Caffeinated Ride: Best American Bike Cafes

We dug into the world of cranks, chains, roasters and grinders to find the most bike-friendly, bike-themed, sometimes bike-shop, coffee houses in North America. Here’s a spread of continental options.

Velo Cult (Portland, Ore.)

We had the pleasure to visit Velo Cult earlier this year – part bike shop, part beer hall, part movie theater, and, yes, part cafe. You’ll find a dozen beers on tap – all craft – to celebrate a long ride and enough caffeine to get you going again.

Red Lantern Bicycles (Brooklyn, NY)

If function trumps form and you like your coffee and your bicycles made from scratch, Red Lantern is the spot for you. The shop roasts its own beans and caters to a host of eclectic and dietary preferences with house-made cashew, sunflower, and almond milk, while wheel building, bike fit, and urban beaters are assembled in back.

One On One Bike Studio (Minneapolis)

An epicenter of the Minneapolis bike scene, One On One serves coffee, sandwiches, and soup up front. Art installations, a sales floor, and a full shop unfurl as you walk toward the back doors. Head downstairs to a bike-parts “graveyard,” or out the rear loading dock to see the infamous alley behind the building that’s for years served as a meeting spot and hub for urban bike culture that dominates in this city. (photo courtesy Hugger Industries via Flickr)

Crank and Grind (Dana Point, Calif.)

First and foremost a coffee shop for coffee people – with beans sourced from roasters around the country- Crank and Grind has an attached bike shop, called Bike Religion, so bikers have something to keep them busy while they drink “coffee snob” brew.

Gravel and Grind (Frederick, Md.)

The folks at Gravel and Grand take their coffee and bikes seriously, as evidenced by their choice of single-origin, Native Shade Grown Peruvian Single Estate Coffee for the house brew, and the list of bike brands they keep stocked – Soma, All City, and Rivendell, to name a few.

Folsom Grind and Folsom Bike (Folsom, Calif.)

Both the bicycle and coffee menu at Folsom Grind have something for everyone – from beginner riders and coffee newbies, to high-end road racers and double-pump-sugar-free-vanilla-single-shot-soy-latte regulars – not too snobby, not too deep.

Angry Catfish (Minneapolis)

Bikes, coffee, art – not necessarily in that order. Angry Catfish does boutique-style coffee roasted by Intelligentsia, they’re known to host barista jams and latte art throwdowns, and they service and sell very pretty, very pricey bikes.

Denver Bike Cafe (Denver)

You’re more likely to notice Denver Bike Cafe’s lineup of a dozen Colorado craft brew taps first – and the urban and recreational bike culture permeate throughout – but DBC offers locally roasted coffee in a variety of brew methods for the most erudite coffee nerds.

Maglianero (Burlington, Vt.)

Healthy minds and healthy palates – Maglianero markets its shop as a haven for culture, thought, and urban cyclists. No bike shop here, just a locally embraced pit stop for serious and casual cyclists to enjoy “ethically and transparently sourced” Counter Culture coffee.

Ride Studio Cafe (Lexington, Mass.)

Just outside of Bean Town, Ride Studio Cafe makes its name on friendliness and convenience – two things often lacking in bikes and bike culture. Full breakfast menu (and oatmeal bar!) for the fuel, and a bike service station that offers nifty features like 24-hour-turnaround on most repairs, the most open hours of any Boston-area shop, and bike pickup and delivery for service.

Metier (Seattle)

Probably the most hip locale on this list, Metier is not just a bike shop, not just a coffee cafe, it is all those things AND a high-end training and workout facility for serious bikers, yogis – even acupuncture treatments. Coffees are single-origin and craft-roasted from a handful of west-coast roasteries.

Tandem Bike Cafe (Vancouver, B.C., Canada)

Like its name suggests, Tandem is the place to go if your ride differs from that of the typical biker. Tandem specializes in two-person cruisers and cargo bikes, fixes up old frames for sale, and offers a host of repair services for any bike. Enjoy locally roasted and baked coffee and treats while you chat up the owners Clint John (bike side) and Brett Summers (coffee side). And yes, we know it’s in Canada. North American, OK?

Over The Bar Bike Cafe (Pittsburgh)

Technically, there is coffee at Over The Bar, so it qualifies for the list. But OTB is really a burger and brew hangout with a serious bike hangup (see the Tangled Spokes appetizer, Cog salad, or Chicken Fenders on the menu). Do not roll through Pittsburgh without stopping in for $1 beers during happy hour and some friendly chat with other bike nuts.

Velocity Bike And Bean (Florence, Ky.)

Kentucky is up and coming in the bicycle scene – Louisville was recently voted one of the top 10 bike cities in the U.S. – and Velocity Bike and Bean is a testament to that. Its partner roaster, Carabello Coffee, began in the shop and moved across the border to Cincinnati. VBB is one of the more relaxed hangout spots on the list, with live music happening weekly throughout the summer, it’s easy to forget this coffee house has a full-service bike shop and sales floor.

South Mountain Cycles And Cafe (Emmaus, Pa.)

Proudly serving organic coffee and local biscotti, South Mountain Cycles and Cafe caters to road riders, BMXers, MTB bombers, and the urban fixie crowd. The shop offers full biker service and sales.

Heritage Bicycles (Chicago)

Craft-roasted coffee, a full service bike shop, a brew bar, and a line of in-house frames… Heritage is a kitsch, professional hangout. It has a do-anything RV that serves as a traveling bike-service station and pop-up coffee shop all over the city.

Juan Pelota Cafe / Mello Johnny’s (Austin, Texas)

Part of Mellow Johnny’s bike shop in downtown Austin, Juan Pelota is a piece of the city’s whole-bike culture. While Mellow Johnny’s outfits racers, urban fixie riders, and commuters, Pedal Hard training center – an affiliate – helps build on the racing ethos Lance Armstrong helped create two decades ago, and Juan Pelota rounds out with hip, “third wave” coffee motifs. Think Chemex brews, Stumptown beans, and crazy latte art.

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