Some people prefer lemonade. Some people enjoy horchata. Others caramel lattes. And the occasional person who just drinks water. With about a third of the MA community restricted to transportation by foot or by pedal, the locations accessible from school are limited. Walkscore.com (a site that rates public accessibility from a specific location) rates MA to have a 55/100 walkability score (somewhat walkable) and a 91/100 “Biker’s Paradise” score. So when it comes down to finding a place to get coffee, go shopping, eat, or any other pastime, MA students discover themselves struggling to find destinations around the neighborhood. So, we created a list.
1) Loons CoffeeÂ
Sophomore Kari Palmer usually prefers her day with caffeine. Lack of sleep and iced caramel lattes apparently go hand in hand. Turns out when you’re around after school most days to help with the play, there’s a lot of coffee. And Loons Coffee happens to be right within a five minute walk of MA. It’s in the old Dunn Brothers building next to Corazon. “I like the atmosphere,” Palmer said. “It’s always quiet and the workers are just so nice and I’ve had such a good experience with every single one of them. And they’re always so sweet and like to talk with you. And they’re a good price as well.” Palmer’s favorite thing to get at Loons is an iced caramel latte with oat milk – and the price is apparently cheap compared to other local coffee shops she’s been to. “I think I’ve paid $7 for a latte at other coffee shops,” Palmer said, “but I’ve never paid over $5.25 at Loons and that’s with the cost of non dairy milk and flavor shots as well, which I really appreciate.” My personal favorite is an iced vanilla latte or the mocha frappe. Palmer also has heard Loons blended drinks are good too. Plus, it’s open from 7:00 to 6:00 every day. So maybe try it – I’ll bet you’ll find something good.
The most noticeable things about Dogwood, an MA family owned coffee shop, are probably a), the giant mural (which looks great, by the way) on the exterior wall, and b), the ever rotating barrage of customers visible from the outside window. And part of said barrage are MA students – one being Ezra Victor, a first-year at MA. “Their cashiers are really friendly, which helps because I’m not afraid to talk to them as a student.” Victor said. He recommended Dogwoods cookies – and Palmer says that her go-to is their cappuccino. “If I ever want something fancier I go to Dogwood,” Palmer said. Dogwood closes at 7:00, which makes it easier to visit after practice. Try it out – or if you’re a student at MA – convince your advisory to go.
This one’s more of a hike – but totally worth it. Located on Minnehaha Avenue, 10 minutes away from school on foot, Wildflyer Coffee’s mission is to end teen homelessness. Youth aged 16-24 can enter an employment training program for four months and work at the coffee shop. And when you go, you never see an adult – there’s only teens, which makes it super fun to go for MA students. More information can be found at Wildflyercoffee. com. Oh – the coffee’s really good. Menu favorites include chai, miel, a french girls latte (Rose cardamom syrup and garnished with dried rose petals on top) and a new signature, the Longfellow. The highest drink price is $5.50. Highly recommended. Warning: Wildflyer does close at 5:00.
Antique & gift shops
One of my sister’s favorite mugs to drink from (she loves tea) is a heat sensitive coffee mug that shows a girl looking through a telescope at a beautiful constellation of stars. I got it for her at Corazon as her Christmas gift a few years ago. Corazon is right next to Loon’s coffee and great for presents. Items include cookbooks, hats, the occasional birdhouse, jewelry, mugs, various books, and more.
It’s great for finding props for the school play – and it’s also just plain entertaining to walk through. It’s also bigger than it seems. Time Bomb, an antique store also on the corner of 36th and Lake, is easy to get to, sells antiques, and *gasp* clothes. “It’s very chaotic but good” Palmer said. “You always find something new and it’s fun exploring and just touching things.” And maybe drop by Laune Bread or Savory Bake House while you’re at it.
These are also a little harder to get to, located on Marshall Avenue – which is why they’re paired. The Bark and the Bite is a quaint, southern-style restaurant wedged in between Black: Coffee and Waffle Bar and the Wicker Shop. Warning: it’s not for everyone, so think about if whoever you’re going with is okay with coleslaw and collard greens. And prime rib. If this is right up your alley, you’re in league with my family – they love it. The Black: Coffee and Waffle Bar is really good – but if you’re going to go, be prepared – it’s pricey. But if you really like waffles, the expense can be overlooked.
You may smell it before you see it. Just a few minutes’ bike ride away, sandwiched in a corner of the neighborhood, cast right off the side of 36th and Lake, a bakery is squashed in a tiny, tiny, tiny little store. Savory Bake House. Barely visible or noticed – except for the steady aroma floating out from the door on a beautiful day. And a few paces away resides Laune Bread, another bakery. Opening hours are listed below – so make sure to drop by for breakfast one morning. Tips: try Savory Bake House’s scones and Laune Bread’s coconut pecan bear claws. Savory Bake House Hours: Monday – Wednesday – Closed Thursday – Sunday – 9-12 Laune Bread Hours: Thursday – Saturday hours: 8 am – 2 pm 3) Turtle Bread Many MA students know about Turtle Bread. Some students even work there. Turtle Bread is a cafÃ© about a 10 minute walk from MA – and serves breakfast and lunch. (The farmer’s breakfast is highly recommended) But what many MA students don’t know about is the chocolate bread. It’s delectable, and my personal favorite. However, it’s only made on Fridays and Saturdays, and sells out fast. And let me explain. The chocolate bread is not white bread with chocolate chips in it. This is cocoa powder in the dough, chocolate chips mixed in – and it’s super chocolatey. But if you want to get it, you’ll have to go right after school, since Turtle Bread closes at 4:00. But it’s super fun to eat breakfast with a friend on Tuesday late start mornings there. Consider it!
Wherever you choose to hang out around the neighborhood, please know that every place is welcomed. And tell the MA community about the places you find!