December 19, 2019

A Specialty Coffee Shop Tour of Las Vegas


Las Vegas is known for its neon lights, casino hotels, and brightly lit shows. While it’s true that many people head to the area to party, gamble, and find adventures on its streets – it’s also a place that over half a million residents call home. And any city that’s a hive of activity 24 hours a day is bound to want access to the best coffee that’s available.

While Las Vegas coffee culture might not receive as much media attention as Portland’s or New York’s, a rising number of coffee shops are drawing attention to Sin City’s growing specialty coffee scene. Whether you’re passing through America’s entertainment capital or looking to expand your current list of Vegas favorites, here’s where you can start your exploration.

Lee este artículo en español Un Recorrido Por Las Tiendas de Café Especial de Las Vegas

Barista Josh oversees the coffee bar at Ferguson’s Downtown. Credit: Neil Soque

Why These Five?

Las Vegas is slowly and steadily building up its range of specialty coffee shops. For this simple reason, it’s impossible to declare the following five as the best out of all the options out there.

That being said, their service, consistency, and cup quality make them well worth the visit – as do their drink offerings, roasts, equipment, and ambiance. So, in no particular order, here are five specialty coffee shops in Las Vegas worth visiting.

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Mothership Coffee Roasters’ new Downtown Ferguson location. Credit: Neil Soque

1. Mothership Coffee Roasters / Sunrise Coffee House

Mothership Coffee Roasters is a veteran of the local specialty coffee scene and the longest-running family owned coffee company in Vegas. It’s also the oldest on this list, having opened its first location, Sunrise Coffee House, over five years ago.

Sunrise’s famous patio area is one of the most Instagrammed spots in the city. But now that Mothership has opened Ferguson’s Downtown, its roof deck and outside seating area could give Sunrise a run for its money.

Visitors to this new location can look forward to the venue hosting collaborations with other businesses as well as regular community events. Their single origin espressos and pour overs will have you coming back for their coffee, too.

Where1028 Fremont St, Las Vegas
AtmosphereVibrant and modern
Espresso MachineSynesso MVP Hydra, La Marzocco Linea, Slayer Steam
GrinderMahlkönig Peak, Mahlkönig EK43S
Coffee OfferingsEspressos, Pour Overs, and Nitro Cold Brew
Must-Try DrinkTry the Vanilla Bourbon Latte, which is one of their most popular drinks
Retail OfferingsCoffee beans, merchandise, and coffee gear are for sale online and in-store
Food & Other DrinksFood options include pastries, sandwiches, and sweet treats. Tea is also available
Nearby SightsPay a visit to the Volcano at the Mirage, which is on the nearby Vegas Strip

The bustling interior of PublicUs. Credit: Neil Soque

2. PublicUS

PublicUs doesn’t disappoint in the coffee department. They showcase a rotating line-up of the country’s best roasters, with their main roaster based in Seattle. Their menu is filled with impressive house blends, single origin coffees, and signature drinks.

Enter PublicUS and you’ll immediately feel at home in its inviting surroundings. You might run into half the neighborhood while queueing to place your order, but with the service being as excellent as it is, you’re unlikely to mind the short wait. Use it as a chance to take in the interior and get to know the regulars who show up every day, without fail, for their fix.

Where1126 Fremont St, Las Vegas
AtmosphereCosy and comforting
Espresso MachineKees van der Westen Spirit
GrinderAnfim, Mahlkönig EK43S
Coffee OfferingsEspresso-based Classics and Pour Overs
Must-Try DrinkTry the Cannon, which is made with cold brewed coffee, lime juice, lime bitters, and simple syrup
Food & Other DrinksFood options include a range of breakfasts, bowls, and salads. Try the Mahalo Special breakfast, which features eggs, spam, and kimchi
Nearby SightsVisit downtown Las Vegas, where you can find popular gaming and entertainment destination the Fremont Street Experience

Vesta Coffee Roasters’ retail coffee offerings. Credit: Neil Soque

3. Vesta Coffee Roasters

Vesta Coffee Roasters opened its first coffee shop in late 2016, just a few feet away from their roastery space. They currently sell one of the most diverse selection of single origin coffee products, which can be found in several Sprouts stores and Whole Foods locations in the Vegas Valley.

