Top 10 coffeehouses in the Twin Cities

Categories: Top 10

Best Coffee(640x462) (250x180).jpg
Out top 10 spots to get your brew on
​The second wave of coffee awareness has seized the Cities.  Where once we happily sipped diner swill for $1.50, when we were introduced to Starbucks the coffee snob revolution began. Now we have single-cup brewing of fair trade beans and elegant surroundings in which to savor them. 

We scoured the Cities to compile a list of coffeehouses that  offered not only the best of the beans but a comfortable room to savor an expertly brewed cup.

Rouge Mocha (167x250).jpg
Rogue Chocolate Mocha as brewed by Andrew Kopplin
1. Kopplins
It's newer, it's bigger and if it's possible, even better than their former home on Hamline. The Kopplin's space on Marshall Avenue is bright and full of room for spreading out work and laptops. Young, old, even families with small, well-behaved children are flocking to the gold standard of what a neighborhood coffeehouse should be. There is now also a retail space where fans can buy chocolate or coffee paraphernalia. A great stop for grabbing a little brew on the go or settling in for an hours-long discussion with a good friend.

Andrew Kopplin takes his coffee very seriously. The reason he opened his shop was because he felt like most coffee served in local shops was basically subpar. Kopplin's doesn't even stock decaf because, after an exhaustive search, Kopplin determined that the flavor of the bean is too compromised if the caffeine is removed. From a quality-crafted, individually brewed cup to the hot chocolate made with sultry, dark Rogue chocolate, every item in a cup is an exercise in elegance.
2038 Marshall Ave, St. Paul
651.698.0457; Kopplin's website



bull run interior.jpg
Stretch out in Bull Run's urban chic interior
2. Bull Run Coffee Bar
From the hilarious Twitter feed (#AmandaQuotes) to its cleverly created latte flavors (bacon maple morning pick-me-up, anyone?), Bull Run Roasters is bringing its acerbic wit to you in every expertly brewed cup. The long, thin space features garage doors that roll back and open in the warmer months, and the cozy space is ideal for snuggling up with a Kindle and some Vonnegut in the cooler months. No need to bring an iPod, though--the music selection rocks as hard as this staff. The close proximity to Patisserie 46 is a major plus: The flaky chocolate croissants enhance any cup of Joe, and a sandwich for lunch makes any afternoon feel a little more special.

Bull Run imports its beans from all over the world and roasts them locally. Their belief is that the farmer should come first. The company supports Farmer First.org, an organization that forms partnerships with coffee farmers and ensures they receive fair pay for their product. The beans are richly flavored and treated with the highest respect from tree to brewing to cup. The coffeehouse also sells Bull Run Roasted beans wholesale, and Tuesdays they're $2 off a pound.
3346 Lyndale Ave, Minneapolis
952.285.4242; Bull Run website


Angry Catfish (250x112).jpg
The Angry Catfish, Minneapolis's best coffee/bike shop
3. Angry Catfish
Ever had one of those days so madly fueled by espresso that it's all you can do not to race through the city streets like the Greek god Mercury? Well, the Angry Catfish can help you get across town in record speed. Not only does it boast some of the best-brewed coffee in the metro, but it is also a bike shop. Be sure to take advantage of the nearby Baker's Wife for a doughnut to dunk in your artisan brew.

The espresso beans are Intelli Black Cat, and the coffee-brewing methods are craft, single cups using chimex, pour overs, and siphons. Incredible, straightforward coffee flavors, this is not the place for flavored lattes. If you must have something frou-frou, try the smoked sea-salt mocha: The hint of smoke enhances the dark, espresso flavor.
4208 28th Ave. South, Minneapolis
612.722.1538; Angry Catfish website


Thumbnail image for Blue Ox Brew 4.jpg
Care and craft in every cup brewed at Blue Ox
4. Blue Ox
A new addition to the coffeehouse scene, Blue Ox appeared with artisan bells on, including brewing carafes made especially for the shop by owner Melanie Logan. Neighbors near Chicago and 37th had been short on gourmet coffee options before it opened. Now neighbors are flocking from Phillips, Powderhorn, and beyond for each carefully brewed cup. Logan sources her beans from Anodyne and Apollo espresso.

