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.
Thanks to its friendly baristas, specialty café drinks, and dedicated study room, Coffee Connection has garnered a number of awards in recent years, including City Weekly's distinction for Best Coffee Community in 2011. Patrons can sip beverages such as the Espresso Chip Freeze or the Coconut Rose bubble tea while curled up with a laptop or a textbook, or while connecting with other visitors through an in-house social-networking system.
The smell of fresh coffee fills the air inside both locations of BlueStar Juice Bar and Coffee Café, where staffers eschew corporate cups to roast their own beans into three artful coffee blends. Blenders also churn fresh fruit and veggies into juices such as the Cobra, which gives apple and carrot a mild gingery bite, or the Fruit Fusion, which combines fresh, seasonal picks.
BlueStar staff strives to create a genial atmosphere. At the café location on 2795 South 2300 East, customers can submit juice blends or sandwich recipes to add to the menu, and canine companions are welcome indoors or on the patio. Alternately, the downtown drive-thru makes for a quick refueling stop for drowsy commuters and cars that run on eco-friendly caffeine.
The only thing better than waking up to a freshly made breakfast is having someone else do the work for you. And that is exactly what you'll get at Ditta Caff?. Three sisters originally opened the caff? and they still own and operate this family business. One of the three wakes up early in the morning to bake the day's caff? cuisine, from bagels blended with asiago cheese to the homemade granola that tops fresh fruit parfaits. When the first customers start rolling in for coffee and scones, most know to go straight to the restful patio, where shaded tables await underneath a giant tree strung with glass lanterns. For those who don't have the time to linger, the shop also features a drive-thru where they can serve up their sandwiches and salads made with local meats and cheeses.
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.