The Best Craft Coffee Spots in Las Vegas

If you're like me you love good coffee. That kind of place that makes their own syrup and doesn't burn their milk and really cares of coffee. When I travel I read the local Yelp reviews trying to wade through the advice to figure out if it's actually good coffee or if it's just syrupy standard stuff that people think is good coffee.

All that to say, I'm a coffee snob and I own that fully. So about Las Vegas....we found two great spots! And one to avoid.

Go to PublicUs. It's off the beaten path near Downtown Las Vegas (not the strip). There will be homeless people close by. And you will be blown away by the coffee, the friendliness, the store aesthetic and even the food. We went here every day, one day twice. Each time we were greeted warmly and served up a nice rich latte-not overly sweet at all. We tried the food and that was good too-all made in house. The interior is industrial meets mid century modern; so well done. I know you will like it :) Every person working there seemed to enjoy their job and care about their business. Sorry no pictures, I was to busy enjoying my coffee.

The Mothership. Good solid craft coffee. Kind service and all pastries baked in house-Yum!

Cafe Presse (inside the Venetian). Bitter coffee with overheated milk. I expected more from a coffee place inside an Italian themed hotel. Skip it.

Secret Spot at the Venetian, Las Vegas

place to work on your computer at the venetian las vegas
I was in Las Vegas last week for a business trip. I had some extra time and I wanted to do some work on my computer while taking in the sights and sounds of the Venetian canal shops. I stumbled upon an amazing uncrowded space right on St. Mark's square.

Pop right into Paris Baguette, grab a yummy pastry and head up the stairs that are tucked away at the back of the shop. This takes you to a little hidden gem. There is a small space for patrons with several window spots overlooking the main Piazza.

 It's much quieter than sitting in the main plaza and you can still log onto the Venetian/Palazzo complimentary WIFI. If you've ever been to Venice, it's much like Museo Correr Cafe where you can pay a little extra to enjoy your coffee overlooking St. Marks Square even without an admission to the museum.

Tiny Beautiful Things

dear sugar

Read this book. It will change you and make you consider and open you up to possibilities. Most of all it will make you grateful.

Ms. Strayed writes an advice column and shares some of the letters she receives in this book. While very few related directly to my life, the thoughts she shares are full of wisdom, pain and grace. Here is one section that impacted me.

"That you would not have chosen the things that happened to you in your life, but you are grateful for them. That you have two empty bowl eternally in your hands, but also the capacity to fill them." -on the loss of her mother and father-one to death and the other throughs distance. 
"Let yourself be gutted, let it open you, start here."

The Best Coffee in Orange County, CA

You won't find any Frappuccino Milkshakes at Hopper and Burr. With just 5 items on their coffee menu, this is serious coffee.

When we travel, we always try small local coffee houses. Some of our favorites have been in Portland and Austin. When we come home to Orange County,  great coffee is hard to come by. Hugely disappointing.

Then there is Hopper and Burr. The Cappuccino is so smooth that I didn't even need to add any sweetener. They are a small pop up shop inside Little Sparrow in Santa Ana. And they make toast! With fresh bread! And Avocado!

I think I finally found great coffee in Orange County! This girl is in heaven.

Updated April 2016.....and now there's two more wonderful hipster coffee spots in Orange County! Two of our newest favorites Neat Coffee and The Common Room.

How to get around in Venice, Italy

boat taxis in Venice
When you visit Venice be prepared to walk a lot. There are canals everywhere with bridges and stairs.
And no cars.
Aside from Gondolas and the Vaparetto (public transportation boats) these vintage wood boats are the main type of transportation in Venice. They fit easily under bridges when the tide is high and go fast when they are not is the small canals. This is most likely a taxi :) They remind me of a James bond movie.