Neighborhood coffee joints have remained a source of comfort and caffeine during these uncertain times. The CRANDIC area is overflowing with options, many new to the scene, while others recently expanded or pivoted to meet community needs.
125 S Dubuque St, Iowa City
Daydrink opened in September of 2020 within the Basic Goods store at 125 S Dubuque St. The space is small but inviting, lit by large windows and lined with wooden tables and cheery yellow chairs. The menu has all the classics as well as pour-overs for purists who want a well-crafted black coffee. Daydrink roasts and brews their own blend as well as featuring other roasters including Des Moines-based Horizon Line. You can order at the counter inside or from the walk-up window that looks out onto the Ped Mall. To-go beverages are poured into a glass jar that is yours to keep and can be brought back and refilled at your next visit.
Roaster’s Library Edition
405 5th St SE, Cedar Rapids
The NewBo City Market staple has expanded to a new location, taking over the space formerly occupied by the Greyhound Deli inside the downtown location of the Cedar Rapids Public Library. Roaster’s Library Edition has retained some of Greyhound’s menu items while adding items that devotees of the NewBo location will know and love. You can order from the counter while you look for your next favorite read or swing by their drive-through window. Stop in for a full array of coffees, teas, smoothies and a food menu offering a variety of breakfast and lunch items. With menu items as affordable as $3.75, there is a bite for every budget.
1120 N Dodge St, Iowa City
Formerly located on Oakdale Boulevard in Coralville, Press Coffee has reopened under new ownership at a new location on Dodge Street. The building that houses Press sat empty for several years and was fully renovated for its new occupant. The location boasts front and back patios and a handy drive-through window for commuters and the inviting interior is full of gleaming subway tile and cozy nooks perfect for settling in to meet that deadline. In keeping with their name, their specialty is French pressed coffee, available in sizes just right for one person or for sharing with friends. You can also stop by to get your Donutland doughnut fix.
287 N Linn St, Iowa City
Opened in June 2021 by Dash Coffee Roasters alum Haley Kesterson, Tru Coffee takes its name from the owner’s mother and boasts the motto “People first, coffee second.” The airy space features ample seating, a hand-painted bar and a regularly refreshed selection of vintage and resale clothing from local thrifters. In addition to espresso and pour-over coffees, you can order locally sourced pastries or take-home beans from Cat Cloud and DAYDRINK.
Kismet Coffee & Bloom
1000 3rd St SE Ste 1, Cedar Rapids
In November 2021 husband and wife Jeremiah Kasner and Maya Gonlubol opened Kismet Coffee & Bloom, bringing the unique combo of a coffee shop and floral studio to the NewBo neighborhood. Located in the historic Dostal House, Kismet is a joyful space filled with vintage furniture, Pop art and photos of some well known Cedar Rapids faces. The first floor is given over to a cooler with ready-made floral arrangements and a coffee bar where you can order your usual. Choose from one of their regularly changing specials or a bag of beans from East One Coffee Roasters, a sustainable, LGBTQ roaster based in Brooklyn. Head upstairs and treat yourself to the flower bar where you can choose stems for a floral arrangement of your own making. In addition to the options available in-house, you can order bouquets and arrangements for local delivery or sign up for their monthly Bloom and Brew subscription online.
501 7th Ave SE Ste B, Cedar Rapids
This downtown Cedar Rapids staple has adapted to our new COVID-19 reality by switching to a takeout only model, turning their signature garage door into an order and pickup window, complete with art by a local creative. They’ve also expanded their cheery patio to offer additional outdoor seating. In addition to their expertly crafted coffee beverages and menu staples like sandwiches and pastries, they offer regularly changing take-home meal options, including quarts of soup, take-and-bake pot pies and cookies and even their amazing biscuits. All of it is served up with the same kindness and cheer that regulars have come to love. Stop by for a beverage — their seasonal flavored syrups and lattes are dynamite — or their famous Buffalo chicken sandwich or a bag of beans from Onyx roasters.
For a horchata fix…
24 S Linn St Iowa City
A not-too-sweet horchata latte and a pan dulce from Mammita’s makes for a brilliant morning. The Cuban sandwich is also excellent if you find yourself near the shop around lunchtime.
For coffee and curiosities…
103 1st St W NE, Mt Vernon
At Fuel, they’ll brew you a killer coffee, you can order a slice of The Local Crumb spelt toast slathered with butter and cinnamon sugar and you can browse the selection of unique artisan-made goods.
This article was originally published in the 2022 Bread & Butter dining guide.