Counter Culture: A coffee lover’s guide to Toledo

. February 14, 2018.
Coffee and latte art by Claro Coffee Bar.
Coffee and latte art by Claro Coffee Bar.

Contributions by Nusaiba Rahman, Emily Modrowski, Sam Koros, Courtney Probert and Athena Cocoves.

The Glass City has a number of independent coffee shops, each with individual character. To navigate the 419’s world of java, grab a cup of joe and browse our guide to coffee shops in, and around, town.


Find your focus, and calm
caffeine jitters, with filling food options.

Georgette’s Grounds and Gifts
311 Conant St., Maumee.
419-891-8888 |
6:30am-4pm, Monday-Friday.
8am-4pm, Saturday.

Specialty: Part of Sunshine Communities, supporting people with disabilities, this boutique has coffee with a cause.
Great for: Relaxing with friends with a hot cup of
coffee, lunch and baked goods.
Bonus: Browse unique, fair trade items in the gift shop.
Named after Georgette Engler, who founded the
Sunshine Children’s Home in 1950 to care for children with disabilities, this downtown Maumee shop carries on
Engler’s loving legacy. All the coffee is packaged by adults with developmental disabilities, who benefit from the work opportunity.

Black Kite Coffee and Pies
2499 Collingwood Blvd. | 419-720-5820
7am-7pm, Monday-Friday.
9am-5pm, Saturday.
10am-5pm, Sunday.

Specialty: Open and welcoming atmosphere
at this favored Old West End shop.
Great for: Meet up, enjoying live music,
poetry readings and unique food options.
Bonus: The popular weekend brunches
are served 10:30am-2:30pm every Saturday
and Sunday.

Through decor and simplicity, the light and airy ambiance will keep you feeling content and comfortable among friends. A large coffee selection, plenty of syrups and flavors made in-house, and snack options (like the bagel balls) keep customers satisfied.

Petit Fours Patisserie & The Cafe
27 Broadway St. | 419-243-1302
M-S 8am-3:30pm, Sunday closed

Specialty: Contemporary, minimalist atmosphere in this French boulangerie-esque shop.
Great for: Casual conversation with friends, a quiet
moment alone or a hearty meal.
Bonus: The pastry selection changes daily, with all options made in-house.

Find bistro fare at this hip, urban cafe that offers soups,
salads and sandwiches made from scratch every day.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with fantastic, delicate pastries in this riverside coffee shop and luncherie.

Plate 21
3664 Rugby Dr. | 419-385-2121
M-F 6:30am-7pm,
Saturday-Sunday 7:30am-3pm

Specialty: This quirky coffee shop’s playful colors are as bright as the friendly staff.
Great for: Noshing on unique bakery items, the menu of healthy, fast-casual dining.
Bonus: Organic loose leaf teas, matcha and 100 percent fruit
smoothies give you options.

Find a diverse crowd at this cozy, colorful cafe owned by Toledo City Councilwoman Sandy Spang, who just opened a second location— Plate One, in the Ohio Building, downtown. Vanilla and brown sugar syrups made in-house offer something new with a variety of coffees. This South End spot is an ideal location for starting, or ending, a relaxing day.

Booze & Brews

Coffee isn’t the only drink you’ll find here—
pour up with alcoholic beverages.

The Flying Joe
2130 Preston Pkwy., Perrysburg.
419-931-0273 |
6:30am- 6pm, Monday-Friday.
8am-6pm, Saturday.
9am-5pm, Sunday.

Specialty: A darker ambience creates a calm vibe at this hangar-inspired shop.
Great for: Hanging out alone, getting work done, quietly chatting with a friend or two.
Bonus: To celebrate 11 years in business, the chic coffee shop added craft beer, wine and a vintage cocktail menu.

The Flying Joe serves up strong cups of coffee or espresso that you can balance with a breakfast sandwich, baked goods, and fantastic desserts.


Plate One
420 Madison Ave. | 419-385-2121
7am-8pm, Monday-Friday.

Specialty: An industrial interior complements the downtown experience.
Great for: Grabbing a breakfast or lunch to go with well-crafted espresso drinks.
Bonus: Enjoy appetizers with cocktails, beer, and wine after 4pm.

The newly opened European-style coffee bar is open late and provides an atmosphere that is distinct from its sister shop, Plate 21. Housed in the Ohio Building in the heart of downtown Toledo, it’s a hip spot for soaking up the city.



