Beans and Brews
The hottest spots for coffee in Greater Gainesville
By Ryan Walsh
Greater Gainesville’s coffee purveyors know how to serve the perfect cup of joe to just about anyone.
Whether it is a commuter on the go, a student pulling an all-nighter, the Sunday brunch crowd or the after-dinner demitasse, the GG coffee scene is here to satisfy.
Boutique brews and comforting chains alike can be found in GG’s large, thriving coffee community. Local spots feature their own signature twists on the classic beverage, and with so many options, simply trying them all once would be an accomplishment.
Wake up and smell the coffee –– it is most likely coming from Greater Gainesville.
As charming and vibrant as its locale, Ellianos Coffee Shop in the City of Alachua is the perfect blend of convenience and quality.
This drive-thru coffee shop serves the highest quality specialty coffee beverages in a way that meets the demands of busy residents and visitors, without sacrificing their consistently delicious Italian blends.
Ellianos also fosters a sense of community, drawing people in with its friendly service and delectable array of coffee concoctions. From rich espressos to velvety lattes, each sip delights the senses. Surrounded by the town’s charm, this Ellianos branch stands as more than a coffee shop; it’s a haven where good vibes flow as smoothly as freshly brewed java.
Doxa Coffee Co.
Entering Doxa Coffee Co. in the City of Alachua is like stepping into a comforting embrace. The aroma of freshly ground beans lingers in the air, beckoning visitors into a haven of warmth and community. The ambiance is perfectly cozy, a blend of rustic charm and modern flair that just feels like home.
Each sip of their meticulously brewed coffee is an experience—a symphony of rich, nuanced flavors that dance on the palate. They serve a variety of traditional coffees and lattes, as well as seasonal favorites and teas on draft. But beyond the exceptional brews, the welcoming atmosphere and warmth of its people make Doxa truly special.
Raining Berries at The Hub in Gainesville is a vibrant gem, offering a fusion of fresh flavors and fun atmosphere. In addition to delicious cappuccinos and macchiatos, they offer a full menu of açai bowls, brimming with colorful toppings, and nutrient-packed smoothies. Each creation is a burst of freshness.
The Instagram-worthy ambiance is unmatched. Locals converge to indulge in delicious treats and lively conversations, with pink flower walls and cheeky neon signs as the backdrop. Past its culinary perfection of coffees and treats, Raining Berries embodies a hub of shared moments where each bite narrates a tale of dedication to top-notch ingredients and the art of creating wholesome, taste-bud-tickling menu items.
In a simple, one-word definition –– Cymplify is cozy. CYM Coffee, Co., as it is also known, serves its delicious brews out of a converted house on NW 8th Avenue. Co-founded by Sister Hazel front man Ken Block, CYM was modeled after a favorite old haunt back in Block’s Huntington Beach, California days.
Designed as a hangout, this coffee house serves their drinks in colorful, oversized mugs, heightening the sense of hominess. Featuring a bevy of espresso drinks, as well as teas, pastries and smoothies, CYM will make you Change Your Mind about what coffee really means.
Named for owners Jan and David Patterson, Patticakes has two Gainesville-area locations –– In the Village and at Tioga Town Center. Further lending credibility to their name is their selection of delectable homemade cupcakes.
In addition to an assortment of espresso drinks, Patticakes also offers iced and frozen refreshments including frozen coffee, chai and milkshakes. Their skillful baristas can customize most drinks as desired. Something new can be tasted on almost every visit.
Bay Islands Coffee Co.
When it comes to coffee spots, size does not matter. Bay Islands Coffee Co. proves this notion at their blink-and-miss-it location in the parking lot of Butler Plaza. This drive-thru café features an impressively large menu of drip coffees, espresso creations, iced drinks and even a few breakfast food items.
A mix between a coffee shop and a gift shop, 108 Vine is local Gainesville at its best. Unique and eclectic, this store offers everything from stationery and pens to craft coffee concoctions. Founders and partners Bren and Steve also curate vintage merchandise for those seeking one-of-a-kind finishings.
With unsurprisingly quirky coffees including their Orange Cardamon Latte, Lavender Matcha and Irish Cream Cold Brew, 108 Vine is the perfect place to imbibe a brew and peruse peculiar products.
