Flagstaff Coffee House Guide
A colorful outlier amongst Flagstaff coffee shops, their deep emerald-blue storefront is playful on the eyes as it demands attention in a high-altitude town accentuated by a sea of historical buildings crafted from brick, lumber, and an assortment of construction materials sporting nearly exclusively Redrock tones. A step inside Fire Creek Coffee Company’s ruby red door dappled with gold gilding reveals an exposed cobblestone wall on one end, opulent patterned tile to the ceiling, and an abundance of seating throughout the soul-warming interior of this cornerstone cafe.
Java gets hand roasted in-house in small batches, furthermore, it embodies a seasonal selection of organic, fair trade, and single estate coffees that celebrate the amazing flavors and freshness available only at any particular region’s peak. Keep in mind weary travelers, if you could use a tonic that helps with taking some edge off, don’t be shy about meandering on over to their full bar for all your traditional alcohol-infused favorites.
If Hollywood fairytale screenwriters had to design an enchanted coffee shop on mainstreet, it’d probably look something like Macy’s European Coffeehouse and Bakery. This cozy little cafe, beloved for epitomizing vintage charm, has been a Flagstaff hallmark for over 40 years now. Their longevity is notable in regards to being an independently-owned small business, but especially when considering they exclusively serve vegetarian fare, which must be an indication as to how tasty the food actually is! Macy’s takes no shortcuts when it comes to respecting the art of craft coffee either, they maintain a direct line of communication with their farmers and have long been appreciated for being one of the first operations in this glorious grand canyon state to roast java beans on-site.
Housed in a gorgeous multi-story brick building, Late for the Train Coffee has been expertly roasting java beans since 1995, culminating in flavorful “mountain fresh” blends that are sweet, aromatic, and tingling on the palate. Their downtown location is everything you’d dream a coffee house to be, complete with milky white intricately-designed ceiling tiles, wooden floorboards, leafy green plants spread across the room, and the occasional pop of bold color emanating beyond a hanging masterpiece.
Message for coffee beginners: be sure to stop in and build your favorite mocha or latte, they’ve actually got a wonderful menu board perfect for those unfamiliar with cafe lingo that walks guests through, style, espresso shots, and flavors.
Stronghold Coffee Company has a spacious, relaxed, and welcoming atmosphere perfect for students, creatives, and business professionals alike; that’s not to mention their dog-friendly outdoor patio. Here, custom roasted small batch coffee is the norm, and you can’t go wrong by pairing that hot mug of joe with a handmade buttermilk biscuit breakfast sandwiches, pressed breakfast burrito, or one of Stronghold’s famous ‘pop’ tarts, among other mouthwatering delicacies. Even the beverages achieve signature flair, from energizing fruit smoothies to CBD-infused concoctions to Boozy Day Drinks like the Pluto is a Planet, an amalgamation of delicious nitro cold brew, Mr. Black’s coffee liqueur, vanilla, and spicy chai.
As many Flagstaff coffee shops have been extremely careful and health-conscious throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, this one has chosen to temporarily close, according to their Facebook page, they hope to reopen by mid-April 2021.
Jack Martusciello had a lifetime of experience in the coffee universe by the time he moved back home to Arizona to open Matador Coffee Roasting Co. with his son, Mario, in 2005. Upon the younger starting a family of his own, they moved their coffee wholesaling operation from Scottdale to beautiful Flagstaff and opened up an attached cafe in the process. Taking the place of what must have once been an automotive repair business, the unique layout features double garage doors ideal for sunny summer days, black and white checkered flooring, and a hint of bright turquoise that brings a delicate splash of vibrant color to the scene.
Needless to say, coffee beans are freshly roasted in-house and get paired with delicious signature drinks like the Raspberry Truffle and Thin Mint.
You can’t miss the inspiring row of rainbow pride flags flying along the LGBTQ+ veteran-owned Civano Coffee House rooftop as you turn onto San Francisco Street. By day, the fanciful chandelier-lit interior is home to early morning coffee savants who appreciate quality java while comfortably seated in posh chairs arranged amongst an aesthetically glamorous ambiance. When the sun goes down, this venue transforms into one of Flagstaff’s hottest nightlife destinations, where high production value sound & lighting serve as the beating pulse to lively disco parties and an array of Drag Queen shows!
Watching over Cedar House Coffee Shop’s flourishing outdoor garden is this gigantic sunflower mural that was painted onto their patio facing brick wall – Instagram connaisseurs of cuteness, you may have just stumbled across your next stunning photo background! While visiting, don’t forget to soak in the spectacular views of Mt. Elden, along with a cup of exquisite, locally roasted coffee, any one of a rare procurement of teas imported from the United Kingdom, or a cooling charcoal mocha frap for that matter. Drinks and treats aren’t the only tantalizing treasures, a stroll through their front doors gives way to an alluring display of seasonal candles, vibrant pottery, and marvelous trinkets – think anthropologie-esque, but with all the comfort and functionality of your hometown cafe.
Perfectly situated along historic Route 66, the outdoor patio at Flagstaff Coffee Company is a scenic treat for patrons, not only that, but beauty adorns the walls inside as well, in the form of artwork by local artists. The cafe is connected and akin to Flagstaff Brewing Company, therefore, folks behind the counter also have access to what is believed to be one of the largest collections of single malts found anywhere in the country. Linking these two operations was only destined to produce a hard to come by, extensive, and fairly impressive whiskey-induced coffee shop cocktail menu with creative libations such as the Bird on a Wire, chai filled Whai, and Fireside Tea.
Kickstand Kafé, a locally owned gem amongst Flagstaff coffee shops, is located just north of the historic downtown district; rather conveniently situated right on the way out of town if you’re headed to the Grand Canyon or Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort. We highly suggest cozying up next to their crackling fireplace, heart-warming Illy espresso in hand, if there’s time to skip the expedient drive-thru. Of course, you can always go for a more adventurous beverage like the Fixie Lady, a mix of Yerba mate and roobis tea with raspberry, steamed soy milk, and cinnamon, or a potent demitasse of precious Golden Milk, which consists of turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, honey and steamed almond milk.
Breathing new life into an old wooden house on 12 Mike’s Pike is family-owned Toasted Owl Cafe, a beauty of a big blue cabin whose sun-drenched porch regularly hosts $3 mimosa-heavy brunches chocked full of good vibes. A little bit of everything can be found on their breakfast and lunch menus, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes. The founder, Cecily, has always had a fascination with art, and particularly owl art, therefore, you’re sure to find a wide variety of her funky-looking canvases and pieces throughout the building. Don’t miss out on something that truly belongs in your own home either, all the vintage decor is for sale, YES EVERYTHING, if you see something you like, buy it! Owl salvage for life!
If you enjoyed this guide to the best Flagstaff coffee shops, be sure to check out our guide to the Top 10 Coffee Shops in Sedona, Arizona.