Iowa City is home to an array of fantastic spots for great coffee from popular coffee chains serving standard brews to independent, locally-owned coffeehouses making mind-blowing java. From ethically sourced and locally roasted labels to name brand coffee, stylish French presses, and hip Nitros to frothy cappuccinos and mind-jolting double espressos, the city is full of coffee shops that cater to every taste. Remember, life is too short for boring coffee, so here are some of the city’s top spots to try for a great cup of java.


1.Bread Garden Market

Bread Garden Market
© Bread Garden Market

Located in the heart of the pedestrian mall on Linn Street, Bread Garden Market is a deli, bakery, grocery store and coffee shop that serves everything from freshly brewed coffee to delicious pastries and fresh bread. The grocery store sells locally sourced, and organic produce from regional farms, imported deli items like truffle oil, homemade muesli, and olive oils, and the bakery offers freshly baked bread, pastries, cakes, and desserts. The coffee shop serves a variety of coffee from lattes, cappuccinos, and espressos to espresso-based specialty drinks like pour-over and drip coffee and hot chocolate.

225 S Linn St, Iowa City, IA 52240, Phone: 319-354-4246

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2.Crepes de Luxe Cafe

Crepes de Luxe Cafe
© Crepes de Luxe Cafe


Crepes de Luxe Cafe is a creative, French-inspired eatery that specializes in sweet and savory crêpes along with locally roasted and freshly brewed coffee and other hot drinks. Boasting a casual and cozy setting with comfortable décor, the café is an excellent spot for breakfast or lunch with a variety of delicious dishes made from scratch using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Signature crêpes include bananas and Nutella, lemon and blueberries, and Grand Marnier with butter and sugar, and they are accompanied by a range of locally roasted coffee and specialty coffee drinks.

309 E College St, Iowa City, IA 52240, Phone: 319-887-2233

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3.Dash Coffee Roasters

Dash Coffee Roasters
© Dash Coffee Roasters

Dash Coffee Roasters is a local roastery and friendly, community coffee shop that is passionate about coffee. Established a few years ago in Cedar Rapids, the roastery has grown into two locations in Cedar Rapids and one in Northside, Iowa City, all of which serve their brand of coffee in a variety of forms including americanos, espressos, lattes, macchiatos, cappuccinos, and seasonal specialty drinks. Light snacks include freshly baked pastries, muffins, and other sweet treats, and friendly café is ideal for a casual gathering with friends or a quick morning coffee.

287 N Linn St, Iowa City, IA 52245

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4.Dodge Street Coffeehouse

Dodge Street Coffeehouse
© Dodge Street Coffeehouse


Dodge Street Coffeehouse is a family-friendly café with a drive-thru coffee and breakfast service, and a dedicated play corner for kids. Located on Iowa City's northeastern side just feet away from the city border, the casual café serves a drinks menu that features a series of espresso drinks, including single or doubles, americano, cortado, con Panna, and macchiato, as well as lattes, pour-over and drip coffee, dirty chai, and a variety of teas. Food options are supplied by local Iowa City-area vendors such as muffins from Molly's Cupcakes, breakfast from The Dandy Lion, and health-conscious lunch bites Trumpet Blossom, Oasis and Nodo.

2790 N Dodge St, Iowa City, IA 52245, Phone: 319-569-1722

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5.Nodo Coffee, Carry-Out & Catering

Nodo Coffee, Carry-Out & Catering
© Nodo Coffee, Carry-Out & Catering


Nodo’s is friendly, neighborhood breakfast and lunch restaurant next to the Ace Hardware store on Dodge and Church Street that serves a variety of healthy fare such as homemade soups, sandwiches, fresh salads, and sweet treats, along with espresso drinks, including single or doubles, americano, latte, and macchiato. The café offers complimentary wireless Internet and plenty of comfortable seating and is a great spot for a quick cup of coffee or a relaxing lunch with friends.

