It's not exactly a shack (more like a cute and brightly painted boutique), but the Art Shack does indeed have art. The works of local artists are displayed throughout, from turned wood items to oil paintings to pottery. It's a great place to find something unique for a gift or for yourself. But they also have a small café offering good coffee, smoothies and restorative baked goods such as muffins, scones and cookies. Stop by to peruse the art, and then relax with a cup of joe and a treat!
Cloud Nine Market's Coffee Shop is the ideal spot to rest your feet and refuel while shopping in the Vista. Savor a cappuccino or latte, nibble on a muffin or a slice of cake (or share a big cookie), but then be sure to hit the aisles. This place is a browser's heaven, with a great assortment of gourmet foods, coffees, bath products, and home accessories. If you need to find the perfect gift or want to splurge on a little something for yourself, you can find it here.
Two of life's finer pleasures – chocolate and books – combined in one marvelous little shop. Stop by in the morning for a hot cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin or cinnamon roll. Late in the day, you can enjoy a fine gourmet chocolate, slice of pound cake or fresh-baked cookie. Don't neglect the books – the selection may be limited, but it's high-quality and fun to browse through.
Regularly cited as Columbia's coolest coffeehouse, Cool Beans has everything you're looking for. The food is satisfying, the coffee is great (try the "Perfect Woman" – it's a mocha-type concoction with whipped cream and a chocolate disc on top), the WiFi is free and the clientele is eclectic. Plus, they stay open until midnight, making it a decent place to hang out if the bar scene isn't your style.
Café Strudel is a trusted destination for breakfast and dessert, no matter what time it is. Their Hangover Hashbrowns (smothered with onions, peppers, cheese and two eggs) are simply fantastic, and they're available all day. More traditional lunch options include soups, salads, well-stuffed sandwiches and burgers. But if you just want a little something sweet or a steaming cup of coffee, you'll be quite happy with your choices here. Sunday brunch is most wonderful, too.
At lunch, the lines at Immaculate Consumption are a little daunting, but there's a good reason for that. The food is exceptionally good, well above coffeehouse standards. It's nothing fancy – salads, sandwiches – but it's well prepared, fresh and unusual, and the baked goods are downright wonderful. And don't forget the fantastic coffee. If it's hot outside (and in Columbia there's a good chance of that!), opt for a frozen mocha. Divine.
This popular lunch café serves up some of the best burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads in downtown Columbia. And if the chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and layers cakes are tempting, go ahead and splurge – every one is as good as it looks!