Top 10 Coffee Shops in Lawrence, Kansas

A Guide to Lawrence Coffee Shops

McLain’s Market

Walking distance from the University of Kansas campus, this aesthetically gifted hallmark among Lawrence coffee shops offers guests a bright bohemian atmosphere underscored by earthy tones, vibrant verdure, chic chairs, ample tabletops, comfy couches, a well-furnished second-floor, an outdoor patio, delectable confections, and last but certainly not least, thoughtfully crafted coffee beverages.

While a better environment for productivity would be difficult to imagine, aside from optimum functionality, the attention to detail that has gone into designing McLain’s Market with a delightful balance of charm and utility makes it an easy go-to for daytime meetings with colleagues, long overdue coffee dates, solo study sessions, or private events.


For all those Instagram connoisseurs of cuteness, this visually-satisfying retreat can be found in East Lawrence’s budding Warehouse Arts District – a section of town that was once home to factory buildings but is being revitalized by art galleries, restaurants, and lofts. Decade’s interior features an abundance of crafty wooden furnishings, minimalistic walls, potted plants, plenty of natural sunlight, and remote work amenities. Aside from pour-over coffee, precision espresso, and loose leaf teas, they serve crisp craft beer, wine by the glass, light fare, and full meals.

1900 Barker

Nestled in a beautifully renovated 70s-era laundromat just down the road from The University of Kansas, this adorable little abode was founded by two brothers in their early twenties in the Summer of 2015. Since those early days, 1900 Barker has become a warm and cozy destination for coffee connoisseurs as well as made the Semifinalist List for Outstanding Baker in the James Beard Awards for three consecutive years. That being said, don’t hesitate to pair your usual morning delight with any one of their scrumptious seasonal pastries.

Uplift Coffee

A convenient stop located just off I-70 and near the banks of the Kansas River, Uplift provides guests a homey setting with plenty of seating arrangements, amenities for a productive cafe day, and one tranquil outdoor patio area graced by well-manicured trees, lush foliage, furnishings, and the soothing sounds of a waterfall – occasionally, a local musician too! The picturesque decor serves as an accomplice to delicious coffee beverages, baked goods, breakfast burritos, quiche, paninis, and other foods.

La Prima Tazza

A locally beloved gem among Lawrence coffee shops, La Prima Tazza has been serving patrons tasty takes on their usual caffeinated favorites for over 30 years, along with cold-filtered specialties like the chocolatey Iced Cocoa Cloud and exotic spice hinted Iced Morrocan. What the space may lack in size, it more than makes up for in friendly service, cute potted plant life, masterpiece-adorned walls, elegant ceiling tiles, photogenic appeal, and unmatched windowfront views of the hustle and bustle of downtown.

Z’s Divine Espresso

Whether you’d like to sink into a couch or armchair and appreciate the company of loved ones over a steamy cup of joe, set up in a corner and get lost in the pages of your favorite novel, or work amidst the familiar charm of a reliable neighborhood gathering place, whatever the case may be, Z’s Divine Espresso has got you covered. The drive-thru is an essential part of the south location, with business travelers and busy carpoolers making it the first stop of the day and a quick pick-me-up in the afternoon.

The Java Break

Tucked inside a gorgeous white brick, green-trimmed building snuggled amidst downtown’s Historic storefronts, a step through Java Break’s front door reveals several rooms sporting their own quirky vibe but also some degree of 1950s nostalgia; then there’s the free speech den, which is riddled with creative expressions worth a gander. The coffee will power your late-night study session, as it has many students past, and the cereal bar is a pretty unique touch too, for an amazing price, you can mix and match up to three cereals in one bowl, add a topping like fruit, candy, or peanuts, and then pour milk over the culinary delicacy.

J&S Coffee

Situated in an unassuming strip mall, J&S is a relaxed haven ideal for getting work done, meeting up with others, or just treating yourself, thanks to its comfy seating, speedy WiFi, plug-ins near every chair, and gourmet java that’s been roasted in-house. The staff similarly maintains a tempting selection of signature coffee beverages and small-bites.

The Sconelady’s Coffee Shop

If you truly love and appreciate the art of java, search no further than Sconelady’s, which has been passionate about intentionally roasting the world’s finest coffee beans on-site for over a decade. Plus, they do have a neat lounge area complete with cushioned seating, art-dappled walls, and the equipment responsible for producing that tantalizing aroma and flavorsome taste of freshly roasted java.

Milton’s Cafe

Near and dear to the heart of downtown, Milton’s definitely carries more of a restaurant vibe and that being said, has the best brunch patio in town, offers mimosas, cocktails, beers, carefully crafted espresso drinks, and is known for its ultimate French toast, among other mouthwatering dishes.

Scooter’s Coffee

Scooter’s Coffee is a drive-thru franchise that has been serving world-class coffee for more than 20 years. The menu features an array of specialty espresso beverages, single-origin coffee, fruit smoothies, Red Bull Infusions, Cold Brew, baked-from-scratch pastries, and savory breakfast options ranging from breakfast burritos to hot sandwiches. The Caramelicious is their signature drink, you can’t go wrong with ordering this rich, velvety, caramel gem.

This rapidly blossoming java business started out in 1998 as a single drive-thru coffeehouse in Bellevue, Nebraska clinging to the following principles: find a great location and stay committed to high-quality drinks, speed of service, and a BIG smile. Since those humble beginnings, Scooter’s has grown to over 300 locations in 21 states across the nation!


If you enjoyed this guide to the best coffee shops in Lawrence, check out our list of the Top 10 Coffee Shops in Topeka!


I do not claim to own any of the images used in this article, unless otherwise noted, they are sourced from each business’s Facebook page.