In the heart of downtown Ann Arbor lies Liberty Street. Beginning in front of the State Theater and stretching so far west, it turns into Liberty Road, this street is a hot spot for a wide selection of shops, restaurants, and — of course — coffee. Three different coffee shops all claim they are the best coffee shop on Liberty Street. But who actually deserves the title?
A perfect escape from the harsh Michigan winter, RoosRoast, with its golden walls and charming interior, provides a cocoon of coziness. Decorated with a miniature Pac-man table and warm lighting, the shop feels comfortably retro. Whether you want a high-quality coffee on the go or a cup to hold between the palms of your hands, RoosRoast is a true Ann Arborite’s dream.
The Coffee: Lobster Butter Love
Taste: This black coffee, taking after its name, has a very buttery flavor that’s not too flashy. It’s perfectly smoky, carrying the blend straight from the mug to your mouth. If this cup of coffee had a personality, it would definitely be Dan Humphrey from Gossip Girl.
Other: With quick service, friendly baristas and an extensive menu that includes plenty of food, this warm and welcoming coffee shop makes for a perfect brunch spot.
Final rating: ☕ ☕ ☕ ☕
The warmth of the sun shining through the greenhouse walls and the smell of fresh produce will wipe away the cold and dreary weather as soon as you enter this two-in-one market and coffee shop. Full of handmade art and a healthy amount of clutter, Argus Farm Stop feels like home. The walls advertise support for local farms and food. The market, while small, manages to fit in a wealth of locally grown and produced without feeling cramped. The greenhouse is undoubtedly the best part of it all: a seating area with a rustic-industrial feel that’s fully flooded with natural light. This is a family friendly place with a little something for everyone.
The Coffee: Hyperion
Taste: Lighter roast and not much of an aftertaste. It’s pretty acidic and has a fruity, tangy flavor, which fits right in with the farm vibe.
Other: Argus doesn’t make their own coffee; they sell brands like Hyperion and, funnily enough, RoosRoast. Not much variety, but since the coffee shop is not exactly their top priority, we can overlook the sparse menu. The service, however, was a bit slow for just a single black coffee.
Final rating: ☕ ☕ ☕ ☕
Straight off of a college student’s Pinterest board, Lab looks like it dropped out of New York City and straight into Southeast Michigan. Nearly everything about this place can be described in one word: trendy. Though it’s not much to look at from the street, the space inside is light and open. In some ways, it feels like the industrial minimalist look is trying too hard; it’s as if a millennial opened up a coffee shop with furniture from their grandma’s attic. But the atmosphere is nice and the modern feel makes this a perfect place to go with a friend.
The Coffee: Lavender Honey Latte
Taste: Far from a plain black coffee, this drink is quintessentially Lab. The name doesn’t lie: the lavender actually comes through, perfectly sweet and subtle. The coffee is so mild it almost tastes like tea.
Other: The service was fairly quick, especially considering the elaborate drink we ordered. The menu has very few ‘typical’ coffee drinks, but a long list of specialized lattes (Beetroot, Honey & Cinnamon and Turmeric Agave, to name a few). These selections may not satisfy the caffeine-craver, but they will definitely hit your sweet tooth. For a place that is mostly about the aesthetic, Lab has some decent coffee, too.
Final rating: ☕ ☕ ☕
Every coffee shop has a little something different to offer. The delicious warmth of RoosRoast; the rustic originality of Argus; and the sweet, trendy menu at lab make it hard to choose a favorite. However, one place stood out from all the rest, and we can officially say:
RoosRoast is the best coffee on Liberty Street.
The coffee itself is unmatched, and the hipster vibe makes the space feel cozy, friendly and classically Ann Arbor. If you find yourself on Liberty Street and in need of some Lobster Butter Love, RoosRoast is the perfect place to go.