I grew up in Truckee, California. Perhaps surprisingly, coffee shops weren’t a big part of my life as a youngster in this town. My experience was mainly limited to the one coffee shop within walking distance of my high school (we had off-campus lunch, which was sweet!). But then I started freelance writing and working for myself from my computer. I couldn’t do all of that work from home, especially when I was still living with my parents. So I began extensive marketing research to find the best coffee shops in Truckee.
Today, I’ll tell you which spots I prefer and why certain coffee shops are better for certain things than others. I hope you enjoy and find this article useful next time you’re planning a trip to Truckee!
Side note: Please take some time to learn about us and understand why we’ve created this site. We are always on the lookout for new opportunities and we believe in the power of win-win situations to improve life on this planet for all! Please don’t hesitate to Contact Us if you have any questions or want to talk about how our future plans may align.
Best For Work and Best Coffee: Dark Horse Coffee Roasters
I started with this category because it is the main reason why I visit coffee shops. If I’m going to sit down somewhere for multiple hours to check tasks off my list, I need good Internet and comfortable seating. It’s also important to me that the atmosphere is conducive to productivity. Dark Horse has the right balance of lighting, ergonomic seating, and warmth.
Now, I’m not a Wi-Fi expert, but Dark Horse also seems to have one of the best connectivity offerings in town. I’ve rarely been in there (and I’m a frequent flyer at this point) and experienced an extended Wi-Fi outage. In addition to a great work environment, they do offer a number of tasty treats (waffles, breakfast burritos, cookies, etc.) to keep you satiated while you work.
When it comes to the actual coffee, Drew Taylor (the owner) and his crew always seem to be bringing in new and exotic roasts from Tanzania, Guatemala, Ethiopia, and other far-flung reaches of the world. If I’m not buying my own bulk coffee from the natural foods stores in town (see: New Moon), then I’m definitely buying in bulk from Dark Horse.
Best For Food: Wild Cherries
My experience with Wild Cherries goes way back to my days at Truckee High. We used to get 30 minutes to treat ourselves to off-campus lunch and this coffee shop was one of the easiest places to walk from campus. That being said, if you’re visiting the town during the school year, be aware that the lunch rush can get pretty hectic here and it’s not uncommon for the line to be out the door as the high schoolers flock for their lunch options of choice.
I think Wild Cherries has the best food options for any coffee shop in Truckee. They have a large menu that includes pastries, smoothies, sandwiches (both for breakfast and lunch), and more. My go-to food choice here in a breakfast sandwich on an everything bagel with egg, bacon, pesto, and avocado. Try it out (unless you have a nut or avocado allergy!).
I also know plenty of people that work from Wild Cherries, but it isn’t my preferred spot for getting work done for a couple of reasons. First, the constant influx of visitors can be a bit distracting when you’re trying to focus. Second, I always seem to run into multiple people I know in town when I go to Wild Cherries (it’s a personal problem, I know). That is sometimes nice and sometimes counterproductive to the workflow. However, if you’re coming into town and need a good breakfast or lunch spot, be sure to give Wild Cherries a try!
Best For Social Hour: Coffeebar
Coffeebar Truckee might be classified as the “most hip” coffee shop in Truckee and it’s one of my favorite spots for meetings or getting together with friends to catch up and enjoy a great cup of coffee. Their space has a lot of different seating options, and I actually used to get a lot of productive work done at the high-top tables in the back of the coffee shop.
Because of its variety of seating options (both indoor and outdoor), Coffeebar Truckee is my pick for the best coffee shop in Truckee for social hour. It’s also a great spot to sample vegetarian and vegan food options. And their coffee isn’t bad either. They also get extra kudos for staying open later than any other coffee shop in town (7 pm) and they always have a selection of beer and wine options if you’re getting together with friends later in the day.
My number one reason for NOT working at Coffeebar Truckee much these days is that the noise level can be a bit distracting. While I must admit I haven’t been in for a short while, the last few times I was there the music was a bit loud for my liking. Combined with the noise from people’s conversations, the coffee maker, and the kitchen, I just began to found it hard to stay focused (again, maybe a personal problem, but just trying to be honest about my experience!).
Best For Minimal Distractions: Tuff Beanz
Tuff Beanz is tucked away just outside of Old Town Truckee. It’s the kind of place you wouldn’t really stumble upon unless you were looking for it, which is why it’s my choice for the best coffee shop in Truckee for minimal distractions. They have a couple of comfortable booths on the right side of the shop and a small table if you’re getting together with a work colleague to crank out a few hours of work.
