Murray Street Coffee Shop

Holy Jesus. Can you believe it’s already 2018? And basically the middle of January already? It’s mildly disgusting if you ask me. This month hasn’t been going the way I originally anticipated it would but I still have a pretty solid feeling about 2018 in general.

Anyway, I figured while I’m doing some work, I’d check out a new coffee shop in a part of Dallas that I don’t frequent nearly enough. It’s Murray Street Coffee Shop in Deep Ellum — basically the hub of Dallasite wannabe hipsters. The land of quality food, great food, and even better people watching. Bonus points if it’s late at night too.

This place was a little hard to find and is off the main path of Deep Ellum. But it’s cute, quaint, and two stories! I’m in the loft area at a giant table which I’m sure is made of reclaimed wood. This place is cozy, inviting, and warm. Which is even better in this weird cold front Dallas is currently having. It’s 19 degrees and I definitely thought I left subfreezing temperatures when I left Chicago. But clearly, I’m wrong this time.

Murray Street Coffee Shop appears to be in a work loft type of space and the upper level is split into two sections, connected by a FANTASTIC staircase. It’s really cozy up here, and the aesthetic makes me want to plop on the couch and watch the people go by on the street more so than anything else.

Anyway, I’d recommend this place if you need a grab & go coffee for a day of exploring Deep Ellum. But I’m not sure if I’d recommend it to stay and work in. It seems like the type of place since it’s small and is two levels, that would get loud pretty easily with minimal people.  The art on the walls is definitely pretty quality though.

4/5

 

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Matcha Bar — Silverlake

I am obsessed with the LA neighbourhood, Silverlake. It’s the first neighbourhood I lived in when I moved to LA a few years ago and was sad to move to Hollywood. Like, genuinely sad. Not that Hollywood doesn’t  have its perks. And no, I’m not talking about the Hollywood you see in the movies. But anyway. Moving on,

I met up with my nutritionist/health coach over in Silverlake (hey Stevie) at this matcha place just off Sunset Boulevard, smack dab in the middle of Silverlake. And it made my internal hipster heart a little bit warmer and a little bit more organic.

The place is called MatchaBar and apparently, it started in New York City of all places. This location is not only their first LA storefront but also seemingly their first venture out on the West Coast (best coast!). Their bread & butter is a matcha latte and for those who haven’t heard of matcha before, IT’S AMAZING. Apparently, it’s basically (one of) nature’s energy drink(s). It’s a green tea basically that’s full of anti-oxidants, naturally detoxifies, boosts metabolism, and other added benefits. Plus it’s caffeinated but doesn’t leave you feeling jittery. Like, at all.  One downside-depending on the kind you get, it can taste like grass at first. But I promise, add a little bit of honey and the right kind of milk and you’ll be in love. Promise.

Anyway, MatchaBar has a variety of other drinks too that all have a matcha base, as does most of their food as well. So you’re getting hipstery whoo goodness in a drink that’ll warm you right up and give you so many benefits. Plus, the decor is beyond adorable and the staff, at least the people working when I was there, are super helpful & friendly, even if you have no idea what you’re doing. Lot’s of greens, blues, and cozy colours.

But if you’re near a location, stop in and get some matcha! It’ll change your life a bit. And if you’re looking to jumpstart your fitness and health for 2018, definitely reach out to Stevie and tell her i sent you!

Toasted Coffee + Kitchen

So honest tidbit, the only reason I came here to work was because I have to pick up some alterations down the street and it’s in a neighbourhood (knox/henderson and Lower Greenville) I’m lowkey in love with. And I’ve been itching to find a coffee shop nearby so I could have a reason to come that didn’t involve food trucks or late nights that turn into mornings.

Anyway, I found this place on Yelp and I was instantly sold when I scrolled thru the photos. It’s so hipster that their avocado toast has TWO KINDS OF SIRACHA. the only reason I didn’t get it because I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to the green siracha. Which is just a travesty in of itself. Anyway, first I got their lavender latte — which you CAN CHOOSE WHAT COFFEE BEANS GO INTO YOUR LATTE — and the barista recommended the Ethiopian since I was getting a floral syrup. Can you tell this place is super hipster already?

Then I got their drip coffee and I tried their Guatamala coffee. Which isn’t my favourite by default but still pretty quality. I didn’t try any of their food since I wasn’t super hungry but their menu looked amazing. And the decor is basically an industrial hipster’s dream. Exposed brick, no lampshades over the lights, and lots of exposed beams. Super cute yet also weirdly functional. ANd they have a dog-friendly patio. It’s basically my dream of a coffee shop.

Anyway, this place is adorable. I could easily spend all day here if they wouldn’t kick me out and I had an endless supply of money in my bank account. The decor goes together really well, the baristas (at least the one I had) are super friendly, and I love it here. Plus, they have a hodge podge of for here mugs, which just makes my life.

10/5 

Drugstore Cowboy

So I’m in Deep Ellum because, honestly, I needed time to be surrounded by my fellow hipsters and to have some me time. Deep Ellum in Dallas is the cliché hipster neighbourhood here. It’s grungy, there’s coffee shops everywhere, and bars that probably serve drinks I cannot even pronounce. Plus, everything seems to be fair trade, vegan friendly, and it feels comforting to be in this neighbourhood for some reason. Maybe it’s the concert venues, maybe it’s the constant flow of coffee & donuts, or maybe it’s just the gritty feeling of it mixed with up & coming. It’s probably the gentrification of it that feels familiar of the Bay unfortunately.

But anyway. I saw Drugstore Cowboy when I was getting brunch with a few friends the weekend before next door. I wanted to stop in but after brunch, i couldn’t justify another cup of strong coffee. But I’m definitely glad I stopped in when I did.