600 N Dodge St, Iowa City, IA 52245, Phone: 319-512-5028

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6.Poindexter Coffee

Poindexter Coffee
© Poindexter Coffee


Based in the Graduate Columbus hotel on High Street in the Short North, Poindexter Coffee is a literary-inspired café and coffee shop for hungry travelers and students hitting the books. The café features author-approved décor, a wall covered in more than 180,000 No. 2 pencils in honor of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Iowa-centric artworks from RAYGUN. The menu boasts hot breakfast sandwiches, a variety of egg dishes, fresh salads, healthy smoothies, and freshly baked pastries, along with plenty of coffee and caffeinated beverages. Later-day offerings include artisanal pizzas, four tap beers, casual wines, and handcrafted cocktails. Poindexter Coffee is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, daily.

210 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240, Phone: 319-337-4058

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7.Prairie Lights Books & Cafe

Prairie Lights Books & Cafe
© Prairie Lights Books & Cafe

Prairie Lights Books is an Iowa City landmark, boasting three floors of literature, including an acclaimed children's department, and a café and wine bar. Established in 1978, the small, intimate bookstore has three-and-a-half stories and an 1100 square-foot coffee house that is based in the same area that famous writers like e e cummings, Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg gathered as a local literary society in the 1930s. The bookstore offers by established authors like Eudora Welty and George Orwell, alongside newer voices such as Raymond Carver and Alice Munro, and an array of other local, national and international writers.

15 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240, Phone: 319-337-2681

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8.Press Coffee Bar

Press Coffee Bar
© Press Coffee Bar

Press Coffee Bar is a petite café with a casual, laid-back atmosphere that house roasts coffee under the name Wood Burl Coffee and serves a variety of drinks from a stylish espresso bar. The café features minimalist décor and a sleek Scandinavian ambiance with ample seating and complimentary wireless Internet. Press serves four to seven types of single-origin coffees, ranging from single and double espressos to macchiatos and artistic lattes. The coffee menu is accompanied by freshly baked pastries from the Blue Bike Bakery and Evans Bakery in Old North Dayton.

257 Wayne Ave, Dayton, OH 45402, Phone: 937-286-4585

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9.Sidekick Coffee & Books

Sidekick Coffee & Books
© Sidekick Coffee & Books

Sidekick Coffee & Books is a casual community coffee shop and bookstore and social hub for a variety of books and literature, great coffee, healthy fare, and exciting conversation. Named for the secondary characters in fictional stories that usually have the moral compass for the main character, Sidekick Coffee & Books has a thoughtful collection of books for babies to adults and hosts book-themed events, readings, storytimes, and more throughout the year. A full-service coffee bar offers a variety of espresso drinks, including single or doubles, americano, cortado, and macchiato, as well as lattes, pour-over, and drip coffee, dirty chai, and a selection of teas.

1310 1/2 Melrose Ave, Iowa City, IA 52246, Phone: 319-569-1010

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10.T Spoons

T Spoons
© T Spoons

Located in the Old Capitol Mall, T Spoons is a small, cozy coffee shop that offers a great place to grab a cup of joe between classes. The little hole-in-the-wall spot provides a wide variety of coffee and drink and food options for coffee lovers, as well as marvelous smoothies, and delicious sweet treats. The colorful chalkboard menu offers handmade sandwiches, freshly baked pastries, and other sweet treats, there are tables and booths which are perfect for relaxing or studying in, and the staff is friendly and welcoming.

201 S Clinton St, Iowa City, IA 52240, Phone: 319-331-6454

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11.The Encounter Cafe

The Encounter Cafe
© sutichak/stock.adobe.com

The Encounter Cafe is a friendly neighborhood breakfast and lunch spot in downtown Iowa City with wooden floors, brick columns, a gas fireplace, and a cozy coffee shop feel. Owned and operated by Sharon Bethel Mennonite Church in Kalona, the eatery aims to reflect the church’s values of service, care, and relationship with its flock. Based in a South Clinton Street building that previously housed the University of Iowa School of Music, the café is run by unpaid volunteers from the church and serves coffee brewed from Fair-Trade beans roasted by Capanna's of North Liberty. Light bites include freshly baked treats such as soft pretzels, cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, and muffins.

376 S Clinton St, Iowa City, IA 52240, Phone: 319-519-2044

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12.The Filling Station

The Filling Station
© Sondem/stock.adobe.com

The Filling Station is a charming little café in the Dental Science Building that serves a menu of healthy fare and hot entrées along with a range of coffee and other drinks. The café offers high-speed wireless Internet and serves a menu of standard coffee drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos, americanos, and single and double shot espressos, along with seasonal specialty drinks made with a variety of rotating local roasters. Freshly baked pastries are delivered daily, and other light fare include handmade sandwiches and sweet cakes and muffins.

