We all have our favorite spots, dishes and restaurants, and I am certainly no different. This new monthly series will highlight my five favorites from a variety of categories. First up: coffee shops.
There are many factors that come into play when I choose a coffee shop, from the general vibe to the quality of coffee to comfortable seating to the background music to the friendliness of staff. Because I often frequent these shops to do my food writing work, for me, it’s not just about the coffee. And truth be told, I keep it very simple when it comes to java. My drink of choice is either a cold brew (black) or a warm cup of coffee with a touch of cream. With all that said, in no particular order, here are my Five Fav Coffee Shops in Little Rock/North Little Rock.
Mugs Café (Argenta)
Mugs serves a nice cup of bold coffee, and I absolutely love their cold brew. Here’s an added bonus: they even sell it in cute, to-go bottles. The staff seems friendly enough, and the food, while I don’t eat it often, is way above average. That includes the breakfast tacos and the chocolate muffins that eat more like a huge hunk of cake. The space is expansive, with locally-made tables throughout that are absolutely fantastic to work on. The setting has a wonderful flow of customers throughout the day, making it ideal for a meeting, writing session or just a spot to relax.
Boulevard Bread Company (Heights)
I don’t mess around at Boulevard. I get in and get out. The staff is super friendly, and if you’re a regular, it’s almost a lock that they will know your name. Boulevard also serves one of the better cups of coffee in town, and my teenage daughter will tell you the vanilla iced latte is fire. The food is also elite, especially the sandwiches like the Breakfast Sandwich or the bialy with smoked salmon.
Guillermo’s Gourmet Coffee
If you catch the right barista at Guillermo’s, not only will they know your name but there’s a good chance they will also know your exact order. Impressive. The coffee shop roasts its own beans, which is another high mark, but it’s also probably the best place in town to conduct meetings. There’s a private room in the back (needs to be reserved) or you can just park it at one of the dining room tables. And don’t laugh, but I love the insanely comfy leather sofas. I work here more than any other place and a big reason for that is the darn sofa. Props on strong background music as well.
Nexus Coffee and Creative
What a cool place. Located in the heart of downtown Little Rock, Nexus Coffee and Creative is this huge space that somehow manages to feel cozy. They recently started roasting their own beans, so that’s a nice perk (pun intended), and their baked goods, like the mega muffins, pair well with the drinks. There are areas for meetings, a stage for performances, sofas for lounging, and even a section to shop for local artisan wares.
Fidel & Co
Fidel & Co serves a mean cup of coffee, probably the best in town, and the same can be said about many of their pastries and baked items. The cheesecake also might be the best in Little Rock — and yes, even better than The Pantry’s, which is saying something. Yesterday, I had the acai bowl, and that too was pretty darn amazing. The décor is bright and modern, the staff is friendly and efficient, and the overall vibe is chill, with several 20-somethings seated around the shop, getting work done on their laptops.