We've got the inside scoop on 16 area coffee-serving establishments, so after reading this you'll be able to order like a regular when you go out for your next cup. Stop by to gather, sip, read or play.
Find it: 214 Fourth St., 288-5282, javajoescoffeehouse.com
Hours: 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 6:30 a.m.-Midnight Thursday through Saturday; 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Why you should go: Known for friendly service and occasional musical and theatrical acts in the adjoining 4th Street Theater, Java Joe’s is the perfect stop for a first date or game night (thanks to the shop’s collection of board games). Try the shop’s Americano for a quick pick-me-up.
Cup O’ Kryptonite
Find it: 2608 Beaver Ave., 974-0515, cupokryptonite.com
Hours: Noon-5 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday; 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday
Why you should go: If you’re looking for a welcoming community where you can read your comics and have your coffee, too, you’ve found the perfect venue. Cup O’ Kryptonite also holds monthly drink and draw nights.
Find it: 206 Sixth Ave., 288-1492, amiciespresso.net
Hours: 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Why you should go: The downtown coffee hotspot is a favorite hangout of local entrepreneurs. The warm vibe (thanks to the sitting area fireplace) and toasty drinks make it an easy spot to relax with a good book or to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi and get down to work. There’s also a location in Grimes, at 801 N. First St., if you’re on that side of town.
Find it: 2318 University Ave., 369-6277, marscafe.net
Hours: 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday
Why you should go: Mars Cafe is a must-visit when you’re in the Drake neighborhood. It’s worth a drop-in not only to grab a cup of their famous Sputnik (honey, cinnamon and almond) latte or a more relaxing selection from their local Gong Fu Tea offerings, but to check out the colorful artwork from local artists that covers the walls. Check the website for information on when the venue hosts music acts and networking events.
Find it: 1301 Locust St., 288-4872, ritualcafedsmiowa.com
Hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday.
Why you should go: Ritual Cafe features a completely vegetarian menu — from hummus plates to hemp nut smoothies. But their chai tea is something you can’t miss out on. The coffee shop also features weekly musicians. Stop in for a winter warm-up with a side of local music.
Village Bean Co.
Find it: 305 E. Fifth St., 309-0133, villagebeanco.com
Hours: 6:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday
Why you should go: Village Bean Co. features PT’s Coffee — deemed “Macro Roaster of the Year” in 2009 by Roast Magazine. A small, intimate venue, Village Bean Co. is a great place to grab a quick espresso while shopping in the East Village, or spot someone involved in politics coming by for a cup.
Find it: 1910 Cottage Grove Ave., 244-2611, smokeyrow.com
Hours: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; 7:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Sunday
Why you should go: This coffee stop is always busy — and for good reason. Smokey Row is home to a myriad of coffee drinks (make sure you try the Turtle Mocha) as well as a solid food selection. A meeting room is available for events and once in a while you’ll find yourself serenaded by a local musician at the makeshift stage (read: microphone) at the front of the store.
Find it: 4126 University Ave., 279-2919, sirfriedrich.com
Hours: 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday; 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Why you should go: Located in the Uptown Shopping Center at University Avenue and 42nd Street, Friedrich’s is a convenient choice for those on the go, or if you’re looking for someplace to sit down and get away from the daily grind for a while. Try one of the shop’s espressos off of their expansive international list. Other locations include: 1821 22nd St., West Des Moines; in the Skywalk’s Kaleidoscope at the Hub, 699 Walnut St., the Principal Financial building, 801 Grand Ave., and a drive-thru location at 4632 86th St., Urbandale.
Find it: 2723 Ingersoll Ave., 244-7694, zanzibarscoffee.com
Hours: 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
Why you should go: With a lack of Wi-Fi and a coffee ground aroma that’ll knock you over as you walk in, Zanzibar’s is a perfect community stop for a cup of coffee and a bit of conversation. Sit at the bar and chat with a barista or find a table and dig into a good book. The shop’s zippy chai (chai tea with a shot of espresso) comes served in an old-fashioned glass with whipped cream to top it off — a must-have the next time you’re in the neighborhood.
West End Architectural Salvage Coffee Shop
Find it: 22 Ninth St., 243-4405, westendsalvage.com
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; Noon-4 p.m. Sunday
Why you should go: Surrounded by antiques and found things, the West End Cafe is a tiny addition to West End Architectural Salvage. And the décor is just that — salvaged. Price tags flutter on most of the wall decorations and cabinets in the shop, giving it an ever-changing feel. Try the caramel macchiato for a strong and sweet kick to help you as you rustle through the floors of goods the building has to offer.
Grounds for Celebration
Find it: 2709 Beaver Ave., 255-4863, groundsforcelebration.com
Hours: 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Why you should go: The coffee shop is dressed in a modern, yet warm decor. Grab a friend and try the shop’s espresso — they roast their own beans in-store. They also offer yerbe mate drinks and teas, among other traditional favorites. Other locations include 6600 University Ave., Windsor Heights, which includes a drive-thru, and 4800 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines.
Say Hello to Joe’s
Find it: 2100 N.W. 100th St., Clive, 440-2401, 7flags.com/Services/joes.html
Hours: 4:30-8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday
Why you should go: Located inside the 7 Flags Fitness and Racquet Club, Say Hello to Joe’s is a healthy stop to replenish after your workout. Choose from a variety of hot and cold sandwiches, pizzas, salads, smoothies, protein shakes or coffee drinks. You can also purchase nutritional supplements here, if vitamin caffeine doesn’t do the trick.
Palazzo’s Java House
Find it: 3304 E. University Ave., 266-9400, facebook.com/palazzos.house
Hours: 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday
Why you should go: Located across from the Iowa State Fairgrounds, Palazzo’s is a great stop for a Red Bull smoothie or a gourmet coffee drink. You can also enjoy muffins, pastries or sandwiches.
Find it: 600 E. Locust St., 281-3294, barattas.com
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday and Saturday; 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; closed Sunday
Why you should go: Located in the State Historical Building, Cafe Baratta’s is a quick stop for a quick liquid pick-me-up while you stroll through the Iowa Historical Museum’s many exhibits. Baratta’s is also great for a straight-up cup of Joe to go along with the restaurant’s bistro-style food.
Find it: 2005 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny, 964-7174
Hours: 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
Why you should go: This locally-owned shop is the newer of two locations (the first is on Main Street in Ames). Stop in and warm up in one of the comfy booths or by the fireplace with a cup of coffee or lunch.
Timbuktuu Coffee Bar
Find it: 4825 E.P. True Parkway, West Des Moines, 333-5087
Hours: 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Why you should go: A longstanding Des Moines favorite, Timbuktuu goes above and beyond a typical coffee shop by offering energy drinks and sandwiches to those looking for more than a typical latte. Try the coffee mocha paired with one of their famous cinnamon rolls. Timbuktuu also has two locations downtown in the skywalk.