A Guide to Riverside Coffee Shops
Since originally opening decades ago, in 1996, Back to the Grind has consistently established itself as the undisputed, vibrantly decorated center of creative culture among Riverside coffee shops. The five thousand square foot downtown building is split into two floors with the victorian-style cafe accentuated by sophisticated bookshelves, hand-painted tabletops, local artworks, wooden floorboards, an exposed brick wall, and an elevated study nook upstairs. Meanwhile, tucked away in the basement downstairs is the professional stage home to musicians and comedians alike, a pool table, and an underground social area.
Aside from signature, caffeine-enriched drinks like the Red Eye or Back to the Grind, we’re delighted to share, they offer a vast array of invigorating fruit smoothies, hot sandwiches, and vegan-friendly food options.
Sometimes it seems as though the best java gets hidden in unexpected locations, this warehouse flanked cafe, for instance, can be discovered burrowed within an industrial park. A result of the owner’s fruitless search for a comforting home away from home coffee shop experience, Lift Coffee Roasters was founded based on the principle that great coffee creates an exceptional community. With that being said, they responsibly source their coffee beans from unique partners in exotic places and then roast them to peak flavor on site.
The Lift team takes pride in hearing enlivened customers reveal, “I just drank my coffee without cream and sugar for the first time and I loved it.”
Embodying the romantically lit patio storefront beckoning from just across the historic Mission Inn, Molinos Coffee is serendipitously nestled amid vintage antique shops in the heart of quaint downtown Riverside. Their inspiring old-world interior is illuminated by a gorgeous hanging chandelier while also underscored by crafty patterned tiles, an exposed brick wall, and a diverse array of seating arrangements. Were the impressive ambiance not enough, they are largely known for serving some of the most distinctively tasteful Cuban coffee in Southern California, the best spiced and vanilla chai, and of the refreshing sort, organic fruit spangled Acai bowls.
Before operating their very own spacious coffee house complete with high vaulted ceilings, ample seating, and an overall productive work environment, the founders of Arcade Coffee Roasters were heroically slinging fancy lattes from the back of their roastery for the charming price of “pay what you wish.” Although freeloading college students flocked to that infamous garage door in droves, and perhaps due in part to, the city of Riverside shut down the java speakeasy for not meeting permit standards back in 2016. Today, Arcade’s Chicago Avenue store serves as the physical manifestation of a coffee bootlegger’s dream gone right, it also serves bomb breakfast burritos, natural beer and wines, and cold brew growlers!
Sunny days guarantee that the humble neighborhood patio at Crave will be full of locals enjoying a drink or treat while soaking in another ridiculously gorgeous morning in the 909. As for not-so-sunny days, they also offer numerous tabletops complemented by cushioned seating inside the cafe, not to mention, power outlets are bountifully available. We recommend building your own scrumptious bagel using their flavorful assortment of breakfast toppings ranging from proteins like sausage and egg to spreads such as cream cheese and honey!
A minimalistic haunt on Sunnyside Drive, Condron Coffee is brought to life with beautifully placed plants, fair hardwood furnishings, and beams of sunlight pouring through their typically open window shades. The attention seems to be focused on the things that truly matter here, quality time with loved ones, a welcoming gathering space, and soul-warming java creations, such as the tantalizing honey cinnamon and brown sugar cinnamon lattes! Don’t miss out on their scrumptious baked delicacies either, with a green matcha white chocolate chip cookie and treat glazed donuts, among others, your insatiable sweet tooth won’t be disappointed.
Home of who may be the kindest, most generous and helpful baristas around, Twee Coffee is a cozy little hole-in-the-wall cafe that got its start during the pandemic, yet has rather remarkably managed to capture the hearts of locals despite these tempestuous times. Although their ultra friendly service surely has something to do with it, guests also appreciate the vanilla bean, salted caramel, lavender, and vegan chocolate hand-crafted, house-made syrups enhancing the already delicious flavor profile of their drink.
Some of the tastiest amalgamations Twee comes up with are seasonal, like the Strawberry Agave Latte made with espresso, your choice of milk, house strawberry syrup cut with agave; or their refreshing Strawberry Lavender Pop, a mix of house strawberry syrup and house lavender syrup stirred into San Pellegrino topped with vegan whip.
Daily Brew Coffee House has been a neighborhood hallmark for over a decade now, between their comfortable couches, altogether warm atmosphere, and knowledge piled book exchange, a more charming mom and pop cafe experience couldn’t be conceived. Visitors will be encouraged to find their traditional java favorites served alongside a seasonal menu that can feature mouthwatering culinary creations from cinnamon-doused churro toast to nutty butter pecan oatmeal.
Located in the retro Brockton Arcade shopping mall, the staff at Kraemer’s Koffee Bistro has been energizing inland empire mornings with caffeinated beverages since they first opened in 1992, making this cafe one of the most deeply rooted Riverside coffee shops there is. Indulge in a customizable, modestly priced hot bagel, croissant, or panini sandwich while sipping on that soothing cup of wonderfully familiar joe.
Taking up residence within The Grove Community Church, The Hub coffee bar is open Tuesday through Friday and before each of the church’s three services on Sunday.
If you enjoyed this guide to the best Riverside coffee shops, be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Coffee Shops in Orange County!