Coffee; a beverage very near and dear to my heart.  This is not easy for me.  It’s almost like asking a mother which one of their kids is their favorite.  (Which my daughter asks me all the time—but that’s a topic for another day.)  When you love NEED coffee as much as I do, it’s hard to only name the top five.  But I will for the sake of brevity. So here they are, in no particular order.


Beaner’s Central


When you combine coffee with music, it’s a win/win situation.  Two of my loves in one spot?  Sign me up!  And we’re not talking piped in music over speakers.  They have LIVE music, and lots of it!  Open mic, jazz, folk, indie, and metal just to name a few.  Beaner’s doesn’t just serve some of the best coffee in the Twin Ports, it has an amazing menu of wraps, paninis, breakfast burritos, and a ton more.  Yum.  Coffee, music, AND food?  Build me a bed and a shower and I’d live there!  Beaner’s serves locally roasted Alakef coffee too—so you know it’s good!

Laura’s Beaner’s pick: Highlander Grogg and a Hot Pepper Panini or Cheesy Focaccia.

Dunn Bros. Coffee


Grab your mug and close your eyes.  You can almost imagine you’re sitting in the middle of the woods, sipping a hot cup of java after a long day snowshoeing.  A big part of the coffee house experience is the structure itself.  And let me tell you, this log cabin works!  All the beans are roasted in-house, so the coffee itself is fantastic.  And although it is a franchise, the company started in St. Paul, Minnesota.  The beauty of this coffee “chain” is that you always know you’re going to get a great cup of coffee no matter what Dunn Bros. location you stop at!  Bonus!

Laura’s  Dunn Bros. pick: Caramel Mocha Latte

Red Mug Coffee


If you’re not careful, you might just miss this place!  It almost feels like you’re going to an underground secret club.  But once you make your way down the stairs into the café—you’ll be glad you found it!  If ambiance has any impact on your coffee shop destination, you won’t want to miss Red Mug!  Located in the Trade and Commerce Marketplace in Superior, Red Mug uses locally roasted, fair-trade and organic coffee, soups, sandwiches and salads using as many organic and locally grown ingredients as they can.  Go for the coffee and scones, stay for the live music and art!

Laura’s Red Mug pick: A Cranberry Orange (made from scratch daily!) scone and a hot cup of medium roast fair trade coffee.



My favorite pick for coffee when I’m downtown.  Every city’s downtown coffee shop is always busy.  Jitters has always reminded me of Central Perk on “Friends.”  It’s a perfect stop to grab a quick cup before a meeting, or to sit and people watch out the window.  Superior Street is a great stage for it!  I love the food, the art, the coffee, and most of all, the people that work there.  You can tell they truly care about each and every customer, and as a business, they care about our community.  And that makes Jitters a coffee shop worthy of my patronage.

Laura’s Jitters pick: Southwestern Chicken Wrap and a locally roasted medium roast large coffee.  And yes, it’s LARGE!

Amazing Grace Bakery and Café


Sometimes when it comes to the “Best Coffee” you have to take into consideration that it’s not just the taste that can make a cup of coffee taste great.  It’s the whole experience.  From the location to the entertainment, the art, the service, and what you can get to fill your belly before consuming copious amounts of caffeine.  Have you ever had a sandwich you couldn’t quite get your mouth around?  That’s what you’ll get at Amazing Grace.  Not only that, but the bread is homemade.  And delicious.  One of the things I love about Amazing Grace is the location.  Sometimes all it takes is a trip to Canal Park to feel like a tourist in our own city, and to truly realize how lucky we are to live so close to Lake Superior.  A very important aspect to how I feel about a place is giving back to the community.  In the Amazing Grace Bakery Café’s newsletter, you’ll see this: “The Amazing Grace Mission Statement: TO PROVIDE EXCELLENT FOOD, IN A WELCOMING ATMOSPHERE, AND TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY.”  You done good, Amazing Grace.  Real good.

Laura’s Amazing Grace pick: Turkey with pepper jack sandwich and cup of soup and a medium roast coffee.

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