Missoula is a college town, tucked behind a mountain range and stationed next to a river. A brisk walk through town will have you greeted by smiles, accents galore, and lingering smells.
Missoula is an easy-going town, laid back, and full of positive attitudes everywhere. The mom-and-pop shops scattered throughout town pull tourists and locals alike in for a warm cup of joe and a great story.
What do you look for in your favorite coffee shops? The ambiance, food, coffee, or friendly service? Good news for you, these cafes have all four making them the best coffee shops in Missoula!
The Top 9 Coffee Shops in Missoula, Montana
- The Book Exchange
- Butterfly Herbs
- Break Espresso
- Bitterroot Beanery
- Black Coffee Roasting Company
- Florence Coffee Company
- Drum Coffee Roasting
- Clyde Coffee
- Market on Front
1. The Book Exchange
Bringing you the library vibe on a cafe caliber, The Book Exchange is a nifty little coffee shop hidden amongst rows of books. For students, this one is a given.
If you forgot your laptop for the day, borrow one of the two desktop computers The Book Exchange has available for customers. It’s been family-owned and operated since 1979, so you’ll be right at home.
If you just walked in to enjoy one of their delicious drinks, they serve up the Liquid Planet menu that everyone chats about. Try one of the specials, or have the staff whip up whatever you’re craving.
Feasting for a tasty story? Snag a book from the bookstore or trade-in one of your own to enjoy in the cafe.
Best Brewed for: Bookstore romantics wanting a mix of everything without having to be too social.
2. Butterfly Herbs
If the name doesn’t sell it for you, their whole beans just might! Butterfly Herbs has been voted time and time again as Missoula’s best supplier of whole bean coffees.
It doesn’t stop there, they also boast the oldest espresso bar in the city, making it an ideal stop when checking out coffee shops in Missoula.
If morning jitters aren’t your vibe, grab a tea instead. This cozy nook just happens to be the number one supplier of bulk teas in the Northwest Region. Safe to say, you’ll have a decent selection to browse from.
They even needed to borrow a ladder from the historic General Store to snag one of the hundred top-shelf teas.
Fun fact- The location for Butterfly Herbs used to be a pharmacy back in the day. Therefore, don’t be swayed when you notice the entryway tiles saying “Drugs.” The only drugs they sell here are sweet mango tea and scrumptious lattes.
Best brewed for: Tea lovers and those wanting a hint of nostalgia from the antique espresso bar.
3. Break Espresso
This number on the list is the best late-night haunt in Missoula. They’re open 365 days a year, and until the last person leaves (or so they say).
There’s a diverse range of customers who pick up a coffee here at Break Espresso. Locals stop by often for their cheesecake, and cinnamon rolls. They’re not to be missed!
For new visitors, the cafeteria-like service might be a turnoff, unless you embrace it. For some foods they serve cold, there’s a community microwave to heat your dish to the temperature you wish.
It’s been around now for over 24 years and counting. People love to take a break and relax with some of their comfort foods and on-the-fly sandwiches.
The best part is the interior though. It looks like a scene from an old western film. Saddle up and try their toasty cappuccino.
Best brewed for: Cowboys and cowgirls looking to complement their coffee favorites with a yummy baked pastry.
4. Bitterroot Beanery
This cafe serves only the best, organic ingredients in their single source, cruelty-free coffee selection. Their coffee beans come directly from an indigenous co-op that’s been operating for generations.
The beans are shade-grown, fair trade, cruelty-free, and freshly roasted daily, which will certainly sway the socially-conscience consumer when looking at coffee shops in Missoula to explore.
Every day of the week, Beanery staff dishes up a new concoction such as the caramel toffee latte, and the Irish rose chai. I’m sure if you suggest a new mixture, they’ll be happy to try it with a smile. Who knows, maybe you’ll invent the next big coffee breakthrough?
Bitterroot Beanery has a few locations littered throughout Montana, so you can hit a few on our western road trip if you fancy. The newest location is centered right in Missoula.
When was the last time you got to sample a Werther’s flavored coffee? It could be Tuesday at Bitterroot!
Best Brewed for: Coffee enthusiasts looking to shake things up or those who prefer only organically sourced ingredients.
5. Black Coffee Roasting Company
As you arrive at Black Coffee Roasting Company, you’ll see a line out the door. It’s so popular amongst locals and tourists alike, it stays pretty busy even in non-peak hours making it a notable stop when exploreing coffee shops in Missoula.