Foxtail Coffee Co.
With dozens of locations across the state, this Florida-based coffee chain was founded by two lifelong friends back in 2016. The Butler Plaza Foxtail location is their first in Gainesville, bringing their vision of java to Gator Nation.
Founded on the principles of great brews, cozy and welcoming spaces and enjoyable experiences, Foxtail Coffee Co. is as warm and pleasant as their signature products.
Scooter’s Coffee on NW 34th Boulevard is a nationwide chain with a recent presence in Greater Gainesville. With a strong emphasis on ‘Relationship Coffee,’ this bean-to-table operation is well connected on every step of the journey, starting from their international coffee growers and ending with their daily customers.
In addition to their traditional coffee and tea drinks, Scooter’s offers nearly a dozen varieties of its Blenders iced drinks, ranging from Mocha flavored to Peanut Butter Crunch.
Family-owned and operated by brothers Bret and Tim Larsen, Opus has been serving their unique blend to Greater Gainesville for more than 20 years. As indicated by their name, Opus treats their brews like a master work –– supervising everything from sourcing to serving, ensuring top quality and sustainability.
Opus is also a University of Florida mainstay. Its first on-campus location in Norman Hall is in the heart of Gator Nation, only steps away from the Hub and Turlington Plaza. Other UF-associated locations include the ER South Tower, the HVN East Tower, UF Health North Tower, UF Health Spring Hill and Davis Medical Plaza.
Colsie Coffee & Bakeshop
While coffee is delightful on its own, few would argue that pairing it with a sweet treat would not heighten the experience. Thankfully, this coffee shop supplies both.
High Springs is home to Colsie Coffee and Bakeshop, formerly the Talented Cookie, where homemade baked goods and coffee are served fresh daily. Sold out of a cute, teal-colored house, the most popular treats are also available in vegan and gluten-free varieties.
Newberry is home to The Blend, whose motto is “Coffee with a Cause.” Humble and unassuming, this coffeehouse uses organically sourced ingredients in their brews. Comfy sofas make for an atmospheric spot to lounge in while enjoying a morning pick-me-up.
Joel’s Coffeehouse, a staple of the town’s historic district since 2009, can also be found in Newberry. Sleek, modern and bright, Joel’s features a full menu of espresso blends and a dozen flavored syrups, to boot.
Each weekend, Joel’s invites a different local food truck to complement their coffee. Beer and wine are also available to those seeking a stronger brew. Perfect for chugging on the go or sipping slowly during a laidback evening out, when in Newberry, check out Joel’s.
At Pascal’s, both the coffee and the conversation are stimulating. Named for the 17th-century religious philosopher, everything about this locale is designed to facilitate human connection.
Pascal’s Coffeehouse is two-floors. The second level is filled with bookshelves and desks, providing guests with an opportunity to sip, study and spend time as they see fit. Coffee is served on the first floor, with each cup handcrafted and perfected. Beans come from local roasters Resident (Gainesville) and Bold Bean (Jacksonville).
For a chance to expand the mind and unwind (with a cup of coffee, of course), there is no place in Gainesville quite like Pascal’s.
For over 27 years, Maude’s Café in downtown Gainesville has been serving an artistic and indie flair with every cup of joe. More than just a coffee shop, Maude’s aims to be a place to hang, to eat, drink, play and relax.
Maude’s is well known for their delicious assortment of brunch and dessert items, including sandwiches, quiches, soups, quesadillas, as well as desserts named for celebrities. Popular ones include the David Bowie, a chocolate peanut butter cake, and the Dolly Parton, a Guinness tiramisu.
Eccentric and fun, this downtown hotspot should not be overlooked.
What goes around comes around, and in Karma Cream’s case, it is nothing but great coffee and loyal customers. This University Avenue hole-in-the-wall serves up an impressive array of organic and vegan-friendly goods.
Their caffeinated selection, which includes iced cold brews, nitro brews and pour-overs, is all fair trade and locally roasted. An impressive selection of tea options will impress those who favor the leaf over the bean. Score some karma points with a visit.