Here in southeastern Connecticut, we’re deep in suburbia and thousands of miles away from the coffee comforts (and fellow snobs) of the Pacific Northwest. In fact, we’re actually surrounded by Dunkin’ Donuts. On every block. 500 in the state, to be exact. But much to our surprise, we’ve found a handful of locally-owned, mom and pop coffee shops we like and visit regularly.
If you’re ever find yourself in New London County, here are five great coffee shops:
Located inside an unassuming strip mall, Macondo is a surprise and delight. One part coffee shop, one part juice bar, Macondo is without a doubt our favorite place (and coffee) we’ve found in this county. We drive out of our way to come here. The shop is tucked away in Stonington, a sweet little borough, and offers free refills on drip coffee, solid Wi-Fi, and beautiful, wooden tables and lots of sunlight. This is my go-to shop to work from.
Go for: delicious coffee, free refills, nice work environment
New London, CT
Washington Street Coffee House is a fun and eclectic cafe and bakery. They sling some serious breakfast sandwiches and burritos, followed by full lunch and dinner menus. Located in the heart of New London, the place is always buzzing with business meetings, book clubbers and friendly get togethers. Parking can be tricky, but once you arrive you won’t want to leave.
Go for: breakfast dates and the fun, social atmosphere
Vault Coffee Roasters is located at Mystic Village, housed inside a sweet, black barnyard building. Vault is Mystic’s original and local craft, coffee roasting company. They offer small batch, hand roasted coffee beans with a full service cafe. Locals know to come early on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, when they sell out of their gourmet, hand-crafted Deviant Donuts. This place is very much to go, they do not offer much seating or public Wi-Fi.
Go for: quick coffee to-go, Deviant Donuts (on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays)
This shop landed a spot on my previous list, and naturally it’s here again. This is the place of pastry dreams, but they technically do serve coffee. From the moment you walk in you have died and gone to carb heaven. Every single weekend this place has a line out the door, but don’t let that scare you. Sift is a French-focused bakery with a wide variety of artisanal breads, breakfast pastries, and sweet and savory delights. We loved the scones, but everyone around us was ordering literally everything off the menu. I don’t think you can go wrong.
Go for: sweet blue coffee cups and carbs (we recommend the blueberry scones)
Gales Ferry, CT
I discovered Mitzi’s early-on when we moved here, as I met with some fellow Navy spouses for a coffee hour. Mitzi’s is located on Route 12 in Gales Ferry, a tiny community just south of the Naval Submarine Base New London. The coffee shop serves up high quality, organic and tasty treats including freshly-baked cookies and (you guessed it) crepes. The staff is so sweet and friendly, and the coffee shop is spacious with plenty of seating and even a conference room you can book. I’ve spent hours here.
Go for: friendly staff (and military discount), homemade cookies and comfortable environment