Café Society: 4 Cool Coffee Shops
The best part of waking up is local coffee in your cup. Luckily, our region boasts one of the nation’s best café cultures, with places that offer more than just buzz-worthy espresso. Here are four of our favorites. In no particular order…
1) Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters
East Sac Café & Roastery: 4749 Folsom Boulevard, 916-451-5181; Land Park/Curtis Park Café: 2940 Freeport Boulevard, 916-346-4731; Downtown Coffee Bar: 3rd and Q Streets, Sacramento, 916-400-4204 chocolatefishcoffee.com
Usually, having an eye-catching name doesn’t guarantee success, especially in a town brimming with competition. Fortunately for us, Chocolate Fish is more than just a catchy nom de plume. They are, in fact, passionate, dedicated roasters, baristas, and educators. With three Sacramento locations (and a fourth inside the Sacramento International Airport), they are only minutes from anywhere in town. And as for the name? “A chocolate fish is a fish-shaped confection indigenous to New Zealand given out as a ‘thank you’ for a good deed. Owners, Andy and Edie Baker moved from NZ where Andy, the Kiwi, grew up in an espresso culture.” We’ll drink to that!
2) Shine Sacramento
1400 E Street, Suite A, Sacramento, 916-551-1400, shinesacramento.com
Sited in the historic Mansion Flats neighborhood, Shine markets themselves as “a welcoming community gathering space to celebrate local food, drink, music, and art. We are a local friends and family, independently run café and live music venue.” Featuring Naked brand coffee and a breakfast/lunch menu of breakfast burritos, eggs, oatmeal, and bagels, this café invites you to eat, drink, and stay awhile. Enjoy a cup of joe (or beer and wine), as you participate in Open Mic Night (every first and third Wednesday), Songwriter Circle (every fourth Wednesday), Open Jazz Jam (every Thursday night), and live music (Friday and Saturday nights), among other offerings.
3) Old Soul Co.
The Alley: 1716 L Street (Rear Alley), 916-443-7685; Weatherstone: 812 21st Street, 916-443-6340; 40 Acres in Oak Park: 3434 Broadway Sacramento, 916-453-8540; 555 Capitol Mall: 555 Capitol Mall, 916-890-1555, oldsoulco.com
The original location for this expanding Sacramento company was once a warehouse for another Sacramento pioneer: Eppie’s Restaurant. Now with four local sites, they’re a Sacramento success story. Not just a coffee house, the “Alley” is home to their baking and roasting operations, retail café, educational center, and event venue. Old Soul Co. emphasizes and practices local, artisan craftsmanship in brewing, roasting, and just about everything they do (and that’s pretty cool!).
4) Chicory Coffee & Tea
1131 11th Street, Sacramento, 916-444-5107, facebook.com/chicorycoffeeandtea
Where else can you find a java house that transports you out of Downtown Sacramento’s bustle into a warm, Tahoe cabin-esque atmosphere just by passing through the front door? Chicory Coffee and Tea is that place—right down to the fireplace and wooden rocking chairs. Serving up Terranova brand coffee and a two-time past winner of Sacramento’s Best Chai, this cozy stop is also known for their food and homemade soups; plus, it’s a great place to mingle with the politicos from the Capitol across the street!
By Lorn Randall