(Spill The Beans from our LA Trip)
The Top 10 Coffee Shops in Minnesota. 2022 Edition.
Jeez, can’t believe it’s been a whole year.
Good Morning Coffee Addicts, as of today (03/21/23) we’ve been to 192 different coffee shops. Today we’ll be giving our opinion on what we think are the top 10 shops in the Twin Cities. Each and every one of these shops has at least one drink that has been extraordinary, a space that is unique, and service that makes you feel better than you did coming in and makes you want to come back.
We will only be sharing shops that we’ve gone to prior to 2023. You’ll see some new faces on this list and a few from last year’s top 10. With all of the options we had to choose from, saying It was difficult to narrow things down is an understatement.
This post is based on my personal insights & through facts directly from the baristas, owners, & managers sharing how each shop is unique. This is not a professional ranking, I’m literally just guy that loves coffee that is sharing his thoughts. All of these photos were taken on my own, & I am not being paid by any of these shops to write about them.
We want 16ozDays to be your guide for coffee shops. By the end of this article if you’ve gained value or knowledge we kindly ask you share our blog & Instagram with a friend as it would really help the page grow.
Okay, let’s dive into it.
Address: 3746 23rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Phone Number: (612-722-3933)
(Taking An Espresso Shot w/Maggie)
Okay starting at number 10 is the Grandma of St. Paul Shops-Sister’s Sludge.
This is Maggie, one of the 3 owners. Maggie grew up in a family of 12 siblings. Those 3 squiggles over their coffee cup logo represent the 3 sisters who helped bring this dream to life back in 1996. Opening up this shop was inspired by a trip that they took to Europe at a coffee house over in Italy. This space is divided into two sides, one more focused on coffee, the other on wine-whichever side you decide you’re feeling that day, you’re more than likely going to leave feeling better than when you came in.
What makes them stand out: They have an “Espresso Shots Club” that meets every morning at 6AM and discuss everything from the flavors, textures, and how it makes you feel.
Go To Drink: Salty Dog & A Shot In The Dark
(Espresso Shots List)
Address: 2809 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone Number: (612-872-4811)
(Front Side of Uncommon Grounds)
This was one of the first places I ever went to and is still one of my favorite spots in the city. Let me rephrase, this is actually a coffee house. The Victorian country home was built in 1877. In 1992 they decided to do some remodeling-that same year Derek Wayne Lee (Dale) opened up the home as Uncommon Grounds Coffee House. I only ever get one thing there-The Orgasmic Chai, known as the best chai in the city.
Why they stand out: They are a coffeehouse that is open until 9pm most nights. They have the best ranked chai in the Twin Cities, giving them the number 9 spot.
Similarly to last year, I’ll mention it again. Uncommon Grounds dim lighting and candles make it an excellent late night date spot for those looking for ideas for a coffee date spot! 🙂
Go To Drink: The Orgasmic Chai.
(Some seating options in Uncommon Grounds)
Address: 708 W 22nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55405
Phone Number: (612)-872-0911
(Behind the coffee bar after ordering!)
I always tell my friends that “I will never recommend a place to you that I didn’t enjoy”. I want to preface that the surrounding area can be a bit sketchy at night, but the shop itself is very unique. If this shop were to be a song, it would be “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald”-by Gordan Lightfoot. More often than not you’ll find characters here. The coffee they have is pretty average, but why it’s so great is that they are open until midnight every single night-yes 12AM.
This is an excellent late night spot and my go to if I’m planning on pulling an all nighter for work. The combination of late night hours and sketchy people make it the perfect place to just keep to yourself and stay focused on your work. Oh, did I mentioned they have an arcade downstairs? With it’s distinctive ambiance and late night hours, Caffetto has earned the 8th place spot.
Why they stand out: They have an arcade downstairs and are open until 12AM every night.
Go-To Drink: Vanilla Maple C.P.
Address: 3945 Market St, Edina, MN 55424
Phone Number: (612-870-2640)
(Summer Break/The Birds & The Bees)
You’re probably thinking isn’t this more of a restaurant? Yes-yes it is, But their pastries and coffee are on par with any of the other top contenders in the city. They are also are an excellent brunch spot.
The Lynhall is a European market-inspired restaurant/bakery. Every last team member has a huge passion for the culinary arts and is driven to serving the perfect cuisines. The baked goods and coffee here taste as fantastic as they look. In terms of presentation, I’d say The Lynhall may actually be at the top of the list.
I can’t say I’ve had a single time that was dissapointing here, the staff all love what they do, the amount of time they put into crafting their drinks/pastries is beyond most and you can see it in their detail of what they serve and how it tastes. This more than earns them the 7th place spot.
Why they stand out: Best looking pastries and drinks that taste just as good as they look (The photo above is older, watch the video below).
Go-To Drink: The Summer Breeze/The Birds & The Bees.
