Special Exhibit Featured in Salem - plus Seven Great Spots Where You Can Grab a Warm Drink
Editor’s Note: In accordance with Oregon's public health framework to reduce the spread of COVID, indoor seating at restaurants, bars and tasting rooms in Marion & Polk Counties is allowed at 25% capacity (outdoor seating is allowed; take-out is still recommended). Indoor facilities - including museums, gyms and theaters - are also allowed to open at 25% capacity. We recommend contacting businesses before visiting regarding hours of operation and protocols. To protect our communities, we ask everyone to follow Oregon's Safe & Strong Guidelines: wear a face covering, maintain social distance and wash your hands frequently. We'll get through this together.
Coffee and tea has been a part of our collective culture for thousands of years—from tea growers in the Middle East to coffee harvesters in Africa and South America. (And that’s to say nothing of the rise of Starbucks over the past 30 years.)
And through March 5, 2021, that history gets its due with an exhibit on coffee and tea through time at the World Beat Gallery in Salem. To bring the exhibit to life, the Salem Multicultural Institute teamed up with Deepwood Museum and Gardens to showcase a variety of historic items that pay tribute to the role coffee and tea has played in our lives for centuries. Exhibits include tea and coffee sets from several cultures, as well as photographs to help visitors understand the rich history in more depth.
But coffee and tea doesn’t just exist in museum exhibits; high-quality libations are offered throughout the mid-Willamette Valley, each showcasing the hard work of local roasters, creative baristas, and home-grown companies dedicated to sharing the best of the popular beverages.
So as you look for your next cup, here are seven shops and roasters pouring quality coffee and tea in Salem and the mid-Willamette Valley.
The Governor’s Cup Coffee Roasters (Salem)
The Governor’s Cup Coffee Roasters has been a downtown Salem institution since 1991 and, today, is the city’s oldest craft coffee roaster. The shop’s fresh-roasted coffee is a hit with diners for its smooth, easy-drinking flavors—which are far less bitter than what might be found at bigger chains.
Diners will also find a variety of milk alternatives to meet different dietary needs, fresh-made bagel sandwiches for meals on the go, and a deep selection of loose leaf tea for non-coffee drinkers—all of which can be enjoyed in a spacious outdoor seating area.
Archive Coffee & Bar (Salem)
Downtown Salem’s Archive Coffee & Bar is a small-batch roaster that prides itself on finding sweet and bright flavors in its many coffees. And its coffee is emblematic of a broader Archive story defined by craft and creativity.
One of the coffee shop’s most popular items, for instance, is the Bee's Knees—an espresso drink that incorporates (among other ingredients) honey, rosemary, and lavender for a slightly sweet, somewhat floral taste. Visitors can also try nearly 20 teas from around the world.
Archive also specializes in cocktails and cocktail mixers (including wine cocktails, which are mixed drinks made with champagne or wine). Unsurprisingly, given the shop’s attention to quality coffee, one such cocktail is served piping hot—and incorporates coffee into its ingredient list: The Knight Cloud includes brandy, hazelnuts, oat milk, chocolate, marshmallow, and—of course—coffee.
Broadway Coffeehouse (Salem)
At the northern edge of downtown Salem, Broadway Coffeehouse works overtime to reflect the community it serves.
That means serving java from a variety of regional roasters—including Coava Coffee Roasters, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and Dapper & Wise Coffee Roasters—with meticulous brewing methods that help ensure a refreshing cup. Broadway also imbues its space with a sense of community by decorating its walls with artwork from Salem-area artists and serving fresh pastries from Dough Hook Bake Shop.
When indoor seating is allowed again, Broadway has earned plaudits for its spacious interior, full of couches and comfortable chairs for a relaxing break.
IKE Box and Isaac’s Downtown (Salem)
IKE Box and Isaac’s Downtown, both anchored in Salem, comprise Isaac’s Room, a nonprofit whose mission is to offer community, support, and opportunities to at-risk youth in the Mid-Willamette Valley.
The IKE Box coffee shop serves light breakfast fare (including sandwiches and several varieties of quiche, pastries, and snacks) alongside coffee roasted by Sisters Coffee Company and artisan tea from Metolius Tea (both based in Central Oregon). In doing so, the shop trains, mentors, and employs local youth as part of an apprenticeship designed to build self-sufficiency and support young adults through teamwork and skills-building.
Isaac’s Downtown brings that mission to downtown Salem with more of a café experience that serves breakfast sandwiches, salads, snacks, lunch sandwiches, house-made baked goods, and other fare—along with its fresh coffee, of course.
Karma Coffee Bar and Bakery (Dallas)
Seemingly everything about Karma Coffee Bar and Bakery is crafted to make you feel at home—and that includes its shop, which sits inside a converted home in Dallas.
A few chairs and tables dot the front lawn and patio—both of which make a fine place for sampling Karma’s fresh-brewed coffee, sourced from Allan's Coffee & Tea (a Mid-Willamette Valley institution that has been roasting since 1972). The coffeehouse also prides itself on a rotating menu of creative specials each month—like February's "Hot Date", a latte made with caramel, cayenne, and chili powder for a spicy kick.
And if you’re looking for baked goods to pair with your coffee, Karma makes a variety of cookies, cakes, muffins, scones, doughnuts, and other pastries in-house.
Sitting in the Cascade foothills, Moxieberry is a downtown Stayton staple and is known as much for what it pours into your cup as what it puts on your plate.
For starters, Moxieberry sources its organic, fair trade coffee from the Café Femenino program, a South American cooperative that's led by (and supports) women farmers in Peru.
That coffee pairs particularly well with Moxieberry’s menu, which includes soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, fresh pastries (such as scones and muffins), and regular lunch and dinner specials; the café’s ever-changing specials occasionally include smoked brisket tacos, clam chowder, lemon chicken piccata, and chicken enchiladas.
Rosie’s Mountain Coffee House (Mill City)
Rosie’s Mountain Coffee House has been a mainstay in Mill City for more than 20 years.
As the name implies, Rosie’s prides itself on pouring a variety of coffee drinks—all using beans from Silver Falls Coffee Co., a regional fixture since its launch in 2009; the small-batch roaster, based in Silverton, roasts beans from around the world.
Smoothies and infused energy drinks round out the menu, as do the café’s homemade scones, deli salads, made-to-order sandwiches, and wide variety of pastries (including lemon bars, muffins, and decadent cinnamon rolls).