The Best Indie Coffeehouses in Town
by kaitlin clark
|Foam art at Sambalatte|
The Beat Coffeehouse and Records
Equal parts shop, bar, and artist hangout, The Beat is one of Fremont East’s premier hubs and a regular go-to joint for hip Downtowners such as Tony Hsieh. Relax with a signature specialty beverage while a local band performs onstage. Open until midnight six days a week and until 5 pm on Sundays—try the baked French toast with housemade coffee ice cream for brunch. 520 Fremont St., 702-686-3164; thebeatlv.com
If you like your morning brew with a little bit of rock ’n’ roll, look no further than Bentley’s Coffee. Speakers line the drive-through queue to offer a different kind of morning jolt, while its in-house roast master blends, roasts, and infuses each batch of coffee beans according to a specific (and top-secret) roasting recipe. 1501 W. Charleston Blvd.
For decadent food in grand Italian style, head straight to Espressamente Illy at The Shoppes at The Palazzo. Despite having shops in exotic locations worldwide, this is Illy’s first café on American soil. With a flavorful gelato menu and dessert crêpes, new locations are quickly opening around the country. The Shoppes at The Palazzo, 702-869-2233
A luxurious seating area, inventive panini menu, and lattes with a perfect milk-to-espresso ratio make Espresso a hot spot for the luncheon crowd. It offers its own specialty coffee drinks, including a tasty number called raspberry truffle, plus various tea lattes. The Forum Shops at Caesars, 702-732-0848
Owner Holley Steeley’s passion for coffee is second only to her artistic bent—she’s also an aerialist-acrobat in Le Rêve at Wynn. “I love the atmosphere there,” she says. “Everyone’s happy at a coffee shop.” Her exploration of coffee farms, crops, and roasting styles ensures the highest-quality cup of joe at her shop in Mountain’s Edge. 9265 S. Cimarron Road, 702-778-7750
Proud winner of several local awards, Jitters lives up to the high praise with consistently delicious beverages, ranging from the traditional lattes and mochas to the more creative blends of blackberry cream or cinnamon hazelnut. 2675 E. Patrick Lane, 702-949-9000
Red Velvet Café
Classically trained chef-owner Aneesha puts her Le Cordon Bleu education to good use with her popular health-conscious café and bakery, Red Velvet Café, which offers heaps of vegan and vegetarian delights. “Our teas are blended specifically for us,” she says. “They’re 100 percent organic, with herbs, flowers, and fruit peels among the loose leaf.” Among the smoothies, teas, and coffees, try the Mexican cocoa with cinnamon, vanilla, and almond. 7875 W. Sahara Ave., 702-360-1972
Westsiders flock to this Boca Park hangout for the best Nutella lattes, fruit tarts, and hot chocolate around. With its international tea and java collection, Sambalatte offers unique twists on classic coffeehouse selections. It has also turned foam into a literal art form, transforming the frothy goodness into intricate designs such as hearts and leaves. 750 S. Rampart Blvd., 702-272- 2333
Sunrise Coffee Co.
Known as much for its inviting atmosphere as its fair-trade and shade-grown organic coffee blends, Sunrise Coffee Co. welcomes patrons with walls lined with books, plush armchairs, and large tables for card games. The vegetarian-inspired menu packs a flavorful punch of exotic spices with small plates. 3130 E. Sunset Road, 702-433-3304
photograph courtesy of luis olivera (sambalatte)