1808 IA-376, Sioux City, IA 51105, Phone: 712-224-3533

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13.The High Ground Cafe

The High Ground Cafe
© Farknot Architect/stock.adobe.com

Located on East Market Street, the High Ground Cafe is a hip, airy coffeehouse on the University of Iowa campus with a contemporary vibe that serves typical coffeehouse beverages and fresh pastries, along with a full range of homemade sandwiches paninis, freshly made salads, and homemade soups. Dishes are made with locally sourced ingredients and prepared from scratch, and in addition to regular espresso drinks, including single or doubles, americano, latte, and macchiato, the bar also serves craft beers and casual wines.

301 E Market St, Iowa City, IA 52245, Phone: 319-338-5382

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14.The Java House - First Avenue

The Java House - First Avenue
© The Java House - First Avenue

The Java House – First Avenue is a local coffee shop chain offering single-origin brews and espresso drinks using handcrafted, roasted coffee from the brand’s North Liberty roastery. The café serves seven brewed pour-over coffees daily, along with Fast Cup urn coffee for those on the go, along with freshly baked pastries, muffins, and scones from the Java House Bakery. Founded by Tara Cronbaugh in 1994, the Java House has been roasting ethically sourced beans ever since.

1575 S 1st Ave, Iowa City, IA 52240, Phone: 319-248-2074

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15.Uptown Bill's Coffee House & Neighborhood Arts Center

Uptown Bill's Coffee House & Neighborhood Arts Center
© Uptown Bill's Coffee House & Neighborhood Arts Center


Uptown Bill’s is a friendly neighborhood spot that features a coffee house and a performance venue and is a gathering for the community to gather. The center’s café serves organic coffee roasted by Café del Sol, over 20 varieties of tea, an excellent selection of soda pop, milkshakes, ice cream sundaes, and more. The center also serves a range of light fare and sandwiches, and Uptown Bill’s hosts a variety of entertainment each week, including open mic sessions, live music on Saturday nights, and poetry readings.

730 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240, Phone: 319-339-0804

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16.Wake Up Iowa

Wake Up Iowa
© Wake Up Iowa


Wake Up Iowa is a Fair-Trade certified, local roastery that uses organically grown, ethically selected beans, roasted in small batches and packaged with passion. The coffee is roasted at their Iowa River Landing brewery on Quarry Road in Coralville and available at local retailers, restaurants, cafés, and farmers' markets. The coffee roastery has collaborated with a local brewery, Backpocket Brewery, which brews a seasonal coffee stout using Wake Up Iowa coffee.

3489 Dolphin Dr. SE unit d, Iowa City, IA 52240, Phone: 563-543-3383

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17.Wild Bill's Coffeeshop

Wild Bill's Coffeeshop
© Lek/stock.adobe.com


Wild Bill’s Coffee shop is a unique project managed and runs through the School of Social Work that offers adults with disabilities the opportunity to run the coffee shop. Located in North Hall and close to the main campus and the East Side residence halls of the University of Iowa, Wild Bill’s offers different options of coffee with a variety of creamer and sugar flavors, as well as freshly baked pastries and other sweet treats. The coffee shop has a comfy and cozy environment and friendly staff who are generally people with disabilities.

321 North Hall, Iowa City, IA 52245, Phone: 319-335-1281

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18.Winans Fine Chocolates & Coffees

Winans Fine Chocolates & Coffees
© Volha/stock.adobe.com


Winans Fine Chocolates & Coffees is a family-owned business in its fourth generation that has been producing and selling handmade premium chocolates, freshly roasted coffees, and artisanal gifts since the late 1800s. Hand-selected coffee beans sourced from around the world are locally roasted in Ohio and served and sold in retail stores across the Midwest, along with handcrafted products and gift baskets. The coffee menu features several blends, single origins from around the world, flavored coffee, and seasonal coffees such as the Oreo Frap and the Buckeye Frap, all of which are roasted fresh every week using a small batch roaster to ensure roast consistency.

6735 Miller Ln, Dayton, OH 45414, Phone: 937-890-0705

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18 Best Iowa City Coffee Shops