The corner location and giant windows make this a bright spot on even the dreariest days. So too does Logan's kind demeanor, lending an air of homey comfort to the shop.
3740 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis
612.825.6650; Blue Ox website


5. Spyhouse

SpyhouseChai.jpg
Hot spiced chai fuels the creative senses inside Spyhouse
​Now with two locations, the perennially hip spot is perfectly suited for a refined boho artist sort of vibe. What was once a scrappy little space over by MCAD has grown up to be one of the premier coffee-sipping establishments in the Cities. Watch the baristas craft flowers atop a latte. Sip and savor the complexly flavored beans. Spyhouse makes the sort of coffee drinks where tasting notes are actually relevant. Each cup is brewed by drip, pour over, immersion or French press. Beans are roasted in California or Portland, Oregon. The average cup takes three to four minutes--such is the price for quality.
2404 Hennepin Ave S., Minneapolis
612.377.2278

2451 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis
612.871.3177
Spyhouse website


Peace Coffee shop1.jpg
Sip and learn in South Minneapolis
6. Peace Coffee
What would the home-brewed cup of high-quality local brew be without Peace Coffee? Sold in bulk pretty much everywhere now, Peace finally opened its own coffee shop in the Longfellow neighborhood. From the retro-kitch of the round light bulbs illuminating the sign to the dazzling pop of red paint against the gray exterior, this comfortable space has the DIY feel of its diverse Minneapolis neighborhood. Peace led the way for fair trade coffees, and the resulting brews, grown without pesticides, have been revelatory. The shop is also a place to learn, where coffee lovers can take classes about how to craft the perfect cup at home. Food choices include Birchwood Café granola, Common Roots bagels, and pastry items from the Wedge. Peace also caters to those who might not always want coffee, with an extensive list of high-quality teas. With churned cream from Castle Rock dairy, Aames farm honey, and Rochdale Farms cheddar, Peace takes local eating seriously.
3262 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis
612.877.7760; Peace Coffee website


J&S Bean Factory (211x250).jpg
Beans so fresh they're roasted in the same room
7. J & S Bean Factory
Tucked into a quiet corner of St. Paul's Highland Park neighborhood, this coffee shop roasts beans on site from the best coffee-growing countries of the world, crafting blends like the Obama (Hawaiian Kona and Kenyan AA). Full of college students and professors from the nearby schools, the vibe is decidedly studious, but not serious. The interior is cozy warm and full of the wonderful scent of roasting beans. Cups of coffee are high quality without any sticker shock pricing. In the summer, or for the smokers, the huge backyard space is like a visit to a friend's garden. When it's in bloom, it's a stunning patio space to sip and sun yourself.
1518 Randolph Ave., St. Paul
651.699.7788; J & S website


Bob Java Hut (250x166).jpg
8. Bob's Java Hut
Bikes, babes, and coffee beans. This Uptown institution has been around for over 17 years and shows no signs of slowing down. To last in this neighborhood, you've got to have that classic rock 'n' roll style. From the black "33"-emblazoned gear to the tattoo shop upstairs, Bob's has got that in spades. The wide-open room is full of outlets for long days working on laptops. The entire front wall rolls up in summer, bringing Lyn-Lake right into the coffee counter. Drinks are classic, and the dark roast coffee is strong.
2651 Lyndale Ave, Minneapolis
612.871.4485; Bob's Java website


Dogwood logo.jpg
The room is a bit cold, but the coffee is always exceptional and hot
9. Dogwood
It's always nice to see a quality, independent shop triumph over the big corporate guy, so it's great to see Dogwood's coffee bar situated in the space where a Starbucks once sat. Boasting some of the best coffee available, Dogwood carefully brews each cup with its ultra-premium blends. Its story began inside Rustica bakery, where it first sold its coffee as a part of Bull Run Roasting. In 2010 it broke away and formed Dogwood. The space is a bit utilitarian, with gray metal chairs and stools, but full of bright sunlight. It's Warsaw interior decorating meets Western capitalist prices. The price is worth it if you're looking for a high-quality cup. The location affords fabulous views of the characters that haunt this corner of Calhoun Square. You can also buy the beans at the café.
3001 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
612.354.2952; Dogwood website


