It seems nowadays everyone is making lists of the bars, restaurants, and general points of interest throughout Detroit.
Some are organized by the perceived opinions of the writer on their quality or “hipness,” others simply listed by geographic location, and still others are lazily just ordered alphabetically.
These serve only as filler or poor substitution for actual content and useful information.
So rather than word barf out a list of the coffee shops that I can name and I have been to in Detroit (Hint: It’s all of them) I decided the most qualitative way to present these is by breaking them down by situation and occasion.
Because depending on where you are, what day it is, or what you’re looking to do, the perfect java house can vary greatly. Let’s get started.
Best place to bump lattes with the movers and shakers — Roasting Plant
A prime location in the heart of downtown and quick service make this place the preferred destination for the business set to take their meetings and fuel up in between all the wheeling and dealing I assume goes on in those cathedrals of commerce along Woodward.
660 Woodward Avenue, Detroit — Website
Best place to double as your satellite office — Dessert Oasis
Lots of space to spread out and ample tables so you’ll never have to worry about finding a spot. Maybe more importantly though; tasty pastries, and great Wi-Fi create the perfect spot to stay on your grind away from usual office space.
1220 Griswold, Detroit — Website
Best place to find your Zen — Urban Bean
This is a small coffee shop but it certainly helps create the ideal environment to hang out on the second floor and gaze out onto your 180 degree views of Capitol Park and unobstructed view down Griswold. In the evenings they have DJs spinning records upstairs.
200 Grand River, Detroit — Website
Best place to accessorize your pour over with some Detroit swag — Ashe Supply
“Drink Coffee, Live Wild” makes for a great motto and it’s even more effective when emblazoned on a hoodie, henley, or tank top. In addition to the clothing, Ashe has all the “supplies” you’ll need for your coffee obsession including everything from mugs to French presses.
1555 Broadway, Detroit — Website
Best place to shop while you sip — Will Leather Goods coffee shop
When it comes to quality leather goods, Will takes a back seat to nobody. They may not be as well-known as their neighbors over on Canfield but I can say without hesitation that their coffee is a superior product. Plus, there’s just something about the wafting scent of espresso and leather that combine for an olfactory bliss.
4120 Second Avenue, Detroit — Website
Best place to get away from it all — Café 1923
A true coffee “house” nestled away in Hamtramck, 1923 feels a world away from the urban sprawl of Detroit and presents a multitude of seating arrangements to keep you as comfortable as possible while you bask in your caffeinated euphoria.
2287 Holbrook, Hamtramck — Website
Best place to catch up with the locals and connect with the neighborhood — Motor City Java House
“Java House” really doesn’t do justice to this place but cafe, juicery, theater, and community gathering spot probably wouldn’t fit on the sign. Tucked away in the Old Redford neighborhood this destination is always buzzing with activity and although it primarily serves the surrounding neighborhood, unfamiliar faces are always greeted warmly and engaged in conversation.
17336 Lahser Road, Detroit — Website
Best place to kill some time while you wait for your table at Slows — Astro Coffee
..or Mercury, or Bobcat Bonnies, or Ottava Via. Look there’s a lot of really great restaurants in Corktown along Michigan Avenue which means once you put your name in there’s going to be somewhere between 30-45 minutes to kill (on a slow day). That’s the perfect amount time to wander over to Astro and grab a pour over or latte. Just make sure you get it to go just in case you have to rush out to claim your table down the street.
2124 Michigan, Detroit — Website
Best place to find your creative side — Café Con Leche
The increasingly vibrant area around the Fisher Building is becoming a hotbed for the “Eds and Meds” crowd but what really makes this area tick is the Center for Creative Studies located a block away. And where do you think these artists and innovators wash down their creative juices with coffee? You guessed it.
2990 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit — Website
Best place for anything and everything your heart desires — Great Lakes Coffee
Coffee? Beer? Coffee AND beer? It’s all possible here. Besides the aforementioned mixture (which is called a 50/50 and is delicious) there’s also wine, food, and a full cocktail menu. At Great Lakes you may come for the coffee, but you’ll most likely leave with a buzz.
3965 Woodward Avenue, Detroit — Website