Food & Drink

Have You Tried the Best Coffee Shops in Las Vegas?

Published On 06/29/2016 Published On 06/29/2016
Mothership Coffee Las Vegas
Courtesy of Mothership

Need a caffeine fix after that long night at the club? Sure you can chug a few energy drinks for a quick jolt, but we suggest grabbing a seat at one of the best coffeehouses in Las Vegas. It may not be Seattle or Portland, but who cares? We've got plenty of cool java spots that can compete with the best of 'em. Let's prove it...

PublicUs | Rob Kachelriess/Thrillist

PublicUs

Downtown

PublicUs has proven to be one of the most important restaurants in Vegas for not only setting new standards of quality and style in a coffeehouse, but also pushing the boundaries of how far east you can go on Fremont St while still drawing loyal customers from the "good part" of Downtown. Unlike most coffee joints, there's no giant price list hanging on the wall. Instead, you'll be greeted and guided by the staff with suggestions and printed paper menus. There's also no condiment station. That's because the baristas craft your drink with precision, like a bartender would with a quality cocktail. This place even has its own version of an Old Fashioned: served in a rocks glass with espresso shots, aromatic bitters, cherries, simple syrup, and an orange peel over an ice sphere. Another favorite is the macadamia latte with real ground nuts instead of a flavored syrup. Ask for it with house-made almond milk.

Makers & Finders

Downtown

With a nice mix of traditional and eclectic coffee creations, Makers & Finders is one of the best things about the growing Downtown Arts District. It has an espresso machine that was bought for the price of a small car and lattes crafted with house-made syrups. Top choices include a coconut-turmeric blend and "Mexican Spice" with four actual dry spices in the mix. The cold brew takes about 16 hours to make in a multistage process and the food menu draws inspiration from Latin America (definitely try the Sunday brunch). Every hot coffee is made with a pour-over, so it could take a few extra minutes to get your cup when things are busy, but it's worth the wait for every delicious drop.

Avery's | Rob Kachelriess/Thrillist

Avery's

West Valley

Tucked in the corner of the Village Square shopping center, Avery's roasts its own beans twice a week, with anywhere between nine and 13 varieties of coffee from regions around the world. The team recently perfected a Zimbabwe-sourced nitro brew that is among the best in Las Vegas, and when fall rolls around, Avery's has not one, but three different takes on the highly-coveted Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Courtesy of Mothership

Mothership Coffee

Henderson

No fancy lattes here. Mothership is bare bones and all about the craft and culture of brewing coffee. The menu is kept simple and much more in line with a classic espresso bar than what you'd expect at the big chain coffeehouses. Mothership is also a wholesale roastery that sells beans to other shops in the valley, but the fun part is taking advantage of the education offered by the knowledgeable staff and learning about the science of coffee. It's the kind of place where you might see the same bean brewed two different ways on the same day -- just for the sake of experimentation. Don't overlook the nitro coffee made with hops or the organic, vegan, and gluten-free pastries made with seasonal ingredients.

Courtesy of Sambalatte

Sambalatte

Monte Carlo (& other locations)

The owner is hands-on when it comes to sourcing beans, making regular trips to his native Brazil where about 60% of the selection comes from (although other regions such as Kenya, Mexico, and Colombia are also well represented). The Sambalatte location at the Monte Carlo is the only coffeehouse on the Strip to roast its own beans and is supervised by a team of experts and a high-tech computer system. The lattes and cappuccinos are delicious but your best bet may be to enjoy the coffee in its own elegance from a steampunk machine. It's kind of like a supercharged French press without the long wait. It extracts the flavors, bringing out different shades in each taste as the coffee cools off and changes temperature. Two additional Sambalatte locations can be found in the west valley.

The Beat

The Beat

Downtown

A coffee shop and record store all rolled up in one, The Beat is a popular hipster hangout in the Fremont East district, with regular nights of music, standup comedy, poetry, and indie movie screenings to keep you entertained. If coffee isn't your thing, beer and other booze is served after 7pm. Or how about a shot? The "Wake Up Call" blends espresso, dark rum, cream, and a choice of flavored syrup for the perfect caffeine kick.

Courtesy of Sunrise Coffee

Sunrise Coffee

East Valley

Mothership's older sister location shares the same owner but operates as a separate company with a different attitude and agenda. Sunrise is more of a social hub with a shaded outdoor patio and tables inside that eagerly await your open laptop. The baristas are encouraged to experiment with the coffee here, so new creations are added to the menu every season (the profits are split with the employees who invented them). Sunrise is also the oldest independent coffeehouse currently operating in Las Vegas, thanks in part to its reputation as the perfect meeting spot.  

pour

Pour

East Valley

There's nothing wrong with making coffee fun. The lattes here -- which come hot, iced, or blended -- look like desserts but aren't as sweet as you might find at other places. The caramel latte, for example, uses a "sauce" instead of a "syrup" to keep the flavor smooth without an overwhelming sugary bite. If you prefer to go in a healthier direction, there are a few fruit juice blends on standby, like "The Selfie," which mixes pineapple, mango, banana, and spinach with coconut water. Just want regular ol' coffee? You have the choice of brewed, pour-over, or French press.  

