The coffee shop experience goes well beyond coffee alone, and the Indianapolis coffee community understands this well. Circle City offers a variety of interesting and even surprising coffee shop experiences that are certainly worth a trip. One of our founders is an Indianapolis native, and we’re excited to share our recommendations for five exceptional coffee shops the city has to offer.
5 Exceptional Coffee Shops in Indianapolis
These Indy coffee shops all have great stories and truly special environments. You’ll want to make a visit to each of them.
Our top five picks are:
What To Order at the Top Indianapolis Coffee Shops
Now let’s take a closer look at each of these top Indianapolis coffee shops, along with some ideas of what to order while you’re there. While you can’t go wrong with any of the menu items at these places, we’ve included our favorites to inspire you.
Bovaconti Coffee. Image used with permission.
If you’re looking for a history-focused, locally-owned coffee shop that supports Indiana roasters, look no further than Bovaconti Coffee. It’s located in historic Fountain Square in a building once known as the Bovaconti Jewelers building. The coffee shop is an homage to the history of this structure, which dates back to the mid-1800s. The owners are mindful of the details in everything they do, from their coffee to the shop’s incredible ambiance. Exposed brick and a vibrant blue tin ceiling create a special setting for the coffee experience. As a bonus, the Bovaconti patio is dog friendly, so feel free to bring your fur baby along for a pup cup!
Order a Spanish latte with espresso, sweet condensed milk, cinnamon, and steamed milk. Or try a Café Miel with espresso, local honey, cinnamon, and steamed milk for something a little different. And don’t miss their baked goods, especially the almond croissants.
Coat Check Coffee. Photo credit @chazni.
Another incredible coffee shop in a historic spot, Coat Check Coffee is literally in the old coat check closet of the Indianapolis Athenaeum. Built in the 1890s, the Athenaeum was originally named Das Deutsche Haus and was a gathering spot for the German community. It has since evolved to become a city icon.
Coat Check Coffee is known for its lattes, which the shop offers in traditional flavors as well as creative ones, including pistachio, butterscotch, ginger, and lime leaf. Grab a bialy with your cup of joe — we especially love their Caprese and pesto options. They also have a lot of great non-coffee alternatives, like red chai and lemon verbena tea. Don’t miss a tour of this incredible building after you enjoy your coffee!
Commissary Coffee. Image used with permission.
For a truly unique experience, check out Commissary. It’s a full-service coffee bar and barber shop in downtown Indianapolis. Commissary has a full espresso bar and a pour-over bar so they can brew up all of the classics. The Blind Tiger, a small speakeasy-style bar, also resides in the space. So if you’re in the mood for a traditional cocktail, or would rather take your coffee with a nip of something for adults only, they’ve got you covered.
For a unique treat, try Commissary’s ginger lemongrass latte or their Pineapple Ube latte, which pairs perfectly with their frittata croissant. And did we mention their shaken espresso is out of this world? It has a double shot of espresso with simple syrup made from freshly squeezed orange juice and chamomile lavender tea — an interesting twist on a classic.
Crema/Almost Famous. Photo credit Scott Soltys-Curry.
Another incredible coffee shop and bar pairing is Crema and Almost Famous. It’s a coffee shop by day and a fabulous cocktail bar at night. So if you’re loving their coffee so much that you don’t want to leave, well, you don’t have to! This special establishment offers fantastic coffee cocktail beverages as well.
Be sure to try their espresso martini or a Café con Leche to start your day, and then ease into one of their fantastic seasonal “dranks” like their cafe Mazagrán with rum, espresso, lemon, sugar, and mint. And make sure you arrive hungry, as the chef is amazing! The menu has a Spanish flair, complete with Spanish tapas, small plates to share, and entrées that are sure to delight.
Tinker Coffee at The AMP. Photo credit @pinkbikemedia.
Tinker is an incredible coffee roaster. Stop in for a cup or two and leave with bags of your new favorites. They also offer a subscription service, so you can have their beans delivered right to your door! Tinker serves up a variety of different drinks, including traditional drip coffees with two options daily. Their “approachable” drip is more traditional with notes of chocolates and caramels, and their “adventurous” has floral or fruity notes. They also offer great espresso drinks, with fun seasonal favorites like orange spice and cinnamon maple, along with their regular menu, which includes a five-spice latte. Don’t miss their cupping class to learn more about the nuances of coffee!
Tinker has three locations, including their roastery, which is open to the public, and their shop at the Indianapolis airport. So if you’re flying in, start or end your trip with a brew from Tinker.
Looking Forward to the Indianapolis Coffee Shop Experience?
We probably should have started this post with a warning that you just might be booking a trip to Indianapolis by the end of it. This walk down memory lane certainly has us considering another! We just loved this city’s unique takes on the coffee experience, and we can’t wait to go back.
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*Article feature photo: Tinker Coffee at The AMP.