Coffee at its Best: A Guide to the Area’s Finest Cafés and Roasters 

A few years ago, we wrote about some of the area’s best cafes, and we’d like to revisit the subject. This time, it’s with a twist. We focus only locally owned, independent coffee houses and a few restaurants noted for their fine coffee. 

These suggestions are in no particular order. Rather, we give you ample choices of remarkably chic places to sample. 

Old World Breads, Nassau Rd., Lewes 

Owner Keith Irving is a local celebrity when it comes to his breads and baked goods. He insists on the finest quality ingredients and uses locally sourced vendors. This includes his coffee. He only serves Gaia coffee from a little window in the shop that brews this direct trade coffee just the way you like it. Although coffee is not his primary product, his customers will tell you that the Gaia coffee is the perfect complement to his superb bakery goods. 

Gaia Coffee Company, Lewes 

This roaster has a unique story of how they choose, then roast their beans. They travel primarily to Costa Rica and other Central American countries to meet, watch and choose the finest coffee that must adhere to sustainable farming practices, and pay its employees fair wages. They buy directly from the farmers – no middleman – and roast the coffee in Lewes in small batches. Though they don’t operate a store of their own, they do offer delivery of their beans (Lewes and Rehoboth Beach only) for subscribers. Event catering and shipping of gifts is also available. It’s coffee on a distinct mission. 

Drifting Grounds, Garfield Pkwy., Bethany Beach 

A favorite of the locals and the peak season visitors, this hip little café is a gem for Bethany. Drifting Grounds opened in 2015, and (especially during summer months) is a go-to for their iced coffee. 

Indian River Espresso and Coffee Company 

Don’t let the shopping center address fool you. This is a reputable local company that roasts coffees from all over the world, right in the shop. As their name implies, their espresso coffee is a fan favorite. Plus, they deliver. 

Mug and Spoon Company, Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach 

The former Mug and Spoon Company morphed into Somewhere Rehoboth recently, and it is a great place to grab breakfast. Mug and Spoon coffee continues to be served there – a must for their loyal customers. 

Kaisy’s Delight, Lewes, Rehoboth Beach and other locations 

Still independently owned, Kaisy’s Delight is truly a delightful place to grab a cup of Joe, or have breakfast or lunch with their made to order breakfast specialties. Their coffee reviewers give high ratings to Kaisy’s for the only kind of coffee they serve: La Colombe. 

Lewes Bake Shoppe & Notting Hill Coffee Roasters, Lewes 

Step inside this mainstay of Second Street in Lewes, and you are immediately bombarded by some of the most tempting scents – coffee and baked goods. The Notting Hill company roasts an astounding 125 coffee flavors you would never imagine. The combination of the bake shop and café makes this a great stop while shopping, and while you are there, you can find a packaged flavor to go, a great gift from Lewes. 

The Nook, Paynters Mill, Milton 

In addition to their heavenly coffee, The Nook offers a comprehensive breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, enjoyed in a quaint atmosphere. One of the first things you may notice are the very reasonable prices on the menu. It’s worth the drive, located just off Coastal Highway. 

Commission Coffee, DuPont Hwy., Millsboro 

This new, family owned café is also on a mission to serve only certified organic and fair trade coffee. They roast their coffee beans on site, and they sell their freshly roasted beans in their store. Also worth the drive. 

The Backyard, Broadkill Rd., Milton 

Taking off in popularity, The Backyard boasts fantastic food, and its coffee has special roots. The restaurant’s founder served in the Peace Corps, where he was exposed to the farming practices and coffee trading operation in rural areas. Therefore, the coffee is purchased from farms throughout Central America. I dare you to walk out of there without purchasing one of their obscenely tasty cookies or goodies up front. The register is strategically located directly above their display of homemade baked goods, so bring a sweet tooth to accompany your coffee. 

There are many more places to mention, but this is a focus on the hardworking local cafes and roasters we are blessed with around here. Get out, explore, and make your own recommendations! Let us know:

By Bridget FitzPatrick 

3 responses to “Coffee at its Best: A Guide to the Area’s Finest Cafés and Roasters 

  1. I was so excited to see this list of coffee shops in the area and couldn’t wait to visit them. When I looked for the addresses I learned that several of them are no longer in business and they do not even have a storefront. For example, Commission Coffee does not appear to be in business in Millsboro any longer. Indian River Espresso and Coffee Company appears to be out of business and there are no comments or posts on the Facebook page you reference since 2015. Perhaps a bit more research is needed before publishing.

    Gaia coffee and Lewes Bake Shopp are indeed wonderful though as are several others you mention.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. We will DEFINITELY give this more of a look and update it shortly! We appreciate your help to make us better, and your patience in guiding us (to keep the platform free we run with a very limited staff, but LOVE to learn how to grow, and where to fix things when we miss them). THANK YOU!!! And, please do give us feedback like this, it is helpful!

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