Best Coffeehouse

Meshuggah Cafe

Staff Pick

Back in the day — specifically, back in the grungy, burgundy hair dye, Dr. Martens, flannel shirt, clove-cigarette-fueled '90s — Meshuggah Cafe was a dingy, smoky spot on a little side street off the Delmar Loop where poets, chess players and everyone in between formed an almost comically quintessential band of coffeehouse misfits. Jen Kaslow knew this Meshuggah, and when she bought the cafe from its longtime owner, she vowed to keep its identity intact. In the past four years that she's owned the place, she's done just that, maintaining its indie spirit even as she's instituted some much-needed updates (hooray for all of those electrical outlets!). Even more importantly, she's kept the house coffee the same — a roasty, strong-as-hell Americano that regulars made her swear she'd never change. Close your eyes and sip, and you'll swear you can hear the Singles soundtrack somewhere in the background.

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