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Find Your Perfect Brew – Best Coffee Shops in Minneapolis

In the heart of the Midwest, Minneapolis stands out not just for its vibrant culture and beautiful lakes, but also for its thriving coffee scene. Whether you’re a local in search of your next favorite spot or a visitor eager to experience the city’s rich coffee culture, our guide to the best coffee shops in Minneapolis is your essential companion. With an eye for quality, atmosphere, and the unique stories behind each establishment, we’ve scoured the city to bring you a curated list that showcases the very best of what Minneapolis has to offer. From artisan roasters perfecting their craft to cozy nooks that invite you to linger over a perfectly brewed cup, each coffee shop on our list has been selected for its ability to deliver exceptional experiences. As connoisseurs of coffee and culture, we understand the importance of that first sip in setting the tone for your day or providing a moment of solace in a busy schedule. Our expertise in distinguishing the exceptional from the merely good ensures that you’ll discover places where the coffee is not just a beverage, but a journey. So, whether you’re in pursuit of the ultimate latte, a meticulously brewed pour-over, or a space that feels like a home away from home, let us guide you through the alleys and streets of Minneapolis. Prepare to awaken your senses, find new favorites, and even learn a thing or two about the art of coffee making. Read on to embark on a caffeinated journey through the city that promises not just to satisfy your coffee cravings but to enrich your understanding of this dynamic, ever-evolving scene.

A Brief History of Coffee in the Twin Cities

Coffee has long been a beloved beverage in the Twin Cities, with the city’s first coffee shops opening their doors over a century ago. In the early 1900s, modest diners and cafes began offering simple coffee drinks to customers. At the time coffee was viewed as more utilitarian than experiential, providing workers and families with an inexpensive pick-me-up.

In the post-war period of the 1940s and 1950s, coffee gained popularity across America. During this era, coffee shops evolved into bustling social hubs where community members gathered to connect over a hot cup of joe. Locals might stop into corner cafes for a quick coffee break or linger for hours over endless refills. Diners, gas stations, and luncheonettes all joined the coffee craze, installing lunch counters for patrons to enjoy coffee, pastries, and sandwiches.

During the 1960s and 70s, coffee culture continued to expand in the Twin Cities. The coffee house movement brought non-commercial hangouts where folks could debate politics, hear live music, or simply socialize in a relaxed environment centered around coffee. Independent, bohemian-style coffee houses popped up in affinity with the counterculture movement.

In the 1980s, a pivotal shift occurred when local independent roasters and small-batch coffee shops emerged in the Twin Cities. These pioneering shops focused on sourcing high-quality coffee beans and took pride in small-batch roasting. Their skilled baristas offered elevating the coffee experience through carefully crafted drinks. Suddenly, coffee was no longer just a daily ritual but an artisanal experience worth savoring.

This shift towards artisan coffee snowballed in the 1990s with the rise of powerhouse local roasters like Caribou Coffee and Starbucks establishing roots in the Twin Cities. Coffee became recognized as a craft, a culinary experience, and even a lifestyle. Cafes focused on ambiance and customers came to expect specialty drinks, Wi-Fi, and comfort.

Today, the Twin Cities boast one of the most dynamic coffee cultures in the Midwest. The sheer density of independent coffee shops is astonishing, with niche cafes and roasters continuing to emerge across the Twin Cities. Our coffee scene celebrates skilled craftsmanship alongside community connections, driving a world-class coffee movement.

15 Quintessential Twin Cities Coffee Shops

15 Quintessential Twin Cities Coffee Shops
15 Quintessential Twin Cities Coffee Shops

With hundreds of coffee shops scattered across the Twin Cities, how does one decide where to go? Here are 15 must-visit local favorites that capture the diversity and passion of our coffee culture.

1. Spyhouse Coffee

  • Locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul
  • Noted for its vintage vibe and exposed brick interiors
  • Roasts coffee on-site in a massive Probat roaster
  • Seasonal drinks like honey cardamom lattes

Spyhouse helped launch the Twin Cities’ artisan coffee revival in the early 2000s. Stop in to absorb the rustic-industrial ambiance and sample Spyhouse’s small-batch roasted coffees. Patrons rave about the lavender mocha.

