A means to caffeine: Coffee fixes in Fort Lauderdale

Hands shaking, fingers drumming, heart thumping at a million miles a minute, these sensations are all hallmarks of first dates, interviews and coffee houses — places where new beginnings begin. Whether diving into a fresh relationship or shooting for a career advance, caffeine can guide you through late nights and motivate your mornings. Oct. 1 marks International Coffee Day, an occasion honoring coffee’s far-spread influence on art, cuisine and friendship. Celebrate by learning more about ethics in coffee-farming with “Fairtrade” on pg. 3-4 and getting a caffeine buzz at these local breweries.

Stork’s Bakery and Coffee House

Sometimes, the move is simply kicking back with a cup of joe and relaxing. Stork’s Bakery and Coffee House has a quaint yet cozy atmosphere that welcomes its customers to be themselves while indulging in choice treats. Their menu is expansive, offering eight different specialty coffees everyday; a range of pastries, cheesecakes, cakes and mousses; sandwiches, quiches, salads and soups; and tea and smoothies. Whether you decide to treat yourself to baklava or a macaroon with your coffee, you can lose track of time sprawled on the sofa of their fan-cooled outdoor patio. Get to know yourself or someone else a little better at this snug Wilton Manors escape.

The Alchemist

If you’re more in the mood for adventure, Wilton Manors still has a haunt for you. The Alchemist is a coffee shop that mixes fine ingredients, precise technique and a bit of magic to make the most of its beans. Located on the outskirts of a neighborhood, the cafe offers an idiosyncratic beauty to explore. On a path leading away from their patio, you can pass by the Wander Shop to restock your wardrobe with a new hip fit or Wild Elements for handmade soaps and candles.  Venture a bit further on the path, and you’ll see a plethora of street art, an abandoned trailer and a cobblestone path — all perfect for a photoshoot with friends. Plus, your iced coffee will never water down no matter how much time you take exploring thanks to the magic of coffee ice cubes.

Brew Urban Cafe

Become part of South Florida’s art scene as you sip latte art at this Downtown Fort Lauderdale hangout. With one wall open to the train tracks beyond, Brew Urban Cafe welcomes all kinds of friendly customers to enjoy its espresso, and that includes dogs! Get creative with your drink and try a lavender or maple flavored latte. Then, head on over to one of Brew’s assorted easy chairs to get some work done or lose yourself in the chitchat of the shop. Frequently, Brew Urban hosts movie nights, open mic nights, live music and more after hours, so you’ll certainly have something to do with all the energy their espresso leaves you with.

Stache Drinking Den + Coffee Bar

Coffee shop by day, cocktail lounge by night, Stache Drinking Den and Coffee Bar inspires the feeling of a 20th century speakeasy. You’ll experience a sneaky thrill when entering the posh place as it’s business sign is labeled “Himmie Health Club”, all in the name of the stealth one had to maintain in the Prohibition Era. Once inside, you can order an espresso-based drink or let loose with a New Orleans Sazerac, and as you drink, you might feel like you’ve been invited to one of Jay Gatsby’s house parties. Afterall, Stache sometimes puts on burlesque shows, hosts live music and invites local DJs in to ensure you forget all your troubles in the 21st century.

Undergrounds Coffeehaus

Take your coffee with sugar and a used book at this hidden away cafe located at the top of a shabby staircase. Undergrounds Coffeehaus offers quirky treats like Poptarts and tater tots to munch on after your down your drink. You can spread out on a couch and watch television, play chess or hang over the balcony as you reflect on the various old books stocked on shelves all around the store. Away from the food, Undergrounds has a room reserved just for local artists to wow you with more words encased in beats instead of books.

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