Guide to Coffee Shops in the Iowa City Area

The Iowa City area has a great selection of locally owned, unique coffee shops and cafes. If you are looking for the perfect place to grab a high-quality cup of coffee, meet a friend, host a low-key meeting, or change up your date-night plans, then look no further! This is your guide to coffee shops in the Iowa City area . . . because moms need coffee. Period.

Guide to Coffee Shops in the Iowa City Area

Iowa City area coffee shops


Iowa City

The Java House

211 E. Washington St., Iowa City (plus additional locations)

For 25 years, Java House has offered a great assortment of pour over coffees, espressos and specialty lattes, Ghirardelli frappes, and other sweet treats. Follow them on Facebook or download the app to take advantage of all their great deals and specials. Find other convenient Java House locations on First Avenue and Mormon Trek Boulevard, in the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building, Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City, and most recently in North Liberty.

The High Ground Café

301 E. Market St., Iowa City (plus 2 additional locations in Coralville)

Quality organic coffees and teas, smoothies, beer, wine, and made-to-order sandwiches and panini’s have been found at High Ground Café since they opened in 2013. They also have two additional and convenient locations in Coralville at Iowa River Landing and on 5th Street.

T. Spoons

201 S. Clinton St., Iowa City

T. Spoons is located in the Old Capitol Mall and is a great place to drop in with kids or a group. For extra fun, be sure to brush up on your trivia and check out their festive seasonal drinks!

Prairie Lights Books & Café

15 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

This place is packed with charm and it makes a great family outing! Grab a coffee and head downstairs to let the kids explore the children’s books. Prairie Lights coffeehouse section is located in the same space that the local literary society met throughout the 1930’s which hosted a slew of famous writers. The café serves single origin coffees at reasonable prices and has delicious fresh pastries.

Bread Garden Market

225 S. Linn St., Iowa City

Bread Garden is so much more than a coffee shop but we couldn’t leave them off the list! Aside from the high-quality coffee and bakery, Bread Garden Market offers a delicious hot bar, wine bar, deli, cold-pressed juices, and a large variety of organic, conventional, and gourmet groceries. The enclosed patio is a year-round hot spot and it’s just steps away from the Iowa City Public Library and the ped mall playground, making it an ICMB team favorite!

Nodo Café

5 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City
600 N. Dodge St., Iowa City

There are two locations for this new favorite cafe: a downtown location and a Northside location. In addition to coffee, they have a breakfast and lunch menu of sandwiches, salads, soups, and wraps. The Dubuque Street location also has beer and wine!

Cortado Coffee & Café

26 S. Clinton St., Iowa City

With a European-style espresso bar specializing in quality espresso drinks and drip coffee, Cortado is sure to please the most refined of palates! Their menu includes a full coffee bar, as well as breakfast, sandwiches, salads, and hummus.

The Encounter Café

376 S. Clinton St., Iowa City

Whether you’re hoping to study or visit, The Encounter Cafe provdes a peaceful and comfortable atmosphere to relax in. They strive to use fresh, locally sourced, fair trade ingredients in their breakfast plates, paninis, wraps, smoothies, and coffee beverages.

Poindexter Coffee

210 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

Literary fans will love the author-approved decor at Poindexter Coffee, complete with a wall covered in more than 170,000 No. 2 pencils! Conveniently located on the first floor of the The Graduate Hotel in downtown Iowa City, this coffee shop offers hot breakfast sandwiches, fresh salads, coffee, smoothies, and more.

Dodge Street Coffeehouse

2790 N. Dodge St., Iowa City

With a children’s play corner and friendly and welcoming staff, Dodge Street Coffeehouse is the perfect place to meet a few friends and relax and caffeinate while the kids play. Not only do they serve standard coffeehouse fare like coffee, espresso drinks, tea, and pastries, they also serve pre-made food from several local eateries. Oh, and did we mention they have a drive-thru?!

Press Coffee Co.

1120 N. Dodge St., Iowa City

This shop specializes in french pressed coffee featuring local roasters and a wide-variety of smoothies and “healthier” options. With a cozy location with convenient parking, Press Coffee Co. combines the best of brewing styles with the freshest, locally roasted beans available.

Mammitas Coffee

224 S. Linn St., Iowa City

Having roots from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico is the inspiration for this wonderful Latin infused coffee shop. Enjoy signature drinks, Horchata and Dulce de Leche Lattes and our Mexican sweet bread. Also available is Mammitas Pan con pavo or Mammitas Cuban sandwich, which is a special childhood recipe, paired with plantain chips.

Sidekick Coffee & Books

1310 1/2 Melrose Ave., Iowa City

Pull up a chair with some Heyn’s ice cream on the outdoor patio or enjoy a spacious interior full of great books, coffee, and fresh pastries.


Coralville Coffee Shops

The High Ground Café

1150 5th St., #130, Coralville
925 E. 2nd Ave., Coralville 

Quality organic coffees and teas, smoothies, beer, wine, and made-to-order sandwiches and panini’s have been found at High Ground Café since they opened in 2013. They also have two additional and convenient locations in Coralville at Iowa River Landing and on 5th Street.


North Liberty Coffee Shops

Capanna Coffee & Gelato

710 Pacha Parkway, North Liberty

These gourmet coffees are roasted right at the store for supreme freshness. Plus, the gelato is hand-crafted daily with all-natural ingredients. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the store has a drive-thru–nothing is better than grabbing a cup of coffee without having to unbuckle a car seat!


Where is your favorite coffee shop in the Iowa City area?
Katie is a spouse, mother, and professional communicator. She became acquainted with Iowa City as a student at the University of Iowa, earning degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and most recently her MA in Strategic Communication. Katie and her husband met and fell in love in Iowa City, deciding to never leave. Their family can often be found eating their way through downtown, walking their dog in City Park, or cheering on their beloved Hawkeyes at live sporting events.

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