Just above the gelato-and-coffee counter in Paula’s Eatery hovers what looks to be an enormous wire bird’s nest. The hyper-modern chandelier kind of sums up the whole feel of the café: disarmingly stylish, but comfortable and family-friendly.
The tone is fitting for a shop that has made a name for itself based on its unorthodox take on comfort food. The bakery whips up plates of homespun classics with a gourmet twist. The banana bread is roasted, zucchini cake is made with Tuscan olive oil, and the improbably enormous Rice Crispy treats are shot through with marshmallow chunks. Their signature Belgian waffles get a similar upgrade, served with pure maple syrup or the shop’s homemade gelato. For midday meals, cooks press fresh paninis, such as the Hawaiian Hula Ham, smothered in provolone, honey cured ham, and zesty pepper spiced apricot relish. At the coffee bar, baristas tamp out a slew of espresso drinks, from classic drip coffees to exotic affogatos—a scoop of gelato drowned in espresso and served with an improvised sea shanty.
Though Native American deity Kokopelli holds a reputation as a mischievous trickster, Kokopellis Koffee deviates from its namesake with an atmosphere that’s laid-back and unassuming. Light filters in through skylights on the slanted ceiling of the two-story café as guests cozy up with steamy mugs in the upstairs lounge and an espresso machine whirrs and buzzes in the downstairs coffee bar. While the upper level hosts overstuffed couches and bookshelves, the casual downstairs café houses tables and a colorful chalkboard that lists drinks, sandwiches, and the latest victims of Kokopelli’s vanishing-creamer trick.
Annie Defa learned a lot in her 10 years in the coffee-shop industry, including how to select the choicest beans from among thousands. She puts this knack into action on a weekly basis, consulting with her local roaster to supply the shop with the aromatic blends she brews into steaming mugs or transforms into specialty drinks. She and her crew also bake up croissants, cookies, and muffins fresh each morning. In the summertime, an outdoor patio supplements the café’s intimate indoor space, and free WiFi ensures that clients stay up-to-date with emails, news, and the latest styles of cappuccino-foam mustaches.
The potation crafters at Beans & Brews Coffee House whip up hot and cold beverages from perk-proffering coffee beans, relaxing tea leaves, and sweet decaf alternatives. Hot coffee drinks, such as the cappuccino ($3.60 for 12 oz.) or eye-opener brew ($2.80 for 12 oz.) gently jolt the brain awake with mountain-roasted goodness, and the dulcet notes of iced chai ($4.10 for 16 oz.) and B&B frappes ($4.05 for 16 oz.) cool off summer-scorched palates with their sweet, icy taste. Roasters get the most out of each coffee bean with Beans & Brews’ trademark high-altitude roasting, which imparts each batch of grounds with a smooth flavor that, like an angst-riddled teddy bear, maintains a high level of complexity.
Bakery and Brews' retinue of baristas incorporate flavors imported from Uruguay and Argentina into the shop's selection of coffees, teas, and smoothies. Guests can grab their choice of 20-ounce chai frappes, flavored lattes, or fruit smoothies to go, or they can grab a seat at one of the café's tables, plush couches, or resident grandpa laps. The drinkery's menu brims with liquid bounty, satiating thirsts with a varied selection of espressos, teas, and hot chocolate that will keep palates guessing and esophagi logging overtime hours.
Named after the hardworking Hawaiian donkeys that transported juvenile java beans through the mountains, Bad Ass Coffee brews 100% Kona Coffee imported from the Big Island. In a meticulous process, Kona beans are roasted to ensure the rich flavors didn't ditch the flight and opt for the beach. Taste buds board a plane for the Hawaiian shores at the first touch of 100% Kona Coffee, a carefully roasted cup brimming with flavors ($3.50 for 16 oz.). Latte lovers choose from more than 15 signature varieties, such as the Kreme de Kona, a bubbling brew of white and dark chocolate splashed with vanilla ($3.70 for 16 oz.), or the sweet caramel base of the Snickerlicious, a hazelnut-and-chocolate concoction ($3.20 for 12 oz.). Coffee drinkers can chew on specialty sandwiches such as the chicken salad flanked by a side of chips ($4.50) or send their incisors into a huge assortment of danishes and pastries ($1.50–$2.50).
Live trees grow inside Café Solstice, stretching their branches toward the sunlight that streams in through the high ceiling's skylights. The trees aren't the only things that are leafy and fresh, though; so is the spot's menu of vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Kitchen wizards fashion organic produce into dishes such as corn tacos with miso, sunflower seeds, and cheddar cheese beneath greens and cilantro dressing, or veggie burgers made from walnuts, mushrooms, and pumpkins seeds topped with tomato chutney and provolone. Visitors can also snack on fresh-baked goods that range from Kashi krispie bars to double-chocolate butterscotch cookies, and sip organic loose-leaf tea or drip coffee made with locally roasted beans.