The Twin Cities are no stranger to gourmet coffee, best known internationally as the home of famed coffee chains Caribou Coffee and Dunn Brothers Coffee, two of the United States' most prominent roasters. Beyond the big brands, the Minneapolis and St. Paul region's rich independent coffee scene mirrors its diverse brewing and culinary scene, offering a wide variety of established and up-and-coming micro-roasters for coffee lovers to choose from.
Staples like Dogwood Coffee Company brew their own coffees and specialty blends for other area cafes, while cafes like Anelace Coffee highlight regional and national favorites as part of multi-roaster programs. Many cafes partner with other ventures within the Twin Cities' cultural scene, from the combined storefront of Angry Catfish Bicycles and Cafe to the 24/7 internet radio of Five Watt Coffee's Radio Five Watt. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Dogwood Coffee Company
© Dogwood Coffee Company
Dogwood Coffee Company is one of Minneapolis' most acclaimed roasting companies, offering several locations throughout the Twin Cities area, including cafes in Northeast Minneapolis, East Lake, Uptown/Calhoun Square, and St. Paul. The roaster, which also maintains a roastery and several cafes across the border in Winnipeg, Manitoba, crafts a variety of made-to-order specialty beverages at all of its locations, ranging from single-origin espressos and pourovers to honey miel and maple lattes. Unique tea beverages craft from Spirit Teas are also served, including cascara teas and sparkling matchas. The cafe also partners with regional producers Rustica Bakery, Ames Honey, and Sweetland Orchard to serve up a variety of pastries and cafe delights.
4021 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406, Phone: 612-886-1585
© Quixotic Coffee
Quixotic Coffee is a European-style cafe in St. Paul's Highland Park neighborhood, owned and operated by Matt McGinn and Jake Nelson. The cafe is named after a John Cleveland quote about Don Quixote, which asserts that most modern stress is exacerbated by personal fear, an ode to the cafe's philosophy of helping diners slow down and relax with a cup of its velvety, satisfying coffee. Beans are provided by Bootstrap Coffee Roasters, fueling drinks such as the cafe's unique nitro cold brew lattes, infused with ingredients such as chocolate milk and housemade caramel syrup. Direct-from-farm Rishi Teas are also served, along with Treefort sodas, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and superfood smoothies. Diners can also pair beer and wine selections with cafe fare such as banana Nutella toasts, apple gouda paninis, or Thai-style chicken wraps.
769 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116, Phone: 651-699-5448
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© Penny's Coffee
Penny's Coffee offers two locations in Minneapolis' North Loop and Linden Hills neighborhoods, serving up made-from-scratch food and beverages alongside pastries from local bakery Rose Street Patisserie. The company is committed to community involvement and accountability, paying all of its employees living wages and sourcing high-quality ingredients from a variety of local purveyors. Decadent coffee beverages are available for dine-in or to go, including single-origin espresso drinks prepared with syrup flavors such as lavender and salted caramel and turmeric-infused golden lattes available with oat or almond milk. A full menu of cafe fare includes jian bing-style Chinese crepes, coconut kale salads, and signature breakfast sandwiches prepared with Lowry Hill Meats sausage. Local craft beers and ciders are available on tap, along with white, red, and sparkling wines by the glass.
100 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55401, Phone: 612-295-9761
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4.Five Watt Coffee
Five Watt Coffee offers three locations in Minneapolis' Kingfield and Northeast district and within the Keg and Case Market. The cafe, which was founded in 2014 by owners Caleb Garn and Lee Carter, serves up one-of-a-kind coffee and espresso-based beverages prepared with unusual ingredients such as cocktail bitters and chicory syrup, always remaining on the cutting edge of third-wave coffee innovation. Beer, wine, and low-alcohol-proof cocktails are also available at the cafe's Northeast location, which is located on East Hennepin in the city's Beltrami neighborhood. The cafe is also a hot spot for Twin Cities-area music aficionados, broadcasting its internet-based Radio Five Watt independent radio station out of its Northeast location 24 hours a day.