(Our visit to The Lynhall-Edina Location)
Address: 729 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401
FRGMNT (Eden Prairie Location)
Everything they do is of higher quality. From their big beautiful spaces, their top tier coffee, the baristas behind the bar, to even the people they attract-the coffee shops give off an energy of being upscale.
Currently, FRGMNT is one of my go to shops. I usually utilize the space as either a work from home office when I need to get work done or as a meeting spot. Being surrounded by others who are all mostly working professionals really motivates you to get on the grind as well.
Just last week I met with one of the Co-Founders from GoodToGo Cups, Melissa here. I also planned a trip to Lollapalooza with some of the guys. Regardless of what you’re doing It’s pretty crazy how much you can get done here. FRGMNT is my top choice for a work space.
*OH AND BEFORE WE MOVE ON TO THE LAST PART* I want to also share that they serve their macchiatos and espresso shots on a wooden tray with a glass of sparkling water to sip on to clear your pallet before you try them. If that isn’t the showing confidence in your product, I don’t know what is.
What Makes Them Stand Out: They’ve partnered with over 20 roasters from all around the globe and rotate every week to constantly offer new options for their customers-giving them the 6th place spot.
Go-To Drinks: Matcha Tonic & Macchiato.
Address: 528 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401
(Backstory North Loop)
Okay these guys really made a name for themselves this year with their rebrand from Bootstrap.
Backstory is located in The Duffey Lofts in North Loop. The architect who designed the space is also the one who designed the apartment complex that is above it.
The space is gorgeous. The ceilings are the extremely high, there’s an ample amount of natural sunlight that gleams in, and every last piece you see in that room was thought out, spaced, and placed with intention.
The baristas described the two locations the Ying to the other’s Yang-at one shop you’ll get the small outskirts of town feel, and this one, well I’d say it’s the new place to be in the cities, at least in North Loop. With their new extended hours staying open until 5pm (Starting 4/10), they’re going to be a tough competitor in the coffeeshop scene.
What Makes Them Stand Out: Huge open space with lots of natural sunlight, feng shui that leaves you speechless, 3 seasonal drinks every season +1 rotating specialty drink every weekend. This well-built combination pushes them all the way up to the 5th place position.
Go-To Drink: Their matcha specialties (Iced w/oat milk). They’ve had an orange and lemon matcha combination that is out of this world.
(Some Backstory seating and their plant wall)
Address: 432 N Shore Dr, Forest Lake, MN 55025
Phone Number: (651)-300-9039
So I actually met Calvin & Chloe (owners/siblings) back when I was still at St. Thomas. Calvin was the manager over at Quixotic in St. Paul (also an old favorite). It’s really cool to see people pursue their goals and achieve them. Just a quick note-if you end up reading this, hearing you talk about these plans and years later making them a reality is really motivating, gives me hope for our brand too.
Okay anyhow Coffeesmith is a Coffeehouse located in Forest Lake, about 30-40 minutes north of the cities. At the time Calvin thought it was pretty wild that his hometown friends had to that far just to find a good cup, so he wanted to create his own. This space is actually the home that Calvin grew up in. In 2018 he bought it, started remodeling it, and 3 years later on November 15th Coffeesmith had their grand opening.
Coffeesmith is a very strong shop all around. They have a very big focus on serving quality coffee, baristas who have placed very high in coffee tournaments recently expanded to having coffee flights on the menu, have very good signatures, AND they have a coffeehouse dog named Louis that walks around and hangs out at the space. This blend of skills, coffee, and ambiance positions them at the 4th place spot!
What Makes Them Stand Out: The coffeehouse was Calvin’s home growing up, they’ve expanded to coffee flights on top of their excellent signatures, and they have a coffeehouse dog.
Go-To Drink: One of their seasonals-Gray Duck (my favorite drink in the twin cities)
(Gray Duck & French Toast Cold Brew)
Address: 6031 Pillsbury Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Phone Number: (612)-286-1777
(Neapolitan/Cosmo & Wanda)
Wild Grind is the hidden gem of the group, a diamond in the rough if you will. Not only is it the first one on this list that is not in Minneapolis or St. Paul, it’s literally in the middle of nowhere. (Okay Bloomington, but it’s really hidden)
Wild Grind does a great job with being up to date with their social media, always advertising their drinks both old and new, when they have upcoming events, and also sharing what their followers post. Despite being in an isolated location, they do an excellent job of maintaining their relationships with everyone through their events, newsletter, and social media, bumping them up to 3rd place this year.
They have ample amounts of space both indoor and outdoor, a wide variety of choices for drinks, have expanded to coffee flights with a pick your own option, AND did I mention they’re also a brewery? (Wild Mind). Pick your poison. 🙂
What Makes Them Stand Out: Monthly events supporting and partnering with local businesses, choose your own coffee flights, and they double as brewery.