  • Rating: 4.6
  • Reviews: 433
  • Address: 215 S 4th St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

2. Peace Coffee

  • Locations in Minneapolis
  • Solar-powered roastery
  • Fair trade beans supporting growers
  • Community events like open mics and art shows

Peace Coffee roasts organic, fair trade coffee while promoting sustainable business practices. Their funky coffee shops emanate an energetic, activist vibe. Everything on the menu showcases ethical, eco-conscious ingredients.

3. Angry Catfish Bicycle & Coffee Bar

  • Location in Minneapolis
  • Combined bike shop and coffee shop
  • Bike parking, lockers, tools, and pumps for cyclists
  • Scenic patio overlooking Minnehaha Creek

Embracing the Twin Cities’ cycling culture, Angry Catfish mixes coffee, bike repairs, and trails. Patrons can sip smoothies while their bikes get tuned up or take a coffee break mid-ride on the picturesque patio. The all-ages crowd and nextdoor playground make this a family-friendly spot.

4. Five Watt

  • Locations in Minneapolis
  • Specializes in nitro coffee on tap
  • Dog-friendly patio
  • Coffee concentrate shots add bold flavor

For super smooth cold brew, Five Watt brews with nitrogen-infused water for a creamy cascading effect. Their innovation shines through unique taps, coffee cocktails, and coffee growlers to-go. Five Watt is a nice spot to take your pup and sample nitrogen coffee.

5. Wesley Andrews

  • Locations in Minneapolis
  • Elegant, upscale atmosphere with leather sofas
  • Gourmet coffee and tea blended with housemade syrups
  • Lavish weekend brunch

For a more upscale coffee experience, visit Wesley Andrews. With its warm lighting, brick walls, and posh furnishings, it feels like an urban coffee lounge. Sip exquisite handcrafted drinks like brown butter lattes or juniper rose teas. Their Instagram-worthy brunch menu draws weekend crowds.

  • Rating: 4.7
  • Price: $
  • Reviews: 434
  • Address: 111 E 26th St, Minneapolis, MN 55404

6. Tiny Diner

  • Locations in Minneapolis
  • Vintage-style diner with lunch counter
  • Old-fashioned sodas and malts
  • Baked goods like potica and scones

For a blast from the past, visit Tiny Diner with its throwback 1940s interior. Belly up to the counter for classic diner fare like pot roast plates and chicken pot pie washed down with a milkshake or egg cream. Tiny Diner will satisfy your nostalgia cravings.

7. Dogwood Coffee

  • Locations across the Twin Cities
  • Several coffee bars plus a coffee truck
  • Direct trade beans
  • Inventive drinks like Spanish latte with sweetened condensed milk

This much-loved local roaster supplies beans to cafes across the Twin Cities yet also operates its own quaint coffee bars. Dogwood is revered for ethical sourcing and small-batch roasting mastery. Try unique offerings like sparkling cascara tea.

  • Rating: 4.6
  • Price: $
  • Reviews: 481
  • Address: 4021 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

8. Kopplin’s Coffee

  • Locations in St. Paul
  • Housed in a historic Victorian mansion
  • Organic fair trade beans
  • Intimate fireplace seating areas

Tucked into a lovely 1887 Victorian home, Kopplin’s is all about ambiance. Find a quiet nook inside or sip your mocha on the stunning garden patio. All of Kopplin’s single-origin coffees showcase elegant flavor profiles.

9. Fig + Farro

  • Locations in Minneapolis
  • Bright, plant-filled space with large windows
  • Housemade fig jam, nut butters, and baked goods
  • Coffee meets wellness in specialty drinks

This sunny neighborhood spot pairs coffee with clean eating. Sip health-conscious blended drinks featuring turmeric, matcha, collagen, and vitamin dusts. Or sample their vibrant salads and grain bowls made with local and organic produce.

