Move on over Starbucks…local coffee houses is where it’s at. Salem is fortunate to have some really good local coffee houses, all with a slightly different atmosphere. I think it is important to have different places to go depending on what you are looking for. My favorite top local coffee houses, in no particular order are…
French Press. A newcomer to the Salem Oregon scene, this coffee house just happens to have some awesome crepes to go along with your drinks. The smoothies are good and Tomson kid tested and approved (which is saying something from my picky eaters). With an elegant Eiffel Tower theme, this place is typically busy. Just a fair warning the Kona is wonderful BUT strong. For those of you like myself that aren’t regular coffee drinkers…go easy on this blend. I was hyped up after drinking just one cup of this. I normally talk fast, but I felt like I was talking in super speed after drinking this coffee. Seriously it made me hyper.
Ike Box-The Ike Box is also on the coffee house scene. I LOVE the interior of this building. The owners did a great job of preserving the architecture of the original building and for that I thank them. Not everything old needs to be torn down and “updated.” The Ike Box supports the owners non-profit program called Issac’s Room. At-risk teens are welcome to come and just hang out here. They have rooms for them to come and just have a safe place to be, to learn skills and gain confidence. I just love the idea of supporting a local business owner that has good coffee (they tend to make it sweet so keep that in mind when you order), great atmosphere, AND tries to help some of our troubled kids at the same time. If you haven’t been here. Go.
Blue Pepper-The Blue Pepper is a coffee house and gallery so there is art all along the walls that is for sale. We have some excellent local artists so there is a lot to look at. There is a conference room at the back for business meetings or get togethers. They have Wi-Fi as well or you can hop on one of their computers at the coffee house for a fee. Grab some coffee and surf the net. Edit: I wrote this post before the Blue Pepper lost its lease. I don’t know if they are going to reopen at a new location or not, yet. I’ll update this post if they move to a new location.
Coffee House Café-This is Salem’s laid back coffee house. For those of you that want a really casual down to earth atmosphere, this is your coffee house. It has Wi-Fi, and if you are looking for a place to hang out with friends in a down to earth atmosphere this is the place for you. I can’t help but feel that there are serious philosophical discussions occurring over coffee at this place. They also have vegetarian food. The owners are generous and have support our local charities. I worked on a couple of auctions and they graciously donated to them. I always appreciate our local business’s supporting our local community needs.
The Governor’s Cup-This coffee house is easy to miss because there is just a tiny sign to let you know it is there. This is probably one of Salem’s older coffee houses and the interior kind of reflects that. I guess I think that is part of it’s charm. They roast their own coffee there and you will smell like coffee if you happen to go there while they are roasting. Not necessarily a bad thing if you like the smell of coffee. Be warned that if you sit down at this coffee house you are expected to order something. One of the big complaints by the Willamette students that frequent this coffee shop is that they will be asked to leave if they don’t order anything. If you want to hang out, that is what the library is for. If you want to hang out at a local business, please support them and order something.
Cascade Baking Company-okay technically this really isn’t a coffee house, per se, but you really need to go in there and get some coffee and one of their incredibly delicious fresh baked goods. We don’t have a lot of local bakeries, and many of our local shops buy their baked goods from CBC. The hardest part is deciding what to get. So if you want a good cup of coffee AND a yummy breakfast treat…this is your place.
So if you are looking to move to Salem Oregon and want to know…where do I go to get some coffee, consider checking out these LOCAL places to get some good coffee. Each of our local coffee houses has something to offer everyone. Whether you are a hippie, intellectual, tech geek, college kid, yuppie…we have a coffee house here that will work for you.