Best Coffee Shops in Ashland OR
Best Coffee Shops in Ashland OR
When I first moved to Ashland, Oregon, I was pleasantly surprised by the abundance of amazing and unique coffee shops in town. I had often heard of the Northwest’s reputation for high quality coffee, but I didn’t quite expect it in our quaint, Southern Oregon town. I knew the region boasted more sun as compared to many other areas across Oregon, and just imagined less investment in coffee culture – leading to decent, if unspectacular, java. I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong! On a per capita basis, I’m not sure I’ve been to a town with so many great coffee shops and a proud and growing community of coffee roasters and brewers.
Even though there are many great options, to narrow it down – we present our four favorite coffee shops in town, in no particular order.
Coffee – 5/5 – Case roasts and produces one of our favorite coffees in town. And frankly, that’s the quality we are most looking for in a coffee shop. With pour-over coffee, top notch flavor, and consistently the right temperature, Case coffee is worth every penny.
Location – 3.5/5 – Not particularly central in town, it is nicely located directly across from Southern Oregon University and on Siskiyou Blvd, so access is quite good for SOU students and those living on the south side of town. Its street location on a 4 lane road can be a bit heavy on traffic for those seated outdoors. The setting makes it a nice place to make a quick stop before heading out a town on an adventure.
Vibe, Design – 4/5 – Friendliness reigns supreme at Case, as one is always greeted with a smile and a “hello” upon entering. The space has long been on the small side, though current renovations are both expanding the square footage and also adding an expected upgrade to the design element (they’ve hired the construction crew that recently completed the excellent space at NW Raw Juice Bar). Design marks are therefore likely to improve in the coming weeks.
Food – 3.5/5 – As space has been limited, so has the space been limited for food options. However, the options that they do offer are tasty, including pastries – frequently with vegan and gluten-free options – and a few sandwiches options each day.
Outdoor Seating – 3/5 – Case has a few outdoor tables directly in front of its shop, with a larger space to its side that is enclosed on three sides, creating a functional, although pleasant, outdoor seating area. It does have a nice view of SOU’s beautiful Churchill Hall.
Coffee – 4/5 – Rogue Valley Roasting Company serves up really nice, enjoyable coffee, though it doesn’t quite hit it out of the park like some of the competition.
Location – 4/5 – RVRC is located on Main St., and serves two core areas of Ashland as it’s just outside of downtown and on the edge of the Railroad District. While located on Main St., the road is only 2 lanes, so it’s a bit more peaceful than Case on Siskiyou Blvd and a nice area of town to enjoy your coffee on a walk to Railroad Park.
Vibe, Design – 3.5/5 – The square footage at Rogue Valley RC is perfect – big enough to hold a nice amount of people, but not too big that it feels impersonal. It has a rustic feel, and is a perfect spot on a cozy, cloudy or cool day. The staff is always very friendly and welcoming.
Food – 3.5/5 – For a coffee shop, RVRC offers a nice variety of food options, though most of the food is pre-prepped and not made fresh to order. They do offer nice pastries, great smoothies and milkshakes, along with gluten-free and vegan options.
Outdoor Seating – 4/5 – The outdoor seating is spacious, with some sunny spots and some shaded seats, with a couple of nice seats on the front stoop of the cafe. A pleasant spot to quietly enjoy one’s coffee or tea, as well as ample space to meet up with a group.
Coffee – 5/5 – Another roaster offering up top-notch coffee flavor and options. We recommend you try their french press coffee, if you haven’t already.
Locations – 5/5 – Noble is very centrally located in the Railroad District on 4th St between “A” and “B”streets. 4th Street is a relatively calm street as compared to some of the main roads in town. Noble also has a convenient walk-up window locale in the heart of downtown on Main St. that is open during the summer.
Vibe/Design – 4.5/5 – The space is sleek and contemporary, large, and offers a wide variety of seating at tables, couches, bar seating and one larger table that is great for small meetings. The space would receive higher marks if some warmth were added to the scene, which some area rugs or warmer artwork might provide. The friendly staff augments the space.
Food – 2.5/5 – For a location as big as it is, the food is quite limited. While we appreciate a business sticking to its core competencies, a wider variety would seem appropriate. They do offer a few pastries each morning, sometimes a breakfast sandwich, and a gluten-free option(s).
Outdoor Seating – 3.5/5 – The outdoor seating is simple, 2 tops that line the front of the building. 4th Street provides a nice backdrop to the seating area.
Coffee – 4.5/5 – Mix serves up wonderful coffee, but it is slightly higher priced than some of the competitors. Equally great coffee, slightly lower value.
Location – 5/5 – The pricing is likely due to its fantastic location, because it is situated in prime real estate right on Ashland’s plaza and on Guanajuato Way along Ashland Creek.
Vibe/Design – 4.5/5 – The space is beautiful with exposed bricks, large windows, and a downstairs space with a fireplace – boasting the only fireplace in town in a coffee shop, which makes it a great spot for those cold, wintry days. Hipster and friendly staff.
Food – 4.5/5 – Mix Sweet Shop, as their name indicates, excels at providing their own artisanal sweets and treats, including baked goods and ice cream. The food quality is top notch, a larger variety of meal options would provide a perfect score.
Outdoor Seating – 4/5 – The outdoor seating at Mix is limited to a few picnic tables, but its location looking upon the plaza and on the sidewalk make it the ideal spot to people watch, Ashland style.
Boulevard Coffee – Large menu of food, expansive space provides plenty of elbow room, quality coffee, centrally located.
Cafe 116 – Perhaps the best coffee shop for food in town. Do yourself a favor and try the quiche and croissants. We aren’t enamored with their coffee, but taste is, of course, subjective. Centrally located on Lithia Way in downtown Ashland.
Evo’s Coffee Lounge – A long time Ashland coffee institution, Evo’s has an excellent location, parking, and extensive outdoor space.
Bloomsbury Coffee House – A bookworm and coffee lover’s paradise, located within Bloomsbury Bookstore in downtown Ashland.
The Beanery – Large space, affordable and an excellent array of food options, and located near Southern Oregon University.
Have a different take on the coffee shops in town? What coffee, vibe, location, and coffee shop food do you enjoy in Ashland? Share your opinions below!
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