You can’t miss out on the experience. This roasting company preps and roasts their organic beans on-site every day, and has a wide range of espresso beans to suit. The location is a newly remodeled aircraft hangar, with a fresh vibe to it. It’s spacious, open, and airy.
However, it’s not a good choice to get work done if you’re needing the internet, as there is no wifi in the building. Perhaps they do this so nobody occupies the tables for the whole day?
Either way, for a business casual chat or a catch-up with friends, Black Coffee delivers. I recommend ordering the avocado toast, an iced latte, and spending an hour or so dreaming about being a pilot.
Best brewed for: A long overdue catchup with family and friends, lattes, and hip airplane-lovers.
6. Florence Coffee Company
This family-owned and operated coffee shop has a chain of over 20 cafes within the state. It serves up the same quality as other homegrown coffee corners, with character and a memorable name.
They gained their popularity by providing top-notch service, without waiting. Their drinks speak for themselves, an espresso shake? Yum! Customers have a special place in their hearts for Floco (as locals call it).
They can count on Floco for a comfortable seating experience, warm service, and freshly made to serve drinks. It’s a common studying place for students as well since their wifi is one of the most dependable around.
Best Brewed for: A cool tasty treat and a spot to sit and catch up on work or study.
7. Drum Coffee Roasting
International travelers unite! Take your pick from one of 5+ world-sourced coffees at Drum. They’re all single-origin, so you can rest easy at night (unless you drink this coffee before you sleep).
El Corazon, the Colombian coffee is bold and full-bodied, bursting with flavor. Are you a fan of cinnamon? Try the Art Signature Blend, Drum Coffee’s in-house choice. They mix a bit of cinnamon, maple syrup, and pecan pie to spice up your morning. Some customers come daily to get their fix of Drum’s espresso creations. It’s addictive!
One awesome pro to this place is their limitless vegan options. From baked goods to coffee, they have all the bases and taste buds covered.
Best Brewed for: Coffee drinkers who want to travel locally, and vegan desserts.
8. Clyde Coffee
Light, savory, rustic, and hip. These are four words you could use to describe a cafe experience at Clyde Coffee. The location is stunning, brick and mortar. It gives a very European style feel with its aesthetics.
The drinks are heavenly and come partnered with reasonable prices and unpretentious staff. The food is prepared in an upscale fashion. For business meetings, this is a solid choice. For chats, it’s a fancy lunch and divine coffee meeting.
All together, Clyde is a collage of art, aesthetic, dream-like flavor, and chill. Each coffee bag has its individual, edgy artwork that’s a sight in itself. To get the real scoop on upcoming art events and underground concerts, ask the staff or check out one of the many posters.
Best Brewed for: Artistically minded consumers looking for a place to blow off some steam in luxury fashion.
9. Market on Front
A new and upcoming name in downtown Missoula is Market on Front. It has many faces; a restaurant, deli, artisan grocery shop, and coffee nook.
All their ingredients are locally and sustainably sourced for their customers. You have to check out their coffee merchandise, it feels like a blast from the past.
Market on Front’s dishes look like they’ve been pulled from the pages of famous food magazines. You can tell your food is made with love, consideration, and expertise. Since perfection takes time, you can call ahead if you’re rushing and they’ll have your meal ready for your busy workday.
Locals are in love with the epicurean experience, one customer states, “getting a burrito from Market on Front is better than getting flowers.” You have to stop by!
In addition to the mouth-watering food selections, Market on Front is home to a delectable coffee bar. Try their drip coffee, or opt for something sweeter like their strawberry matcha.
On their website, the owners are very transparent about the local producers they use for their menu and coffee selections. Customers can see exactly where they’re getting their dinner from, and how it was sourced.
Best Brewed for: Those in the market for a new palette experience, ethically sourced products, and lots of local love.
Coffee Shops in Missoula – Final Thoughts
It is no surprise given the diverse culture of the area that coffee shops in Missoula will also vary in both atmosphere and customers. That means coffee lovers can find a place for a quick coffee on the go, try out a unique blend with high-quality eats, or find a spot to park and get some work done.
The experience of any of the coffee shops in Missoula has something for everyone, so make sure to take some time to explore the various locations in search of your next favorite drink!