I mean, what can't you find out about a new town while you're just standing in line waiting for your daily dose of caffeine? Check the bulletin boards for happening festivals and events. Pick up the local alt-weekly tabloid paper and peruse its picks for eats, bars and clubs. Chat with the person next to you in line to find out where they love to go hiking, or which museums they take out-of-towners to. Tip big, and the barista/baristo might just give you the best insider travel info of all.
So why isn't there a great online directory for indie coffee shops? Yelp! often falls short (for example, every cafe in my town gets four stars, and lemme tell you, only one or two are actually good, especially for travelers). A look at indiecoffeeshops.com showed zero coffee shops nearby.
OK, then. I'm going to get the ball rolling by randomly nominating 10 of my fave indie coffee shops in small towns and cities around California and the US Southwest:
- Macy's, Flagstaff, AZ
- Raging Sage, Tucson, AZ
- Robber's Roost Bookstore, Torrey, UT
- Willow Canyon Outdoors, Kanab, UT
- Mean Bean, Springdale, UT
- Satellite Coffee, Albuquerque, NM
- Cafe Mokka, Arcata, CA
- Linnaea's Cafe, San Luis Obispo, CA
- Koffi, Palm Springs, CA
- East Village Coffee Lounge, Monterey, CA