OK, my husband and I are coffee people. And with every move, no duty station feels like home until we find our coffee shop. Poulsbo, we’re looking at you Hot Shots and Cups. Monterey, we miss you Captain + Stoker and Bright Coffee.
Here in southeastern Connecticut, we’re deep in suburbia and thousands of miles away from the coffee comforts (and fellow snobs) of the Pacific Northwest. In fact, we’re actually surrounded by Dunkin’ Donuts. On every block. 500 in the state, to be exact. Now, nothing’s wrong with Dunkin’. But much to our surprise we’ve found a handful of locally owned, mom and pop coffee shops we like and visit regularly.
If you’re ever stationed in Groton, here are five great coffee shops and bakeries to try (including their current, COVID-19 policies):
Located inside an unassuming strip mall, Macondo is a surprise and delight. One part coffee shop, one part juice bar, Macondo is without a doubt our favorite place (and coffee) we’ve found in this county. We drive out of our way to come here. The shop is tucked away in Stonington, a sweet little borough, and offers free refills on drip coffee, solid Wi-Fi, and beautiful, wooden tables and lots of sunlight.
COVID-19: Macondo currently has a walk-up window you can order from, and they also take pre-orders via their website. Baked goods are still available but limited.
New London, CT
Washington Street Coffee House is a fun and eclectic cafe and bakery. They sling some serious breakfast sandwiches and burritos, followed by full lunch and dinner menus. Located in the heart of New London, the place is always buzzing with business meetings, book clubbers and friendly get togethers. Parking can be tricky, but once you arrive you won’t want to leave.
COVID-19: Washington Street Coffee House is currently open for limited indoor and outdoor seating and to-go orders. The shop offers delivery via DoorDash.
Vault Coffee Roasters is located inside Olde Mistick Village, housed inside a sweet, black barnyard building. Vault is Mystic’s original and local craft, coffee roasting company. They offer small batch, hand roasted coffee beans with a full service cafe. Locals know to come early on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, when they sell out of their gourmet, hand-crafted Deviant Donuts. In July the two brands merged and opened an exciting, larger business just two steps up from the original building.
COVID-19: Vault Coffee and Deviant Donuts are open for business, but no seating.
Sift is the place of pastry dreams, but they technically do serve coffee. From the moment you walk in you have died and gone to carb heaven. Every single weekend this place has a line out the door, but don’t let that scare you. Sift is a French-focused bakery with a wide variety of artisanal breads, breakfast pastries, and sweet and savory delights. We loved the scones, but everyone around us was ordering literally everything off the menu. I don’t think you can go wrong. Owner Adam Young, named Food Network’s Best Baker in America, is a magician.
COVID-19: Sift Bake Shop is open with limited, outdoor seating. A limited number of patrons are allowed inside at a time, with social distancing markers in line. Also check out their rooftop Mix at Sift, which offers additional seating and a coffee/juice bar in the mornings.
If Sift is the place of pastry dreams, its latest venture, Young Buns Doughnuts, is its younger, hipster cousin. Located in the former Bartleby’s Café space, the new doughnut shop serves up delicious, no fuss donuts with Sift’s signature charm. According to its website, Young Buns offers 9 signature flavors with rotating, monthly specials (and plans for GF, vegan options soon).
COVID-19: Young Buns is open for grab-in-go business, no seating.
Did we forget another coffee shop? Where do you like to grab coffee? Comment below!