Like sixty-four percent of American adults, we drink coffee literally every day. But never with more enthusiasm and joy than on cold winter mornings, when the forecast threatens snow and the sun hangs low until after the workday begins, then slinks out of sight before it’s over. So January seems like a good time to take stock of the city’s best new coffee shops, which have continued opening apace despite the shifting dynamics of post-peak pandemic life.
We’ve visited every notable new opening to select eight favorites that can warm you up on these chilly winter days, from a tiki-themed shop in the Crossroads that will transport you to warmer climes to a seventies-chic shop in Overland Park that’ll have you feeling whacked on scooby snacks.
Notably missing from this list is Cafe Cà Phê, which has closed its temporary location while preparing to open its brick and mortar—we’re excited to see what the city’s first Vietnamese coffee shop looks like in its new form.
523 Southwest Blvd., KCMO. Open 8 am–4 pm Tuesday–Friday and 9 am–3 pm Saturday–Sunday.
Mexican-owned and Latin American-inspired Cafe Ollama brews their special blend of coffee slowly in a traditional Mexican clay jar known as a barro. Their specialty, café de olla, is a traditional coffee spiced with cinnamon, star anise and piloncillo with roots dating back to the Mexican revolution. All of their drinks are named after owner Lesley Reyes and her husband’s abuelas, bringing a little slice of Mexican culture to their Southwest Boulevard location. —SG
Rock Island Coffee
6515 Railroad St., Raytown. Open 8 am–2 pm Friday and 7 am–2 pm Saturday–Sunday.
Thatcher Rogers has been around coffee for his entire life. His dad was a longtime senior Starbucks employee. “From when I was born to when I left the house for college, my dad was all coffee,” says Rogers, who owns and operates Rock Island Coffee KC in the front corner of Raytown’s Crane Brewing. Rogers grew up in Atlanta and went to college in South Carolina, where a college internship led to him meeting KC-based coffee consultant Tracy Allen. Rogers was so impressed that he paid to fly himself into KCI twice a month to study in Allen’s lab. Rogers eventually moved here to work for Allen’s coffee consultancy, but on weekends he now has his own project, Rock Island Coffee. Rogers roasts and prepares everything himself for the tiny operation—a perfectly balanced Mexican chile cortado on a recent visit showed off his skills. —MC
519 E. 18th St., KCMO. Open 7 am–10 pm Monday–Saturday and 9 am–6 pm Sunday.
The Crossroads’ tiki-themed coffee shop and art collective space, Hitides, is a rad spot that will have you feeling like it’s summer year round. They do classic espresso drinks, drip and pour-over coffee, cold brew, tea and hot chocolate, including a black lava sea salt hot chocolate. But their specialties include a creamy smooth dole whip, prickly palm lemonade and a sea rose latte topped with dried rosebuds. Hitides has also paired up with Donutology and Meshuggah Bagels to offer a selection of tropical donut and bagel flavors like a Coconut Rum donut and Redtide Berry Bagel Toast. —MH
Photography by Natalea Bonjour
8350 W. 151st St., Overland Park. Open 8 am–6 pm Tuesday–Friday, 8 am–4 pm Saturday and 9 am–4 pm Sunday.
Overland Park’s Jinkies is decorated with seventies swag and references, from the Scooby Doo-named lemonades to the vintage records hanging on the walls. Mother-daughter duo Lisa and Madi Dombrowski own the shop and pride themselves on their one-of-a-kind seasonal flavors, such as their cereal milk- and popcorn-flavored lattes featured last summer and this past holiday season’s Funky Mittens latte that combined s’mores and raspberry flavoring and was topped with toasted marshmallows, chocolate sauce and a red drizzle. —AS
3940 Main St., KCMO. Open 7 am–2 pm Tuesday–Saturday and 8 am–2 pm Sunday.
Transit Coffee took over a Main Street space that formerly housed one of the city’s most prominent coffee shops, Oddly Correct, which is now on Troost. Transit opened quietly last September, staying under the radar due to streetcar construction. When you do find your way in—the baristas on duty expect things to stay slow until the traffic cones come down—you’ll find the same warm, brick-walled space, plus a small food menu and some creative drinks, including, on our visit, a miso-caramel latte that brought out the best in its salty, umami-dense ingredients. —MC
719 N. Sixth St., KCK. 7 am–1 pm Monday–Friday.
Black-owned Kinship Cafe is about more than coffee. It’s about community. The cafe, located in the Strawberry Hill District and owned by TJ Roberts, holds everything from meditation sessions to financial literacy and career path trainings in their space on the evenings and weekends to provide the Kansas City community with equitable programs. Kinship’s specialty, the Flash Brew, is made with beans from Black Drip Coffee, a Kansas City Black-owned company, and brewed over ice to reduce acidity and bitterness. Kinship also plans to feature coffee from different local roasters to provide something new each quarter. —SG
Photography by Caleb Condit & Rebecca Norden
When Armando Vasquez and Michael Hastings couldn’t find the support they needed to move forward with their business in JoCo as an interracial gay couple, they headed to the Manheim Garden Neighborhood. In 2019, they opened Anchor Island on Troost, becoming the owners of KC’s first LGBTQIA+, Latino- and American-owned tropical coffee shop. Some of their unique creations include the Dirty Sunrise, an orange juice drink with an espresso shot, cherry flavor and dark chocolate, and a Green Espresso, an unroasted, earthy coffee beverage. (Anchor Island is the only coffee shop in the U.S. to serve green espresso.) —MH
9127 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. Open 6 am–8 pm Monday–Friday and 7 am–7 pm Saturday–Sunday.
Austin-born Summer Moon has locations across Texas, from Houston to El Paso, all serving coffee made from beans that are roasted over oak in a pit that looks like something you’d make briskets on. Their drinks use a proprietary moon milk-sweetened creamer—the recipe is so secret even the employees don’t know what’s in it, though Redditors have some interesting theories. Summer Moon recently expanded to a plaza near downtown Overland Park, and the moon milk lattes are the main draw, along with the stylish and comfortable space.—MC