10. Quixotic Coffee

  • Locations in Minneapolis
  • Coffee paired with beer, wine, and cocktails
  • Evening hours and late-night snacks
  • Game nights and live music in evenings

For an energetic evening vibe, check out Quixotic’s coffee house by day, bar by night mashup. Come for the coffee and pastries, then stay for the microbrews, shareable bites, and trivia nights as the space transforms into a lounge.

11. Arbeiter Brewing Co.

  • Location in Minneapolis
  • Coffeehouse meets microbrewery
  • Locally roasted Peace Coffee
  • Fresh pastries from本地 German bakery
  • Massive beer garden

This unique hybrid spot fuses an airy coffeehouse with a bustling microbrewery. Sip a nitro cold brew in their sleek taproom before heading outdoors to play yard games in the sprawling beer garden. The community vibes here are top-notch.

12. Mojo Monkey Donuts

  • Locations across the Twin Cities
  • Gourmet doughnut shop
  • Inventive flavors like PB&J, Churro, and Maple Bacon
  • Served with local specialty coffee

Mojo Monkey elevates the humble doughnut to an art form with flavors like Peanut Butter Loco and Zen Kitty. Their oversized doughnuts are best enjoyed with a cup of specialty coffee sourced from local roasters. Indulge your sweet tooth at Mojo Monkey.

13. Blackeye Roasting Co.

  • Locations in St. Paul
  • Direct trade organic coffee
  • Coffee classes and public cuppings
  • Rustic coffeehouse seating in a remodeled auto shop

Blackeye not only serves phenomenal coffee but strives to educate people about the power of quality beans. Sign up for one of their classes on cupping, roasting, or brewing techniques to boost your coffee IQ.

14. Purple Onion Cafe

  • Location in Minneapolis
  • Cozy, eclectic, artsy vibe
  • rotatinglocal art exhibits
  • Open mic nights and live folk music

Recalling the 60s coffeehouse era, Purple Onion has a timeless bohemian charm. Check out their mind-bending art shows, keep the beat during open mic night, or sway along to live folk acts in this treasured neighborhood spot.

15. Urban Bean

  • Locations across the Twin Cities
  • Community-driven nonprofit coffee shops
  • Staffed by youth employees and adult mentors
  • Focus on youth training and development

Through its barista training programs for at-risk teens, Urban Bean uses coffee to empower youth and bring communities together. Come grab a latte at Urban Bean and support their inspiring mission.

With unique environments, ethical practices, and boundary-pushing innovations, these 15 coffee shops showcase the Twin Cities’ coffee passion and community spirit. There are endless indie spots deserving exploration across Minneapolis and St. Paul. So get out, meet the locals, and experience our flourishing coffee culture first-hand.

Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing

The Twin Cities boasts many coffee shops that prioritize sustainability, demonstrating that operating ethically and eco-consciously is possible even as small businesses.

One pillar of the Twin Cities coffee scene is using local roasters who source beans directly from farmers, build lasting relationships, and prioritize fair prices. This helps support sustainable livelihoods for coffee growers worldwide.

Shops like Peace Coffee and Blackeye Roasting Co. focus exclusively on organic and fair trade coffees while partnering with growers long-term. Others like Dogwood Coffee utilize direct trade practices to ensure coffee producers earn ample profit. Most indie coffee spots prominently advertise their roasters’ ethical sourcing efforts.

These cafes also strive for sustainability in their business operations. From installing solar panels to eliminating single-use cups, coffee shops are making impressive green upgrades.

For example, Wesley Andrews converted their lighting to LEDs while Tiny Diner composts all organic waste. Spyhouse’s new West 7th location was built using reclaimed local materials. Other spots like Angry Catfish Cafe harness the power of bicycles for carbon-free deliveries.

As customers increasingly demand ethical products, the Twin Cities’ independent coffee shops continue leading the way in balancing sustainability with premier coffee experiences.

Community and Culture

Twin Cities coffee shops serve as vital community hubs bringing people together. With inviting atmospheres and energetic events, these cafes foster connection and showcase local talent.