Vesta Coffee Roasters’ barista staff are willing and able to cater their coffee offerings to every customer’s liking, and there’s plenty on the menu to ensure that few will be disappointed or feel left out. There’s coffee for everyone here, including decaf lattes for those who are sensitive to caffeine.

Where1114 S Casino Center Blvd #1, Las Vegas
AtmosphereHip and energetic
Espresso MachineLa Marzocco Linea PB
GrinderNuova Simonelli Mythos, Mahlkönig EK43S
Coffee OfferingsEspresso-based Classics, Pour Overs, Cold Brew, and Nitro
Must-Try DrinkTry the Hazelnut Maple-Latte or Macadamia-Almond Latte
Food & Other DrinksFood options include toasts, soups, and sandwiches. Try the Truffle Croissant Sandwich, which contains truffle-parm gravy, egg, and cheddar
Nearby SightsVisit the infamous Graceland Wedding Chapel, which is just two minutes away

Inside the Bad Owl Coffee Roasters coffee bar. Credit: Neil Soque

4. Bad Owl Coffee Roasters

Bad Owl Coffee Roasters has three locations around Vegas, with the newest recently opening in downtown Las Vegas. Being a Harry Potter-themed business, it’s a coffee shop that is an obvious draw for both the young, and the young at heart.

With single origins, blends, and signature drinks offered at the counter and available for purchase online, you’ll want to take some of your favorite blends home. With names like the Merry Krampus, Cryptic Centaur, and Sweet Venom, who can resist?

Make sure you pay them a visit to see for yourself to see how they blend a beloved children’s story franchise with specialty coffee in a single offering.

Where8035 S Rainbow Blvd Ste 100, Las Vegas
AtmosphereQuirky and cool
Espresso MachineLa Marzocco Strada, Synesso Hydra
GrinderMahlkönig Peak, Mahlkönig EK43S, Mahlkönig K30 Twin
Coffee OfferingsEspresso, Pour Overs, and Cold Brew
Must-Try DrinkTry the Dirty Iced Butter Brew, which is a play on the Butterbeer served in the Harry Potter books
Food & Other DrinksFood options include quiches, waffles, and oats. Try the Butterbrew Cream Belgian Waffle with ice cream
Nearby SightsGet up close and personal with wild animals by visiting the nearby Lion Habitat Ranch

Dark Moon Coffee Roasters sports the only ModBar in Las Vegas. Credit: Neil Soque

5. Dark Moon Coffee Roasters

Dark Moon Coffee Roasters is the only coffee shop in Las Vegas that features a ModBar. This modular brewing system consists of three taps that dispense espresso, steamed milk, and pour over coffee.

You’ll find this hidden gem tucked away in a local neighborhood strip mall, and upon entering, its sparse, minimalist style decor will draw your attention to the machines and skilled team of baristas that operate it. It’s something to behold, as their workflow is so seamless that it feels like they’re putting on a show every time they pull shots or brew coffee.

Despite being the newest coffee shop on the list, Dark Moon is already making waves in the Las Vegas specialty coffee community. They recently scooped the 2019 Best of Las Vegas – Best Coffee House title, as awarded by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Where11041 S Eastern Ave #115, Henderson, Las Vegas
AtmosphereElegant and impressive
Espresso MachineLa Marzocco ModBar
GrinderVictoria Arduino, Nuova Simonelli Mythos, Mahlkönig EK43S
Coffee OfferingsEspresso, Pour Overs, and Nitro Cold Brew
Must-Try DrinkTry the Ethiopia Guji single origin coffee, served as a Cortado
Food & Other DrinksSeveral gluten-free options are available, including Lemon Raspberry Muffins and oatmeal apricot cranberry cookies
Nearby SightsVisit the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area, which is a nature reserve for wildlife watching and hiking

Dark Moon Coffee Roasters’ Best of Las Vegas award. Credit: Neil Soque

As the number of specialty coffee shops in Las Vegas grows, so will the area’s coffee scene. This might take place sooner than later, as within the past few months, downtown Las Vegas has gone from having only two specialty coffee purveyors, to having four of the five top shops on this list just minutes away from each other.

Hopefully Las Vegas will be able to host its own major coffee festivals, events, and competitions in the near future!

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Featured photo: An aerial view of Las Vegas.

All views within this opinion piece belong to the guest writer, who is a Las Vegas local, and do not reflect Perfect Daily Grind’s stance.

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