One of my favorite things about living in a bigger city is the endless variety of coffee shops. I'm proud to say that I have tried a lot of cafes, and based on taste, there's a long list of places I could recommend, but today's post is focusing on my favorite "Insta- worthy" coffee shops; my criteria prioritizes aesthetic (will it look good on my Instagram, is the lighting photogenic, do they offer actual coffee cups (not just to-go cups)), and obviously taste. Coffee shops are my favorite places to write, study, and do homework, so it's important to me that a coffee shop has a really nice aesthetic, because I'll often spend half a day there. Here is my list, in no particular order.
Disclaimer: 95% of the time, I order a latte when I go to a cafe, so I cannot give my opinion on espresso drinks, cappuccinos, or black coffee. My standard is an unsweetened latte and some sort of sweet pastry, so that's what I thoughts and photos reflect.
#1 Penny's Coffee
I was mid-sentence typing "this is one of the cutest coffee shops in Minneapolis..." but then I realized that I would be saying that about every coffee shop on this list: that's why it's on the list. So we will toss that phrase to the side, and assume it for all of them.
Penny's is a coffee shop within a larger business building, and it has an indoor and outdoor seating area. The walls are made up of a dark, black/green marble, and some of the tables are patterned with the same marble. Some of the larger tables are brown.
This shop does a really pretty latte, and they add a Pocky stick to the side of every drink! I've also seen people order some beautiful tea arrangements. Along with the standard list of croissants and muffins, Penny's also makes a number of sweet and savory crepes, and they make them on the spot. They are amazing; I love the banana and Nutella one.
If you are ever wandering around Downtown Minneapolis, I would definitely recommend popping in.
#2 Spyhouse Coffee
Spyhouse Coffee is a local shop in Minneapolis, and it has four locations, but I've only been to three of them. I would recommend all of them, because they do some amazing lattes, but each Spyhouse location is stylistically a bit different. My favorite Spyhouse is in North Loop (It's the one on Washington Ave); it has a white honeycomb flooring, and the counters are made of white marble (a minimal Instagram's dream). The whole atmosphere is lovely, and it is my favorite location for photos.
The alternate locations that I also love are on Nicollet and Broadway. Both locations are more rustic themed, with a lot of wood tones. The location on Nicollet also has outdoor seating that reminds me a bit of Paris, down to the ash trays. There's also a Spyhouse in Uptown (on Hennepin) that looks really cute from the outside, but I've never actually gone in.
If you come, order a Spy Girl latte (honey and lavender) or a Caramella latte- they are both amazing. My best friend also recently ordered a hot chocolate there and let me try it: it was so good. If they have the Pan Suisse available, I would also recommend trying that. It's my favorite pastry from any coffee shop ever.
Washington Avenue Location (top photo is a pan suisse!)
Nicollet Location (in photo directly above: left drink is a latte, right drink is hot chocolate)
#3 Workhorse Coffee Bar
Workhorse has a very rustic vibe to it; nearly the whole shop is brown, and the atmosphere is very relaxed. I fell in love with Workhorse for it's convenience; I do not drive in the city, so I take the Light Rail (local train) a lot, and this shop is right off the Green Line stop at Raymond Avenue. They make really tasty croissants (I love the strawberry croissant, and the Nutella). I also enjoy their maple and granola yogurt.
4. Black Coffee and Waffle Bar
There are a couple Black Coffee and Waffle Bar's in the Twin Cities, but the one I go to is on Como Ave. BC&WB is a cafe/restaurant that offers a list of specialty waffles. Most of the waffles are really sweet, but there's also a ham and swiss waffle if you want something a little less sugary. I'm still waiting for them to start offering chicken and waffles. The strawberry and cheesecake waffle is my go-to every time- there's nothing like it.
The interior is really cute, but the tables are dark. If you don't like dark surfaces, you're not going to get the photo you want, but the waffles are so beautiful to photograph, and they do a good latte as well.
5. Urban Bean
This is an honorable mention, because I actually went for the first time yesterday. The location I visited was on Lake Street.
I don't know if this shop should count because it's not a regular location for me, but the interior was so cute that I decided it deserved to make the list regardless. Truthfully, I found the employees to be a bit disinterested and rude. I ordered a latte and a croissant "for here", but didn't get a plate or a mug because "I would give you a plate but that would mean having to go to the back and wash one for you and that would just be the most"... I'm not making that up. That was word for word what she said. And I understand that sometimes coffee shops run out of dishes, and I have no complaints with paper cups, but in addition to the cashier's terrible attitude, it really bothered me.
But after all of that, I'm still putting this on here as an honorable mention, because it's definitely a Insta-worthy location and if you're looking for a cute shop with great lighting, this is a good option. The interior is a beautiful array of white walls with cute images, the main counter is white marble, and the floors are a honeycomb print. This is the closest resemblance I've found to the Spyhouse in North Loop. I hope you have a better customer service experience than I did (she also could have been having a bad day, so I'm definitely open to returning. I won't completely dismiss a coffee shop based on one bad experience.)
That's all for my "Insta- worthy" coffee shop recommendations in Minneapolis. Let me know if end up going to any of these shops, and how you liked your experience!