3745 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409, Phone: 612-259-7519
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5.Angry Catfish Bicycles and Coffee
© Angry Catfish Bicycles and Coffee
Angry Catfish Bicycles and Coffee is a unique hybrid coffee shop and bicycle retailer, located in South Minneapolis' residential Standish Erickson neighborhood. The shop, which was founded by owner Joshua Klauck in 2010, uses beans from famed Chicago-based coffee chain Intelligentsia in all of its beverages, including decadent selections such as its popular smoked sea salt mocha. Bicycles from top brands are also sold at the store, including Northern Frameworks, Advocate Cycles, Early Rider, and Twin Six Standard. Cycling enthusiasts can also find apparel from brands such as 45NRTH and Podiumwear or snag gear from Garmin, Mad Alchemy, or Light and Motion.
4208 28th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406, Phone: 612-722-1538
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© Claddagh Coffee
Claddagh Coffee is a cozy, low-key coffee shop offering two locations throughout the Minneapolis region, in the city's West 7th and Selby/Dale neighborhoods. The cafe, which is owned by Mary Hogan-Bard and named after the Irish heart and crown symbol which stands for love and loyalty, opened the doors to its first location in 2011 and expanded its franchise in 2015. Since then, it has been acclaimed as one of the Twin Cities' best coffee shops by major publications such as Minnesota Monthly, Verily Magazine, and the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. Traditional breves, cortados, and shot in the darks brewed with Dogwood Coffee beans pair with specialty lattes such as the espresso and Coca-Cola ice cream float Drop Kick Murphy and the cafe's namesake drink, which is infused with Irish cream and dark chocolate. Health-conscious food options include veggie paninis, red pepper hummus pitas, and spicy black bean burgers.
459 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102, Phone: 651-600-3400
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Groundswell is a quaint neighborhood cafe in St. Paul's Hamline Midway neighborhood, opened in 2009 by owner Seth McCoy. The cafe, which expanded to offer in-house bakery services in 2013, gained national acclaim two years later when its head baker Megan Greulich appeared as a contestant on Food Network's annual Christmas Cookie Challenge. Today, it serves up comforting coffee beverages such as honey miel lattes alongside a carefully-curated menu of regional craft beers, fine wines, and non-alcoholic tea and juice options. Creative breakfast fare ranges from pumpkin pie pancakes to Earl Grey-infused waffles, while lunch options include health-conscious plates such as tempeh reuben sandwiches and Korean-style plant-based bratwursts. The cafe is also a partner with local arts organization HWY North, hosting a variety of art-focused events throughout the year, including the Grounds and Sounds music festival.
1340 Thomas Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104, Phone: 651-645-6466
© Kopplin's Coffee
Kopplin's Coffee is a bustling neighborhood coffee shop in St. Paul's Merriam Park neighborhood, owned and operated by its namesake Andrew Kopplin since 2006. The European-style cafe is a popular gathering spot for coffee aficionados and neighborhood families alike, serving up smooth house-roasted brews prepared by its in-house Clover brewing machine. Classic coffee shop beverages such as cafe con panna are complemented by decadent specialty drinks such as the cafe's dark mochas, which are prepared with single-origin organic Valrhona chocolate. Teas and chais from Verdant Tea are also served, along with a selection of pastries from regional bakers Patisserie 46 and Rustica Bakery. Cheese plates curated by the St. Paul Cheese Shop are also available throughout the day.
2038 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104, Phone: 651-698-0457
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9.Gray Fox Coffee and Wine
© Gray Fox Coffee and Wine
Gray Fox Coffee and Wine is the latest restaurant offering from Danielle and Chris Bjorling, the proprietors of Minneapolis' popular Copper Hen Cakery and Kitchen. The cafe, which is located within a beautiful atrium spot within the TCF Tower, serves up unique beverages such as its signature Millennial Pink Latte, which blends beetroot powder, strawberry, and oat milk with espresso and is served in a rose gold to-go cup. Excellent cafe fare is available to complement drinks, including cold sandwiches filled with ingredients such as turkey, brie, and hummus and a variety of clever panini selections. Meat and cheese boards are also available, along with smoothie bowls and the cafe's signature Fig and the Pig pizza. Beer, wine, and f'rose are available at the cafe's bar.
