Wake Up

5 Great Sarasota Coffee Shops

Five of our favorite caffeine-capable coffee counters and their bodacious bean-based beverages.

By Cooper Levey-Baker February 27, 2017

Dragging a bit? Need a wake up? You're in luck. Sarasota has several solid caffeine-capable coffee counters serving bodacious bean-based beverages. Here, in alphabetical order, are five of our favorites.

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Buddy Brew Coffee

A destination where you're guaranteed to run into a friend, Buddy Brew pulls in office drones and downtown dwellers with its creamy lattes and cortados and its well-priced basic drip. The shop itself is small, but it's connected to a sprawling patio with low couches. When the weather's nice, this is the place to go. And if you're really looking to treat yourself, consider one of the shop's seasonal cold brew floats, made with vanilla gelato and caramel syrup. You won't regret the calories.

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The Clever Cup

On any given morning, you'll find this young Gulf Gate shop full of local business folks gabbing, young mamas and papas savoring a sip while their toddlers roll trains along the tables and women in yoga gear celebrating a successful session. It's a great hangout in a neighborhood that deserves one, and it helps that the coffee's great, too. Giant mugs hold oceans of the brewed stuff, with drips that hop the globe. Pastries come from downtown's Sift Bakehouse, and the shop hosts live music and BYOB evening hangouts, too. Clever.

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Image: Pexels

Kahwa Coffee

Situated just steps away from City Hall, Kahwa is a nice meetup spot in a rapidly changing section of downtown. Which means the outdoor seating is nice, but you may need to duck inside to escape the screech and clatter of nearby buildings going up. The coffee's worth it, with an affordable mix of drips and espresso drinks made from beans roasted in the Tampa Bay area. The company began as a wholesale purveyor back in 2006 then opened its first St. Pete location two years later. The downtown Sarasota location popped up last February; a Lakewood Ranch location followed on its heels.

Perq Coffee Bar

Great coffee is both art and science, and it's a combination you'll find at Perq, where caffeine technicians engineer ultra-palatable pour-overs, milky mixes and cold brews, with a rotating selection of ethically sourced beans procured and prepared in a range of styles. But it's not just technical wankery. Perq is a fun, comfortable hangout that works for friendly get-togethers, business meetings and manuscript revisions, and we've even seen a punk rock show or two there. Favorite drinks include the Gibraltar and the Kalita.

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The Reserve

The new kid on the block, The Reserve opened on the North Trail earlier this year. Owners Jessica Simmons and Kim Cressell took three 1933-built buildings and updated them to offer coffee, books and magazines, with a light-strewn courtyard connecting the different indoor spaces. It's a welcome addition to a largely residential section of town that needs more gathering spots. The shop offers the full range of coffee essentials, from pours to shots, lattes and cappuccinos. Welcome to the neighborhood.

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