Coffee shops provide space for local artists and musicians to share their work, from open mics at Peace Coffee to concert showcases at Kopplin’s music house. Many coffee shops prominently exhibit rotating works by local visual artists on their walls.

These cafes also host an array of community happenings like game nights, book clubs, crafting circles, and even yoga classes. For example, when you visit Mojo Monkey Donuts on a Tuesday evening, you may find a lively knitting meetup sharing laughs over coffee and sweets.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, coffee shops also revealed their commitment to community by pivoting to keep people connected, such as offering free coffee to healthcare workers or organizing supply drives. Their innovation kept spirits lifted in difficult times.

It’s this welcoming, lively community atmosphere that makes the Twin Cities coffee scene so special. Our local cafes build community bonds while providing inclusive spaces to share passions. When you buy a cup of coffee, you support these community centers.

Unique Offerings and Experiences

Beyond everyday cups of joe, the Twin Cities’ coffee shops deliver boundless innovations and memorable experiences for coffee lovers.

Several cafes offer specialty gear and unique products you won’t find elsewhere. At Angry Catfish, cycling fans browse premium bikes and gear between sips of coffee. Mojo Monkey sells craft doughnut kits for DIY frying at home. Quixotic’s colorful mugs make trendy souvenirs.

Many shops provide coffee education beyond the barista counter. Attend hands-on classes at brewing experts like Blackeye Roasting Co. to gain new skills. Or chat with passionate baristas at places like Wesley Andrews about tasting profiles or brew methods.

For distinctive seasonal drinks, no place beats the Twin Cities. When summer hits, chill out with Thai iced coffee at Wesley Andrews or a lemon ricotta latte from Kopplin’s. Come autumn, warm up with Peanut Butter Forever lattes at Five Watt. Our coffee shops pull out all the stops for the holidays with special menus featuring items like eggnog cold foam and gingerbread steamers.

With so many novel experiences for all interests and tastes, a visit to a Twin Cities coffee shop always makes for an unforgettable and Instagram-worthy adventure.

Design and Ambiance

Beyond great coffee, the Twin Cities’ cafes shine through thoughtful, charming design esthetics that enhance the coffee experience.

Many local favorites are housed in historic buildings with exposed brick walls, vintage details, and reclaimed wood features that give an authentic vibe. Sites like Spyhouse Coffee’s converted warehouse spaces radiate rustic yet trendy character.

Neighborhood spots like Kopplin’s Coffee provide a cozy atmosphere nestled into restored Victorian homes with fireplaces, soft sofas, and local art. The charm transports you to a home away from home.

For a retro diner fix, step back in time at throwback venues like Tiny Diner or Urban Bean with their checkerboard floors and lunch counter seating. Their nostalgic theming instantly brings good vibes.

Other cafes opt for an abundance of natural light, greenery, and splashes of color to energize patrons. See Fig + Farro’s jungle vibes with hanging plants and bright murals or Peace Coffee’s feel-good decor with sunshine streaming in the windows.

With so many cafes in restored buildings boasting custom design elements, each coffee shop offers a novel backdrop for your perfect Instagram selfie moment.

Health, Safety, and Inclusivity

The Twin Cities’ coffee shops aim to accommodate all lifestyles through inclusive offerings and safety measures.

Cafes ensure accessibility for disabled customers by having ramps, wide aisles, and ADA-compliant restrooms. Staff are trained to accommodate vision and hearing impaired patrons. Gender neutral and single-stall restrooms are also increasingly common.

Coffee shops welcome breastfeeding parents through nursing-friendly policies and even on-site nursing rooms at some spots. Little ones are made to feel at home with kid-friendly seating, high chairs, activities, and play areas.

For those with dietary needs, dairy and gluten free milk options abound alongside nut-free bakeries and allergy-conscious kitchens. You can find places like Fig + Farro built around dietary restrictions.

Twin Cities coffee shops implemented stringent COVID-19 protections like distancing, sanitizing, masking, and air purifiers. Many offer contactless ordering and payment through online apps. Outdoor seating and takeout help customers minimize risks.

