The cozy Pyramid Cafe specializes in authentic Turkish coffee and a range of teas and sodas to satisfy caffeine cravings. A single punch on the 10-punch card nets imbibers up to $4 worth of drinks, including a 20-ounce cup of Turkish coffee ($4), made from super-finely ground beans that impart steaming cups with thick texture and strong flavor. A 20-ounce chai latte ($3.50) mixes spiced tea and milk for a gentler, tastier buzz than high-octane battery acid. Italian soda ($3.75 for 20 ounces) tickles tongues with effervescent sweetness while placating fractious sweet teeth left bitter by too much black coffee. Sip a drink in the 1,700-square-foot café, complete with a second-story loft for quiet reading, relaxation, and reminding uppity gravity that there are ways around its stringent laws.
The friendly and dedicated baristas at Mugs Coffee Company grind and brew each cup of their organic and fair-trade coffee to the customer's order. Perfect foam mustaches to round out food-based disguises with the traditional cappuccino—6 ounces of Italian-style espresso topped with steamed milk ($2.50), or sweeten up sips with the Con Panna, an espresso adorned with homemade whipped cream ($1.95). A Frappe Freeze hosts a chilly meeting of the minds for espresso, milk, and ice ($3.20+), and Philip's Perfect Chai marries spicy and sweet in a steamy ceremony ($2.95+). Bathe tongues in nostalgia with a glass of real apple cider ($1.95+), or restructure stomach pyramids with the Aztec Mocha, a spicy Mexican delight ($3.15+).
The local McSteven's factory has churned out calendar-spanning holiday cheer with cocoa, cider, and other gourmet drink mixes for 30 years, earning a feature in the Columbian. Autumn-inspired flavors flood tins of Snoopy's harvest-spice cocoa mix ($7.95), each of which serves six imbibers or an infinite number of cartoon children with a chocolaty sip endorsed by the Peanuts gang. Breathe new life into floundering bashes with Tiki Drinks lime-margarita mix ($5.95) or a college-themed hot chocolate cloaked in colors to match the uniforms of champion football teams ($7.95 each). Caramel-apple cider ($7.95) warms fingers after jumping through piles of leaves or competing in hide-and-seek matches against scarecrows.
The scent of freshly brewed Stumptown coffee wafts through the air in the two-story house that hosts North Star Coffeehouse as visitors challenge one another to chess tournaments, read a novel by the warm fire, or translate Faulkner into pig Latin. Once equipped with a brewed beverage and a tasty, sugary pastry from La Provence Bakery, patrons can explore the North Star confines, decorated in a postmodern-meets-vintage theme by Vizwerks, before settling into a cozy plush chair to browse the free WiFi.
The baristas of StingRay Cafe help awaken patrons with fresh espresso drinks, including cappuccinos and americanos, as well as tea, chai, and hot chocolate. Along with the frothy favorites, they whip up a host of snack-'em-ups, such as pizza bagels and mac ‘n’ cheese, or lunch boxes packed with a panini, chips, and a soda. Located within the Leftbank Project, StingRay Cafe is part of a network of small-business owners reusing city landmark buildings as commercial space, rather than letting them fall into disrepair or join a punk band and graffiti themselves.