I took Sunday morning while my boyfriend went to work to take myself on a date to Deep Ellum and finally check out this super hipster coffee joint out for myself. It looks like it’s almost in an old pharmacy storefront with the reclaimed wood bar and the industrial feel to it. And I’m sure that’s exactly what they’re going for with the name. It perfectly encapsulates Texas with hipster. It’s adorable.

I went for their drip coffee and some water as I’ve had more than my alloted lattes for the week and I’m trying to stick to my diet. But dang, even their drip coffee is strong. It makes me wonder what their espresso drinks are like. Maybe next time I’ll try their lavender or flavoured lattes. Since we all know anything lavender is my jam.

This place is especially cute because it reminds me a little of my old neighbourhood in Chicago. It has open mic nights and an open jam session too. Of course they’re way past my bed time or else I’d check them out. Maybe next weekend I’ll make myself stay up til 10PM to see what local artists are coming up here. I’m thinking date night with the boo?

I’m not sure if I’ll be frequenting this spot for more than a cup of joe and go but the reclaimed wood tables and cozy feel are definitely a hipster paradise. Plus, they sell kombucha — a major selling point for me, not going to lie. And if you decide to imbibe, their alcohol options are from local Dallas or Texas breweries and they have extensive options available. I’m taking a bit off from drinking so I can really focus on finding work that makes me excited (besides this blog of course!) and it’s really nice to see a spot really dedicate their menus to supporting local companies.

Anyway, if you’re in the Dallas area and need a real dose of hipster, check out Drugstore Cowboy. Their coffee is strong, the baristas are cool, and you’ll have some quality people watching — even at 10AM on a Sunday!

Dollop Coffee

Okay so I’m finally settling into a routine back here in Texas and knew that i HAD to do a post on Dollop Coffee in Chicago’s Gold Coast. This place is freakishly adorable and only a couple blocks to Lake Michigan. Which is just plain fantastic since if you sit in the right spot on their patio, you can totally see the lake. And if it’s nice out, there’ll be people out enjoying the start of summer.

If you’ve never been to Chicago, I definitely recommend checking out the lake and surrounding areas. It’s got this vibrancy that isn’t really similar to any place else unless you grew up on an ocean or at another spot on Lake Michigan. This body of water is freakishly huge — i’m still sometimes surprised it’s a lake. But anyway, back to coffee.

Apparently, Dollop Coffee has a few spots around Chicago but the one I went to is just off the Miracle Mile, a go to if you’re a shopping fanatic. I’m not but kudos if you are. I ordered their almond milk vanilla latte and though it wasn’t the best cup I’ve ever had, the location, atmosphere, and the staff more than made up for it.

Their pastries looked fantastic but my stomach was acting funny so decided to stay with something I already knew and take a walk in my old stomping grounds. But this place is small, cute, and totally perfect for what a local Chicago coffee shop should be.

4/5 

4/5

The Coffee Shop in Lafayette, CA

So I recently went back to my hometown/part of California last week for part business part finally seeing my parents new house in the East Bay of San Francisco. And during my super short vacation to my favourite state, I caught up with an old friend of mine who i’ve known since middle school at a place called The Coffee Shop.

At first, when he mentioned meeting there for coffee and catching up, i didn’t know that its actual name was The Coffee Shop. But apparently they also have a location in Walnut Creek and though it may insanely hipster, it has a great atmosphere and great caffeine. I got their matcha latte (sorry, diet, but at least it’s high in antioxidants?) and my friend got some of their coffee. Their ‘for here’ cups are insanely adorable and this great blue colour. And it was a great day for sitting out on their patio at one of the high tops.

I was a little worried when i first walked up because the line was almost out the door and it was only 1030AM or so. I thought at least we’d beat the morning rush! But the line was worth it. The staff was friendly and I wish i lived in he area still so I could make this spot a regular go to to work at! Super cute and in downtown Lafayette as well.

Plus, their colours are yellow, gray, and blue with a logo of an upside down man with a bowler hat. Can it get any more fantastic than that?!

If you’re in the Lamorinda area and have some extra time, check this spot out! There might be a line but it’ll be worth it. I can’t wait to try some of their food and stronger caffeine the next time!

Bulletproof Coffee

If you’re on Instagram or follow any health/wellness bloggers, you’ve probably heard of the caffeine trend known as Bulletproof Coffee. It’s supposedly got healthy fats and supposed to help increase brain activity or something. To be honest, I always get really confused in the wellness world what triggers brain function, what increase metabolism, and the like. There are just so many outlets and it’s tough to know where to even start!

Anyway, I follow a few and my holistic coach posted something about this contraption drink called Bulletproof coffee. And I figured I’d give it a shot.  It has cold brew coffee, ghee (vegan butter, basically), coconut oil (or MCT oil if you want to get real fancy), and a few other things. I blended some up the night before last and had some this morning. And to be honest, I WAS IN LOVE WITH IT. I’m still getting the flavouring right and how to get the ingredients right.

But surprisingly, given I’m a tea person and not really a fan of cold brew to begin with, I liked Bulletproof Coffee. It made me feel more alert in the morning and it made me feel fuller in combination with some breakfast. If you even google the name of it, you’ll find a slew of recipes. But I love the ones by The Balanced Blonde, The Balanced Berry, and some by Live Wright Wellness. And I’m trying some with blackberries for tomorrow morning. Because, you know, fruit and stuff.

It’s definitely a customizable recipe. Some recommend adding cinnamon but honestly, I couldn’t ever really taste it when i added it to mine. So play around with the recipes you find and let me know what you like the most!

Let me know what y’all want to see from the blog this year! I’m in the process of doing some YouTube videos too and will post them here when they’re live.