Grouchy John's

Grouchy John's

East Valley

Grouchy John himself is a self-confessed Star Wars freak (original trilogy only) and the influence can be seen in some of the artwork and drinks named after Yoda, Lando, and Chewbacca. If that wasn't fun enough, stop by on your birthday and get a free coffee of your choice with whipped cream and sprinkles. Grouchy John's also does it's own version of Bulletproof Coffee, made with grass-fed butter and MCT oil, to give your brain a healthy fat-fueled focus for a few hours. Keep your eyes peeled for their food truck around town as well.

Bad Owl Coffee

Henderson

A coffeehouse with a Harry Potter theme because... well, a lot of people like Harry Potter. That includes the owners of this shop, who don't skimp on quality while going big with gimmicks. Open for less than a year, Bad Owl has already made more than a few loyal fans, such as Bad Beat Brewing. The Henderson neighbors recently joined up to make a coffee stout with beans from Ethiopia. House favorites include a cookie butter latte and the "Butter Brew" -- a latte with a sweet kick of butterscotch.

Courtesy of Amorino

Amorino

The LINQ (& other locations)

More of a place for dessert lovers than coffee snobs, Amorino has made a name for itself in a number of countries around the world but is now opening its US flagship location in Las Vegas at The LINQ. Amorino compliments delicious gelato and macarons with bold Italian espressos and cappuccinos. In case you need a little variety, there are also 10 different versions of cioccolata calda (or "hot chocolate" for all you English speakers). You can also find Amorino at the North Premium Outlet Mall.

Coffee Hunter

Coffee Hunter

East Valley

The only place in Las Vegas to serve the full line of Portland's Stumptown coffee has a unique interior best described as "industrial chic," with painted concrete floors, track lighting, and tables where every seat has a clear view of the baristas in action. Opened recently by a father-and-son team, there's no shortage of fun stuff, with waffle shots, nitro ice cream floats, and a bananas Foster latte at the top of the list. Espresso and cold brew milkshakes are being developed as well, but don't worry, there's a full menu of traditional drinks for all the coffee purists out there.

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Rob Kachelriess has been writing for Thrillist for nearly three years. He wrote most of this story while chugging a Macadamia Nut Latte from PublicUs. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.

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1. PublicUs 1126 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101 (Downtown)

This coffee bar, bakery, and restaurant takes its name from the Latin word meaning "for the people" and serves food all day, ending in a happy hour from 9 pm until close. Full of reclaimed wood and industrial settings, this is a modern space that still retains the cozy feel of a coffeehouse. Table service is available, and the family-style seating (long, shared tables) means you may end up making new friends at this local's favorite spot. With unique coffee drinks made from their own special roast and a full list of wine and local beer this Downtown Vegas spot serves up New American cuisine worth detouring off the Strip for.

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2. Makers & Finders Coffee 1120 S Main St Ste 110, Las Vegas, NV 89104

This Cuban-inspired coffeehouse is serving up authentically Latin food and drink Downtown with an emphasis on brewed-to-order coffee. With treats like arepas, empanadas, and sofrito, you could be forgiven for mistaking this place for a south-of-the-border restaurant, but the interior vibe is much more coffee place than taco stand. The Latin flavor extends to the espresso drinks as well, with signature drinks like the cortadito with condensed milk and the picante Mexican spice latte with clove. With a husband-and-wife team at the helm, this place feels like a cross between a cocktail bar and a corner coffee stop and everyone's welcome to stay as long as they like.

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3. Avery's Coffee 9440 W Sahara Ave #145, Las Vegas, NV 89117

Avery's Coffee is a casual, cozy local's favorite coffeehouse that serves a classic coffeehouse menu of pastries and small sandwiches to regulars and tourists alike. The husband-and-wife team of Linda and Sherman Ray have owned the business since 2012, when they began roasting and selling coffee out of their house. Now they roast all of the coffee beans for their own cafe as well as for wholesale to other cafes in the state. Using ethically-sourced fair trade beans and, the Rays make sure every cup is as guilt-free as possible, so you can relax in their living room-style cafe stress-free.

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4. Mothership Coffee Roasters 2708 N Green Valley Pkwy, Henderson, NV 89014

The team behind Sunrise Coffee launched their own roasting company, Mothership Coffee Roasters, in 2015, in the hopes of refocusing on their true passion—the coffee. Whereas Sunrise is a full-service cafe with tons of food and constant activity, Mothership is a pared-down spot with a limited menu and a small selection of (local, delicious, flaky) pastries. Coffee comes either as a pour-over or drip, and espresso drinks are limited to the unsweetened classics (cappuccino, macchiato). They also offer a signature cold brew coffee brewed with hops that's the closest thing to a beer you can drink before noon. The industrial space isn't great for lounging, but the drinks more than make up for that.