801 S Marquette Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55402, Phone: 612-886-3770
10 Best Coffee Shops in Minneapolis & St. Paul
Attraction Spotlight: Minnesota Historical Society
Headquartered in St. Paul, the Minnesota Historical Society runs many historical attractions around the state. This organization is known as one of the most respected historical societies in the nation due to its ongoing efforts to preserve and display the state’s cultural and historical heritage. With 26 historical sites and museums, the MNHS attracts approximately three million visitors annually. Visitors can enjoy museum exhibits, interactive experiences, and educational programming all geared towards displaying the multitude of voices that make up Minnesota’s cultural legacy. The society has a well-developed library archive that is open to scholars and lay people alike. Further, the MNHS publishes several publications that promote research and education on topics related to the history of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest.
The MNHS’ origins can be traced back to a time even before the area had many of the hallmarks of a state, such as a capitol building, motto, or even a voting Member of Congress. Established in 1849, roughly 10 years before statehood, the MNHS held its first meeting in 1850. In the first few decades of its existence, the MNHS began building an endowment, hosted discussions of historical topics, founded a library, and began compiling manuscripts and artifacts. One of the society’s earliest achievements was the publication of a Dakota dictionary, which was groundbreaking for its time. Despite its formidable scope of endeavors, the MNHS was still, at this time, operating from temporary quarters. Though it survived the fires of 1857 and 1881, the events proved that a permanent home for the society was needed. In 1918 the MNHS got its first home in what is now the Minnesota Judicial Center. The MNHS later moved to a new building, the Minnesota History Center, in 1992.
Oliver Kelley Farm
The Midwest owes much of its success to farming. Today, visitors can experience a real working farm that originated in the 1860s. Both traditional and modern agricultural methods and practices are represented at this site. The historical farmstead allows visitors to get an inside look at the activities involved in running a household during the Victorian era. Visitors can try their hand at various chores, such as sewing and preparing a meal using the tools available to the 19th century residents of the home.
Though the home we see today was built in 1876, the foundations of the structure predate it. Some of the original elements of the home dating back to 1850 can be seen in the basement area, which is referred to as the root cellar. This is where the family would have stored much of the produce harvested on the farm.
Many of the animals kept on the farm represent breeds common in the 19th century. This is true of the Dominiques and Dorkings, which can be viewed in a separate structure called the Chicken House. Visitors will also find animal pens filled with live animals, such as Southdown sheep and Berkshire hogs. The larger working animals can usually be spotted outside the barn. Oxen, cattle, and horses are all represented as each animal played a key role on the farm.
History Center Exhibits
Renewing What They Gave Us: Native American Artists in Residence
Part the MNHS’ mission statement is to preserve the art forms produced by Native Americans from the Midwest. Recognizing that many of the cultural and artistic legacies of Native Americans are under threat as result of colonial assimilation programs, the MNHS started the Native American Artist in Residence Program. The aim of the program is to revive, preserve, display, and educate the public about the rich history, cosmology, and artistry of Native American cultures. Starting in September 2017, visitors will be able to see works by five specially selected Native American artists: Denise Lajimodiere, Holly Young, Jessica Gokey, Gwen Westerman, and Pat Kruse. In viewing their work, visitors can become better acquainted with the traditional lifeways, artistic techniques, and aesthetic principles associated with Native American art.
Many of the sites that are curated by the MNHS are geared towards engaging young people with themes concerning Minnesota’s proud past. The Grainland exhibit at the Minnesota History Center does just that by allowing children to explore how soy and corn, essential parts of Minnesota’s economy, travelled from farms to towns. A great place to expand any excess energy, children can climb a replica grain elevator full of unexpected twist, turns, nooks, and crannies.
345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102, Phone: 651-259-3000
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