Mix, mingle, and chat with friends over signature drinks and satisfying snacks and sweets.

Bleak House Coffee
612 Adams St. | 419-740-1125
7am-4pm, Tuesday-Friday. 9am-2pm,
Saturday and Sunday.

Specialty: Aesthetically pleasing with friendly baristas who maintain positive energy.
Great for: Chilling out in a quiet, creative atmosphere in the heart of downtown Toledo.
Bonus: Signature eclairs, macarons, savory quiches and other goods are made fresh daily by an in-house pastry chef.

Bleak House created a lot of buzz with its weekend brunch and waffles, so much so that the unique waffles are now served daily. Cozy up with eccentric art, delicious coffee, signature drinks and truly incredible pastries.

Dragon’s Roost
6600 W Sylvania Ave STE 3C
9am-9pm, Monday-Thursday.
9am-11pm, Friday. 11am-11pm,
Saturday and Sunday.

Specialty: Providing a unique blend of tabletop gaming, delicious local coffee, and pastries. Cozy and welcoming environment for trying out a new board game while you sip on a delicious hot drink.
Great for: Finding a fun new hobby to share with your friends and family. Browse through and even try out their great variety of board games to decide what appeals to you.
Bonus: Fully featured hobby bar when you can paint your own miniature figures. Fans of tabletop miniatures will enjoy their showcase of exquisitely painted figures.

The perfect setting to meet up and stimulate your imagination with caffeinated drinks and tabletop gaming. Dragon’s Roost has plenty of comfortable space for hobbyists of every kind. From card games to board games and everything in between, they’ve got you covered. You can even bring in your own games to enjoy with their fine specialty beverages.

Sip Coffee
3160 Markway Rd., 419-407-5038
6:30am-9pm, Monday-Friday.
8am-9pm, Saturday-Sunday.

Specialty: Modern, edgy, hip and spacious, two-story coffee shop. Great for: Meeting up with friends for lively conversation with “socially infused people.”
Bonus: Unique choices, live music and plenty of quirk maintains an effortlessly exciting environment.

Sip offers plenty of snack options, like baked goods from All Crumbs Bakery, healthy snacks, and salads from neighbor Clavino’s, and high-quality cold-brew coffee, espresso drinks and teas with a variety of flavors that offer an endless opportunities for personalization. Find your quiet in the space upstairs, which can also be reserved for groups.

Brew Coffee Bar
2903 Dorr St. | 419-214-1804
7am-9pm, daily.

Specialty: Lively and happening coffee counter across from the University of Toledo.
Great for: Meeting up with friends, staying entertained with available board games.
Bonus: The Brew Board and world map
illustration shows where their coffees
originate from.

Across from the University of Toledo’s campus, Brew is a college-friendly shop that boasts 13 flavor options, a large variety of iced drinks, espresso options, and baked goods to nibble on. Stay entertained with daily louder-than-average conversation and an open mic every Wednesday from 7-9pm.

God In Your Cup

Church-affiliated coffee shops
are, sometimes, transparent.

Claro Coffee Bar
1801 Adams St. | 419-241-4799
7am-5pm, Monday-Thursday.
7am-8pm, Friday.
8am-8pm, Saturday.

Specialty: Sleek style in a small and cozy place.
Great for: Mingling with groups, finding quiet alone in UpTown.
Bonus: There is always something new and changing on the menu of special drinks.

Stemming from “claro” meaning “to illuminate,” this UpTown coffee shop was made possible through a partnership with First Alliance Church, which provided start-up funding. Operating independently as a for-profit business, Claro has a stated vision and values and a transparent financial relationship with First Alliance accord to their website.

Rustbelt Coffee
119 N. Ontario St. | 419-819-5988
7am-7pm, Monday-Friday.
8am-5pm, Saturday.

Specialty: Simple, rustic design with a confusing and deceptive business model.
Great for: Being unsure if you are funding anti-abortion organizations when buying a latte.
Bonus: Despite describing themselves as a nonprofit when they opened in 2016, their website makes no mention of this.

