Tag Archives: coffee shop

Experiencing Makers & Finders Craft Coffee in Downtown Las Vegas

On a recent early morning on the Strip I was looking for two things. The first was to see more of Las Vegas away from the high rises of Las Vegas Boulevard. Secondly, I wanted to take part in a true craft coffee experience. Both of these led my friend (another coffee snob if you will) and me to the Arts District and the 18b in Downtown and Makers & Finders Coffee.

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Upon entering this Cuban inspired coffee shop, I immediately sensed a creative vibe as there were a few people working on laptops or notepads. We set up shop at the full length bar, but could have also sat at a communal table, on couch-like chairs or on the outdoor seating in front. Plenty of options. At the same time I looked up and noticed the industrial feel of the ceiling.

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Now sitting, right in front of our eyes stood the M & F neon signage beyond the Syphon, pour over, French Press and other coffee gadgets. My friend ordered a Lavender Infused Latte made with their in-house syrup which looked delicious. That was amongst a full menu of espresso and specialty drinks.

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Seeing those gadgets led me to choosing a V60 pour over drip with their Kenyan bean offering. You will find each cup of coffee is brewed to order. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t mind waiting for a craft coffee. It’s part of the true coffee experience which Makers & Finders definitely brings to life. I chatted coffee with the barista as he made my pour over out in the open. I sipped on the coffee during the rest of our stay, outstanding.

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas, pour over coffee

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas, pour over coffee

We only experienced the coffee of Makers & Finders on this visit. They have a full breakfast offering and a regular menu filled with Latin comfort food. I hear the arepas and empanadas are a must try. Something to look forward to for next time!

This was the best coffee I’ve had in Las Vegas. Next time you are on the Strip or on Fremont Street for that matter and are looking for a true craft coffee experience, make the short trek to the up-and-coming Arts District and the urban Makers & Finders coffee bar.

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Learn more about Makers & Finders Coffee on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The 2016 Coffee Moment(s) for Me.

Happy Holidays to all! Another caffeinated year is in the books. 2016 brought more memorable coffees and coffee shop experiences. Lots of lattes, pour overs, nitro brews and cold brew coffees were consumed from all around Michigan, Chicago and Ohio. Some of these were enjoyed alongside my son and first child, who was born this year. 🙂

The year ib coffee is highlighted in a short video snippet. The background song is the appropriately named “Coffee Shop” by Gorilla Zoe. The cover photo is a Military Latte from Sawada Coffee in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. I would easily say this is my favorite coffee drink and moment of the year.

Too many more coffees in the new year! Hope to see you all out on the caffeinated open road. Aaron 🙂

Check out the great coffee moments from last year in The 2015 Coffee Moment(s) for Me.

Experiencing Chicago’s Wicker Park Food and Evening Scene

On a recent trip to Chicago, I was going to meet up with a friend who lives in the Wicker Park neighborhood. Wicker Park is known as being the hipster part of town and a great place to hang out at night. Its gained steam as a food destination with restaurants and independent coffee shops springing up like hot cakes. I decided to make a longer foodie evening of it and soak some of that atmosphere in.

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood

I hopped on the Blue Line “L” train in The Loop along with the masses getting off work and headed towards the northwest. A little bit later it seemed like half the train got off with me at the Damen station in the heart of neighborhood. What a happening place.

Since I don’t usually follow eating conventions, I’ll eat pizza for breakfast, I decided to begin with dessert. Just outside the train station entrance my feet took me into Stan’s Donuts on Damen. Starting in Los Angeles more than fifty years ago, Stan’s is a gourmet donut institution that has spread to several locations in the Windy City. Having spent only mornings in Wicker Park in the past, I’ve seen one endless line after another, with everyone grabbing pastries and coffee before hopping on the “L” to get to work. Being it was the evening this time there was no line score!

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood - Stan's Donuts

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood - Stan's Donuts

Upon entering I saw the donuts in the display case. The gourmet one with the longest name immediately caught the eye. Hey, the more words in its name, the more goodness it must have in it right?! I enjoyed a Maple Caramel Bacon Pecan Bar amongst the retro decor. Wait nothing to wash it down with? I was saving that for my next stop.

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood - Stan's Donuts

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood - Stan's Donuts,  maple caramel bacon pecan bar

A short walk down W. Milwaukee Avenue, the main street of Wicker Park, brought me to my favorite coffee shop in the city and arguably anywhere, The Wormhole Coffee. I entered the sci-fi themed coffee shop already knowing what I was craving, a Peanut Butter Koopa Troopa latte. I sat next to an Apple II computer bringing back memories of childhood, while listening to one Depeche Mode song after another. That brought back memories of road trips pasts. I was in heaven. Of course I had to say hi again to the Back to the Future style DeLorean that sits in back.

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood, The Wormhole Coffee

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood, The Wormhole Coffee

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood, The Wormhole Coffee, Peanut Butter Koopa Troopa

chicago-wicker-park-food-008

It was time to meet up with my friend, who recently moved here from Michigan. He gave me some choices on places where we could grab some dinner. Dessert first, then a specialty coffee, with the main course last, that is indeed how I like to roll! Burgers, pizza and ramen noodles were the choices. I thought to myself I eat the first two things a lot, so let’s go with ramen.

We hit up Furious Spoon and both ordered the Shoyu Ramen. Fresh ramen noodles made in-house mixed in with Chashu pork belly, bamboo, bean sprouts and more foodie goodness. The outside seating along Milwaukee was full, so we hung out and caught up at a long, wooden communal table alongside the open kitchen. I thought to myself, what a great place to hang out after a long day. That was my first time dining in an authentic ramen restaurant. What took so long?

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood, Furious Spoon ramen noodle shop

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood, Furious Spoon, pork belly ramen noodles

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood, Furious Spoon ramen noodle shop

I continued to get my first taste of Wicker Park at night as we walked some of the neighborhood afterwards before calling it a night. It was a quick, but memorable evening of treats and food in one of Chicago’s more popular neighborhoods. All the other establishments and outside seating we walked by makes me want to experience more of it on another trip soon.

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood

What other food and coffee spots would you recommend checking out in the Wicker Park part of Chicago?

Introducing Travel and Coffee, Coffee and Coffee To Someone

2016 has indeed brought a little traveler and future coffee drinker into the world. Well at least he is smelling the coffee. Give it time haha.

The father and son time “Out on the Open Road” has begun. Shorter trips to start, taking him on weekend morning trips to semi-local coffee shops. Got to venture a little bit! Little Cruz Man (one of his many names) and I are enjoying the sights, smells, sounds and quality time at the coffee shop. Pictured here is our recent venture to Lafayette Corner Cafe in downtown South Lyon, Michigan. Lots of latte deliciousness. He was awake shortly after this shot so got the chance to soak everything in. 🙂

Family travel and family coffee, kid travel

To different but new and wonderful coffee adventures ahead! We hope to see you out on the open coffee shop trail.

The 2015 Coffee Moment(s) for Me.

While out on the open road in 2015 I enjoyed countless memorable coffee and coffee shop experiences. Many lattes, French presses, pour overs, nitro coffees, cold brews and more were consumed in many independent cafés in Michigan, Chicago, Atlanta, San Diego and beyond. Instead of highlighting one specific moment like in years past, I decided to showcase here all the coffee fun from the year in a short video snippet.

Happy Holidays! Too great coffee!
Aaron 🙂