Nothing is more refreshing than a steamy, robust cup of caffeinated goodness. And Vermont has a surprisingly great number of places to get your coffee fix. From frothy lattes to double shot maple frappuccinos, the Green Mountain State has plenty to offer for a great cup of java. Go explore all the lovely roasters and brewers that Vermont has to offer. Here are our 10 favorites.
Locally Social Coffee sits on the south end of Saint Johnsbury on Memorial Drive. Like many other spots, it offers hot and cold coffee and espresso drinks. Unlike other shops, however, each cup is made fresh to order. Many flavors are available to supplement, and Social Coffee offers a board full of specials. With the focus on fresh coffee, a great, socially happening atmosphere, and a fantastic central location Social Coffee is a cool Northeast Kingdom stop.
Roasters is a warm and friendly café and deli serving a full breakfast menu. They are known for their omelets and cinnamon French toast. You can also get a hot specialty sandwich or a bowl of soup for lunch, but you had better do it before 2 p.m. because that is when they close. The cool thing about this stop is that it is the first place you come to after turning left off I-91 North. What’s more, all soups, quiches, breads, muffins galore, and desserts are made in-house from scratch. And you can watch them make your food in their open kitchen right from your seat. You can sit down for full service or order anything on the menu to go. Combine that with a great cup of coffee, espresso, latte, or cappuccino, served all day long, and you have got a gem tucked away in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.
King Arthur Flour is well-known as a baking supply companies go-to, but, if you haven’t been by their mid-state brick-&-mortar outpost since 2012, you have got to check them out. Their new, $10 million expansion features a state-of-the-art bakery and café as well as an adjacent retail store. With an emphasis on fresh, from flour to sandwich all in the same spot in some cases, King Arthur Bakery has some of the best chow around. They support local farms and local creameries for their fare, as well as supporting responsibly raised meat from nearby butchers. Combine all of this, with a full boat of great, small batch, fresh roasted coffee offerings—from macchiato to cafe au lait to London fog—and you have got a cool café in mid-state Vermont you have got to check out.
Burlington, Vermont’s Queen City, offers a bevvy of coffee coolness, but we could only list one here. Muddy Waters is a mainstay for caffeine cravings when you are travelling the Champlain Valley, plus it has a really cool name. It is a comfy, exposed beam and brick hangout, offering coffee, tea, smoothies, and baked goods, plus live music nights. Awesome service has long been a coolness here, and their coffee is brewed from Shapira's, Dean's Beans, and Vermont Artisan Coffee beans. They offer a varied espresso menu, various baked goods, and food from local friends, like Krin's Bakery, Mirabelle's, VT Cookie Love, Stone Soup, Shy Guys Gelato, and more. So, when in Rome, do as the Romans. When in Burlington, Vermont, go to Muddy Waters for great coffee and great some service.
Black Cap has been serving up fine lattes and espresso in Stowe, Vermont for a few years now. But they just recently changed their name to Black Cap Coffee and Beer. You can still get prime espresso and other hot drinks, fresh baked good, scrumptious sandwiches, and other dining options except now, you can also sip on beer, cider, and wine, as well. With a great ambience (old is new), Black Cap is centrally located on Main Street and offers consistent free Wi-Fi. They are known for their uniquely flavored lattes like “Snickers,” and, if you ask nicely, your barista may paint you a pretty picture in foam to top your cool caffeine.
South Street Café features house-made, small batch food and drinks. With locally sourced ingredients, you can expect some fabulous fare indeed, like cinnamon rolls, apple or cherry turnovers, croissants, lemon squares, whoopie pies, morning glory bread, biscotti, and gluten-free coconut macaroons, just to name a few. South Street Café is gathering place for the community of Southern Vermont, featuring local performers and a monthly artists-in-residence. Check out this month's events by visiting their event calendar, and, if you find yourself at the intersection of Vermont Routes 7 and 9, stop by this small town cool café for great a conversation with the new owners and a great cup of joe.
A European-style cafe, La Brioche is, or course, known for their pastries, but, as you may expect from the New England Culinary Institute, they have all the fancy coffee equipment, and they are not afraid to use it. Watch your order being prepared right before your eyes as you can see student chef in action in the kitchen as you walk in. So, if you are in Vermont’s capital city, treat yourself to some bread, or a cake, or a pastry, or a Danish, or a croissant… and grab some cool coffee while you are at it.
The Spiral Press Café adjoins the famous, 10,000 square-foot Northshire Bookstore in bucolic Manchester, Vermont. Free Wi-Fi, live performances by authors and musicians, and a bookstore for you to peruse are all part of the Spiral Press Café experience. The café prides itself on being “just a nice place to sit, people watch, or meet friends.” But you can also get fabulous sandwiches or pastry or walk next door (during the summertime) for some Spiral Scoops ice cream. When you are done, saunter over to the fly fishing museum, or do some shopping at one of the many retail outlets. Spiral Press uses Mocha Joe’s beans for all of their delicious coffees, and, while they truly are the best coffee in town, they admittedly get coolness points for being located in a bookstore in such a unique Vermont town.
Located at a busy intersection in the heart of downtown Brattleboro, the entrance to Mocha Joe’s looks like it leads to some medieval dungeon. The stairs from street level lead down. They are steep and dark and tall people have to stoop. And there is only enough room for one person at a time. But once you are down there it is like you have found Xanadu for coffee freaks. The smell is what gets you first. Dark roast, medium roast, light roast, toasted caramel, cocoa, tea, coffee, coffee, and coffee. Mocha Joe’s is known for their Aztec Brownie (a perfectly chocolatey, toothy, chewy brownie dusted with cinnamon and cayenne pepper), but they are also accomplished coffee roasters, and have been doing it for over 20 years in the heart of Brattleboro. Born out of a landscaper’s love of roasting coffee beans to perfection and the skill it takes to coax out a bean’s true complexity and robustness, Mocha Joe’s is a coffee lovers experience not to be missed. But, like many good things, it is tucked neatly away in a corner of Vermont that is not always easy to get to. Still, that Aztec Brownie and the smells and tastes are mighty tough to resist.
This coffee shop is a family-owned business that has been operated for over 20 years. Not only are they dedicated to finding the most delectable beans on earth, but also the most responsibly grown. They run on local goods like milk, baked treats and a variety of other products, supporting the small business community of Burlington. You can also purchase their delicious beans, from all across the globe, right online. In addition to supporting local businesses, Uncommon Grounds supporting global organizations such as the Malayaka House in Uganda which is an orphanage home with a mission to “rescue orphaned and abandoned children and raise them in an environment of love, support and education.”