Where to Go When You Desperately Need More Than Just a Caffeine Fix

girl drinking coffee in cafe

Ever found yourself crawling for a coffee fix that also doesn’t bankrupt your soul? Yeah, me too. Let’s talk about where to hit up in Urbana, Il when your coffee cravings kick in, and you’re hoping for something extra on the side.

I ventured into five local cafes, and let me be blunt: not all caffeine is created equal, nor are the vibes that accompany it.

1. Courier Cafe


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Courier Café (@couriercafe)

Walking into The Courier Cafe feels like stepping back in time. The ambiance is a blend of a retro diner and your favorite aunt’s living room. The coffee here? It’s straightforward, unpretentious, and exactly what you need to kickstart your day.

But the real star of the show is the food – hearty, comforting, and generously portioned.  It’s the kind of place where you end up spending more time eating than you planned, and you don’t regret a single minute of it.

Plus, they serve breakfast all day, so whether you’re in the mood for omelets, biscuits & sausage gravy, or flapjacks at 3 pm, they’ve got you covered.  They even offer a 4% cash discount on menu prices, which is a nice touch in today’s plastic world, though they do charge an extra fee for card payments.

2. Café Kopi


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Paul J. West (@cafe.kopi)

Café Kopi is the neighborhood’s chill zone. Here, the coffee is diverse, catering to all tastes and preferences without making your wallet weep. The food strikes a perfect balance between indulgent and nutritious, ensuring there’s something for every mood.

It’s the kind of place where you can lose track of time, curled up with a book or typing away on your laptop, all while nursing a perfectly brewed cup.  They take their coffee seriously, offering fresh roasted and brewed coffee bought weekly, including single origin and fair trade options.

Don’t miss out on their in-house specialties like daily cold-pressed iced coffee, chai lattes, and the Café Miel – a honey latte that’s simply divine.  The only disadvantage is that the café closes at 8 pm, unlike, for example, Espresso Royale which closes at 12 am.

3. Caffe Bene

Caffe Bene is an escape to Korea. The coffee here comes with a unique twist, blending traditional Korean flavors with familiar favorites. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive, but the experience is worth it, trust me.  The vibe? It’s like stepping into a K-drama, stylish and inviting.

I looove their sweet waffles in the morning. They are served with fresh strawberries and just the right size to leave you satisfied without leftovers. The honey bread, a large portion accompanied by fruit, is also an absolute must-try.

4. Espresso Royale

If you visit Espresso Royale, you must try their Caramel Vanilla Latte, it’s unreal. It’s the kind that has you coming back for that same comforting taste (don’t ask how many times that has happened, I even became friends with the entire staff).

The food is straightforward, focusing on convenience rather than flair. It’s the no-frills choice for those days when all you need is a good cup of coffee and a quick bite, without any fuss. It’s a place where the simplicity of the menu is its greatest strength, allowing the quality of the coffee to shine through.

5. Brewlab Coffee


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BrewLab Coffee (@brewlab.coffee)

Brewlab Coffee is the latest addition to the Urbana coffee scene, quickly making a name for itself as the spot for coffee aficionados and newbies alike. With a focus on the science behind the perfect brew, they treat coffee making as a form of high art, ensuring each cup is a masterpiece.

Their baristas are more like guides, ready to take you on a journey through flavors and techniques from around the globe.

6. Sam’s Cafe

The cafe boasts a cozy, old-fashioned ambiance that reminds you of the classic American greasy spoon diner. Sam’s Cafe shines with its diner-style food lineup, offering breakfast and brunch favorites that keep the crowd coming.

Open from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm on most days, and a bit longer on Thursdays through Saturdays, it’s the perfect spot for early birds and us late risers looking to indulge in comfort food. Sam’s offers a taste of home cooking away from home, making it a must-visit for anyone craving a slice of Americana.

Cash is king here, so remember to hit the ATM before you drop by.

The Bottom Line

Each cafe, with its distinct personality and offerings, invites locals and travelers alike to sit down, savor the moment, and enjoy the simple pleasures that a good cup of coffee or a delicious meal can bring.

Next time you’re in town, why not check out these spots? Who knows, you might just find your new favorite hangout. And if you don’t, at least you’ll be well-caffeinated for the search.

Related Posts