A Neighborhood Tour of the Best Coffee Shops in St. Paul

When we set out to write about the best coffee shops in St. Paul, we immediately realized a problem.

Coffee shops, probably more so than any other business, each have their own heart and soul. They’re deeply embedded into their neighborhoods and staunchly supported by their communities.

So, we quickly realized that our article should follow suit. We scrapped our plans of making a small shortlist of the best coffee shops, and instead tried to make the capital city’s most comprehensive guide to its local, independently owned coffee shops.

So, behold, our updated list of the 31 best coffee shops in St. Paul. And by that we mean, essentially all of the coffee shops in St. Paul, organized by the neighborhoods they call home.

Map of St. Paul’s Coffee Shops

Downtown St. Paul’s Best Coffee Shops

Sure, you can grab coffee at a few different Caribous or Starbucks in downtown St. Paul, but if you’re really looking for that local flair, you’ll want to check out these independent spots in the heart of St. Paul.

1. Truestone Coffee Roasters (Lowertown)

truestone coffee downtown st paul

Is it really a trip to the Farmers Market if we don’t stop in for a coffee and a scone?

Truestone is located directly across the street from the Farmers Market (nearest CHS Field) in a beautiful, airy space. So, it’s no surprise that it’s a favorite weekend tradition for most St. Paul locals, us included.

2. Creators Cup Coffee House (Lowertown)

Ceators Cup is definitely one of the more unique coffee shops in St. Paul. It’s housed inside Creators Space, a coworking space intended to support local artists. You’ll find tons of local art for sale on this building’s historic walls, and they also have one of the busiest community events schedule in town.

West 7th Neighborhood Coffee Shops

St. Paul’s West 7th neighborhood is one of the fastest growing parts of town, so it’s no surprise that they tons of newer coffee shops, too. Drive down the short two miles of this historic street, and you’ll pass several beloved neighborhood spots.

3. Café Astoria

If there’s one thing the team at Café Astoria has going for them, it’s creativity.  This comfy, locally-owned shop is famous for eye-catching mugs of coffee that blend the line between artwork and morning beverage.  Everything on the “Secret Menu,” including the 24K Latte (complete with edible gold) and the Campfire Latte, is worth a try.  We love to watch everyone snapping photos of their mug and then discovering the coffee is every bit as yummy.

  • Address: 180 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55102
  • Website: Café Astoria

4. Claddagh Coffee

For some of the most authentic coffeehouse vibes in town, Claddagh Coffee on West 7th Street is the spot.

Upstairs, you’ll find cozy seating and beautiful brick walls that remind you of the building’s history. (Which dates back to 1891) Downstairs, you’ll find a dimly lit basement complete with limestone walls, copper ceilings, and an extra-large sofa for lounging. Either way, Claddagh is a perfect spot to bust out a book or laptop for a coffee-fueled session.

5. Five Watt Coffee (Keg and Case Market)

five watt coffee west 7th

Five Watt Coffee has been a staple of the popular Keg and Case Market for years. It was one of the original tenants in the ground-breaking food hall, and while other vendors have come and gone, Five Watt is still going strong. That’s probably thanks to their impressive collective of specialty coffee drinks, which they say are inspired by craft cocktails. (Given the number of unique ingredients going into each one, we believe them!)

So order up a Gin Basil Smash or an Apple Chaider, then enjoy sipping, strolling, and shopping through the rest of the Keg and Case Market.

6. A Side Public House

A Side is a unique spot located along Randolph street, in the heart of the West 7th neighborhood. The owners converted a historic fire station from the 1800s into what’s now essentially one-half coffee shop and one-half restaurant. You can either order a quick drink from the counter-service side, or otherwise have a nice sit-down meal from their full food menu. (Which includes burgers, salads, steaks, and more.)

7. Wildflyer Coffee

Wildflyer is the newest coffee shop on West 7th Street, taking over the old Fresh Grounds Coffee shop. In doing so, they’ve continued a partnership with the building’s unique organization. Like Fresh Gounds, Wildfyler is dedicated to supporting youth programs, with a special emphasis on employing youths experiencing homelessness and providing open hours for individuals participating in mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Cathedral Hill Coffee Shops

Cathedral Hill is one of the coolest and most historic neighborhoods in St. Paul, so it stands to reason that its sole coffee shop boasts more of the same.

8. Nina’s Coffee Café

ninas st paul

We’re pretty sure it’s not a list of St. Paul coffee shops without Nina’s. This Cathedral Hill classic has been pouring coffee for as long as anyone can remember. 

Housed in the historic Blair Flats Building, Nina’s relaxed and historic vibe is equally suitable for long study/work sessions or to meet up for a quick coffee date.  We love the hidden nooks and crannies to tuck into,  the extra high ceilings, and the natural lighting.

And of course, the coffee’s great too.

