Before St. Patrick's Day arrives with it's required list of best taverns, bars and pubs, I thought I'd review the local coffee shop scene with a few observations and recommendations of where to get a decent cuppa' joe.

Every coffee snob will likely disagree with this short list of my five favorite coffee shops - which is perfect, because no list is perfect. Coffee, like the snobs who love it, is different for everyone.

Brewhemia - Located at 1202 3rd Ste SE, Brewhemia is a Newbo favorite, and with good reason. Great ambiance in a cool neighborhood and tasty food choices from breakfast bowls to lunchtime sandwiches like mango chutney salami.

Dash - The latest trendy coffee shop on 120 3rd Ave SW is a relative newcomer, and they've just announced a new shop to open soon in Iowa City. That will rocket the Cedar Rapids roasters into an entire new level of busy for owners Rebecca and Phil Davidson.

Early Bird - This downtown Cedar Rapids coffee shop moved from it's Town Center address into its new location in the renovated Smulekoff's building on 1st Street back in November 2016. Lunch specialties include the Birdie Spring Salad and the Pesto Chicken Wrap. They also serve ice creams from Dan & Debbie's Creamery in Ely.

Brewed Awakenings - Popular with Coe College students a 1271 First Ave, just blocks from downtown. It has a great community vibe and an impressive menu that includes a variety of breakfast sandwiches, and lunch items like curry chicken salad and Mardi Gras Pizza.

Roasters Coffeehouse - A delightful gem located at 1059 N. Center Point Rd in Hiawatha, they take pride in roasting their beans for area coffee shops and stores. Roasters in Hiawatha seats 40 in their coffee shop and offer a nice menu of cookies muffins and scones baked daily.

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