Photo by @jessicaheit
Pensacola really does offer the perfect recipe for an ideal vacation spot – endless days of sunshine, miles of sugar white beaches and superb coffee. Well, everybody might not agree that coffee is an essential part of paradise, but I wouldn’t want to visit a place without knowing there was an ample supply of quality caffeine to fuel my adventures.
1. Maximilian Coffee, 3419 N 12th Ave, Pensacola
While locals drive from all over town to have a cup of Joe at Maximilian Coffee, it’s the hub for coffee lovers in Pensacola’s historic East Hill neighborhood. It offers a full menu of hot and iced coffee drinks and a generous selection of yummy baked goods and other food.
Maximilian, which is the sister restaurant to adjoining Cactus Flower Café, specializes in Latin coffee drinks. Their best seller, Cafe Mexicano, includes cinnamon, chocolate and brown sugar. Maximilian prides itself on being the only coffee shop in Pensacola that uses organic coffee beans, a fair-trade brand called Amavida Coffee. Maximilian’s coffee not only tastes great, but you can feel great about drinking it.
Photo by @maximilian_coffee
2. Mojo’s Coffee Shop, 13430 Gulf Beach Hwy, Perdido
Even on your first visit to Mojo’s Coffee Shop in Perdido, you’ll feel like you’ve somehow been there before. In a lot of ways, Mojo’s is the quintessential coffee shop, with a modern menu. Like the neighborhood coffee shops of an earlier time, local old-timers meet there in the morning to discuss the affairs of the day before most tourists have left their condos.
However, Mojo’s menu offers all the espressos, frappes and iced coffee selections modern coffee enthusiasts expect. It offers endless combinations of syrup flavors and other add-ins. Want a coffee drink that taste an Almond Joy candy bar? They can do that. The last time I was there, I had a frappe that tasted like peanut butter and toasted marshmallows. Mojo’s also offers baked goodies, breakfast items, wraps and sandwiches.
3. Drowsy Poet @ Innerlight, 655 Pensacola Beach Blvd., Pensacola Beach
When you hear that the Drowsy Poet is located “inside” the Innerlight Surf Shop, you may picture coffee carafes in a corner with powdered creamer and a sugar bowl. Not so. Drowsy Poet is a full-sized, full-service coffee shop on the third floor of Innerlight’s building. With indoor and deck seating overlooking a marina and neighborhood around Little Sabine Bay, it has the best view of any coffee shop on the coast.
Drowsy Poet, a local chain, features a line of specialty coffee drinks named after historic writers of literature. On a recent visit, I had a Milton -- espresso, steamed milk, chocolate and caramel, topped with whipped cream. It also offers a line of fun frappes called “poetchinos,” as well as smoothies, breakfast items, baked goods and lunch sandwiches.
4. Bodacious Brew, 407-C South Palafox St, Downtown Pensacola
Bodacious Brew is a hip, sleek, modern coffee shop that could just as easily be serving lattes in downtown Seattle as Pensacola. It has sidewalk seating and a dining room. It offers a full coffee menu of cappuccinos, Americanos and iced mochas. It also features a robust food menu, including breakfast quiches, made-to-order eggs, sandwiches and sweets. For those on the go, the coffee shop offers a “Brew-Thru” drive or walk up coffee window around the back of the coffee shop on the corner of Main and Baylen streets.
Bodacious Brew is part of the renaissance that has blossomed in downtown Pensacola over the last decade or so. Palafox has become a beating heart of restaurants, shops and entertainment. Bodacious Brew provides the caffeinated fuel for the those who shop, work and live there.
Photo by @skyedumontmusic
5. Constant Coffee, 615 Scenic Hwy, Pensacola
Constant Coffee boasts a spacious dining room with an even larger menu selection. It offers a wide range of coffee drinks, from a full espresso bar to a line of cream drinks called “coffee bouche.” Those combine cold brewed coffee, milk and cream, shaken with flavors like chocolate, strawberry and orange. They also have an impressive food menu.
On a recent visit, I had a Canal Street Au Lait, which is like a traditional café au lait with steamed milk and coffee, but adds nectar syrup for a touch of sweetness. While I waited on my drink, though, I became jealous of someone else’s latte on the top of which the barista painstakingly painted a work of art in coffee and foam.
Photo by @megsauer