Bloomington-Normal is full of amazing coffee shops to grab a drink, sit and enjoy the atmosphere or get off campus to do homework. If you prefer fruity iced drinks or warm fall flavored drinks there is a place for you in the area.
Fusion Brew is located on Main Street in Normal. Fusion Brew prides itself on being a home away from home. They are aware that most of their customers are college students who do not live in the area.
Fusion Brew wants to create a space where people feel comfortable. “I love going to Fusion Brew because it has such a happy and calm vibe,” first-year Marissa Hagler said. On Fusion Brew’s website another one of their main goals is happiness. “The workers are so kind and care about the customers,” Hagler said.
They want customers to leave happier than when they came in whether it is the people or the drinks. “It’s also an amazing place to get school work done. I could live off their bubble tea,” Hagler said.
There are a few locations of Coffee Hound in the area. The Bloomington Cafe is located on North Main Street, the Normal cafe is located on West North Street both of these locations have food at their cafes. Their second Bloomington location is on East Washington Street known as their Satellite Cafe that only has assorted drinks.
“Coffee Hound is my absolute favorite place to get a chai latte. The vibe of their cafe is so calming to be in,” junior Riley Haug said. The cafe was started by couple Steve and April Fritzen.
Their main mission is a mindful approach to coffee. “Unlike most coffee shops their seating is so unique. Their high-top tables with barstools are so fun to study at. I also love all their comfy seating options. It is my favorite spot to go in the area,” Haug said.
Bloom’s Coffee Bar:
Bloom’s Coffee Bar is located on Towanda Avenue in Bloomington. They are bringing the exclusively drive thru establishments that are mainly popular on the West Coast to the Midwest. Bloom’s opened in August of 2019 after completely renovating their space.
“Bloom’s has become my favorite place to get drinks this semester. Their coffee bar only has a drive through which is so unique to Bloom’s. They have specialty coffees, smoothies and slushies and they make your order so fast so it is so easy to go before class,” junior Reilly Nugent said.
They have so many options from classics to Bloom’s originals. The amount of flavors they have and variety of drinks is a reason alone to go to this aesthetic coffee bar. Bloom’s does not stop at drinks, they also have baked goods.
Gloria Jean’s Coffee:
Gloria Jean’s may not be an obvious choice to get coffee, they should be a huge contender on the coffee scene. Their Bloomington location is on Empire Street in the Eastland Mall and their second location is on Northbrook Drive in Normal. One of the most popular menu items is a Chiller. These drinks are coffee based but have the consistency of a milkshake. They also have classic drinks like an iced mocha or americanos.
“Gloria Jean’s is the best. Their drinks are for sure specialty, sweet drinks that are probably considered more dessert based. Gloria Jean’s is the best place for a Monday pick me up,” junior Bobbi Davidson said.
Gloria Jean’s also has a snack bar part of their menu with a huge variety of food. The Snack Bar varies from sweet danishes to a chicken salad sandwich.
CRAFTED Coffee Brews:
CRAFTED Coffee Brews is located on Airport Road and has multiple different attractions in one location. There is a coffee bar, a common bar and a poke restaurant.
“CRAFTED has so much to offer. They have coffee, craft beers and food. I have never seen that combo of menu items so it was really interesting my first time going. They have the best variety on their coffee menu with so many different flavor options. I love their lattes,” junior Ellen Stephens said.
CRAFTED also has a huge outdoor area where they host a Volleyball and Bocce league. The most important mission of CRAFTED is the sense of community they bring to the area.
Engaging in the community can greatly enhance a college experience and help make Bloomington-Normal feel more like a home. These places combine the basic activity of grabbing a cup of coffee and community and they do it extremely well.