launched yesterday, so there will be changes, and I want to listen to what you guys want changed! Email me at [email protected] or post on the forum.

Happy drinking!


Local Bean

Latest posts