Coffee Shops on Grand Avenue

Grand Avenue might have more coffee shops per capita than any other spot in the Twin Cities. And I suppose that makes sense. Grabbing a coffee before strolling down the shops on Grand Avenue is pretty much a rite of passage, especially on a warm, sunny day!

But interestingly, of the 12+ coffee shops along this three mile stretch of road, most of them are national chains. If that’s what you’re looking for, Grand Avenue features two Starbucks, three Caribous, one Dunn Brothers, and even a Bruegger’s. Otherwise, here are a few the best local options:

9. Bread & Chocolate

bread chocolate grand ave

Bread & Chocolate is a bakery first-and-foremost, but it might also be the most popular coffee shop on Grand Avenue. That’s because in addition to all their delicious cookies, croissants, bars, and scones, you can also find a long list of coffee and espresso drinks, plus hot chocolates, seasonal ciders and more.

It’s no wonder why a snack and a drink here has become a bit of a neighborhood tradition every weekend!

10. Thirty-Six Cafe

thirty-six cafe grand ave

Thirty-Six Cafe is definitely the most unique “coffee shop” on Grand Avenue. They specialize in souffle pancakes, which are quite possibly the fluffiest and most delicious concoctions you’ve ever experienced. But they also offer quick, counter-service drinks, including a handful of delicious espresso creations and several varieties of teas.

11. French Meadow Bakery & Cafe

French Meadow on Grand Avenue is more of a sit-down bakery, but they do offer to-go orders. Their drink menu serves coffee from People’s Organic, a local chain with a half-dozen locations around the Twin Cities, as well as hot tea from the Rishi company.

12. Sencha Tea Bar

Okay, let’s get one thing out the way. Sencha Tea Bar is obviously not a coffee shop. Instead, they focus on various bubble teas, hot teas, and iced teas. But the fact remains – if you’re looking for a caffeine hit in a different environment, Sencha is a fun spot on Grand.

Mac-Groveland & Highland Park Coffee Shops

This area of town has a lot of Caribous and Dunn Brothers, but if you look, there’s also plenty of local gems to be found here.

Plus, on the outskirts of these neighborhoods (technically in the borders of Lexington-Hamline and Union Park) sit some truly must-visit shops.

13. Quixotic Coffee

Highland residents may want to keep Quixotic Coffee their own ‘best-kept secret.’ Still, we’re not shy about sharing our love for this neighborhood favorite.  Even though we can’t always pronounce the name (Kwik-SAH-tic, right?), the menu of perfectly crafted cold-brew and local vendors like Ferndale Turkey, Backstory Coffee, and Patisserie 46 keep us coming back for more.

14. Roots Roasting

roots coffee highland

Roots is another awesome St. Paul coffee shop that works hard to find ethical sources and unique roasts. Their bright and airy space on St. Clair Avenue is a local favorite for in-the-know Macalester College students.

  • Address: 1552 St Clair Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
  • Website: Roots Roasting

15. JS Bean Factory

Does it get any more quintessential coffee shop than JS Bean Factory? This little brick corner building off Randolph Avenue is just oozing with charm. The metallic tin-walled interior mixed with a beautiful brick and gravel patio make this a perfect spot to take in the vibes. The coffee is top notch too, with every bean roasted on site in a small-batch roaster.

16. Spyhouse Coffee

Spyhouse has a little Twin Cities coffee empire going, with seven Minnesota locations and counting. Each spot boasts some of the coolest coffee house vibes in town, and their spot off Snelling is no exception.

17. Yellowbird Coffee Bar

A cozy spot for coffee, conversation, and community on Selby Avenue in St. Paul.  We love coming in for the bright yellow mugs and locally-sourced menu options.  You’ll find True Stone Coffee and La Boulangerie Marguerite bakery items on the menu, plus an adorable “coffee mug lending tree” when you walk in the door.

As a bonus, this is also the closest coffee shop to Concordia University.

18. Cahoots Coffee Bar

Located off Snelling and Selby, Cahoots is another quality coffee shop near Concordia University. This quirky coffee bar specializes in Turkish coffee – they grind the beans to a very find powder which is left in the coffee when served. The result is a more aromatic and thicker coffee than the standard variety. Definitely something any true coffee lover should try!

Hamline Midway / St. Anthony Park Coffee Shops

We’re definitely stretchingthe neighborhood boundaries here, since you’ll even find a Frogtown favorite on the list below. No need to quabble though, let’s continue onto more delicious coffee!

19. Gingko Coffeehouse

gingko st paul

Gingko is one of the oldest coffee shops in St. Paul, having originally opened in 1993. Since then, Gingko has expanded into stands inside CHS Field, the Science Museum, and the Children’s Hospital. But it’s the Hamline Midway corner shop where the real magic happens, thanks to a funky interior, delicious brews, and even a full food menu.

20. Groundswell

Groundswell is a neighborhood favorite located on the corner of Hamline and Thomas Avenue. Their big, bright windows take advantage of that space, as do the airy decorations and surprisingly large interior space.