When they opened in August 2016, co-owner Grant Perry said “we are actually a nonprofit endeavoring to create sustainable funds for other nonprofits” in a Facebook Live video. Since then, we have asked the owners about how much they donate, who the funds go to, and what their relationship is with Life Chapel Toledo (a Walbridge-based church owned by Grant’s father). Life Chapel’s website has discussed creating a coffee shop at 119 Ontario Street in downtown Toledo, as part of their 2015 Buy a Brick, Build a Legacy and Impact 419 campaigns. To date, we have received
direct refusals to respond to any questions about
Rustbelt’s relationship to these campaigns and the
coffee shop’s status as a nonprofit.

Fully Roasted

Buy bags of coffee beans
made by these local roasters.

Maddie & Bella
Coffee Roasters

Perrysburg: 117 Louisiana Ave. | 419-931-0082
Downtown Toledo: 44 S. St. Clair St. | 419-214-0822
7am-6pm, Monday-Friday. 8am-3pm, Saturday. 9am-1pm, Sunday.

Specialty: Quieter, perfect for focused study. An ideal, calm stop on a downtown walk.
Great for: Mixing up your usual order with unique, seasonal drink specials.
Bonus: This contemporary shop has two locations, in two downtowns.

The small-batch, specialty roaster, named after the family’s dogs, began in 2010 and has since grown into a buzzing businesses with shops in Perrysburg and Toledo. Sip the fantastic blends and satisfy hunger with creative, small bites.


Actual Coffee
28304 Cedar Park Blvd., Suite A-2
Perrysburg | 567-694-5075

Specialty: Roaster and supplier of coffee to a number of local favorites, like The Flying Joe and DaCapo.
Great for: Buying bags of specialty brews and equipment, like high-end coffee grinders.
Bonus: An emphasis on taste and sustainability.

While not an actual coffee shop to sit and hang out with friends, this Toledo-based roaster uses beans from Actual Coffee to roast their specialty, high-quality blends that are rich in flavor.

Glass City Roasters Cafe
& Neighborhood Collective
1535 Eleanor Ave |  419-787-7764
7am-7pm, Monday-Saturday. Closed Sunday.

Specialty: Local coffee hand roasted
in-house. Rustic, inviting cafe with nostalgic vibes.
Great for: Enjoying some of Toledo’s best artisanal coffee and baked goods. Take in the charming aesthetic while enjoying some of the unique local art on display.
Bonus: Delicious bialys, bagels, croissants, and other handcrafted bakery specialties.

West Toledo’s local roasters now have a delightful location where you can satisfy your craving for the highest quality local brews. Glass City Roasters is the spot for exploring the local flavor of Toledo. Discover the area’s premier gourmet cafe.


Flying Rhino Coffee
436 13th St. | 419-244-6100
7:15am-1pm, Monday-Friday

Specialty: Owner Gini Behrendt will greet you with her warm, welcoming smile.
Great for: Finding alone time, or chatting with the team of roasters.
Bonus: While primarily a roaster, you can certainly hang out and enjoy a cup of hot coffee.

While Flying Rhino isn’t an “actual coffee shop” where you can hang out and order mochas or lattes, it’s still filled with the delicious coffee, roasted in-house, that’s found at Toledo favorites, like Black Kite (and the City Paper offices). Pick up Flying Rhino roasted coffee at this tucked-away shop.

Road Trip

Want something new? Get outta town.

Flatlands Coffee
138 N. Main St., Bowling Green.
419-482-0849 |
8am-4pm, Monday. 8am-8pm,
Tuesday-Saturday. Noon-6pm, Sunday.

Specialty: Sleek, modern, clean, and contemporary environment for the minimalist-minded.
Great for: Quick, efficient service in a hip environment owned by husband and wife, Ben and Cassy Vollmar.
Bonus: The knowledgeable and passionate Ben has earned high honors nationally as a barista.

Opened in 2015 after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Flatlands is focused on one thing— the perfect cup of coffee. Precise and high-quality, this craft-focused Bowling Green shop is a favorite for coffee enthusiasts.

Grounds For Thought
174 S. Main St., Bowling Green.
6am-11pm, daily.

Specialty: Friendly meeting place with a homey, community-oriented atmosphere.
Great for: Enjoying a book, sipping on in-house roasted coffee, eating pastries and ice cream, making new friends.
Bonus: This cozy, neighborhood coffee shop boasts a large used book store.

Browse aisles of books, thumb through a rotating collection of used records and comics, and enjoy signature drinks at this
Bowling Green staple. Pick up coffee roasted in-house, and the variety of teas, syrups, and food options.