Gather a group of friends, have a great conversation, then add some world class coffees and what do you get? Coffee houses that are painting the landscape of local neighborhoods. "Friends" may have moved to syndication, but its left behind one of hottest trends around. Just around the corner is your own Central Perk.
Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky are taking coffee to another level with their creative flair, roasting abilities, world class blends and much more. So, set aside the boom of Starbuck's, here's a peek of some of the favorite neighborhood hot spots:
With over five locations around Cincinnati, Awakenings has emerged as a coffee house powerhouse sure to capture the likes of coffee novices and connoisseurs alike. Get creative with a choice of over 50 world renowned varieties and blends or pick from an assortment of teas. Compliment your latte with array of pastries, muffins, panini sandwiches or croissants to savor the experience. While you are there, check out the local art. The Hyde Park location has a wine bar with wine tastings every Friday and jazz performances on Sundays.
2734 Erie Ave., 45208. (513) 321-2525. Hyde Park
Hours: 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 7:30 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.
3872 Paxton Road, 45208. (513) 619-5454. Oakley
Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
5218 Beechmont Ave., 45230. (513) 231-0606. Anderson Township
Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Coffee Emporium creates an art out of roasting its own brews. Local owners, Eileen and Tony Tausch, craft a European ambience in two locations: Hyde Park and Central Parkway. Prepare yourself for a new addiction when you check out the mouthwatering menu including bagels, pastries, scones, croissants, and their famous Belgian waffles.
3316 Erie Ave., 45208. (513) 321-5943. Hyde Park
Hours: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
110 Central Pkwy., 45202. (513) 651-5483. Over-the-Rhine
Hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
College Hill Coffee Co. and Casual Gourmet
Take a trip through Northside and venture upon one of the highest-rated coffee houses in Cincinnati. This College Hill coffeehouse and cafe sets the scene with a semi-gallery, music, gift shop and neighborhood locals. The shops menu includes: Belgian waffles, omelets, quiche muffins or pastries, salad plates and quiches with homemade pies.
6128 Hamilton Ave., 45224. (513) 542-2739. College Hill
Hours: 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday; 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Want a quaint, French bistro atmosphere mixed with the mouth-watering creations from Jean-Robert? Then the Greenup Cafe is your place. Choose from a variety of delectables, including: omelettes, fish and meat dish variations weekly. A few standard items are delectable vichyssoise and the Greenup Salad. And, don't forget about the assortment of coffees and pastries. Afterall, it is a cafe.
308 Greenup Street, 41011. (859) 261-3663. Covington
Hours: Breakfast: 7:30 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Lunch: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Dinner: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Brunch: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Coffee shop: 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Kaldi's stands the test of time in urban downtown establishments, and remaining a favorite gathering place for people from all over town. The ambience is famous for walls of books and local artwork. Enjoy your latte or come prepared to try out its menu including burritos, sandwiches, soups and salads.
1204 Main St., 45202. (513) 241-3070. Over-the-Rhine
Hours: 10 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
You might recognize it as the place with funny sayings on their outdoor marquee sign on Riverside Drive. Or the coffeehouse next to the monk fountain in Mt. Adams. But step inside for a friendly face that will remember your name and favorite drink. And they use local bakeries for their pastries and baked goods. Doubly local, that's nice.
2726 Riverside Drive and 1101 St. Gregory Place, 513-321-4200
Hours: Monday through Friday on Riverside Drive; Seven days a week in Mt. Adams.
Youre sure to find one of your Hyde Park friends at this Mt. Lookout Square coffeehouse. Relax in a cozy atmosphere or enjoy the outdoor setting with your coffee or tea complimented with an assortment of breads and sandwiches.
3181 Linwood Ave., 45208. (513) 871-8626. Mount Lookout
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Set in the heart of Clifton's Gaslight District, Sitwell's attracts a diverse crowd of all ages. The houses menu is infused with fresh picks from Findlay Market and an array of coffees, wines, beers and international liquors to tempt your palette.
324 Ludlow Ave., 45220. (513) 281-7487. Clifton
Hours: 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday through Saturday.
Pick your entrée while sipping coffee, then finish the meal by trying a heavenly dessert in an antique filled room or listen to a band on the second floor and check out the artwork in the third floor gallery. York St. Café offers it all. The menu offers fresh quality offerings from conversation plates to entrees. In addition, the soups and desserts are sure to please. Check this one out the next time youre in Newport. It will be on your list of favorites too.
738 York St., 41071. (859) 261-9675. Newport
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Zen and Now
East meets West in this West side coffee hub. Find your inner self and observe Eastern philosophy ambience, live music, jewelry, incense, books and board games. The offering of coffees, espressos and teas is no sacrifice either. You'll be sure to indulge in more
and that's OK.
4453 Bridgetown Road, 45211. (513) 598-8999. Bridgetown
Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.
Note that these are just some of the top picks. If you already have a favorite, add these to your list, and comment below to tell us what tops your list. Try a new coffeehouse each month to broaden your scope of the coffee experience.