“Only one thing is certain about coffee…. Wherever it is grown, sold, brewed, and consumed, there will be lively controversy, strong opinions, and good conversation.

- Mark Pendergrast



For years cafes have served as an oasis where people are welcomed to either be alone with their thoughts or engage in a long battle of words. Whatever one wishes to do the cafes in Bloomington-Normal can accommodate you. Locally we have four fairly distinctive cafes, all here to insure that everyone has a place they feel comfortable in. A place where writers can put pen to paper and transform their ideas into great works of literature, where artist and musicians are allowed to express their inspirations and collaborate to create masterpieces , where people can come to sit and enjoy a simple afternoon away from their busy schedules.   Living in a town mostly occupied by college students; It is nice to have local cafes that have for many become some of their homes away from home. Nothing beats a nice afternoon in a cafe. It is calming to know that Bloomington-Normal has a variety of options where locals can come, sit and engage in whatever activity they please. To learn more about Coffee Shops and other places to eat and drink in Bloomington Normal, check out Coffee Shops and Food and Drink





Original Art on the walls of the Coffee House

There is no other place like The Coffee House!

Everything about The Coffee House is unique. The atmosphere is very comforting. Upon entering, you are immediately over comed with a feeling of familiarity. It is furnished with different kind of couches and tables giving people more room to unwind and get comfortable. It has a family vibe, and is very laid back this is especially important for college kids who are away from home . A cafe like The Coffee House gives students a place to go to get away from their stuffy dorms. 

The Coffee House is open to everyone, being in uptown normal it is very close to campus. On any given day you can find students working on group projects or individual assignments. The immense amount of space and seating makes it easy for large groups to gather comfortably. Other than students, a large portion of the cafe is usually occupied with older couples and families coming to sit and enjoy a vegetarian meal and a cup of freshly roasted coffee. The Coffee House is known for their amazing vegetarian dishes and serve the very best blueberry cupcakes. The staff at The Coffee House are all truly genuine. From the moment you order your coffee till the moment you walk out of the door you will experience nothing but the best and friendliest service. If you are a regular , then your coffee is being brewed as soon as you set foot into the cafe.  

One of the greatest things about this place, is their value on art. The Coffee House is open to any form of art. They host weekly open mic nights and welcomes anyone who wants to perform. Along with live music and poetry reads, visual artists are more than welcomed to hang their art on the wall. The Cafe changes the art every month and hardly ever denies a piece of art. The owners want you to be able to express yourself. They want to see the community advance in all kinds of ways. That is why they offer space in The Coffee House to anyone who is willing to come and share a piece of their creativity. Who knows this may be the place to launch the next Hemingway or Picasso.

The Coffee House welcomes everyone with open arms. It is for your own good, that you visit The Coffee House and witness just how much it has to offer. 


COFFEE HOUND (Normal location)

This place is truly all about coffee! Customer favorites are the Quad Mocha Bianca ,which is a delicious white chocolate mocha, and their carefully crafted Tiger Chai Latte. They pride themselves in the quality of their coffee. They have a great relationship with a coffee farm in Costa Rica; which offers top grade coffee beans. Their Coffee is roasted fresh at their Bloomington location (which also features a full bakery), and brought to their normal location daily . All of their drinks are made with non-homogenized milk provided locally by Kilgus farmstead.  One of the things I found to be quite interesting about the Coffee Hound is that they hosts coffee cuppings, and other events to help further cafe cultural within Bloomington-Normal.      

The Coffee Hound has a very modern vibe and loud decor, their bright green walls are clothed with an array of paintings and photographs that are sure to catch your attention. Coffee Hound has that hustle and bustle feel, it is so full of life and energy. At any given time of day, you will find the cafe filled with people coming in and out for a quick coffee break. It is without a doubt that a crowded cafe is great for business, however it is not so great for those who are in need of getting some serious work done.

The seating in Coffee Hound is not the best. They do not have a lot of options for group sit ins. The Coffee Hound would not be the best place for those looking to complete group projects; there's just no where to sit a large group. Another one of the major cons of the Coffee Hound is their hours of operation The cafe closes at 6pm everyday except for sundays, on sundays they close at 5pm. As a student these hours are not beneficial at all. 

As for now, the Coffee Hound does not have any kind of live entertainment. Since their hours of operations are typically during business hours it just wouldn't make much sense. However, people are usually pre-occupied conversing or trying to relax before returning to their busy schedules. Coffee Hound is perfect for people who simply want to grab a quick cup of coffee and recharge for their day. If you would like to know more about the Coffee Hound and all the cool things they are doing check out coffeehound.net





Fusion Brew is the go to place for college students!  It is the perfect place to study or just lounge around with a friend. The vibe is always laid back and easy going. It is very easy to concentrate here. The cafe owner did an exquisite job establishing the perfect environment for students. Everything at Fusion Brew is quite subtle The colors are soothing and the music is always mellow. 

The Cafe is Uniquely known for their Bubble tea otherwise known as Boba milk tea. Bubble tea is a healthy and filling drink. Boba which is sucked through a large straw and chewed on as you drink your tea, is made of tapioca pearls. Aside from the Bubble tea, Fusion brew has a large menu and you are always welcomed to tweak things to your liking. 

One of the major plus sides to fusion brew is that it is open later than the rest of the cafes in town. Fusion Brew is open as late as 11:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. As for the other days of the week, they are open till 10:00 pm. Thus allowing students to get away from their dorms and take a break from the library to experience a different working environment. Fusion Brew is seated in chairs of two, but it is very easy to move the furniture around if needed. 

Another one of Fusion Brew's highlights are their Ukulele Jams on the first Saturday of every month. Beside the highly anticipated Ukulele jams, Fusion Brew does not currently have any kind of open mic night. They do however have a small stage, which they say may one day be used for things like open mic. For now you can feel free to come and enjoy Ukulele night.

Overall, Fusion Brew has been a great asset to the town, especially for students. 



As you've just read Bloomington-Normal has a lot of cafe culture to explore. If you're new to town or have just been stuck going to chain coffee houses, highly recommend you try anyone of the above cafes. You are sure to fall in love with one of these cafes.