South Bend: For the Coffee Lover

Starbucks is great, don’t get me wrong. But every once in a while you need a venti iced caramel macchiato break. Although we live in the Notre Dame “bubble,” there are many ways we can venture out into the real world. South Bend’s “urban small town” culture offers one great way to begin to explore the area surrounding our campus: coffee shops. With just a quick five-minute drive or twenty-minute walk, some of the cutest and coziest coffee shops are right at your disposal.

Here are five very viable locations for the dream coffee date, relaxing study session, mini-escape from campus or just the right place for a comforting cup of coffee:

  1. This little coffee stop is the very definition of a small town community. Run by volunteers, The Local Cup has the perfect neighborhood feel to hang out with friends or simply be surrounded by welcoming new faces in the South Bend community. It is also a pay-it-forward coffee stop! The coffee you order has been paid for by a neighbor that stopped in before you. Embody the spirit of this coffee shop by returning the favor with what you have and help the community with your gratitude and generosity. 

  2. The General is a more modern twist on the local cafe. With a slogan like “laid back local,” there is no excuse not to lounge around on a lazy Sunday with a cup of their coffee. From rustic accents to modern display shelves, this shop will satisfy any Instagram feed, not to mention that the food is really pretty too. If you don’t like coffee, no worries! Not only is this shop aesthetically pleasing, but it also serves a variety of rich and amazing food. 

    Example:

                                              THE GENERAL

    Cheddar, feta, pepper jack, tomato, Sriracha mayo on cracked wheat

  3. This cafe might be one of the most iconic spots for coffee in South Bend. Right as you walk in the door, you are filled with the warmth and smell of brewing coffee. There is so much to commend, but they say it best on their website as they write, “Your day is sure to be off to a great start, especially with hot fresh beignets or [a] breakfast po’ boy sandwich to go with your favorite java. Sip gorgeous lattes and cappuccinos, from locally roasted organic fair-trade beans, made by baristas who know the subtleties of coffee drinks and can tell you the stories behind the French chicory that goes into every pot of our Café Noir drip.”

  4. A relatively new addition to the South Bend coffee game, this cafe continues the legacy of great coffee and friendship that the old Coffee Shop at Lasalle was dedicated to. With a french press, drip coffee, mocha lattes with all of the whipped cream and that much-needed espresso, South Blend Cafe offers the variety that a coffee afficienato needs. It also provides the option of non-dairy milk, providing yet another reason for anyone and everyone to go. 

  5. I had to save this one for last because it isn’t entirely a local cafe. There are other South Bend Chocolate Cafes in the region, but the one in South Bend is the original. With couches and fireplaces for seating, this spot provides the perfect casual date atmosphere. Not only do they have coffees that warm the soul, they also have a large selection of chocolates, candies, ice creams and desserts to feed your soul as well. It's very easy to get lost in every display case.

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