We have the wine, the beer, the distilled spirits, and the food, but do we also have the coffee? Often overlooked, Traverse City’s coffee culture is alive within the city. Whether it’s the first cup of the day or that afternoon latte, your caffeine cravings will be satisfied.
From small neighborhood cafes to hip modern coffee shops, there’s a wide diversity of choices for a quality cup of brew (and in some cases a little something indulgent to pair with it).
On the east end of Front Street overlooking the Boardman River sits this downtown hot spot known for its tasty two-bite morsels and expertly brewed Intelligentsia Coffee. Contemporary décor with a modern edge gives this shop a cool vibe.
Locals adore this shop for its ingenuity and clever treats. Morsel flavors change daily, but there’s always a tempting selection, and beginning in January, the café will return to serving Sunday brunch because of its tremendous success last winter. The mini cupcakes pack a huge flavor into just two small bites and the strong brews complement them just perfectly.
Secure a window seat, order a latte and go ahead and indulge here. After all, it’s only two bites!
Located on Front Street downtown Traverse City, Brew is a rustic-chic coffeehouse offering a wide variety of delicious beverages, Organic Coffee and Espresso, teas, micro-brews, local wines, and house Crafted Cocktails. They also feature a selection of sandwiches and pastries with plenty of room to sit inside or outside to enjoy your tasty treat.
Located in the historic Opera House building, the café serves as a gathering point to feel relaxed and at home with free Wi-Fi, an inspiring interior, and unique but comfortable furniture. Stop by for a cup of coffee or even a bag to take home to enjoy later!
Espresso Bay, located at the corner of Front and Cass Street, has been the heart of downtown Traverse City since 2003. They offer small-batch roasted coffee, sandwiches & gelato served in a convivial cafe with sidewalk seats.
What makes them so unique is their variety of small-batch ground or whole beans ranging from different flavors and signature series only offered by the coffeehouse themselves.
Good Harbor Coffee
On the corner of Union and Front streets is one of Traverse City’s oldest coffee establishments, recognized for its quality brews and delicious baked goods – including gluten-free options. Small and inviting, this café is perfect for a cup to go or a quick meeting with friends.
Often filled with locals waiting for their daily coffee, this shop has a tendency to fill up rather quickly. Don’t let the small line deter you. The baristas are well versed in coffee making (and friendly, too) and you will have your coffee or tea in a matter of minutes.
Favorites vary in this shop, but mine is consistently a caramel cappuccino paired with one of their delicious homemade scones!
Located in the Warehouse District, just a few minutes from Downtown Traverse City, Hexenbelle is quickly becoming one of the area’s newest coffee shops to check out. Set inside a series of unique stores within this budding neighborhood, the décor is boho with some shades of pink to brighten your day!
Hexenbelle serves locally roasted BLK MRKT Coffee which is conveniently located in the same building. BLK MRKT Coffee is currently closed to the public but is still distributing coffee to businesses so they can craft your favorite drink. The coffee shop serves as a place to find delicious baked goods and a changing lunch menu based on what they get fresh that week.
Grab some coffee and a bite to eat, and enjoy their small patio located at the back of the building!
Higher Grounds Trading Co.
Nestled into the former laundry buildings of the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, Higher Grounds is a coffee shop and a roasting company. Rich aromas fill the air as you step inside the renovated historic space with tall ceilings, colorful décor, and a funky atmosphere.
Focusing on fair-trade coffee from around the world, this is a local business with an impactful global mission. The coffee beans are sourced from small-scale growers and the result is amazing coffee that you can feel good about drinking.
Small benches await your arrival where you can watch the roasters at work through the viewing windows. The house pour is always my favorite and there’s an awesome selection of bulk coffee for purchase.