Caffeine Dreams

The Best Convenience Store and Fast Food Coffees

Cooper Levey-Baker tastes and tells.

By Cooper Levey-Baker February 28, 2018 Published in the March 2018 issue of Sarasota Magazine

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Image: Shutterstock


Transplants from the Northeast freaked out when Wawa moved into the local gas station market a few years ago, in part because of the chain’s decent selection of hot coffees. During a recent fill-up, I enjoyed a 12-ounce cup of a Cuban roast—by far the best coffee I’ve ever gotten at a gas station. Now I get the hype.

Dunkin’ Donuts 

The coffee here is thinner than what you’ll get at Wawa, but some prefer it because of a single winning perk: the drive-through. When you’re too exhausted to even ponder stepping out of your vehicle and you’ve got a screaming kid or two in the back seat, Dunkin’ provides a blessed blast of quick caffeine.


With their “McCafé” menu, the golden arches have tried to brand themselves as a coffee destination in recent years, but the brew here remains unimpressive. The advantage, though, is that there’s a McDonald’s on almost every corner, and they’ve all got drive-throughs. And at just $1 for 12 ounces, it might be the cheapest pour around. 

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