Hidden Grounds: 4 Coffee Shops You Might Want to Try
La Prima Espresso and Nicholas Coffee & Tea Co. remain standard-bearers in the Strip and Downtown, respectively. These four shops — some of which you may not have happened upon in your day-to-day routine — join them in elevating coffee culture in and around Downtown.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated from its original publication in Oct. 2019.
Gasoline Street Coffee Company
Tucked under the Liberty Bridge is Gasoline Street Coffee, a comfortable spot that looks like what you’d get if you crossed a retro mechanic’s shop with a coffee joint. For vintage lovers and coffee-holics, it’s pretty neat; the eclectic collection of decorative odds and ends justifies ducking into an oft-overlooked corner of Downtown. Because of COVID restrictions, only open for takeout.
643 First Ave., Downtown
M-F 7a-5p, SA 9a-3p, SU closed
PHOTO BY ERIN KELLY
Settled just outside of Market Square’s main stretch is Rock’n’Joe, a music-themed coffee bar. If you aren’t on the lookout for the small facade situated between skyscrapers and restaurants, you might pass it by. But now that you know what you’re looking for, stop in and grab a cappuccino.
524 Penn Ave., Downtown
M-TH 6a-7p, F 6a-8p, SA 8a-8p, SU 10a-6p
Commonplace Coffee is a well-known name, but unless you were looking for its bright and sunny outpost tucked in the Mexican War Streets, you’d never know it was there. It has books on the tables and board games at the ready; with tall yellow flowers greeting you at the door, it’s hard not to smile and relax. Because of COVID restrictions, only open for curbside takeout.
1501 Buena Vista St., Central North Side
De Fer Coffee & Tea
Stop at De Fer, where the decor toes the line between classy and rustic, for coffee before work — and then again afterward for a cocktail. If you’re willing to brave the construction in the Strip District, the chamomile latte is well worth it. Because of COVID restrictions, only open for curbside takeout and delivery.
2002 Smallman St., Strip District
M 7a-4p, TU-TH 7a-8p, F 7a-9p, SA 8a-9p, SU 8a-5p