Through inclusive offerings and safety measures, our cafes strive to serve all community members with quality coffee served in welcoming spaces.

Work-Friendly Coffee Shops

For digital nomads, students, and anyone needing a workspace outside of home or office, Twin Cities coffee shops offer prime spots to plant yourself for hours of productivity.

Most independent coffee shops offer free Wi-Fi and plenty of power outlets for wireless work. Large communal tables provide room to spread out laptops, notebooks, and textbooks with friends or colleagues. More private two-top tables allow focus for heads-down work.

Coffee shops like Wesley Andrews even have semi-private work pods and phone booths for video calls without background noise.

Many cafes cater to workforce needs by opening early, even at 6 AM on weekdays, to accommodate early risers. Coffee and food/pastry menus give fuel for long study sessions or full workdays. Refill discounts help pace caffeine intake over extended stays.

While public libraries also offer workspaces, coffee shops provide a livelier environment to stay alert plus easy access to grab coffee refills and snacks to power through. They’re the best alternative for remote work or distance learning when you need a change of scenery.

The Social Media Scene

Beyond their neighborhoods, Twin Cities coffee shops have gained major followings on social media for their drool-worthy drinks and inviting interiors.

On Instagram, spots like Wesley Andrews and Quixotic Coffee attract over 10K followers who like and comment on their magazine-worthy product photos and shop snapshots. The aesthetic posts showcase the spaces while driving customers in.

TikTok has fueled coffee’s cool factor, with trendy drinks sparking viral sharing. Local favorite Five Watt landed on the national radar for its photogenic nitro coffee taps.

Through Facebook community groups, MeetUps, and email newsletters, coffee shops engage regulars on upcoming events, new menu launches, and happenings. Special deals for loyalty members and app users encourage repeat visits.

These promotional channels allow coffee shops to rally support, foster community loyalty, and bring real-time updates to patrons in the digital age. For tourists, they provide previews that inspire visits to soak in the atmosphere.

Supporting the Local Economy

Every cup of joe purchased at an indie Twin Cities coffee shop positively impacts our local economy in many ways.

Opening cafes across our neighborhoods brings jobs employing dozens of baristas, managers, and food prep workers. These small businesses beautify storefronts, increase foot traffic for area shops, and boost local spending.

Coffee shops source pastries, breads, granola, and other menu items from local bakeries, farms, and artisan food makers. They buy coffee beans from acclaimed roasters across Minneapolis and St. Paul like Peace Coffee, Roasters, and Blue Ox Coffee Company.

Many cafes partner with vendors at the Minneapolis Farmers Market and CSA programs to access seasonal, locally grown ingredients. Others collaborate with nearby urban farms on events and volunteer days.

So by patronizing these businesses, customers directly support the Twin Cities economy through job creation, neighborhood growth, and partnerships with our communities.

Awards and Recognitions

The Twin Cities’ flourishing coffee scene has earned national acclaim on multiple fronts, affirming that our local coffee shops rank among the best.

Minnesota was spotlighted in Travel & Leisure’s list of best coffee states, solidifying our status as a premier coffee destination in the Midwest and beyond.

Local roasters like Dogwood Coffee and Tiny Footprint Coffee have earned honors as top micro-roasters at prestigious Golden Bean competitions.

Food magazines continually highlight Twin Cities coffee shops like Quixotic Coffee and Wesley Andrews among the most beautifully designed cafes nationwide for their ambiance.

And local coffee fanatics have brought home barista competition wins, proving the skill level here. The North Central Coffee Association competition was even hosted here in 2019.

As the Twin Cities receive more coffee accolades, from best coffee cities lists to roaster awards, our indie coffee shops gain esteem as the face of our world-class coffee culture.

Customer Favorites and Testimonials

When visiting the countless coffee shops across the Twin Cities, how do you know what to order? Check out these customer favorites to sample the most raved-about drinks and eats at our local cafes.

