By Kathryn Greene

Through the last several years, coffee shops have popped up across the Kansas City metro, creating a coffee culture that is just as distinctive as our jazz and barbecue scenes. The city features rustic spaces that roast their own beans, shops with minimalist menus and others that focus on sweet specialty drinks. Whether you’re in the mood to curl up and relax in a cozy spot or use your java jolt to get some work done, these places will serve up exactly what you’re looking for—including coffee, of course.

Here are some of the best coffee shops in Kansas City:

Thou Mayest

A coffee shop by day and hot hangout by night, Thou Mayest, whose name is taken from John Steinbeck’s East of Eden,” touts a two-story setup.

With coffee blends from Laid Back to Wild Child, Thou Mayest’s hip energy effortlessly takes you through the day (and maybe even night) regardless of the hour.

Messenger Coffee

There are levels to Messenger Coffee—three to be exact. The multi-story space includes a café and Ibis Bakery, roastery and a roof deck with sweeping views of Liberty Memorial and Midtown Kansas City. 

Broadway Café

A destination coffee location, the shop does double duty as a café and roasting company, allowing you to witness the roasting process firsthand before deciding on your drink of choice.

Nestled between vinyl record stores, restaurants, and curio shops, its prime location in the historic Westport entertainment district makes it ideal for some post-coffee exploring.

Monarch

The black and white tiled floor and bistro chairs at Monarch give the space a European feel that is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace on par with Parisians.

Take a book, sprawl out in front of the window overlooking green space and savor one of the shop’s specialties like a matcha or turmeric latte.

Goat Hill

Espresso drinks made with blends from the local Post Coffee Company are enough of a reason to visit Goat Hill, but the shop also has snow cones and Italian sodas on the menu.

The from-scratch syrups are made in-house in a rotating selection of flavors like blackberry sage, so no matter the weather, Goat Hill has something delicious to offer.

Post Coffee

Roll-up windows fill Post Coffee (weather permitting) with sunshine and warm breezes that are a perfect complement to the direct-trade coffee they serve. A menu of sandwiches and pastries make Post an easy place to settle in and get work done, whether it is for one hour or several.  

Colony KC

If you’re looking to get a caffeine buzz in a high-energy setting, cross the Missouri River into North Kansas City aka “Northlandia” and discover Colony KC.

While simple espresso drinks are Colony’s focal point, frequent live music, trivia nights and a menu of craft beer and cocktails made with locally-distilled spirits from J. Rieger and Tom’s Town, take it to the next level.

Made in KC Café

Nestled inside the Made in KC store where you can shop everything Kansas City, from clothing to ceramics, is the duplicately named café.

A neon signs beckons “Meet me for coffee”—do as they say and you’ll have a shopping break well-spent in the bright space, which serves coffee from KC’s favorite roasters and treats like homemade pop tarts. 

Crows Coffee

With large windows that let in plenty of natural light year-round, Crows Coffee is a comfortable, sun-drenched spot whether you need to work or study.

Settle into a plush armchair or take up residence at a table at either their UMKC campus shop or in their Waldo location.

Second Best Coffee

Second Best Coffee should be one of your first choices when it comes to nestling into a cozy space for work or recreation. The espresso-centric slow bar grinds and brews your coffee upon ordering, and the recently expanded space has ample seating and a quiet atmosphere.

Quay Coffee

Quay Coffee (pronounced “key”) is like an extension of your living room that just happens to serve great coffee. With exposed brick walls and soft lighting, Quay Coffee lends itself to the long haul, so grab your laptop and get to work.

The Roasterie

When you want to learn about the craft behind coffee, The Roasterie should be one of your first stops.

An original of Kansas City’s coffee scene since it was founded in 1993, Roasterie experts can help improve your at-home brewing by recommending equipment sold at The Factory. Buy a pound of one of their custom blends, take your newfound knowledge and equipment home with you, and put it to the test.

PT’s Coffee

Topeka-based PT’s Coffee Roasting Co. has been roasting coffee since 1997 and touts an outpost in the Crossroads Arts District called PT’s Coffee. Bags of blends line the shelves in the shop alongside Chemex, presses and scales that will help you make a perfect cup at home.

Kaldi’s Coffee

Named for the Ethiopian goatherder who originally discovered the power of the coffee bean, Kaldi’s Coffee has been sourcing coffee from around the globe since 1994.

Stop by the location in the Power & Light District (or three other metro locations) for a cup and Kaldi’s official Brew Log, which will give you expert tips to improve your own brewing game.

Pirate's Bone

If you’re looking for a little spice in your coffee life, the drinks at Pirate’s Bone are just as daring as the shop’s name.

Try the Sweet Misery, a drink made with white chocolate and chili skin that boasts both sweet and spicy flavors, or the Mexican hot brew swirled with organic raw cane sugar, ground cinnamon, and milk.

One More Cup

It’s hard to miss the brightly painted One More Cup in Waldo, but the specialty drinks served inside the café are even more vibrant.

Choose from offerings like the Curious George—­made with Shatto chocolate milk, Shatto banana milk and espresso—or a Root Beer Chai, featuring organic Hugo Tea chai and Shatto root beer milk.

Oddly Correct

A laboratory for coffee geeks, Oddly Correct sticks to the most basic elements of espresso.

Cream and sweeteners aren’t available in the shop and all drinks are made with local whole milk or oat milk upon request, so don’t ask for any additions or substitutions. Instead, you are encouraged to experience the flavors of your drink without dilution.

Blip Roasters

Blip Roasters should be more than just a blip on your radar. Combining coffee and motorcycle culture in an industrial setting, the West Bottoms spot roasts its own beans and eschews specialty drinks, offering a classic menu of coffee, latte, cappuccino, Americano and espresso.

Contact Visit KC