If you’re a true coffee lover, avoiding the chains and getting good local java can be an eternal struggle.
And it’s about to get harder.
As we said before, 11 new Dunkin’ Donuts stores will soon go up throughout Green Bay and Milwaukee. The first restaurant will open in 2014 and the rest will follow by 2019.
Don’t despair! We already covered some great local coffee shops in the Green Bay area, now it’s time to give Appleton the same treatment.
Check out these places to get your caffeine fix while still keeping it local.
1. Copper Rock Coffee Company
Founded in 2002, the Copper Rock Coffee Company started in downtown Appleton where it now roasts its own coffee. Since then, it’s added a second location by North High School (where Dunn Brothers used to be) and a third inside the Encircle Health Lobby.
Copper Rock is great for the specialty latte lover with drinks like their Turtle Mocha and Caramel Cream Latte. They also host live music and all kinds of groups at their downtown locale.
Fast, clean, and delicious, it’s great for the professional with no home office. In fact, I typed up half this article in their location by the high school. I always love the big windows and friendly staff at Copper Rock North.
2. ACOCA Coffee
Like Copper Rock, ACOCA Coffee takes pride in roasting its own beans.
It’s a cozy, offbeat shop with outdoor seating for nice weather. Perfect for going out on a date or catching up with old friends.
ACOCA is one of many downtown shops to host local artists. In past few years they’ve displayed art in abstract styles, floral & landscapes, and even one artist who drew Batman characters.
If you’re in the mood for something hot, I definitely recommend their cappuccinos or single-brew roasts.
Otherwise, they have iced teas and Cool Coffee Whips (espresso+ice+flavor+best whip cream ever!).
3. Harmony Café
I’ll admit to being biased in my love for Harmony Cafe since I worked there for over a year.
A nonprofit run by the Goodwill corporation, Harmony is one part cafe/sandwich shop and one part community center.
With games, books, musical instruments, and even toys for kids, Harmony is great for families, teenagers, businesspeople, everyone! The food is great with lots of vegan/vegetarian options.
For the hardcore coffee lover, try one of their roasts from Peace Coffee in Minneapolis. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, their ice cream mocha combines espresso, ice cream, and Ghirardelli chocolate. Yummy, yummy.
Not to mention it employs the smartest, most physically attractive baristas around. Just sayin’. (I miss you guys!)
4. Aspen Coffee & Tea
Just down the street from Harmony, Aspen Coffee & Tea was originally Brewed Awakenings. Since changing owners, the store has expanded to Menasha as well as downtown Neenah.
Aspen is another one of my favorite hangouts (and where I typed up the OTHER half of this article) and is simultaneously trendy and comfy.
Their mochas are a favorite of mine when I’m in an indulgent mood. Their food is also vegan/vegetarian friendly (they even carry vegan bakery) and their homemade gelato is a must-eat.
If you check out the downtown Appleton location, be sure to look at the original art on the walls made by one of their very own baristas.
5. Seth’s Coffee & Bake Shop
Nestled in the downtown of Little Chute, Seth’s Coffee & Bake Shop has some of the best espresso around, with beans from Intelligentsia.
In addition to its personable and knowledgeable staff, it’s a great place to get work done with low lights, private nooks, and a relaxed atmosphere.
Anything and everything is good on their menu. For the hardcore caffeine addict, they offer French-presses and single-origin roasts- that’s coffee you can trace back to almost the exact square foot where it was grown, making sure the blend is clean and high quality.
Otherwise, their hot chocolates are unnaturally good. But really everything is. It’s just darn good coffee, no two ways about it.
6. Atlas Coffee Mill & Cafe
Unlike the other entries on this list, the Atlas Coffee Mill & Cafe feels more like a sit-down restaurant.
Perched on the edge of the river, next to Fratellos Waterfront Restaurant, the space was formally a paper-making factory.
This is a great place to go with children since it’s right next to the Paper Discovery Center. Grab your coffee and then take them to learn about the history of paper making.
Atlas Coffee Mill & Cafe also hosts a strong literary scene which includes writing groups and workshops.
Though I haven’t personally tried much of their menu, their coffee is good and the view is to die for. If you’re lucky, you might get to see some pelicans or cranes on the river.
Other Coffee Shops to Check Out:
What Did We Miss?
Do you have a favorite spot to grab your java? Let us know!