And I’m back!
So to be totally honest, it’s been a struggle to get motivated and back into a routine post-Derby. I feel like it was “go baby go!” for six weeks straight and I needed to take a deep breath and get my mojo back. Not sure if I got it back but I’m committed to getting back into a routine. Stay tuned for a full week of new posts. I’m promising to stick with it.
I’ve been getting a lot of requests lately for more Louisville recommendations so today I thought I’d share some of my favorite spots to grab a cup of coffee around town. Pretty fitting for a Monday right?
We’re lucky to have SO MANY cute coffee shops in town and even luckier that so many are home grown brands. Each week I have at least one but sometimes up to four or five coffee shop meetings so I feel like I’ve hit up a lot of spots… certainly not all of them but here’s a few of my favorites.
Favorite New Arrival: Heine Brothers Falls City Market
Heine Brothers is a long-time Louisville favorite and I’ve been known to hit up many of their locations for morning meetings but their new location in the Omni Downtown’s Falls City Market is a gem. Not only do they have all their standards (their frozen coffee drinks are delish) but the market is full of yummy breakfast options. Plus it is an instagrammers dream come true. From the tiled floor to the Edison lights to the mural, there are tons of photo options.
And if you spend $5 in the market, valet parking is free. Plus you can pick up flowers from the market too and flowers make any day better.
Best Spot to Grab a Treat: Please & Thank You
Please & Thank You doesn’t play when it comes to their coffee. It’s strong. The music is loud and they don’t serve decaf.
Of their three locations, it’s hard to pick a favorite but lately I’ve been loving the Frankfort Avenue location. The music on the jukebox is always on point, I usually have no trouble grabbing a table and it’s easy to find a parking spot. That being said, each location is unique and oh-so-badass.
The reason I find myself going to Please & Thank time and time again is for the treats. It’s my favorite place for an afternoon coffee meeting since it’s the perfect excuse to try one of their delicious baked goods. Everyone, including me, raves about the cookies but you’re making a mistake if that’s the only sweet treat you grab there. Last week I had one of their lemon bars and nearly died and went to heaven. Having a serious craving? Try a slice of their cakes which always look like they were loving made in your grandma’s kitchen. Not too perfect looking but the perfect mix of buttery frosting and moist cake. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
If you’re there for an afternoon caffeine break, try their ice tea which is something special. And make sure to grab a couple cookies for the road.
Best Spot to Tackle Your Inbox: Quills Firehouse
If you haven’t swung by the new Quills Coffee on Main Street, do it this week. Especially if you’re in need of some quiet time to tackle your inbox or a serious project.
First off, the space is gorgeous. They did an amazing job renovating the old firehouse. It’s a stunning space with high ceilings, crisp subway tile and lots of space for a quick meeting. Plus the patio there is shady and not too hot even on the muggiest of days.
The reason I love it though, is because it has lots of quiet spots to knock out some work. I love dropping in between meetings to focus in for 40 minutes or so and check off a bunch of things on my to-do list. Throw on some headphones and be ready to conquer those projects that you’ve been putting off.
My only knock against Quills is they don’t have skim milk which is great when you’re trying to have a rich, extra foam latte but not when you’re watching your waistline. They do have 2%, soy and almond milk though. Plus, they serve wine too. Perfect for a happy hour meeting on the way out of downtown.
Best Breakfast Spot + My Favorite Latte: Atlantic No5
Atlantic No5 is like my home court. Our office for the last year has been right next door so I am there ALL THE TIME. I get an almond milk latte there at least two times a week. Not only is the space super cozy and welcoming but it’s also my favorite latte in town. It’s the Goldilocks of espresso – not too strong but not weak at all. You can get it with skim, soy or whole milk.
What I really love about Atlantic No5, besides the big city feel and crisp decor, are their breakfast options. The breakfast sammy’s are all delicious. But my weakness is their cinnamon toast. A warm, toasty baguette topped with butter and sugar + cinnamon. It’s not something I indulge in very often but when I do, I put down my phone and close my computer to focus on the food. Their avocado brioche sandwich is another favorite since the egg is always runny and very overcooked.
Don’t have time to sit down? Grab one of their scones. Every day is something new but I’ve never had one I didn’t love. If you can’t make it in for coffee, stop in for lunch. Tons of healthy options that won’t break the bank, like the hummus plate, powerhouse salad or the soup of the day.
Hidden Perk: They always have the New York Times which I skim while waiting for my coffee.
Best Spot for Chilly Mornings: VINT
Vint on Frankfort Avenue is great for a lot of reasons – it’s location, the free parking (never overlook easy parking) and the yummy lattes. But the reason I make plans to stop in is the warm vibe that is so perfect for chilly days. Not saying you should avoid it in the summer – their patio is on point – but at winter time, walking in feels like being welcomed into a cozy living room.
Lots of comfy seating alongside a fireplace makes it my number one meeting spot for winter coffee meetings. They are also one of the only spot close to downtown with a drive-through. So if you’re coming down Frankfort Ave. and don’t have time to run-in, Vint’s drive-thru is clutch.
Extra bonus points for serving wine too. You can stop by and enjoy a glass on the patio during warmer months.
Best Lazy Saturday or Sunday Coffee Spot: Blue Dog Bakery
If you’re up early (I mean, not too early) on the weekends and want to spend a lazy morning reading the paper and enjoying an incredible latte, Blue Dog Bakery is calling your name.
Blue Dog is the closest you’ll get to a french cafe in Louisville. Delicious, creamy espresso accompanied by flaky, fresh pastries in a light, bright and welcoming atmosphere. The staff is always friendly, the quiche is always yummy and the atmosphere is so laid-back. Even when I have a busy day, a stop at Blue Dog feels like a getaway.
If I do schedule a meeting there, I like to get there 30 minutes early to read the paper or catch up on emails while people watching through the big windows that look out onto Frankfort Avenue. It doesn’t have to be a weekend to stop in but that’s my favorite time to swing in. No matter if it’s weekday or weekend, be sure to grab a baguette on your way out.
This is certainly not a definitive list but what I’m loving these days. I’m hoping to swing by the new Quills in St. Matthews soon and you can catch me at plenty of our local Starbucks. What kind of local wrap up do you all want to see next? I’m thinking of doing a list of my go-to spots for random necessities like nail salons, dry cleaners and the like. Let me know if there’s something you want to see.
So did any of your favorites make the list? If not, leave yours in the comments! If there’s somewhere I haven’t been, I’ll be sure to check it out.