The 10 Coolest Coffee Shops in Iowa!

While there are plenty of coffee shops on every block, not all bean pushers are made the same. If you want something more than a quick conversation at the counter or drive-thru window, then it’s worth your while to check out a coffee shop with a little more culture and cool factor surrounding the menu. If you’re in Iowa, these comfortable coffee shops can be found throughout the state, and to help you find the perfect blend of coffee drinks and hip atmosphere, check out these 10 coolest coffee shops in Iowa.

1. High Ground Café, Iowa City, IA

Located in the Northern Marketplace District of Downtown Iowa City, High Ground Café is a high-traffic cultural hub that gathers University of Iowa students and community members alike. With plenty of tables to set up your laptop, and a comfortable atmosphere complete with floor to ceiling windows, High Ground Café provides the perfect spot to be productive, be creative or catch up with some friends. With a full drink and food menu featuring Kickapoo Coffee blends and plenty of paninis, you can easily stay refueled while exploring the surrounding Iowa City. 

2. Smokey Row Coffee Co., Pleasantville, IA

With a comprehensive menu featuring specialty drinks, ice cream varieties and more lunch and dinner options than you can count, plus the self-reported best coffee in town, it’s not just the ordering options that make Smoky Row such a popular coffee shop. It’s the ambiance that really adds to your experience here, and when you’re sitting in the modern 1950s-inspired booths next to the all brick walls holding weight to a high ceiling, you’ll feel for yourself why Smokey Row could be your next favorite place to be.

3. Lantern Coffeehouse and Roastery, Sibley, IA

Listed as one of the “Best Coffee Shops in America” by the Food Network, the Lantern Coffeehouse and Roastery labels itself as a next-gen ma & pa coffee shop and aspires to provide Sibley and the state of Iowa with not only a safe space to gather, but an awareness of taste and best coffee practices with their small-batch, specialty coffee they roast in house. Whether you’re looking for a well-crafted cup of coffee, or an aromatic area to hang out in, perhaps even an open-mike night, then the Lantern Coffeehouse and Roastery is the next coffee stop for you. 

4. Mars Café, Des Moines, IA

Take a trip to Mars in Des Moines and you won’t be disappointed. While there is no anti-gravity amongst the many seats in Mars Café, with a full breakfast and lunch menu available, plus an array of pour options for their Kickapoo Coffee blends, you can at least begin to breach the atmosphere of daily life at the Mars Café. With a comfortable floor space, Mars Café is popular with the students of Drake University who share the same neighborhood, and soon could be your next favorite coffee shop station. 

5. Cup of Joe, Cedar Falls, IA

With a colorful flair and comfortable atmosphere, the Cup of Joe Coffee Shop and Espresso Bar offers a lot more than the fair-trade, organic and shade grown coffee on their menu. Alongside the locally-sourced, homemade baked goods for sale, and the long list of specialty drinks including items like a “Screaming Chicken Latte,” Cup of Joe also strives to remain a cultural hub in Cedar Falls, featuring local music events on the floor space and regional art on the walls.

6. The Blue Strawberry Coffee Company, Cedar Rapids, IA

Located in downtown Cedar Rapids, the Blue Strawberry Coffee Company is a classy coffee shop and complete roastery. With a complete selection of breakfast, lunch and espresso drinks, plus daily specials and freshly-roasted coffee options, it’s the menu at Blue Strawberry Coffee Company that makes you want to check out their shop, and it’s the comfortable atmosphere that makes you want to stay awhile.

7. Java Joe’s Coffeehouse, Des Moines, IA

While all three Java Joe’s coffee shops in Des Moines have a full menu of fresh coffee and food options, it’s the downtown Des Moines 4th St. location that fits the bill for coolest coffee shop in Iowa. Whether it’s the cozy collection of seats and board games available, the sound of local artists playing on the adjacent stage room or just the way the lights inside seem to warm the whole place up, Java Joe’s in downtown Des Moines just has something inviting all about it.

8. Book Cellar and Coffee Attic, Iowa Falls, IA

Forget the grounds floors in Iowa Falls, the Book Cellar and Coffee Attic provides the perfect place to enlighten your mind and treat your taste buds. Built with a passion and love for gathering people, the Book Cellar and Coffee Attic came to be in 2001, and since then has been providing just that for the Iowa Falls community, a great place to gather and appreciate some of the finer things in life.

9. (Drips), Council Bluffs, IA

(Drips) coffee shop in Council Bluffs is unique in that they label themselves first as an art gallery and studio before a coffee shop. While (drips) does serve a mean pour over with a $3-5 suggested donation, owner and art creator Tres Johnson has really intended to make (drips) a spot where artists and the community can gather to share, appreciate and create anything they aspire to make.

10. Arcadia, Ames, IA

Arcadia Restaurant and Bar specializes in paying attention to detail when it comes to their menu options. Whether it’s the in-house weekly roasting, or the fresh bakery selection homemade each day, including fresh-baked bread, the proof is found on your taste buds at Arcadia in Ames. Couple that all with a newly renovated and expanded seating space, and Arcadia could be one of the coolest coffee shops in all of Iowa. 

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