Go To Drink: Neapolitan
(Wild Grind Flight + some goodies from the local businesses)
(Wild Grind’s April Maker’s Market)
Address: 2930 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone Number: (612)-353-5667
(Fall Flight 2021)
If you read last years top 10, you’ll know that Erin (owner) of Third Space is also the manager who opened up The Last Drop in north loop. “WAIT ISN’T THAT THE PLACE THAT FIRST INTRODUCED COFFEE FLIGHTS TO THE TWIN CITIES??” Yes, that also means SHE was the one who brought the idea to the cities. She always had the dream of opening up her own space. With over 12 years of experience under her belt, she made the leap and created this welcoming and relaxing space.
Third Space is well connected to the community. They have events fairly often, have a plant cutting wall, rotate flights a few times a year, and even have a happy light in the backside of the shop as a way to support those who suffer from SAD.
Everyone has 3 spaces:
1. Their home or place they stay
2. Their place of public participation (usually school or work)
3. Their 3rd space-somewhere they can fully be 100% themselves. (his can be anything from your favorite spot, doing a hobby, or anything that makes you feel at peace.
What Makes Them Stand Out: Erin bringing and introducing the idea of coffee flights to the Twin Cities, their plant cutting wall, their goal of being customer’s safe haven or “Third Space” 🙂
Go To Drinks: Their flights, you can never go wrong! (They usually have themes)
Address: 550 Vandalia St, St Paul, MN 55114
Phone Number: (651)-641-7542
And for the second year in a row, we’ve got a big time favorite of the twin cities-SK Coffee.
The amount time and dedication spent by not just the owner, but their whole team on learning about coffee is unparalleled, in fact I’m pretty sure some of them are in South America visiting one of their farmer friends right now.
I’ll try not to repeat too much from last year. These guys are the exact opposite of a basic shop. If you’re looking for an over the top specialty drink, this isn’t it. On the other hand, if you’re starting to get into the coffee scene or you’ve had a cup or two in your day, this is the one-you just found your new go to.
Imagine it like tasting a fine wine or a fancy scotch. SK does their due diligence. Just this last year they sourced 58 different single origins, yes that’s more than 1 new option every single week. Their team is dedicated to bringing in the best of the best, the premium selection, the gold standard. They taste a countless amount of coffee, but will only go with the best. They will never sell you anything they wouldn’t buy themselves. Some icing on the cake-if you don’t know a certain term or are having trouble understanding what some of the language means, they are more than happy to teach you. An intelligent, yet humble team.
Some Improvements since last year
In terms of progress, they just expanded to a new location in the Whitter neighborhood. They remodeled the old space and seriously have brought it to life. It used to be drab, dirty, and quite frankly pretty depressing in there. In the recreated space it feels strange if it isn’t filled & busy with new regulars coming in everyday.
I’ve had the chance to meet some of their new team members. I’ve had had some previous encounters with them from other shops I’ve tried on our weekly visits-all very knowledgeable, genuine, and kind human beings. SK does an outstanding job at being connected with the community. From small collabs with local school clubs, having education cupping/roasting sessions, to hosting Minnesota’s first ever Roasters Showcase. They were able to bring together 10+ local roasters and having an attendance of 400+. It really shows the influence they have in the community and really makes a state for what they bring to the table.
It’s amazing to see their hard work and passion attract others who have the same drive. People want to take your spot until they see what it takes to play your position, well this is what it takes. Without a doubt SK and their team deserve the number 1 spot on the top 10 of 2022.
What Makes Them Stand Out: Their whole team’s dedication to finding the best beans, the educational experience they give you while making your coffee highlighting where your coffee comes from and what makes each single origin so special, the relationships they have with their farmers, and their influence they have with other roasters and on the community.
Go-To Drink: They rotate every week, but the best I’ve ever had was a Geisha when I was at a pilot cupping of theirs.. It was smooth, there was little to no acidity, and it left a cooling feeling in your mouth/throat after.
(16ozDays x SK Event-post education roasting)
*Bonus for readers/FInal Thoughts*
Creating this list took a lot of thought and to say it was difficult to put together is an understatement. For those of you who made it this far thank you and as a bonus I’d like your input and feedback. (Below)
If you’ve been to these shops before I’m really curious to hear what you think-were you surprised by the order? Maybe there one you think deserves a spot that wasn’t on the list.
Our main platform is Instagram @16ozDays .
I’ve responded to 100% of the comments and DM’s we get, I care about your thoughts.
Send me a message of your opinions or a shop that you think deserves at least a mention. This next week I will be creating the Honorable Mentions portion similarly to The Top 10 of 2021!
I’m not perfect and my conclusions aren’t always right. This It would be an excellent chance to showcase a shop you think deserves to be heard.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
Thanks for taking the time Coffee Addicts, love y’all & I hope you have a great rest of your day.