CupOfCoffee.jpg
Indie coffee in the heart of the skyway maze
10. Café Patteen
Downtown is littered with more Caribous than a Palin family Christmas. Skip the mall traps full of burned chemical-flavored beans and head straight through the skyway to the International Center for a cup of coffee brewed with love. All the coffee is made with fair trade beans and quality ingredients, like Ghirardelli chocolate for the mochas and rich, creamy milk for the lattes. In addition to the great coffee, Patteen has pastries, quiche, sandwiches, and soups, all made in-house.
Skyway level, 920 Second Ave. S. # 295, Minneapolis
612.371.0262

Previous coverage:

Top 10 dive bars in the Twin Cities

Top 10 late-night restaurants in the Twin Cities

Top 10 romantic restaurants in the Twin Cities

Top 10 bloody Marys in the Twin Cities

Top 10 margaritas in the Twin Cities

Top 10 macaroni & cheese dishes in the Twin Cities

Top 10 burgers in the Twin Cities

Top 10 sushi restaurants in the Twin Cities

Top 10 ice cream shops in the Twin Cities

Top 10 martinis in the Twin Cities

Top 10 hot dogs in the Twin Cities

Top 10 pizzerias in the Twin Cities

Top 5 brewpubs in the Twin Cities


All of these lists are available on City Pages' new
Best of the Twin Cities app.
Click here to see it in action.


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
44 comments
hfrund
hfrund

Black Sheep Coffee Cafe is by far the best in the Twin Cities! Every cup is custom made with the beans you choose from the menu!

lanalynch100
lanalynch100

I hope these places are still open and nice. I'm traveling in the area and could use some good coffee shops. That is one thing that I look for before I go to an area. If there aren't good places I bring my own coffee supplies.


Lana Lynch | http://www.famasalescoffee.com/espresso/

dlinstro
dlinstro

Lots of passion in these comments. Love it. Quick note: In your Angry Catfish writeup, it's "chemex" not "chimex." Thanks for compiling the list. 

hayne123
hayne123

You live in a great place when people are squabbling over great coffee places being left off. All the places on here are great, although to fit everyone that should be mentioned it'd be better to separately rank MPLS & STP. You gotta fit in Nina's, Quixotic, Swede Hollow, and Groundswell!

Carlo Apostoli
Carlo Apostoli

Cool, but the best capuccino in the Twin Cities, aka Urban Bean Coffee, did not make the list. You'd better update it!

Jessica Maria Hakala
Jessica Maria Hakala

I've got my Tarraccino! I would love to be the person that got to "research" this.

Patrick Toth
Patrick Toth

8 locales in Minneapolis. 2 in St. Paul. Your west-of-the-river bias is showing again, CP.

todoinminneapolis
todoinminneapolis

Kopplins is awesome,one of our favorite coffeehouses as well! The staff is great and very knowledgeable about their coffee. Definitely the best!

ST Paul Tree Removal
ST Paul Tree Removal

 

Are they qualified? Tree surgeons should have chainsaw certificates and climbing/rescue certificates if climbing. Are they happy to provide copies? Will I get a fixed quotation or just an estimate? An estimate is just that, an estimate; the price may change during the job. Is the quote provided in writing? Is VAT added to the quoted price? What steps will be taken to protect you and your property?

ST Paul Tree Removal
ST Paul Tree Removal

 

Are they qualified? Tree surgeons should have chainsaw certificates and climbing/rescue certificates if climbing. Are they happy to provide copies? Will I get a fixed quotation or just an estimate? An estimate is just that, an estimate; the price may change during the job. Is the quote provided in writing? Is VAT added to the quoted price? What steps will be taken to protect you and your property?

ST Paul Tree Removal
ST Paul Tree Removal

Budding is a form of grafting. Grafting is the art of attaching a piece of one plant to another plant, creating a new plant. Grafting is usually done because the desired plant is extremely difficult if not impossible to propagate through other means. Dogwoods, for example, are easily grown from seed, however, it is next to impossible to grow a Pink Dogwood from seed. The seeds from a Pink Dogwood will produce seedlings that are likely to flower white.

ST Paul Tree Removal
ST Paul Tree Removal

 Budding is a form of grafting. Grafting is the art of attaching a piece of one plant to another plant, creating a new plant. Grafting is usually done because the desired plant is extremely difficult if not impossible to propagate through other means. Dogwoods, for example, are easily grown from seed, however, it is next to impossible to grow a Pink Dogwood from seed. The seeds from a Pink Dogwood will produce seedlings that are likely to flower white.

