Coffee. Mmmm. Nectar of the Gods. Go-Go Juice. My Raison d'etre.

Working downtown has its drawbacks. Parking meters. One way streets. Those pesky trains. But it also has its perks. As in "percolator".

In real estate, it's all about location. The same is true for coffee sipping. Forget the shopping mall. Pass on the strip mall storefront parking lot patio chain coffee chumps.

If you want to impress  a special person on a first date, there is no better place to get your flirting game going than at a downtown coffee destination. Same goes for a business meeting. You could even pull off a serious job interview with a downtown coffee appointment.

For a real coffee snob, there is no better place for a great cup of quality grog than these favorite downtown coffee shops. See if you agree. And feel free to debate any of the rankings or ratings. Good coffee is the perfect drink to share over a spirited conversation.

  • 1

    The Coffee Emporium

    220 Third Av. SE in the Anderson Building. Go for the gourmet coffee, traditional and specialty drinks, as well as sandwiches and wraps. They also showcase new artwork on display and for sale by the artists, some who are local to Cedar Rapids.

    Photo: Mike Ferris
  • 2

    The Blue Strawberry

    118 Second St. SE. Comfy. Cozy. Drinks as smooth as Skippy and a cool atmosphere, like Sinatra song.  Plenty of tasty food and beverage choices, and a great place to be "seen". Who can resist telling a friend "...I'll meet you at the Blue Strawberry..."

    Photo: Mike Ferris
  • 3

    Prairie Soup Company

    My personal favorite for first cup of the day, as they are located on the SkyWalk level of our very own Plaza 425 Building at 425 Second St. SE. A great view, and a great brew.

    Photo: Mike Ferris
  • 4

    The Early Bird

    316 Second St. SE. But not for much longer. They are moving one block over to the former Smulekoff's Building by October. Don't fret. Everything else you love about the Early Bird will remain the same.

    Photo: Mike Ferris
  • 5


    1101 Third St. SE. Yes, it's a bit of a long walk to be called a downtown destination, but the vibe is just as cool here as any other trendy downtown coffee bar. This beatnick bistro is a hipster haven, and their cup of joe is hearty, and as bohemian as Kolach.

    Photo: Mike Ferris