Skip to Content

Best Coffee Iowa City Has to Offer – Coffee Shops Guide

If you want the best coffee Iowa City offers, this guide will help you find the perfect place. From downtown Iowa City to the surrounding areas, here you’ll find a local coffee shop with great coffee in the Iowa City area. 

Best Coffee Shops in Iowa City.

Best Coffee Iowa City Has to Offer

Each has its unique ambiance, specialty offerings, and coffee selections. Whether you prefer a cozy bookstore cafe, an artisanal roastery, or a vibrant social space, the coffee shops featured in this guide cater to every taste, ensuring a delightful and satisfying coffee experience across the vibrant landscape of Iowa City.

Cortado Mediterranean Cafe

This European-style espresso and coffee bar specializes in quality espresso drinks and drip coffee although this cafe is also serving up some pleasant surprises.

From housemade chocolate babka to authentic Italian pizza, this establishment is the perfect spot for anyone looking for more than just a cup of coffee not far from the Iowa Memorial Union.

Additionally, immerse yourself in the diverse culinary offerings that go beyond the ordinary, making every visit a delightful and flavorful experience.

Cortado is located at 26 S. Clinton St. Iowa City, IA

Fix! Coffee 

If you are looking for a coffee shop that offers a variety of gourmet coffees, hot tea, and homemade lemonade this is a great option for you.

Conveniently located on the second floor of the Chauncey, this Iowa City coffee shop known for its friendly atmosphere and great baristas, is just a short walk from the Iowa City Farmers Market.

Be sure to try the chocolate chip cookies, adding a sweet note to your delightful beverage experience. 

Fix! Coffee is located at 404 E. College St. Suite 202 Iowa City, IA 

Best Coffee Iowa City

Sidekick Coffee & Books

Sidekick Coffee offers a welcoming environment for family sessions, blending the comfort of warm coffee, delicious pastries, and a captivating selection of books.

Adorned with cozy reading nooks, and cute sofas, the atmosphere encourages intimate conversations and shared moments over a variety of wonderful lattes and fresh pastries.

The ambiance and a selection of board games add to the charm, providing families with an inviting space to create lasting memories.

Sidekick Coffee & Books is located at 1310 1/2 Melrose Ave. Iowa City, IA

Prairie Lights Cafe 

Elevating the literary experience in the heart of Iowa City, Prairie Lights Cafe stands as an enduring classic, situated above the renowned Prairie Lights Books. This iconic establishment not only serves as a haven for book lovers but also plays host to best-selling authors and artists, creating an immersive literary ambiance.

Adorned with wooden seating and walls embellished with captivating artwork, the cafe exudes a warm and inviting atmosphere, providing an ideal retreat for those seeking solace and connection with literature.

Whether you’re drawn to the allure of bestsellers or the enchantment of artistic expressions, Prairie Lights Cafe offers a uniquely cozy and cultured space for literary enthusiasts to unwind and immerse themselves in the world of words. 

Prairie Lights Cafe is located at 15 S. Dubuque St Iowa City, IA 

Best Coffee Iowa City


T Spoons, tucked away in the Old Capitol Mall, this convenient downtown location boasts a charming yet compact space offering delightful drink options, a variety of snacks, and smoothies.

While seating is limited, the convenient location allows patrons to grab their treats and find ample study spots in the nearby ped mall, or to sip while checking out the local businesses. 

TSpoons is located at 201 S. Clinton St, Iowa City, IA 

Bread Garden Market

Grab a French pressed coffee, a Vietnamese Iced Coffee, or a cold-pressed juice made from natural ingredients before hitting up the grocery store for gourmet groceries.

This is a favorite place among local moms headed to the Iowa City Public Library since it is located just steps away.

With a diverse menu and proximity to literary treasures, it’s the ideal stop to fuel up and embark on a day of errands and leisure.

Bread Garden Market is located at 225 S. Linn St. Iowa City, IA

Best Coffee Iowa City

Press Coffee Co. 

This establishment open 365 days a year allows you to grab a cold brew and pick up some homemade treats for your pups at the same time.

When visiting on the weekend you can also enjoy Donutland donuts picked up fresh from Cedar Rapids or enjoy a variety of hot and cold drinks any day of the year.

Press Coffee Co enhances the coffee sipping experience with its showcase of local artists. 

Press Coffee Co. is located at 1120 N. Dodge St. Iowa City, IA


This locally owned and operated business serves ethically sourced coffee in returnable jars.

While there isn’t much space inside, they do have a pickup window which makes grabbing a coffee to go at this hot spot very convenient.

Embrace sustainability as you enjoy your coffee, contributing to the eco-friendly ethos that sets this establishment apart.

Daydrink is located at 125 S. Dubuque St. Iowa City, IA

Tru Coffee

Whether you want to grab a cappuccino, a matcha latte, or an espresso, this women-owned coffee shop is a great place to stop.

Aside from the high-quality coffee, customers can also shop through the wide selection of vintage clothing, creating a unique and eclectic experience that goes beyond your typical coffee outing.

Tru Coffee is located at 287 N. Linn St. Iowa City, IA

Best Coffee Iowa City

The Encounter Cafe

Offering a variety of great deals on good food and good coffee, this cafe caters to many special diets.

