Although it’s not quite Seattle or Portland yet, DFW has a healthier smattering of independent coffee bars than you might expect in a land where you can often find a Starbucks within any 10-minute drive. Here are some other spots that we’ve found:
The Brew Junkie Coffee House, Roanoke: Tucked into a clothing store on Roanoke’s Oak Street, this small shop has a modest menu of hot and cold drinks, as well as French-press coffee and personal pour-overs for the more discerning coffee drinkers. Seasonal items available. 304 N. Oak St., Roanoke, 817-767-5040, http://www.thebrewjunkie.com
Brew’n Blues: Family-owned spot (formerly an It’s a Grind Coffee House franchise, but independent since 2013), with a laid-back, hangout feel and, as the name implies, a blues (and jazz) theme running throughout (we dig the Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday paintings on the walls). You can get a straight-up cup of coffee here, but this has one of the most extensive menus of specialty drinks that we’ve seen (the Winter Blend is a sweet delight). Pastries and panini also available. 841 North Tarrant Parkway, No. 100, Keller. 817-485-0909; brewnblues.com.
Casablanca Coffee: Tiny, friendly shop practically across the street from the Star-Telegram building in downtown Fort Worth. We are partial to its Casablanca Latte, which comes with a big hit of cinnamon. It can be easy to pass by this little place on the way to a downtown Starbucks, but it’s worth ducking your head in, and the cafe tables outside give it a little sidewalk-cafe feel. 215 W. Eighth St., Fort Worth, 817-862-7149. Facebook: Casablanca Coffee. Good to know: It’s closed on weekends, and only open from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays — and it sometimes closes earlier, especially Fridays.
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The Cup Espresso Bar: Nancy Williams started this small Camp Bowie Boulevard spot as a coffee bar/lunch spot in 2011; in 2014, she launched an evening service called Sip in the same spot, featuring wine and light bites. Williams says it’s very much a neighborhood hangout; when we dropped in recently, she told us that she sees maybe 10 strangers a week — and that it can be a little boisterous during wine times. There’s a patio out back that helps you hide from the Camp Bowie traffic. 3909 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-735-5226. Facebook: Sip Wine Bar and the Cup Espresso Bar. Good to know: Evening service is 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday-Friday only; morning service is 7:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m.-noon Saturday. Closed Sunday-Monday.
Four Star Cafe: Once a popular West Seventh Street hangout, Four Star opened a downtown location in 2006 that focused more on the office/apartment-dweller crowd. The west-side location closed in 2008, but the cafe lives on, with salads, sandwiches and pizzas dominating (as well as some breakfast offerings before 10:30 a.m.). You can still get some good coffee here, though — the cinnamon-honey latte might not be for purists, but it’s pretty out of this world for the rest of us. 815 Houston St., Fort Worth, 817-332-3355, fourstarcafe.com. Good to know: closed weekends; open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday
Jupiter House Coffee: It’s so hard to define just what a coffeehouse is these days, with some of them offering full-service menus and some doubling as wine bars. But what we do know is that coffee has a strong presence in Denton, a town of roughly 128,000. Jupiter House is just one of the coffee spots, but it’s got an old-school feel to it with its location on the courthouse square. The whole town is worth a coffee crawl, if you can take that much caffeine. 106 N. Locust St., Denton, 940-387-7100, jupiterhousecoffee.com/
Kindred Coffee Co.: Until recently, this North Richland Hills spot (near where Colleyville, Keller and NRH meet) was known as La Famiglia — which led some people to believe that it was an Italian restaurant. Hence the name change, but there’s definitely a family feel to this spacious but cozy spot, which roasts its beans on-site, has a quiet room for workers, and offers a generous menu of wraps, salads, pastries and gelato to go along with its coffee. 8700 North Tarrant Parkway, North Richland Hills, 682-325-1237, kindredcoffeeco.com
RE:defined Coffee House: In a strip shopping center on North Main in Grapevine, but north of the busiest parts of Main, this a nice little retreat that was quietly humming with readers and students on a recent Saturday afternoon. Check out the chocolate chip mocha, made with melted TCHO Chocolate Chips. 220 N. Main St., Grapevine, 817-488-2828, redefinedcoffeehouse.com
Savor Coffee Bar and Eatery: This bright south Arlington spot came as a bit of a surprise to us: It’s also a creperie, and it recently added some Vietnamese dishes such as a banh mi and pho. 1101 E. Bardin Road, Arlington, 469-345-1461, savorthecraft.com.