Rochester MN Guide to Coffee Shops & Drive-Thrus

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This post was last updated on January 30, 2020 and is sponsored by Experience Rochester MN

Rochester MN Guide to Coffee Shops & Drive Thrus | Rochester Mom

When it comes to coffee…the team at Rochester Mom *might* just be considered experts.  It is the choice drink of many, many moms and admittedly is half of what keeps us going on those “Oh no you did not just do that” days!  This comprehensive guide will outline: local, Rochester MN coffee shops, our favorite coffee drinks at each, drive-thrus you can hit up for total mom-on-the-go convenience, and a guide to “What in the world is that drink?”

Local Coffee Shops

Café SteamLocated downtown, Cafe Steam gives off a cool and comfy vibe. We love that they also support local artists!

We Recommend:  Lavender Flat White or the Melya (Honey and Espresso!)

Insider Pro-Tip: Try the Birthday Girl or the Calypso for a special off the menu non-coffee treat.  Trust us.

Café Steam – DoubleTree: Newly opened in the 2nd level of the DoubleTree hotel in summer 2018, this second location offers the same delicious craft coffee drinks, pour-overs and flat-whites but with a different more contemporary vibe.

Café Steam – Thesis Beer Project: Continuing their innovative partnerships, Cafe Steam teamed up with Thesis Beer Project in Rochester’s Uptown neighborhood, thus providing a true day-to-night use of the recently renovated space on 2nd Street SW.

Café Steam – Discovery Square: In 2019 Cafe Steam expanded in downtown Rochester’s Discovery Square, a 16 block sub-district built in collaboration with Mayo Clinic in a highly connected urban life science hub.

Fiddlehead Coffee Co: Fiddlehead’s street level corner spot at the Flats on 4th is a refreshingly styled location for breakfast, lunch, and of course- coffee.  If features craft coffees, inventive menu items, and house-made pastries. We love their clever name: Fiddlehead ferns are a highly desirable, foraged item in the state of Minnesota. *Stay tuned for Fiddlehead’s 2nd location in Kutzky Park!

We Recommend:  Oat Milk Latte: made with Oatly brand milk made from oats, this uniquely earthy latte is worth a try!

Queen City Coffee & Juice Rochester’s newest coffee shop is located inside of Castle Community.  Serving up handcrafted coffee and fresh pressed juices is their specialty!  This shop is extremely family friendly…there are all sorts of things for you and your family to do at the Castle Community when you visit!

We Recommend: Try the Hip-pea teas!  These tea lattes come infused with your choice of Activated Charcoal with Cacao, Beet, Butterfly Pea, Matcha, Turmeric.

Old Abe Coffee Co. Old Abe Coffee cold brews all his coffee – even the hot stuff – for a super smooth finish.  Find him on his bike coffee cart or at his recently opened, amazing shop on 7th street!  (Bonus: enjoy a cup of coffee while the kids play in their own special space!)

We Recommend:  Iced Zumbro (made with hazelnut and cinnamon) or the War Eagle (when you don’t want to mess around…straight coffee concentrate!)

Bravo Espresso: Tucked away in a corner in the Shops at University Square, don’t let their small space fool you.  One of the downtown professionals’ favorite spots!

We Recommend: The double espresso or the Ooey Gooey Caramel Latte. Yep, that’s the name…a special treat indeed.

St. James Coffee: Located on the northwest side of town, St James is cool and cozy.  Run by the Catholic Church in town, they craft their coffee with organic, fair trade beans.

We recommend: The Immaculate White Mocha or the St. Andy’s (mint and chocolate!)

MokaA serious favorite amongst the Rochester Mom team…we can rattle off the menu by heart. With two drive-thru only locations in North and South Rochester, and a third on the way. We at Rochester Mom were thrilled when they opened up a walk-in coffee shop on the Peace Plaza last year, perfect for meetings or getting some work done!

We Recommend: The Jamaican – iced or hot – with cream and sugar or the Blanco Americano when you need an extra oomph.

Insider Pro-Tip: Try their SporTea for a natural energy boost: it’s 95% caffeine free! Add a shot of flavor for fun times. We really love the peach or ginger lemongrass.

People’s Food Co-opPick up your cup of joe and all of your local produce and goods all in one stop!  Bonus: mini carts!

We Recommend: Their drip coffee is amazing or just a classic vanilla latte.

Café 49: This locally owned coffee shop is located inside Olmsted Medical Center’s Northwest Clinic and the Hospital.

We Recommend: Their Salted Caramel Mocha

Le Petit Café:  Le Petit Café started as a mobile coffee trailer and last year opened their expanded bistro cafe in the former Avalon Hotel building on north Broadway.

We Recommend: The Cortado made with Peace Coffee – 100% Fair Trade and Certified Organic

Almi’s Coffee Shop: A truly local shop located on Broadway just north of Shops at University Square.

We Recommend: Order a regular coffee…but be prepared for a strong cup!!

Lumen CoffeeA newer shop to the Rochester coffee scene…Lumen coffee serves espresso drinks, smoothies, breakfast sandwiches and pastries!  Local sourcing is top priority.

Drive-Thru Coffee Shops

Dunn Bros North/South/BroadwayWe love the drive-thru at both locations!

We Recommend: We love the Nirvanas.  Try the Chocolate Nirvana (caffeinated hot chocolate!) or the Iced Coconut Nirvana.

Caribou CoffeeAnother MN company, there are nine Rochester locations to choose from including two locations that also serve Einstein Bros. Bagels. Three locations are drive thru: Caribou Northwest, Caribou Coffee | Einstein Bros Bagels – North, and Caribou Coffee | Einstein Bros Bagels – River Center.

We Recommend: Breve with White Chocolate or the cold press.

Starbucks: While no technical drive-thru exists yet, they are building one on South Broadway near Flapdoodles South!

We Recommend: White Chocolate Mocha or Starbucks Double Shots

Insider Pro-Tip: Order an Acai Berry Refresher and substitute with coconut milk for a tropical treat!

Mokathe only shop to get listed in both the local coffee shops *and* drive-thru sections!

Lumen Coffee: located in northwest Rochester in the old Snappy Stop building, Lumen Coffee starting serving coffee in its drive-thru only spot at the end of December 2017!

Have a coffee spot you’d like to see added to the list, send us an email!

Glossary of Coffee Drinks

Ever stare at a coffee shop menu and wonder where on earth to start? Or you’re ready to branch out to something new but don’t know what to order?  Check out our glossary of coffee drinks! If you like stronger coffee drinks, try anything with espresso as a base, if you prefer lighter…coffee drinks with milk added are less of a punch and often times pair well with added flavors.

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