Tag Archives: coffee

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.

Little Man is Now Chasing the Coffee, Coffee and Coffee

2017 is in full swing. I’m still trying to put my arms around the fact that my son is almost one already. Where has the time gone?! It seems like yesterday I was Introducing Travel and Coffee, Coffee and Coffee to Someone. We have visited numerous shops, though confined to just Michigan. He smells the home brewing pretty much continuously.

The little man still heads with me to the coffee shop in his car seat, though now with his eyes always open. He loves looking at Biggby Coffee. Graduation to the next car seat, thus I having to carry him in is upcoming in the weeks ahead.

Son smiling at the Biggby Coffee

I’d also like to think he is crawling towards and chasing the cup now because it is filled with coffee deliciousness. ☕☕☕

Son heading towards the coffee

Son crawling towards the coffee

This year will bring the two of us walking into coffee shops together and further away ventures. I look forward to him being more inquisitive as to what the coffee cups and drinks are. I’m sure he will get into anything and everything at the coffee shop as he is now doing at home ha-ha. Still hoping for that first word outside of dada and mama to be coffee!

To all of the coffee adventures that lie ahead. We hope to see you out on the open coffee shop road.

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.

Quotes That Say It All About My Love For Coffee

When I am out on the open road… when I am asleep… when I am travel writing… when I am just vegging out at home… I am thinking about that next cup of coffee. I’ve said it in my posts before and I will say it again now, I just love coffee in all its forms.

I wrote about quotes that inspire the wanderlust in me. What about those that say it all about my love for coffee? Below are some that summarize the relationship I have with java. ☕☕☕

“I can’t imagine a day without coffee. I can’t imagine!” – Howard Schultz

I try not to think about that.

Love For Coffee - quote

“Coffee is the best thing to douse the sunrise with.” – Terri Guillemets

And a sunset capping off a great caffeinated day.

“A morning coffee is my favorite way of starting the day, settling the nerves so that they don’t later fray.”
― Marcia Carrington

Coffee quote

“Once you wake up and smell the coffee, it’s hard to go back to sleep.” – Fran Drescher

“I am a coffee fanatic. Once you go to proper coffee, you can’t go back. You cannot go back.” – Hugh Laurie

“I don’t know how people live without coffee, I really don’t.” – Martha Quinn

"That's something that annoys the hell out of me – I mean if somebody says the coffee's all ready and it isn't.” — J.D. Salinger

“Be a coffee-drinking individual — espresso yourself!” – Unknown

“Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee.” – Unknown

“What goes best with a cup of coffee? Another cup.” – Henry Rollins

And another. And another. And another… that leads to this quote.

“Drink coffee to get the energy to drink more coffee.” – Unknown

“I think if I were a woman I’d wear coffee as a perfume.” – John Van Drute

Do they make a coffee scented aftershave haha?! 🙂

Love for Coffee - Coldwater, Michigan iced coffee

Stay caffeinated out there my friends! ☕☕☕

What are your favorite quotes, expressions or sayings involving coffee?

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


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?