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Rochester Local

Rochester MN Guide to Coffee Shops & Drive-Thrus

Latte art by Fiddlehead Coffee Co | submitted photo

When it comes to coffee…the team at Rochester Mom *might* just be considered experts.  It is the choice drink of many, many moms and admittedly is half of what keeps us going on those “Oh no you did not just do that” days!  This comprehensive guide will outline: local, Rochester MN coffee shops, our favorite coffee drinks at each, drive-thrus you can hit up for total mom-on-the-go convenience, and a guide to “What in the world is that drink?”

Local Coffee Shops

Bad Ass Coffee: Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii proudly serves Hawaiian blends, 100% Kona coffee, espresso drinks, and more. Enjoy one of our breakfast and lunch sandwiches King’s Hawaiian rolls.  Bad Ass is also famous for its coffee ice cubes…ensuring your drink is never watered down.


Bravo Espresso: Tucked away in a corner in the Shops at University Square, don’t let their small space fool you.  One of the downtown professionals’ favorite spots!

We Recommend: The double espresso or the Ooey Gooey Caramel Latte. Yep, that’s the name…a special treat indeed.


Café 49: This locally-owned coffee shop is located inside Olmsted Medical Center’s Northwest Clinic and the Hospital.

We Recommend: Their Salted Caramel Mocha


Café Aqui: This coffee shop is one of the newest on the scene in Rochester MN.  Located within Sargent’s Gardens, they specialize in espresso drinks, baked goods, and seasonal specialty drink offerings.

We Recommend: The Winter Capp – a cappuccino made with a house-made syrup that includes ginger, turmeric, and honey.


Café SteamLocated downtown, Cafe Steam gives off a cool and comfy vibe. We love that they also support local artists!

We Recommend:  Lavender Flat White or the Melya (Honey and Espresso!)

Insider Pro-Tip: Try the Birthday Girl or the Calypso for a special off-the-menu non-coffee treat.  Trust us.


Café Steam – DoubleTree: Newly opened in the 2nd level of the DoubleTree hotel in summer 2018, this second location offers the same delicious craft coffee drinks, pour-overs, and flat-whites but with a different more contemporary vibe.


Café Steam – Discovery Square: In 2019 Cafe Steam expanded in downtown Rochester’s Discovery Square, a 16-block sub-district built in collaboration with Mayo Clinic in a highly connected urban life science hub.


Due North Coffee Co: Due North Coffee Co opened in February 2021.  What makes Due North so unique is that the entire coffee shop is within a converted trailer complete with a drive-thru.  We hear the Nitro is amazing, and that there are lots of drinks for kids!


Dunn Brothers Dunn Brothers Coffee is a franchise company of coffeehouses founded in St. Paul, Minnesota, in December 1987 by brothers Ed and Dan Dunn. As of August 2021, Dunn Brothers Coffee has 62 locations throughout the country. Find TWO Dunn Bros Coffee Shops in Rochester: The North location on Elton Hills Drive and The South Location on Salem Road.


Lumen CoffeeA newer shop to the Rochester coffee scene…Lumen Coffee serves espresso drinks, smoothies, breakfast sandwiches, and pastries!  Local sourcing is a top priority.


MokaA serious favorite amongst the Rochester Mom team…we can rattle off the menu by heart. There are now FOUR locations to choose from: two drive-thru-only locations in North and South Rochester, Peace Plaza location, and their newest location inside of First Alliance Bank at Commerce Drive NW (near Costco) that opened in summer 2020.

We Recommend: The Jamaican – iced or hot – with cream and sugar or the Blanco Americano when you need an extra oomph.

Insider Pro-Tip: Try their SporTea for a natural energy boost: it’s 95% caffeine-free! Add a shot of flavor for fun times. We really love the peach or ginger lemongrass.


