I try to stay with local coffee shops when I need a caffeine fix, which is easy to do in Omaha. There are a lot of them.
Edited: May 10, 2019. Since publishing this, two places on the list (Beansmith and Caffeine Dreams) have closed. They’re no longer on the list, obviously.
There are some Midtown and Old Market stand-bys that I go to regularly, and recently, I was introduced to a couple more thanks to the Caffeine Crawl. Since the Caffeine Crawl, I’ve explored more coffee shops thanks to reader recommendations. You may want to check out this post for more coffee love in Omaha: Best Coffee In Omaha.
Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary pass to the Caffeine Crawl. This is not a sponsored post for the crawl. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
If you’re looking for a new spot to caffeine up, here’s your starting list:
Where: 3926 Farnam St. and 1419 S. 13th St.
This is the place for the science lover as much as the coffee lover. I imagine if you follow Alton Brown, you’d like this place. There is a science to brewing a good cup of coffee – which I had scoffed at, but after comparing three cups of jo brewed three different ways (under-brewed, over-brewed, and one meeting the “Gold Cup Standard”), I have seen the error of my ways. And that’s just brewing, y’all. The owner of Archetype has everything calculated down to the grind size of beans (which varies depending on the bean), the amount you agitate, how high you pour from, etc. Hurts my mind to think about it, but rest assured, you’re going to get the best cup in Omaha every single time you go there.
Good to know: They have roast in-house in small batches, yet another way they can control the flavor.
Hardy Coffee Co.
Where: 1031 Jones St., 6051 Maple St., 2112 N. 30th St.
Here’s a place you’ll want to linger. The Old Market location is quite large and has some outdoor seating. I’ve had a couple meetings there. The Benson location will be one you’ll regularly find live music on stage. I haven’t been to the North Omaha location.
Hardy Coffee Co. was once called Aromas, and there’s an Aromas location at Flagship Commons. I’m not totally sure they’re all ran by the same people, but the coffee at the Flagship place is pretty good.
The bakery, Bliss, is actually a part of Aromas (it came first), so you can get fresh baked goods on site. Their motto is “Better than homemade,” so there you go. Cupcakes are hard to master, but I had a lemon lavender one at the downtown location that was to die for. On our Caffeine Crawl, they served up espresso shortbread cookies.
Good to know: Try the chai root beer. The root beer should be a summer staple.
Where: 8 locations (my favorite being 7772 Cass St.)
Mr. Wonderful and I stop at the 77th and Cass streets location way more than we ought to. That drive-thru, it calls our name. The kids have come to expect getting a chocolate chunk scone every time we stop for our caffeine fix, so I guess you could say this place is a family favorite. Some are just drive-thrus, others do have seating, so just scout it out ahead of time.
Good to know: If you have kiddos in the car, they’ll hand you some stickers for them (at least, the Cass Street one does it).
Culprit Cafe and Bakery
Where: 1603 Farnam St., Unit 101 and 3201 Farnam St., suite #6112
Their main focus here is two-fold: Espresso and bread. They take their baking seriously here (you won’t find cupcakes here). Of the all the places on this list, you’ll want to go here for a good, filling breakfast or lunch. Sandwiches, soups, salads, they’re all here. Desserts are on a daily rotation and they tend to stick with European type pastries.
They introduced me to the afogado during the Caffeine Crawl, and if you like your desserts to wire you with a jolt of caffeine, give it a whirl. It’s best described as an espresso float.
Good to know: They’re picky about where they get their ingredients, so the taste of everything stays consistent for each of your visits.
Omaha Bicycle Company
Where: 6015 Maple St.
It’s a coffee shop. It’s a bike shop. It’s the most interesting combo that seems to work like a charm. If you fancy yourself an activist (especially the two-wheeled variety), you probably already know Sarah and the gang. If you don’t, this is your home. Go there and discuss city politics over a cup of something.
I was introduced to London fog lattes here during the caffeine crawl. Well, a version of it, a lavender fog latte. Anyway, I’m now a big fan and my last coffee shop stop included an order of it with added vanilla flavor to it. Give it a try – it’s steamed milk with Earl Grey tea; add flavor if you want.
Good to know: They have a little patio in back for a nice place to chill out.
Where: A billion Omaha locations (give or take)
Scooters is the regional chain that originated in Bellevue, Neb., and exploded in the metro area – not literally because that would be messy. I’ve been to many a drive-thru of theirs and it is always consistently good. The Carmelicious is a specialty there, that adds a nice dose of sugar to that caffeine high you seek.
Good to know: Ask what the flavor of the day is for their coffee if you’re a straight coffee drinker – they have some interesting ones to try out like snickerdoodle.
The Tea Smith
Where: 345 N. 78th St.
Tea the way it was intended to be, not the Lipton way (no offense, Lipton). During the Caffeine Crawl, we went to the (now closed) Old Market location, where they introduced us to hot matcha lattes. If you don’t think tea can get the caffeinated job done, you’ve never had matcha.
Good to know: The best drink for the summer is their matcha madness iced drink. I think we had a fruity one, like mango or something. Good stuff!
You spoke up!
I received good tips on coffee shops from Oh My! Omaha Facebook friends, which I promised I’d share here. Want some more ideas on where to get your next caffeine fix, here you go:
Jennifer C. recommended Legend Comics & Coffee and Hill of Beans, adding at Legend your coffee shop is houses under the same roof as comic books and games. Hill of Beans roasts their own beans.
Ken B. reminded me about Spielbound. I can’t believe I forgot them. Here’s a great place to play just about any game imaginable with friends or your kids (there’s a huge family section).
Related post: Love coffee? Check out the Best Small Town Coffee Shops In The Midwest.
Your turn: What places needs to be added to this list? I know I’m missing something – especially in West Omaha – so please share your favorite Omaha spot to get coffee or tea!
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