11 October 2021
On many a bike tour, we stop at Upper Left Coffee Roasters (1204 SE Clay St, on the “upper left” corner of Ladd’s Addition) for its delicious coffee, outrageously good breakfast sandwiches, and the proximity of its outdoor seating area to the roasting operation.
Upper Left roasts with a delicate hand, resulting in more acid-centric but highly flavorful beans, specializing in origins like Peru and Ethiopia. Among small roasters in the city, the company has developed one of the keenest fan bases of any, and its beans and cold brew (one variety infused with cacao beans) are available at many local groceries and specialty stores.
The real thing that draws people into Upper Left Roasters is the lovely location on the edge of the bike- and walking-friendly Ladd’s Addition neighborhood. Sit on one of the outside tables in the sun, rain or cloudy “heron” weather, and watch the bicyclists commute by.
The current seasonal beverages include the perfect fall choice, a maple turmeric latte, and our favorite and most-recommended Cafe de Olla; orange-peel infused cold brew, sweetened with piloncillo and topped with dairy, oat or hazelnut-cashew milk. For chocolatey treats, try the cacao-infused cold brew made with Ranger Chocolate’s cacao. The breakfast options are rich and full of carefully-cooked eggs (no one poaches like Upper Left), delicate greens, perfect vegetables, and our favorite breads from little t baker. Plenty of vegan options.
As of this writing, in October 2021, Upper Left Roasters was open daily, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Indoor dining available with proof of vaccination, and plenty of outdoor seating is available year-round with no requirements.