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5. Sambalatte Torrefazione 750 S Rampart Blvd, #9, Las Vegas, NV 89145 (Strip)

This Brazilian-influenced coffeeshop is renowned for the quality of their coffee, sourced from around the globe and roasted locally, and for the unique latte art that graces the top of every espresso drink. The mini-chain has several locations around Vegas, but each one is devoted to serving the best espresso possible. With warm, coffee-inspired tones, comfy couches, and free wifi, this is a cozy place that encourages patrons to linger, make friends with other locals, and learn more about the coffeemaking process. The cafes are also active in the community, regularly hosting live music, poetry readings, and other events.

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6. Sunrise Coffee 3130 E Sunset Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89120

This East Vegas coffee house is all about being ethical. From their fair trade, single-origin coffees to their homemade pastries with local ingredients, every product that comes out of Sunrise Coffee has been meticulously made with careful intention. All the food served here is vegetarian or vegan, with many gluten-free options as well. The vegan baked goods are particularly popular, as is the avocado-heavy breakfast sandwich. Espresso drinks can be served traditionally or with a handful of homemade syrups including their signature creme brulee. This neighborhood spot is popular with locals and students, who love its casual atmosphere, free wifi, and quietly buzzing sense of community.

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7. The Beat Coffeehouse 520 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101

This hip and quirky coffee spot is a twist on the expected, selling both records and beer alongside the expected cold brew and croissants. The cramped little corner shop is jammed full of vinyl records, local artwork, music memorabilia, and used books making it a fun place to hang out and browse during/after your coffee. There's seating both inside and outside, but the small shop is popular with locals so you may have to fight for a seat. The coffee options are pretty standard (drip coffee, iced coffee, espresso drinks) but they're made with beans from Vegas' own Mothership Roasting so they're as fresh as possible. If you're over 21, try one of their signature cocktails while local bands play in the front room at night.

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8. Pour 6811 S Eastern Ave, Ste 104-D, Las Vegas, NV 89119

With locally-sourced food and pastries and fair trade coffees, this Vegas coffeehouse is part of the third wave coffee movement bringing quality and intention to the Nevada coffee scene. The bright, high-ceilinged space keeps the feel of its converted warehouse past but lets in a ton of light with floor-to-ceiling windows. More of a commuter's stop (it's right near the McCarren airport) than a place for lounging, the shop is nevertheless usually full of regulars who stick around for the free wifi and the friendly, welcoming staff. Sandwiches and small plates are available to accompany your coffee, with vegan and vegetarian options for the health conscious.

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9. Grouchy John's Coffee Shop 8520 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89123

The fun and funky coffeeshop is a casual place to gather with other nerds over a hot cup of coffee. Grouchy John is a self-confessed Star Wars freak (original trilogy only) and the influence can be seen in the artwork and in drinks named after Yoda, Lando, and Chewbacca. Their signature drink, however, is their own version of "Bulletproof Coffee," made with grassfed butter and MCT oil to give your brain a healthy fat-fueled focus for a few hours. Big soft couches and free wifi encourage lounging and conversation, and the friendly (despite the name) staff are ready to debate whatever geeky subject your heart desires.

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10. Bad Owl Coffee 10575 S Eastern Ave Ste 160, Henderson, NV 89052

This Harry Potter-themed coffeeshop generates some seriously buzzy magic with its strong coffees, whimsical decor, and commitment to local produce. The theme may err on the silly side, but the coffee is serious—it comes in individual french presses, pour-overs, or Kyoto-style iced coffee brewed over 16 hours. Their signature drink, though, doesn't have coffee in it at all: it's the Butter Brew latte, a creamy real-life version of the Leaky Cauldron's Butterbeer. The strong drinks are paired with a menu of simple cafe sandwiches and savory waffles, with pastries from local bakeries on the side. Dark and comforting, reminiscent of a pub, this is the perfect place to sit and stay a spell.

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11. Amorino 875 S Grand Central Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 59106

More of a place for dessert lovers than coffee snobs, Amorino has made a name for itself as the gelato king in a number of countries around the world. With a flagship store in Vegas, Amorino has expanded into the US with a menu full of creamy gelato, crispy macarons, bold Italian espressos, and Belgian waffles. Italian coffees are known for having big, strong flavors and these beans straight from the home country do not disappoint in their range of classic coffeehouse drinks. And in case you need a little variety, there's also ten different versions of cioccolata calda (or "hot chocolate") to compare and contrast.

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12. Coffee Hunter 7425 S Eastern Ave Ste 102, Las Vegas, NV 89123

Coffee Hunter brings the third-wave coffee scene to Las Vegas with its novelty waffle shots, nitro ice cream floats, and funky latte flavors. The space has an industrial vibe -- expect painted concrete floors, track lighting, and a clear shot of baristas in action. The Stumptown menu features a full menu of traditional espresso drinks for the purists.

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