A Guide to the Best Cups in Town
Article Quoted from Original Publication (with a few minor updates) November 9, 2019 and can be found here at TheReader.com
“Don’t ever let anyone tell you that fairytales aren’t real! I drink a potion made from magic beans every day and it brings me back to life!”
— Nanea Hoffman, founder of Sweatpants & Coffee
To my fellow caffeine addicts, locals searching for a new spot, coffee-loving friends, out-of-towners, studiers and those in search of the perfect local coffee to fill your mug and soul: Cheers friends, this cup’s for you!
13th Street Coffee | 519 S. 13th St.
13th Street and I go way back. I remember being 18 and planning my first vacation — sans parents — here with one of my besties. The Creamy Kiss tasted like adventure and freedom and has been my jam ever since. The quaint shop features local art for sale, seats several dozen on mismatched chairs, tables and couches, and offers books, newspapers and board games. It boasts of brewed and steeped concoctions as well as house-made gelato, baked goods and light, precooked fare, including dietary-inclusive items.
Archetype | 3926 Farnam St. | 1419 S. 13th St.
Where coffee is an art and small-batch roasting is a passion, this two-location favorite is the literal archetype for hipster coffee shops, minimalist menus and artisan beans so good you can subscribe for a regular fix. Archetype is best for coffee to-go, or small groups and conversations, as seating is limited. And don’t miss it on Farnam — like all of the best secrets, you have to be looking to find it!
Blue Line Coffee | 4924 Underwood Ave.
A treasure in the heart of Dundee, Blue Line is great for beans or java to-go or small-table conversations. It has patio seating, if you are lucky to snag some, which is great for people-watching or fresh morning air with your paper and cuppa.
Culprit Café & Bakery | 3201 Farnam St. | 1603 Farnam St.
With two locations serving coffee, tea, breakfast, lunch, dinner (Midtown), cocktails and baked goods, this coffee house and eatery is serving up something to cherish all day long. The cappuccino is authentic, smooth and requires no sugar at all. The menu is focused but fantastic.
Fala’s Treasures and Coffee House | 2627 N. 205th St., Elkhorn
A truly one-of-a-kind find. Unique and delicious coffee, a smoothie menu and freshl baked goods are just the beginning. As you enter, the treasures for sale nearly strong-arm you into gift-buying. Fala’s offers an eclectic boutique of home items, clothing, jewelry, a milk paint studio and more. With little room for sitting, but more room for shopping, it’s a perfect weekend stop-and-shop in the heart of downtown Elkhorn.
Green Beans Coffee | 6831 S. 167th St.
This is one of my favorite finds. It’s nestled just off Harrison Street, and you have to know it’s here to find it. Green Beans is a local, independent and veteran-owned coffeehouse, which donates a portion of all orders to its missions, which are focused on the armed forces.
The friendly staff serves a hug-in-a-mug, made-to-order breakfast, lunch and freshly baked pastries, and also offers catering services. Whether you prefer to use the drive-through, let the kids play in the children’s play area while you chat or enjoy a working lunch, Green Beans will welcome you. And don’t forget a “Joe for a Joe” — Ask at the register how you can buy a member of the military a cup of coffee!
Hard Bean | 7302 Giles Rd, La Vista
Also local-veteran-owned and operated, Hard Bean is a great little coffee shop in La Vista proudly supporting veteran causes. Local artworks adorn the walls, while fresh roasts and baked goods steal the show. A meeting place for everyone, Hard Bean has cozy lounge seating, café tables and private meeting rooms that are available by reservation.
Karma Koffee | 587 N. 155th Plaza
With a pleasantly nostalgic playlist, friendly baristas and an incredible and uplifting background story (ask the owners!), Karma Koffee is an all-around happy place. It serves locally roasted coffee and baked goods made local. The caffeinated concoctions are delicious! On my last visit, I tried the Yin & Yang, a white- and milk-chocolate latte with oat milk that was rich and delightful. This unpretentious establishment will put a smile on your face and a pep in your step. Some seating is available, or you can get your coffee to-go, so come in and put a little Karma in your cup!
Roast | 14512 W. Center Rd | 1904 S. 67th St. | 2929 California St. | 1919 Papillion Parkway
The next big thing. With four locations, Roast offers “real coffee for real people.” The comfortable, casual atmosphere is great for small tables, conversations, freshly baked goods, fabulous beans and a great cup to drink.
Sozo Coffeehouse |314 Jones (underground)
This hidden gem, which is really an expansive underground establishment, is the self-proclaimed “biggest coffee shop in Omaha.” The shop is open until midnight seven days a week and is naturally a hangout for college and high school kids alike. With couched commons, as well as traditional tables and chairs, billiards, a stage for nightlife, reservable study and meeting rooms, a large party room (which was set up for an adorable wedding shower when I last visited), it has a space for every need. For the right price, you can even reserve the entire floor for your gathering. The pumpkin Chai was amazing, Alyssa, the manager, was wonderful and our barista was helpful and knowledgeable. With fresh, local coffees, teas and baked goods, Sozo is sure to have a space and cup for all.
Scooter’s | Omaha metro
The locally owned Scooter’s franchise has 230 locations in 15 states and is in the process of acquiring a smaller local coffee chain, Crane Coffee. Download Scooter’s app-based, pay-and-rewards system to earn free drinks, coupons and specials. Its signature drink, and one of my all-time favorites, is the Carmelicious. Or, if you prefer an off-menu secret, the “Pot o’ Gold” with caramel and butterscotch is sure to make you sing and dance.
The Beanery | 11849 S. 216th St.
The Beanery’s tag is “Serving people. Coffee.” A cornerstone in the Gretna area, now with a new location in Papillion, a coffee truck and catering services, The Beanery offers a great drive-through for an in-a-hurry cup of coffee! Friendly people, cute locations, a few locally baked goods and breakfast items, it has everything you need to get your day off on the right foot. Even if your kids were late for school, and one of them forgot their backpack. Right?!… Just me?
Village Grinder | 8706 Pacific St.
A shabby/chic and classic establishment in Countryside Village, the Grinder offers a friendly cup of coffee, Wi-Fi, a fun variety of local arts and crafts and Grinder swag for purchase. The baristas wear funky nametags, and they’ll move you around to make room for all, with family-like familiarity. Village Grinder offers a quaint chalkboard menu of coffee drinks, teas and home-baked goods, such as scones and cinnamon rolls, crustless quiche and cutely decorated seasonal cookies. The Grinder has tables and a few comfy chairs for groups of two to eight, with a max capacity of about 20. With a cozy atmosphere and family-residence feel, it’s a gathering spot where regulars feel at home.
Whisk + Measure | 2505 S. 133rd Plaza
This sweet little coffee shop and bakery offers a variety of handmade-from-scratch baked goods, including many dietary inclusive items. With house-made coffee syrups, local bean provider Reboot Roasting, plenty of tablespace to chat and space to rent, Whisk + Measure is a great little gem, hiding in Woodridge Plaza, facing Aldi. Stop in for a cup, a bite or a baking class.
What more could you want?