Mezza9 Bakery & Cafe: Mezza9 adds a bit of international flair to the downtown coffee scene. In addition to a European aesthetic and influence, customers can expect a bit of Asian flair too. The cafe will serve matcha tea lattes and Malaysian coffee. Don’t miss the exceptional desserts!

We Recommend: The Matcha Tea Latte.  Matcha is ground high-quality green tea.  Ordering it this way will allow you to taste the amazing flavor of the matcha.


Old Abe Coffee Co. Old Abe Coffee cold brews all his coffee – even the hot stuff – for a super smooth finish.  Find him on his bike coffee cart or at his recently opened, amazing shop on 7th Street!  (Bonus: enjoy a cup of coffee while the kids play in their own special space!)

We Recommend:  Iced Zumbro (made with hazelnut and cinnamon) or the War Eagle (when you don’t want to mess around…straight coffee concentrate!)


People’s Food Co-opPick up your cup of joe and all of your local produce and goods all in one stop!  Bonus: mini carts!

We Recommend: Their drip coffee is amazing or just a classic vanilla latte.


Scooter’s CoffeeScooter’s Coffee opened in Rochester in April 2021.  This location offers both indoor seating and a drive-thru.  This coffee chain originated in Nebraska in 1998 and has now grown to over 350 stores.  Their signature drink is the “Carmelicious” and all of their drinks can be served hot, iced, or blended.


Spyhouse Coffee: Spyhouse opened in its first location outside of the Twin Cities inside the TownePlace Suites Rochester Mayo Clinic Area in December 2022. Spyhouse has seven cafe locations in Minnesota, plus a roasting facility. Try Rosemary’s Latte…a classic latte made with local caramel and house-made rosemary-pecan syrup.


St. James Coffee: Located on the northwest side of town, St James is cool and cozy.  Run by the Catholic Church in town, they craft their coffee with organic, fair-trade beans.

We recommend: The Immaculate White Mocha or the St. Andy’s (mint and chocolate!)

Drive-Thru Coffee Shops

Dunn Bros North/SouthWe love the drive-thru at both locations!

We Recommend: We love the Nirvanas.  Try the Chocolate Nirvana (caffeinated hot chocolate!) or the Iced Coconut Nirvana.


Caribou CoffeeAnother MN company, there are nine Rochester locations to choose from including two locations that also serve Einstein Bros. Bagels. Three locations are drive-thru: Caribou Northwest, Caribou Coffee | Einstein Bros Bagels – North, and Caribou Coffee | Einstein Bros Bagels – River Center.


Due North Coffee Co: Due North Coffee Co opened in February 2021.  What makes Due North so unique is that the entire coffee shop is within a converted trailer complete with a drive-thru.  We hear the Nitro is amazing, and that there are lots of drinks for kids!


Lumen Coffee: located in northwest Rochester in the old Snappy Stop building, Lumen Coffee started serving coffee in its drive-thru-only spot at the end of December 2017!


Mokathe only shop to get listed in both the local coffee shops *and* drive-thru sections!


Scooter’s CoffeeScooter’s Coffee opened in Rochester in April 2021.  This location offers both indoor seating and a drive-thru.  This coffee chain originated in Nebraska in 1998 and has now grown to over 350 stores.  Their signature drink is the “Carmelicious” and all of their drinks can be served hot, iced, or blended.


Starbucks: There are now two drive-thru Starbucks locations in Rochester: a location on South Broadway near Marshalls’s and a location in the Apache Mall parking lot near Scheels.

We Recommend: Cold Press with Pumpkin Spice Cold Foam.

 


Have a coffee spot you’d like to see added to the list? Send us an email!

Glossary of Coffee Drinks

Ever stare at a coffee shop menu and wonder where on earth to start? Or you’re ready to branch out to something new but don’t know what to order?  Check out our glossary of coffee drinks! If you like stronger coffee drinks, try anything with espresso as a base, if you prefer lighter…coffee drinks with milk added are less of a punch and often times pair well with added flavors.

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