This is the best coffee shop for those looking for gluten-friendly, dairy-free, and vegetarian options in the Iowa City area.

The inclusive menu ensures that everyone can find a delightful treat or beverage that aligns with their dietary needs and preferences.

​The Encounter Cafe is located at 376 S. Clinton St. Iowa City, IA

Mammitas Coffee & Latin Cafe

This cafe offers a taste of Latin flavor with its signature drinks like the Iced Horchata or the Horchata Latté.

Don’t miss out on the great food offerings like a Cuban sandwich or a chorizo burrito, allowing patrons to embark on a culinary journey inspired by the rich and diverse Latin American palette. 

Mammitas Coffee is located at 224 S. Linn St. Iowa City, IA

Java House – Downtown Iowa City

This coffee chain offers a great assortment of pour-over coffees, espressos, specialty lattes, and sweet treats.

You can also visit the Java House North Liberty location for a great-tasting cup of coffee or grab a bag of coffee beans from Sumatran Single Origin Coffees to their Vintage ’94 blend on their website, no matter where you are in the United States. 

The Java House is not just a coffee stop; it’s like finding your caffeine sanctuary right in the heart of the city.

Java House is located at 211 E. Washington St. Iowa City, IA

pastry shops downtown Johnson County

Coffee Emporium

Indulge in excellent gluten-free pastries, such as the tempting lemon cake, banana muffins, and organic coffees, complemented by a friendly service experience.

Don’t miss the opportunity to savor their delicious Ethiopian pour-over, showcasing a distinctive flavor profile. Formerly the High Ground Cafe, this location offers ample seating, this place promises a relaxed and enjoyable experience for coffee lovers.

While this location went through some physical changes, the best part, the coffee, remains. If you are looking for coffee shops by the Iowa River Landing, Coffee Emporium formerly known as High Ground Café, has a location there too.

Coffee Emporium is located at 301 E. Market Street. Iowa City, IA

Nodo Café

This cafe offering alcoholic drinks boasts a diverse menu featuring breakfast and lunch options like sandwiches, salads, soups, and wraps.

Elevate your experience with unique offerings such as the COBRA VERDE green coffee energy drink, and customize your cold brew with caramel or vanilla syrup for a personalized touch.

Nodo is located at 600 N. Dodge St. Iowa City, IA

Starbucks Iowa City

Nestled among the diverse coffee scene in Iowa City is Starbucks, a renowned chain that brings familiarity and beloved drinks to the local community.

While it may be part of a larger franchise, this particular Starbucks location offers the drinks you love in a cozy atmosphere, creating an inviting space for patrons to enjoy a good book or tackle some work while savoring their favorite brews.

Starbucks is located at 228 S. Clinton St, Iowa City, IA

Starbucks Johnson County

Poindexter Coffee

Located on the first floor of The Graduate Hotel, this shop offers hot breakfast sandwiches, fresh salads, smoothies, and of course coffee.

Immerse yourself in the creative ambiance of this coffee shop, adorned with over 180,000 No. 2 pencils as a tribute to the renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

The unique blend of culinary delights and artistic tribute creates an environment where guests can savor not only exceptional fare but also the inspiring legacy of literary excellence, making it a must-visit destination for both food enthusiasts and admirers of literary history.

Poindexter Coffee is located at 210 S. Dubuque St. Iowa City, IA

Dodge Street Coffeehouse

This child-friendly location is equipped with a play corner and has a drive-thru so you don’t miss out on your favorite things, like their delicious scones and cinnamon rolls, while on the go.

This cozy spot caters to both busy parents and those seeking a relaxed atmosphere for a delightful coffee experience.

Dodge Street Coffeehouse is located at 2790 N. Dodge St. Iowa City, IA

I hope you enjoyed this list of the best coffee Iowa City has to offer.

If you are interested in exploring more than just coffee in this captivating location — delve into the area’s rich history, you may want to check out the Natural History Museum and the Old Capitol Museum.

You can also visit a nearby cemetery with a haunted past. For those intrigued by supernatural tales, consider adding a visit to The Black Angel of Death to your itinerary for a uniquely haunting experience.

Don’t forget to sign up for the free newsletter and follow along on social media so you never miss another post again.

About Thirty Something Super Mom

Melissa Dixon Thirty Something Super Mom
Thirty Something Super Mom | Website

My journey started after a Crohn's disease diagnosis, inspiring a commitment to well-being. This site shares my distinctive approach to healthy living with my collection of nutritious recipes that boast authentic flavors, mimicking the indulgence of traditional dishes. I love sharing guilt free recipes for low carb, keto, gluten-free, paleo, and the specific carbohydrate diet. I also share tips on natural living, including homemade cleaners and cleaning hacks. I also share my experience as a veterinary technician and pet groomer, to integrate pet health tips, homemade dog food recipes, and grooming insights to ensure your pets thrive.


Tuesday 9th of April 2024

I recently moved to Iowa and I found your site while looking for things to do in Iowa city. Thanks for sharing, now I am going to get a cup of coffee, maybe two or three, and visit the Black Angel of Death.


Tuesday 9th of April 2024

I need to visit the one with the book shelves, how cool!