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East Village Must: The Village Bean

Nestled on 5th Street in the historic East Village sits The Village Bean Coffee. This locally owned coffee house isn’t just serving up your average cup of Joe. They offer a variety of quality, true Italian style sips: lattes, cappuccinos, frappes, real fruit smoothies, chai tea lattes and a limited breakfast and lunch menu that doesn’t disappoint. Beer and wine are also served here — a perfect assortment to help you unwind from your hectic day.

From the moment you step inside, you’re welcomed by the friendly staff happy to make your perfect drink or a tasty bite to eat. I highly recommend the Panini-style breakfast bagels. My turkey, egg and provolone was mouth-watering good. I’m also a huge fan of their skinny vanilla lattes (best I’ve ever had). If you’re looking for a cool summer drink, their Italian sodas, offered in a variety of flavors are the

I got the chance to chat with owner, Mitch Bugge who bought the place in March of 2013 to give people a place to meet and hangout outside of the bar scene. “The East Village was chosen as there was a need for a quality, independent, coffee shop, to fit in with the diverse, yet independent nature of the area,” says Bugge. “The East Village is a fantastic spot, with plenty of opportunity for growth.”

The Village Bean offers a relaxed atmosphere for anyone. If you’re looking for an intimate spot, this fits the bill. Grabbing a quick drink with a friend? Snatch the quaint, tree-shaded table for two just outside. The Village Bean is also an ideal spot to host a small meeting, thanks to its art-lined, alley-style seating area.

“We specifically feature local artists, and each artist who is selected has the opportunity to hang their work for two months,” says Bugge. “We also stay open late one Friday while their art is displayed to the have a chance to have an open house.”

Mitch values this community and is always looking for ways to give back. For instance, after giving blood across the street at the Blood Center, he offers ten percent off your coffee. The same goes for those who ride the bus or bike to work — receive 10 percent off with your bus pass or helmet.

So next time you’re in need of a little caffeine or a quick bite to eat, skip the chains and head here. You’re taste buds and wallet will sure be glad you did.

The Village Bean Coffee Co.

Find it: 305 East 5th St.

Hours: 6:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Tuesday, 6:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. Wednesday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 7 a.m. Saturday, 9:30 - 2 p.m. Sunday

Info: 515-309-0133,