ST Paul Tree Removal
ST Paul Tree Removal

 It's time to stop asking if Ron Paul can win. Just try stopping a river in flood! It's time to look at his economic policies and see if they stack

up. Paul is the only living politician daring to challenge the banking-controlled media fairy tale that taxes support civilization. Nothing can be

further from the truth! The fact is, taxation has nothing to do with funding government services, except in the reverse sense. Taxation deprives

taxpayers of the means to serve themselves, forcing them into the "protective" hands of an ever-growing government bureaucracy; a bureaucracy bent

upon serving only itself. Sustainable government can only be funded by real increases in savings and investments in the private sector. In the

sustainable sense, government can only be funded by private surplus.

Guest
Guest

Kopplins is slow... the wait staff and owner were totally pretentious and as large as the space is, there's surprisingly limited space.

Mlc
Mlc

I would tell you but it's already so busy I can hardly find a place to sit....good coffee, good food, good conversation!  MLC

Mom
Mom

Is the second wave of the third wave?  What....

carlos
carlos

Where is Caffee Palmira......

Bartman7575
Bartman7575

Joy, they actually have coffee houses South of the River now!! I know, pretty amazing. If you're ever in Burnsville (you can Mapquest it....it's not too far from your desk) check out JoJo's Rise & Wine. Coffee in the morning, wine in the evening, food during the day. I nice quite place to enjoy a brew, do some work or catch up with friends.

The river is a 'pretend' forcefield, you can actually cross it (there's a road that goes over it).

CITY pages not MPLS Pages
CITY pages not MPLS Pages

This is junk... this women barely left uptown?  Nina's, Black Sheep?   I don't want to smell patchouli when i'm trying to enjoy my breakfast.   

Kareem Ahmed
Kareem Ahmed

You forgot about Urban Bean Coffee. Better coffee, cooler baristas and nicer atmosphere than most of the places on this list.

Alchy4hire
Alchy4hire

B.S. is done.  It's for sale. 

Anon
Anon

No Quixotic.....this list is bull shit....I know for a fact that Quixotic is better than spy house. spy house's baristas suck. I have never had a shot of espresso I enjoyed there. They have good coffee some of the time but their baristas just don't know what they are doing. If u want well pulled shots and dinks with care go to Quixotic!

Guest
Guest

Seven Stars Coffee?  Maybe because it is too new it did not make it.  Great coffee, great owner, great ambiance, great bakery.

Me
Me

Spyhouse does not belong on this list at all... Way to do your homework, CP.

Emmy
Emmy

Claddagh Coffee on West 7th is new on the block, but it brews an impressive cup with Anodyne and Bull Run coffees, Autumnwood milk(?), and ingredients like chocolate ganache and real pumpkin in their fancy drinks.  And can you say Bars Bakery pastries and Irish pub charm?

Speaking of Bars Bakery, they brew a mean/yummy cup of Intelligentsia, but they are a bakery who brews coffee, not a coffee house.  And while their shop is cute, it's postage-stamp tiny and not conducive to lingering.

Narrowing the list down to 10 has got to be tough, so I won't berate your omissions, just give some love to my personal faves on the east side.

Astadtler
Astadtler

Peace Coffee made it but Quixotic the real #1 didn't make it?

Dave
Dave

Another good list of advertisers.

Guest
Guest

dunn bros?  hahahaha...

agreed though that black sheep belongs on the list

Goloboy
Goloboy

Quixotic Coffee-- so tasty.

Mark Gisleson
Mark Gisleson

No Dunn Brothers on Grand? Omitting the great granddaddy of all TC coffee houses makes me wonder if the reviewer's ever been there. ???

curioso
curioso

Oh, man. This is going to get ugly fast.

Guest
Guest

Common Roots? Hard Times? Aster? Wilde Roast?

Guest
Guest

No Black Sheep?  What a load of crap...

Mark Gisleson
Mark Gisleson

Dunn Bros on Grand is not part of the chain and employs one of the better roasters in the upper Midwest.

agbasher
agbasher

This was the biggest miss of the top 10.

Snorkelcork
Snorkelcork

Not according to my taste buds.... 

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...