Groundswell also gets bonus points as one of the best coffee shops open late, since they close at 7 PM most nights.

  • Address: 1340 Thomas Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104
  • Website: Groundswell

21. Flava Coffee and Cafe

In a part of town that’s somewhat neglected for coffee, Flava is one of Frogtown’s only true coffee shops. Plus, being located right off University Ave, it’s arguably the best coffee shop along the light rail.

  • Address: 623 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104
  • Website: Flava Cafe

22. Rafiki Coffee

What happens when a Ugandan immigrant and Minnesota local team up to open a coffee shop along the light rail’s Green Line? You get Rafiki Coffee, one of the coolest and most comfortable coffee shops in the neighborhood.

P.S. – You gotta try the Sambusas!

  • Address: 540 Fairview Ave N #101, St Paul, MN 55104
  • Website: Rafiki Coffee

23. SK Coffee

Coffee shops are known for bright and airy vibes, but SK Coffee might bring the brightest and airest of them all! White brick walls, sleek concrete floors, and enough plants to make Instagram proud. This is an ultra-cool hangout in the recently developed Vandallia Tower Complex, which you might recognize as the longstanding home of Lake Monster Brewing.

  • Address: 550 Vandalia St, St Paul, MN 55114
  • Website: SK Cofee

24. Dogwood St. Paul

Dogwood has two popular Minneapolis coffee shops, but the St. Anthony Park spot is their only St. Paul location. And boy, what a location it is! Nowhere else in town can you sip your coffee while peering through the windows of an authentic print-press factory!

25. Workhorse Coffee

Another coffee shop along the light rail, Workhorse brings some of the coolest vibes anywhere. Do you like your coffee with a side of authentic brick walls, weathered wooden floors, and historic tin ceilings? This cool spot might be the king of chill.

26. Roundtable Coffee Works

Roundtable is the last of the three coffee shops located along the same block in St. Anthony Park (Dogwood & Workhorse being the other two).

Of the three, Roundtable is the smallest and cutest of the bunch. The interior is tiny (and so is menu!), so most customers order via the side take-out window. In any case, what’s included on the menu is done to perfection – all coffee is small batch and roasted in house, which explains this underrated spot’s loyal fan following.

  • Address: 2386 W Territorial Rd, St Paul, MN 55114
  • Website: Roundtable

Como Neighborhood Coffee Shops

27. Abogados

Abogados Cafe is the only local coffee shop around Como Park, but this friendly and unassuming Dale Street location is a hidden gem. The coffee is top notch, and the interior is cute and cozy.

  • Address: 1053 Dale St N Suite 102, St Paul, MN 55117
  • Website: Abogados

West St. Paul Coffee Shops

In all the hustle and bustle of St. Paul, it’s easy to forget about the West St. Paul neighborhood (located south of downtown, go figure…) But there, you’ll find two of the most beloved coffee shops in town.

28. Amore Coffee

amore coffee west st paul

Amore is the neighborhood coffee shop of choice for the West St. Paul / Baker – Annapolis / Cherokee Park neighborhoods. Located on the intersection of Smith & Annapolis, this coffee shop is true to its name. You’ll find plenty of love at Amore!

Their motto is “if you can dream it, we can make it” and their skilled baristas are happy to put that challenge to the test. (Including the ultra-friendly owner, who you can find here almost every day!) Other highlights include a large, relaxing space for hanging out and even a neighborhood folk band every weekend.

  • Address: 879 Smith Ave S, West St Paul, MN 55118
  • Website: Amore Coffee

29. Backstory Coffee Roasters

backstory coffee shop st paul

If you’re looking for one of the most impressive collections of rotating seasonal drinks in town, Backstory Coffee Roasters is your spot. Their drinks are fueled by some of the freshest and most delicious beans imported from all over the world, which is why you can find their bags in high-end grocery stores and gift shops all around town. 

Backstory has recently expanded to a North Loop Minneapolis, but the West St. Paul spot remains the original coffee bar, complete with their full on-site roastery.

East St. Paul’s Best Coffee Shops

No to be forgotten, the east side of town has a few gems of coffee shops, too!

30. Swede Hollow Café

Tucked into a historic building near Swede Hollow Park in eastern St. Paul, the quiche and lattes at this neighborhood cafe are worth the drive to the East Side. In the summer months, their outdoor seating has a terrific view of the downtown St. Paul skyline and a garden tended by Urban Roots, a Twin Cities non-profit teaching youth and teens about gardening, conservation, and the restaurant industry.

31. Caydence Records and Coffee

You might recognize this spot from our article about the best record shops in the Twin Cities, and the name says it all. Caydence is both a record shop and a coffee shop, making this place a real hipster’s coffee shop dream! There’s definitely no better place in town to sip on some morning brew while taking in some vintage vinyl.

Share on

Don't miss out

on awesome updates around the Twin Cities.
About the Author
More like this