Coffee in the morning, or tea for some, is a necessity for any workday. How can such a simple brown elixir pull us off the highway and into line for a paper cup? Let’s not dwell on the logistics, what we need to know is where to get the best cup! Locally there are dozens of shops outside of the corporate realm that offer up distinct mind blowing caffeine concoctions. Whether you are looking for nitro infused brew or a simple shot of espresso Indy has you covered.
There are plenty of available coffee shops in the greater Indianapolis area but there are some standout local favorites that you should know. The top shops share a distinct individuality that cultivates different vibes in which to sip your favorite brew. Indy’s range of options bend the traditional definition of a coffee shop but maintain the satisfaction.
If you aren’t sure whether you want a coffee, wine, or beer after a hard Monday there is a stop for you. The Thirsty Scholar is serving up small plates and quiche along side their famed Chai Lattes. A great place to study, read a book or share beers with friends. There is even free parking available until 6pm, rare for a downtown stop. With local beers on tap and prime location in the Penn Arts building you can sit and stay a while or visit shops along the block. You may never want to leave the area.
Closer to the central downtown area, in Fountain Square, sits Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company. A favorite among locals and art lovers alike, Calvin Fletcher’s not-for-profit has been a staple since 2009. Through its displays of handmade goods and a menagerie of baked goods from Circle City Sweets this stop contributes a community building experience.
Calvin Fletcher’s mission to build community and “help meet a need for a consistently operating coffee shop in the neighborhood” has been a success patrons can feel they are taking part in. As an art community staple, you can come by to take a peek at artisan collection or hang out during a poetry or singer/songwriter event. Located along the Indy Cultural Trail this coffee bar leads the way to hours of beautiful views and works of art if you’ve got the time to spare.
On the east side of the city Coal Yard Coffee offers up a more musical milieu. Located in the historic Irvington neighborhood this host to First Friday, Sweet Jazz Thursday, and Second Sunday Music Matinees, also assumes a place in the community surrounding it. Common poetry jams and food truck visits this self titled “community venue” serves as an all day hangout with an unassuming cinder block exterior and revamped garage interior. The conversion has proven fruitful for the locals ordering up the favorite flat white or a more eccentric nitro infused coffee.
Downtown lifestyle more of your speed? The top shop in the city center is Hubbard & Cravens. Although this local favorite has expanded to four locations (including Carmel City Center, Broad Ripple, 49th & Penn) it is still a must. A specialty shop for the most discriminating consumer, Hubbard & Cravens even sells their wares for your office needs. Nothing boosts moral like free caffeine right? Finding the finest single source selections and quality teas has evolved into a loyal following of coffee enthusiasts since 1991. If you can’t make it in to the cafe you can always find Calvin Fletcher coffee in local hotels and businesses during a visit. You may find the lattes and neighborhood keep you coming back for more.
And then there is Sundae’s Homemade Ice Cream. Ice cream you say? Yes some of the finest homemade ice cream delights and prime coffee to serve alongside it just down the road from the stunning Geist reservoir. That’s right, a place you can take your kids or caffeine free friends to keep your buzz going into the afternoon. This Lawrence favorite is consistently on both the best coffee list AND the best ice cream list voted on by Indy’s locals. With house roasted beans, over 30 years of experience and the ability to custom create any ice cream you can dream up Sundae’s is definitely worth a trip.
Whether it is a weekday morning or a Saturday afternoon these Indy favorites are unique treats for Indy residents and visitors. An ideal experience for anyone on the road or needing a quick pick me up while feeling like part of the family. Finding a welcome place to join in with the Indianapolis community might be right around the corner.
What is your favorite Indy coffee spot?