With specialty coffee in such high demand, different roasters, shops, and non-coffee companies are finding unique ways to bring amazing coffee to the masses. It makes coffee fun, and it brings it into cool, untraditional spaces.
Here are some of my favorite places to get coffee in Indianapolis that are more than just a traditional coffee shop.
In the heart of the Fletcher Place / Fountain Square neighborhood resides Milktooth, a world-renowned breakfast-brunch-lunch eatery that is taking the world by storm. Literally. Milktooth was named recently named one of the best places to eat in the world by Condé Nast Traveler.
Milktooth makes the list because, while it is restaurant first, it boasts one of the best coffee experiences in the city. You can enjoy incredible, locally roasted coffee while you dine, or you can swing in to grab some caffeine to-go and an amazing treat from the coffee bar.
Sure Shot Coffee – Vardagen
I’m always pushing people to Sure Shot Coffee when they’re on the North Side of Indy. The shop is technically the home of Vardagen, a local t-shirt and print shop that has recently expanded its roots to Venice, CA. To give customers an enriched shopping experience, Vardagen opened an espresso bar inside the store in 2015, and has been churning out amazing drinks and killer cold brew ever since. Tt’s become a staple in Fishers for coffee drinkers and those looking for unique, locally made clothing. (Bonus tip: Part of Sure Shot’s original funding was from a Kickstarter campaign. Who knew?)
The Garden Table
On the list of restaurants meets coffee bars is The Garden Table – Mass Ave. This fresh, airy space is more than just a perfect brunch spot – they’ve got an amazing coffee bar that will blow your socks off. (That’s still an expression, right?)
The coffee program at The Garden Table highlights specialty coffees from all over, including a list of local roasters. Another great place to order coffee with your food or stop in to the coffee bar for a pick-me-up while you’re walking down the Avenue.
General American Donut Company
If you don’t like donuts, I guess you can stop reading here? General American Donut Company is about as perfect as perfect gets. They’ve got your traditional flavors, but most importantly, the offer a huge range of fun flavors like Lucky Charms, S’mores, French Toast, Maple Bourbon Bacon, Snickers, Salted Caramel… Geez. And their selection of vegan donuts? Amazing.
GADC brings in freshly roasted beans from Stumptown Coffee, and does an incredible job with everything they serve.
Nine Lives Cat Cafe
Nine Lives Cat Cafe speaks for itself. This amazing space is one-of-a-kind here in Indy, and it is as amazing as it sounds. Besides serving great coffee, they partner with the Humane Society of Indianapolis to house 8-10 adoptables in the Cat Lounge. It’s important to note that reservations for the Cat Lounge are highly encouraged (and can be done online); however, you do not need a reservation to visit the cafe half of the shop. It’s purrrrfect.
Open Society Public House
Okay. Back to business. The baristas at Open Society in SoBro are masters at their craft. Offering a range of coffees from Tinker Coffee and Madcap in Grand Rapids, everything on their specialty coffee menu is to die for. Check out the Cafe Miel, the Espresso tonic, or even a latte concocted with their house-made cashew milk and you will NOT be disappointed. Their pastries are also some of the best in the city. (My favorite is the vegan poptarts, hands down.)
Besides having an amazing coffee counter, Open Society is also a go-to lunch & dinner restaurant for Indianapolis foodies. Their wine & cocktail programs are also unmatched in the city.
Coat Check Coffee
While Coat Check Coffee might be solely a coffee house, its location it what gives it a solid place on this list. Coat Check is technically a coffee counter that is literally built into the old coat check closet in the lobby of the historic Athenaeum theater on Mass Ave. I could write about the coffee and the service for days and days, but Coat Check brings so much to this space and really contributes to Mass Ave.