The city of Fort Wayne is on the rise. And what helps the people of Fort Wayne rise every morning? Great coffee. In celebration of National Coffee Day on September 29, we want to share with you our favorite coffee shops in Fort Wayne—all locally owned, all with a heart for providing not only your caffeine fix—but also a place to connect, reflect and focus.
You can’t talk about Fort Wayne’s coffee culture without mentioning Fortezza. Known for their high quality coffee and beautiful latte art, this Calhoun Street coffee shop is a must-have downtown experience. Walking in, you will be greeted with the smells and sounds of coffee being crafted and a wall-sized chalkboard menu. You will find plenty of seating in one of their three rooms, and local art and photography line the walls. In the front they even have a small bar area; they have partnered with Chapmans Brewing to bring another unique aspect to their shop. Light food options and locally baked pastries are available (macarons are my favorite) as well as brunch on certain days. Popular drinks include the regular latte (you can also add flavors to customize), Chai Latte and the Americano. My favorite time to visit Fortezza is during the Christmas season after walking around downtown viewing the festive light displays!
The atmosphere in Conjure Coffee is probably my favorite out of all the coffee shops in Fort Wayne. Natural light pours in from the large, garage-style windows. Succulents and airplants hang out on the wooden tables, and you can spot quirky artwork here and there. White walls and modern furniture gives it an airy, minimalistic feeling. The knowledgeable, friendly staff roasts and brews all their own coffee. Colorful macarons and baked goods are always on hand, and now they even have a new farm-fresh food menu. Recently Conjure expanded their shop to include 3 sitting rooms and extra parking space. While it’s usually pretty busy, there is still plenty of space to find a spot to call your own while you work. Looking out the large windows, I can see the tops of the downtown skyline peeking up over the trees, and my Miel Latte (one of their bestsellers) has a swan drawn in the foam. It’s the little things in life!
This cozy cafe on South Wayne Avenue in downtown Fort Wayne is one you can’t miss. Not only do they make a great latte, they also hand squeeze their own lemonades, make their own ice cream and have a full food menu with delicious sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups and appetizers. I stopped here for lunch and a latte earlier this week, and it was nothing short of delicious. The cafe has a homey, warm vibe—with hand-lettered chalkboard menus, mason jars for cold drinks and a full case of muffins, quiches and other baked goods. People of all ages enjoy their day here; a man sits at a bar stool and casually reads a newspaper, friends chat over lunch, a student sits by the large windows tapping away on her laptop. Chalkboard signs near the door announce the local music talent scheduled to play every Friday and Saturday—so we give them bonus points for that. The large patio out front looks like the perfect way to spend an evening catching up with friends. I tried one of their fan favorites today; a Salted Caramel Latte, made with their homemade caramel. It has just the right amount of sweetness, but not too overpowering. The barista also told me that Toffee Crunch Espresso Melt Shake is a popular one. I will definitely be back.
Utopian doesn’t have a coffee shop just yet, but you can stop by their location downtown to pick up some freshly roasted beans to take home with you. Or, you can buy them online (check out that free shipping!). You may have seen them around town with their popup coffee bar at the markets or festivals. What makes them so special is their commitment to ethically produced coffee. They source directly from farmers across the world who grow, tend and harvest the beans. Because of that, these farmers can make a good living by continuing to sell directly to Utopian. With every sip, you can be reminded that you are getting high quality coffee that also impacts the lives of others. Another really great fact that we are all very excited about—Utopian Coffee is currently working on opening up their own coffee shop on The Landing, in the heart of historic downtown Fort Wayne. Look for it in 2019!
Firefly has to be the most eclectic and cozy coffee spot. The warm decor is a unique blend of couches, tables, art, murals and happy colored lights strung from wall to wall. You can browse locally made art, crafts and jewelry on display, or borrow a book or game to pass the time. The menus are written in fun colors on hanging chalkboards. Enjoy long talks with friends in the cozy couch area tucked in the back, or get some fresh air on their large patio. I’m a big fan of chai tea, so I tried the seasonal Pumpkin Chai Latte (made with real pumpkin), and it was delicious. Try adding a scone or a muffin on the side, or if you are a little hungrier, they have food offerings as well. And last but not least—on your way out, you have to walk around to the back of the building and check out the colorful murals!
Just down from Firefly is Old Crown, another classic Fort Wayne hangout. Its close proximity to some of the local colleges makes it a great place for students to study, but people of all ages call this one of their favorite spots. When walking in, you may actually wonder if it is a bar or a coffee shop! Not only have they mastered the art of coffee with their rotating 40 custom blends, they also provide beers on tap, cocktails and food. You can purchase their coffee beans to take home with you—and after trying their coffee, you will definitely want to. The decor’s rich, dark tones create a calm and comfortable atmosphere. Another pretty cool perk—you can even play a game of pinball in the back! Popular drinks include the Black and Tan Mocha, Raspberry Mocha, Iced Chai and, of course, their regular custom brews.
Not only does Mocha Lounge have a great location Southwest off of West Jefferson Blvd, they are working on opening a second store on E Dupont Rd. Whether you’re grabbing coffee for the road or hanging out getting some work done, each of their drink or food options is a perfect little way to treat yourself. They have an extensive seasonal menu with offerings including the popular Cinammon French Toast Latte and the Maple Spice Latte. White Mochas are also a tried and true favorite.
Bon Bons has three locations; one at the PFW campus, one on Maplecrest Road and one in the Orthopedic Hospital. The comfortable, charming atmosphere is perfect for working, catching up with friends or reading. All of their coffee drinks, teas, shakes, smoothies and frappes are high quality treats! Speaking of treats, they also carry baked goods to snack on. I personally like the Blueberry Mocha, but when talking to the barista she said that some fan favorites are the Creme Brulee Mocha, French Kiss and Campfire Mocha. Other festive fall features include the Pumpkin Pie Chai, Smores Shake, Spiced Caramel Cider and the Ghost Pumpkin.
Cold weather is on the way, which means it’s the perfect time to try something new this fall at one of these amazing locally owned shops.
Coffee, we love you. Happy National Coffee Day!