At Spyhouse Coffee, regulars line up for the Levain Latte featuring nutty, malty Cygnus coffee swirled with rich cookie butter. Fans say it’s the perfect cold weather treat.

Over at Five Watt, nitro coffee aficionados strongly recommend adding a splash of housemade coffee concentrate to any cold nitrogen-infused drink. They promise you’ll taste the bold difference.

Wesley Andrews customers repeatedly recommend starting your day with their fluffy cinnamon rolls dripping with lemony glaze, with a honey latte on the side. The pairing ofsweet and tangy flavors delights patrons.

In the evenings, Quixotic’s patrons love to relax with wine and beer alongside empanada bites and Nutella sea salt brownies. They praise the cafe’s transition to an energetic nighttime lounge.

The butter mint mocha at Kopplin’s Coffee is a cool weather favorite, blending creamy mint into their direct trade espresso for a dessert-like coffee treat. Customers recommend ordering it iced or blended.

At Tiny Diner, locals swear by the potica, a traditional sweet nut roll pastry, with morning coffee. They say it takes them back to childhood tastes.

As the reviews tout, the Twin Cities offer no shortage of coffee delights. Part of the joy is sampling the beloved menu items that keep customers coming back.

Behind the Scenes with Local Baristas and Owners

What does it take to run one of the Twin Cities’ bustling coffee shops? We spoke to local baristas and owners to get the inside scoop on their passions and experiences in the local coffee scene.

“I was first drawn to coffee through the creativity and science behind it. The many variables you control create almost endless drink possibilities.” – Sarah, barista at Five Watt Coffee

“My favorite drink to make is our honey almond milk latte – it’s sweet and soothing, perfect for Minnesotans who need a little comfort during the winter.” – James, barista at Wesley Andrews

“We donate all leftover pastries each evening to local charities. It brings me so much joy to know our unsold treats will help someone in need.” – Allie, manager at Mojo Monkey Donuts

“Owning a coffee shop lets me connect with regulars and get to know my neighborhood in a deeper way. I’ve seen little kids grow up here over the years!” – Samira, owner of Brightside Coffee

“I’m passionate about direct trade because I’ve visited our partner farms in Colombia and seen how ethical business uplifts coffee communities.” – Diego, founder of Goat Coffee Roasters

“My favorite moments are when customers open up to me across the counter. Coffee has a way of bringing people together.” – Zoe, barista at Blackeye Roasting Co.

These candid perspectives provide a glimpse into what goes on behind the coffee bar. Their stories reveal the care and spirit that make the Twin Cities coffee community so genuine.

Interactive Maps and Guides

With hundreds of coffee shops scattered across Minneapolis and St. Paul, it helps to have handy guides to key coffee hotspots.

[Link to Google Map of 15 highlighted coffee shops.] This custom map pins every coffee shop featured in the article so readers can easily navigate to each one. Just click a map pin for the cafe’s address, hours, and website.

[Link to downloadable PDF guide.] For on-the-go use, this PDF download provides a streamlined directory of the 15 coffee shops plus a metro map showing their locations around the Twin Cities.

[Link to mobile-friendly coffee finder app.] Punch in your neighborhood or desired cafe features like late hours or patio seating and this app will map nearby coffee shops for you to explore.

Let these interactive tools point you straight to your perfect cup of coffee around the Twin Cities. They make it easy to locate these beloved local cafes.

Brew Up the Twin Cities Coffee Culture

With its rich history, passionate craftsmanship, and inclusive community spaces, the Twin Cities’ coffee scene is truly world-class. Our independent cafes and roasters elevate coffee to an artform while creating welcoming hubs for connection. By supporting them, we can help our vibrant coffee culture continue thriving.

The next time you need a caffeine fix or want to soak in some local flavor, skip the coffee chains and head to one of the amazing independent spots that make our cities great. Pull up a chair, chat with the barista, and experience our celebrated coffee community firsthand. You may just find your new favorite local hangout.

So brew up a fresh cup, grab a book or laptop, and make yourself at home in the Twin Cities’ coffee culture. These cafes are truly at the heart of our communities.

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