It's been a minute since I've been in college, but that doesn't stop me from frequenting the local coffee shops that Manhattan, Kansas has to offer any chance I get. My husband and I went to Manhattan for our wedding anniversary (I know how cool right?), it is one of our favorite places to go as it is where we met and still has a piece of our heart. I am so impressed to see how far the coffee scene in Manhattan has come since I was in college just a few(ish) short (kind of) years ago.
Our first stop was Sparrow Coffee. This coffee shop has soft edges with the most mellow vibes. You'll hear calming music in the background and see farmhouse styled accents around every corner. It's almost as if hobby lobby met a coffee shop and I'm here for it. I spied some Thou Mayest coffee inside of this shop and you know that I have a soft spot for this wonderful KC roaster. I had an amazing latte from this shop and was digging the softness of this shop. It's definitely a different style than anything else seen in Manhattan.
We next stopped at Arrow Coffee. I laughed a bit when I said we needed to go to Sparrow then Arrow because dad jokes never seem to get old. This coffee shop is warm and welcoming with a small, yet modern feel when you walk inside. Something I like about Arrow is that they serve coffee from multiple roasters (Messenger being one of them HEYO) and they have a wide variety of selections. Their latte game is on point and the pourover is equally as delightful. I'm beyond impressed with this coffee shop and I think that any coffee snob would be pleased with a drink from this shop.
After Arrow, we had to head on over to Aggieville for a new staple in town called Public Hall. This shop is a feast for the eyes. I know I compare everything to a store that it reminds me of, and I'm not sorry about it because Public Hall looks like a page from West Elm. With mid century modern seating, unique spacing, brick walls and a neon sign in the back of the shop, you will feel like you're ready to get your camera out and snap away. Another thing I LOVE about Public Hall is their Intelligentsia selection. I have to say, I don't see this coffee served much in the midwest and it's a shame because it is delicious. With great customer service, big smiles and a beautiful ambiance, Public Hall is absolutely delightful.
Photo by Andrew Dalbey
If you're already in the area (Aggieville that is) be sure to take the short walk down the street to a Manhattan favorite: Bluestem Bistro. This coffee shop is known for it's delicious sandwiches, morning scones and small town vibes. I grew up in this coffee shop, so it holds a very special place in my own heart. I've spent hours on the adorable patio and even more inside with headphones blasting while I attempted to study but really just said hello to every classmate that walked in. It was a Manhattan gathering spot when I was a student at KSU and it never ceases to amaze me that to this day (just a few years later ;)) I still run into someone I know inside of Bluestem. Bluestem is like coming home.
Next you'll want to go up the street from Bluestem to find my very favorite chai tea latte in the world, and I mean IN THE WORLD. Radina's is another shop that helped me get through school and I have to say that I am beyond smitten with their chai game. The windows in the space also offer the ability to pretend to study while doing some amazing people watching in aggieville. The memories overflow with every sip I take at Radina's and I'm certain that I'm not the only one who feels this way.
Photo by Andrew Dalbey
I'd also like to add a special shoutout to another Manhattan staple Varsity Donuts. Whether you want to get a bag of sugar coated donuts late at night from the Varsity truck or just want to pick from your choice of delicious treats, Varsity is iconic and should be visited every time you visit Manhattan.
Manhattan, KS has certainly grown since I left school and I'm very impressed with where the town is headed. With a growing coffee scene, I can only imagine what the future holds. And don't worry, I like to take weekend getaways to Manhattan frequently so I'll be here to update you on all the coffee shop changes.
Peace, love and White Hearth Coffee