Inevitable Exodus to Relaxing Coffee

submitted by Sofia P.

Now that it is mostly official that I’m going to college next year, I’ve become hyper aware of the continual passage of time and the limited number of days I have left before I move to a completely different town for the next four years. Because of this, I try to only visit my very favorite coffee shops on Sunday mornings with my dad so we don’t waste any time. There are many factors, of course, that go into determining which coffee shops make it to my elite list.

Here are just a few of these legitimate and proven factors:

  • Taste of the coffee, regardless of what I get
  • Ambiance, whether it be relaxed or full of millennials obsessed with getting the Perfect Picture
  • Noise level, because talking over people is really irritating but it’s really awkward if it’s too quiet
  • Music selection, because my dad is really picky about the music at places of business
  • Overall vibe, that inexplicable feeling that you get when you enter a coffee shop

Some coffee shops that embrace all of these factors and more are the ones that I’ll remember when I’m at college. Grinnell, Iowa only has one coffee shop and it’s pretty great, but it will never compare to Kansas City’s eclectic collection.

The businesses that follow are some of my favorite and ones that I will visit the second I return.

  1. Mud Pie on 39th St (not the suburban one on Metcalf)

I love Mud Pie because of its hipster aura and the fact that it’s vegan. I always appreciate a good vegan pastry because I know they’re extremely difficult to make, and they usually taste even better than their unvegan counterpart. I also always notice that it’s the only coffee shop in KC that uses red straws instead of clear or black. Not that important really- just an observation. Because they’re vegan, the coffee is never made with cow’s milk, so it may taste a little strange if that’s what you’re accustomed to.

  1. Broadway Café in Westport

There are a lot of people-watching opportunities in Broadway because of its location. Their coffee is really good, as is the soft biscotti that we get every time we visit, which is usually every week. The baristas are oftentimes aloof, but they’re talkative if you hit a topic they’re interested in. The atmosphere is usually pretty quiet, but there’s usually music playing overhead, so it’s not awkward to talk. People are usually busy studying or reading, which makes it a very comfortable environment.

  1. PT’s in the Crossroads District

PT’s has amazing and talented baristas, and they take their time to ensure a good result. It’s a very popular coffee destination, but we usually visit in the morning when it isn’t too crowded. I really like going to PT’s in the winter because of its homey vibe. Also, I always appreciate good wooden furniture, although my favorite spot to sit is on the bar stools facing outside at Lulu’s. Their music selection is reliably amazing, always consisting of recognizable and yet suitably obscure soft indie.

  1. Mildred’s in the Crossroads District

My dad and I visit Mildred’s almost every Saturday for lunch. Their iced mocha is reliably extraordinary and the people who work there are always friendly and talkative. My average lunch there is a hummus wrap and an iced mocha, and my dad usually gets a quiche and black coffee. I’m usually weary of ordering anything beyond a simple pastry at coffee shops, but Mildred’s does not disappoint. The atmosphere is always quite lively and it’s very rare for it to be quiet in there. Since we’ve gone there so often, Mildred’s has become very special, so it’s definitely one of my favorite coffee shops in the city.