It’s hard to beat the charm of a good coffeehouse. Each one is full of character and uniquely appealing. Overflowing with that unbeatable aroma of fresh coffee, buzzing with background noise and cheery chatter. Complete with an irresistible spread of pastries. What’s not to love?!
Lucky for all of us the Iowa City Corridor has a great selection of coffee shops and cafes to keep us fully caffeinated. Of course, we have the standard coffee chains scattered throughout the area (I’m looking at you, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Caribou, Bruegger’s) but our locally owned and operated coffee shops are really where it’s at! If you’re looking for the perfect place to grab a high-quality cup of coffee, a fun place to meet a friend, somewhere to host a low-key meeting, or a fun way to change up your date-night plans, then look no further! This is your guide to coffee in the Iowa City area… because moms need coffee. Period.
The Java House
211 E. Washington St, Iowa City (plus 9 other locations)
I love the hustle and bustle of their locations and the easy to navigate menu. Java House offers a great assortment of pour over coffees, espressos and specialty lattes plus Ghirardelli frappes and other sweet treats that are to die for. Follow them on Facebook or sign up for text alerts to take advantage of all their great deals and specials. I’m a lover of the Java Cooler and Lianna says nothing will ever top the nutty caramel latte! Find other convenient Java House locations on First Avenue, Mormon Trek Boulevard, throughout the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and in the new Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building on campus.
The High Ground Café
301 E. Market St, Iowa City
Quality coffee and made-to-order sandwiches and panini’s can be found at High Ground Café. Plus the coffee cake is incredible and Becky swears they make the best white chocolate mocha ever! Mina recommends it as a great place to grab coffee on a date night and Anissa recommends it for business meetings or to escape.
Fair Grounds Coffee
345 S. Dubuque St, Iowa City
Fairgrounds makes FABULOUS allergen-free food and treats of various kinds (vegan, gluten free, etc.). It’s a fun and comfy place to grab a drink (or meal) and play a board game with your spouse, an older child or a friend in the relaxed atmosphere.
201 S. Clinton St, Iowa City
T. Spoons is located in the Old Capitol Mall and is a great place to drop in with kids or a group. For extra fun check out their festive seasonal drinks!
Prairie Lights Books & Café
15 S. Dubuque St, Iowa City
This place is packed with charm and it makes a great family outing! Grab a coffee and head downstairs to let the kids explore the children’s books. Prairie Lights coffeehouse section is located in the same space that the local literary society met throughout the 1930’s which hosted a slew of famous writers. The café serves single origin coffees at reasonable prices and has delicious fresh pastries.
Bread Garden Market
225 S. Linn Street, Iowa City
Bread Garden is so much more than a coffee shop but we couldn’t leave them off the list! Aside from the high-quality coffee and bakery Bread Garden Market offers a delicious hot bar, wine bar, deli, cold-pressed juices, and a large variety of organic, conventional, and gourmet groceries. The enclosed patio is a year-round hot spot and it’s just steps away from the Iowa City Public Library and the ped mall playground making it an ICMB team favorite!
5 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City
600 North Dodge Street, Iowa City
There are two locations for this new favorite cafe: a downtown location and a Northside location. In addition to coffee, they have a breakfast and lunch menu of sandwiches, salads, soups, and wraps. The Dubuque Street location also has beer and wine! Check out Nodo’s website for more info!
Cortado Coffee & Café
26 S. Clinton Street
Cortado’s menu includes a full coffee bar, as well as breakfast, sandwiches, salads, and hummus. See Cortado’s website for details.
The Dingo Bar
1040 Martin Street
Located in the trendy and unique Peninsula Neighborhood, The Dingo Bar is like a treasure you’d find in a city, but with the quiet peacefulness of the country. It’s the perfect place to work, meet a friend, and relax!
The Encounter Café
376 S. Clinton St.
Whether you’re hoping to study or visit, The Encounter Cafe is a peaceful and comfortable atmosphere to spend some time in. They serve breakfast plates, paninis, wraps, smoothies and coffee beverages, most with locally-sourced ingredients.
Winans Chocolates & Coffee
470 1st Ave/Hayden Fry Way, Coralville
Located across the street from Iowa River Power Restaurant this is the perfect stop to get your coffee and chocolate fix all at once! Winans has a variety of coffees brewed daily and a full espresso bar. Plus they have an impressive spread of fresh handmade chocolates (which I happily sampled for this post), pre-made gift baskets and bag coffee beans for the home brewer. The shop itself is small and quiet with very limited seating. It’s a great grab-and-go location if you’re looking for an extra special treat on the way to visit a friend or loved one at the hospital (or anywhere for that matter).
Press Coffee Co.
2201 E. Grantview Dr, Coralville
This shop specializes in french pressed coffee featuring local roasters. On top of that we love the wide-variety of smoothies and “healthier” options. Another cozy location with convenient parking. Bonus: they have fresh Daylight Donuts on the weekends (and other tasty pastries on the weekdays).
2441 James St
One of our favorites from North Liberty also has a Coralville location!
411 2nd St, Coralville
1401 5th St, Coralville (Coralville Public Library)
Caffe Crema offers great ambience and it’s a quick stop off the Coralville strip (located in the same building as Zephyrs Printing). I recommend the toasted marshmallow latte and I’ve heard rave reviews about their tiramisu and frappes, yum!
Corridor Coffee Co.
555 Hwy 965 S. Suite A, North Liberty
The drive through earns mega bonus points for convenience here! Any time I can get a good coffee without having to unbuckle a carseat is a win. This is Melissa’s favorite place to fuel up with a vanilla latte (hot, iced or whipped are all recommended).
Capanna Coffee & Gelato
710 Pacha Parkway, North Liberty
These gourmet coffees are roasted right at the store for supreme freshness and it’s awesome. Plus, the gelato is hand-crafted daily with all-natural ingredients. If you’re feeling a little wild we recommend the mixed berry jalapeno gelato.
565 Cameron Way
In addition to a range of coffees and teas, Café Muse also serves sandwiches and high tea! Added bonus: they’ve got wine, beer, and a fun list of coffee cocktails! You’ll love the drive-through option, but the bright, clean atmosphere inside is worth a visit, too!
Is your favorite Corridor coffee spot on the list? If not, tell us your favorite in the comments!