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Top 5 coffee shops to stop in before the festival

-Tyler Parton, Roots N Blues Intern

Listen, festival weekend is great. We know this. But, it’s also exhausting. Spending three days in the sun and nonstop dancing around can be completely draining. The good news is that Columbia happens to be equipped with more coffee shops than you can count. You’re gonna need to load up on caffeine to keep the party going all festival weekend, and these coffee joints can help you with that. To help you navigate the tens of places that you could choose from, we made a list of the top five places you’ll want to check out before heading to the festival grounds. But don’t worry, we have coffee on-site, too.

5. Fretboard

Location: 1013 E Walnut St.

I’m not sure what I like most about Fretboard: their roasts, their coffee truck, or their live music.  Luckily, you don’t have to choose. Tucked away in the North Art District, Fretboard is a place for coffee-lovers and art-lovers alike.  If you’re looking to kill some time, take a stroll through the back of this shop into their own local art gallery. It’s truly one-of-a-kind and a hidden gem in Columbia.

4. Uprise Bakery

Location: 10 Hitt St.

Whether you’re looking for a place to wake up or wind down, Uprise is the place for you.  Their coffee and bakery fresh goods are a great morning treat. And if you’re looking for a place to end your day, they have a full service bar and a great wine-night atmosphere to catch up with friends. Plus, Ragtag Cinema, Columbia’s local independent film theater, is attached to Uprise, so be sure to stop in for a showing. 

3. Kaldi’s

Location: 29 S 9th St.

Originally a roastery based in St. Louis, the love of Kaldi’s roasts quickly spread to coffee-lovers across Missouri. The atmosphere is buzzing and the coffee is strong, making it another great spot to visit on your way to the festival. And if you’re there in time for lunch, Kaldi’s is a great spot to grab a bite to eat as well. 

2. Shortwave

Location: 915 Alley A

Located off of 9th Street in my personal favorite part of downtown, Alley A, sits a hip, underground coffee shop by the name of Shortwave.  The coffee bar offers a wide variety of coffees from cold brews to pour-overs, and their baristas never fail to make it perfect every. single. time. If you go, I highly recommend their cold brews for a good pick-me-up, or, for a less caffeinated option, their iced chai lattes. You won’t be disappointed.

1. Lakota

Location: 24 S 9th St.

Conveniently located on 9th Street, Lakota Coffee Company is home to students and professionals alike.  The store’s comfy seating atmosphere and locally sourced wall decorations create the ideal atmosphere to start your day with.  From their daily spread of coffee flavors to their full service kitchen, a stop into Lakota is the perfect place for a coffee date during the festival. They’ll also have a tent at the festival, so you can get there brews all weekend long. 

photo via Shutterstock