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My Favorite Coffee Shops & Cafes Across CNY

Somewhat new to the the freelance/work-from-home life, I've found myself trying out a huge number of new coffee shops to find interesting new spaces to work. Not only is it absolutely necessary for me to fuel up at the start of my work days, but it's important to me to support local small businesses for the sole reason that, well, I survive off of that same support.

For all my other work-from-wifi readers out there, I've put together a list of some of my favorites across the Central New York area so that your caffeine needs are covered no matter where you travel across the state. Happy sipping!

Peaks Coffee Co.

Location: Syracuse University area

I love Peaks for so many reasons, but #1 being how friendly the baristas always are, how much they love what they do, and how they're always so willing to craft up a unique drink based on whatever you're craving that day.

Try while you're there: If you're lucky enough to be at Peaks when Mylk and Honey's baked goods are in stock, consider yourself blessed. Siobhan makes the most incredible macarons, donuts and poptarts. Yes, you heard me right - homemade poptarts. I've had the strawberry and pumpkin so far, and keep trying to get my hands on an oreo cheesecake, but I can never make it before they're sold out (if that's any indication of how delicious they are).

Cafe at 407

Location: Liverpool

I'll admit, the first time I came here it was to take a picture in front of the mural. But one bite into my gluten-free panini later, I was hooked. Hands down one of my favorite work spots due to the available parking and the fact that I never feel like it gets over-crowded. What's cooler yet is that all of Cafe 407's proceeds go to benefit Ophelia's Place, a nonprofit dedicated to changing the culture and conversation around eating disorders and body image.

Try while you're there: Nitro cold brew. And, if you like a savory breakfast, definitely try the egg bowl.

Soleil Cafe

Location: Fayetteville

I'm in Fayetteville almost every day. It doesn't make any sense (I live in Tipp Hill) but it's a force of habit by now. My gym is out that way, my favorite stores are out that way, and if I ever decided to stay in New York (I wouldn't), this is where I'd live. With that being said, I find myself at Soleil quite a bit. It's the perfect location for business meetings and getting blogs written on short turnaround.

Try while you're there: Soleil has a show-stopper pumpkin spice latte. Starbucks doesn't even begin to compare. Try it for yourself!


Location: Pompey

While not necessarily a "coffee shop" in nature, Hilltop does provide a convenient alternative for coffee if you live southeast of the city and are over gas station coffee (which I've just never really been able to get used to). Use their drive through any time of the year for a cup of joe on the go!

Try while you're there: Any flavor iced coffee! They make their ice cubes out of coffee to guarantee your coffee doesn't become a watered down mess as the cubes melt.

Bloomin' Cup

Location: Tully

I love a coffee shop that I can set up in for a whole afternoon of work, and Bloomin' Cup is just that. Fun fact - I spent the majority of my August/September 2018 here as I applied for jobs after grad school. With an outdoor patio in the summer months and a ton of great food options on the menu as well, I almost wished my unemployment didn't have to come to an end (almost 😂)

Try while you're there: Mocha cold brew or any breakfast sandwich! The sandwiches are some of the better ones I've had, made with two large eggs and for my gluten-free people, your choice of either plain or everything gf bagel (and the best part, they don't fall apart the second you bite into them!)

Pewter Spoon

Location: Cazenovia

I'm not in Caz often, but I must say some of my favorite places in to eat are found here. Owera patio any time in the summer? Yes, please. Empire Brewery (RIP), yes again. Les Pates et Les Nouilles - best (and spiciest) pho I've had yet. Just add Pewter Spoon to that ever-growing list. Plus, the cozy atmosphere is perfect for getting some work done while visiting clients out that way.

Try while you're there: The caprese panini. Dylan's favorite, and I back him up on this one. I'd endure the stomach pain for this delicious tomato, pesto and mozzarella goodness.

Recess Coffee:

Location: Westside/Westcott

Recess makes one of my favorite blends of all time. I thrived and survived on the Ethiopian blend for months at one of my jobs, and even moved to drinking my coffee black because I loved the taste and the rush it gave me so much (yes, I'm aware those months may not have been my healthiest). I frequented the Westcott location while I was a student at SU, and if you haven't heard yet, there's a new location open now on Tipp Hill that has already proven to be one of the biggest downfalls to my bank account. Worth it tho.

Try while you're there: If you have a sweet tooth, you won't want to miss their Nutella latte. If you want to avoid crashing from both sugar and caffeine, I'd try a Caffe Americano.

Salt City Coffee

Location: Downtown/Westside

I've only recently discovered Salt City Coffee, and while the location doesn't necessarily drive me in, it truly is the coziest little nook once you go inside. Salt City is also yet another location that offers the delicious bites of Mylk & Honey - FYI.

Try while you're there: SCC makes a mean avocado bagel sandwich. Also definitely grab a bag of their Guatemala blend.

Rise And Grind Cafe

Location: Fairmount

For some reason coffee shops are notorious for having bad (or no) parking. Sure, I frequent Rise & Grind for more than just this perk alone (read - they have acai bowls!!!), but it sure does make my life a hell of a lot easier when I don't have to circle the block a dozen times or pay a parking meter.

Try while you're there: London Fog Tea and definitely whatever acai bowl is of the moment!

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