They do offer a small selection of breakfast sandwiches if you get your day started early there and their coffee will get the job done as you’re trying to peel your eyes open. I love their booths because they’re the kind that have high seat-backs so that you can’t see what’s going on in the next booth over. It makes it really easy to put the blinders on and really squeeze several productive hours out of your morning!
Best For A DMV Visit: Zuri Coffee Co.
If you’re in the new to town and need to get your car registered locally, Zuri Coffee Company is my pick for the best coffee shop in Truckee when you’re in need of a DMV visit. It’s conveniently located next to our local DMV location. They have great coffee and a solid selection of breakfast and lunch options. And now that the DMV has an external speaker, you can literally hear when you’re number is called and it’s time to go next door.
If you hate visiting the DMV as I do, this is a game-changer. Gone are the days when you have to sit inside the DMV and waste time on your phone while waiting to be served. I’m all about efficiency, so if I can check off a few work tasks on my computer while I’m waiting for my number to be called, I’m going to take that opportunity every single time!
The Slow Life Guides
If you’re visiting Truckee soon, drop us a quick email for more recommendations on restaurants, bars, places to stay, things to do, or anything else you’re interested in!
We would love to connect with anyone along our journeys about collaborations or simply to build new relationships. We believe that we are in a constant process of community building these days because our communities can now cover greater distances (thanks technology!) than ever before.
If you want to get to know us, now you know where to find us and we look forward to hearing from you!
27 thoughts on “The Best Coffee Shops in Truckee”
Ever since I have started a new life style, intermittent fasting, I live on coffee. I have become a coffee snob. Instead of trying out new restaurants, I am now trying out all the new coffee shops. Coffeebar is definitely a place that I definitely want to hang out just to catch up with friends. Thanks for all the recommendations. I check them out on my next visit 🙂
Definitely let us know next time you’re in town! We’d love to connect over a great cup of coffee!
Coffeebar seems to meet all my requirements when talking about the best possible coffee shops. I like the setting and the cool look. For what is worth, it seems to ve the most classiest here and I like that. I’m a typical working class and getting coffee at special shops is one of the things that makes me ecstatic when taking a coffee. Thank you so much for sharing all these here. I really fancy it a lot
Coffeebar was my go-to coffee shop in Truckee for a long time. I have veered away from it over the years, in preference of a workspace with fewer distractions. But, as I tried to make clear in my article, I believe there’s an occasion for which each coffee shop in town is best!
Those are beautiful coffee shops. They all look so cozy and unique! I was immediately drawn to The Dark Horse. It looked like the perfect place to unwind, get out your laptop with a nice cup of coffee. I like the other ones too, like the Coffeebar. I have never heard of Truckee, sorry (I don’t live in the US), where is it located? Maybe one day I’ll make a coffee stop there 😉
Wild Cherries totally looks like a place where students would line up. I was seeing the line of students waiting for their turn as you were describing it. It must have been so nice to be able to have lunch off campus 🙂 Which of these places you mentioned serves the best coffee? Is there any specialty particular to one of these coffee shops?
Truckee is in the mountains of California! The closest city is actually Reno (in Nevada). For my money, I prefer Dark Horse’s coffee (as well as their working environment), but I do think that Coffeebar is a close second in terms of roasts and varieties. The baristas in both places are always super friendly and willing to offer local recommendations as well!
I have never been to Truckee but it is very nice to read about this because I will be visiting probably very soon and it will be very nice to know where to get some really nice coffee as well. I have grown to like coffee a lot and I need to get some myself. With the information here, it will be of tremendous joy that I will pick what I want for myself. Nice one!
Thanks for your comment! Our town continues to offer something very special, even if I can’t always put my finger on EXACTLY what that is. Please let me know how you like it here when you do get your chance to visit!
Truckee in Califonia is one of my wished places to visit. I feel that I need to visit the place because I have heard about how awesome it is. I didn’t know that some of my favourite drinks to take are also sold. You have given a good differentiation of all of them and that’s very nice. I will like to have a taste from all these places. Thank you for sharing this experience.
You are very welcome and I look forward to hearing about your experience when you do visit! Please come back and let me know which coffee shop was your favorite!
I have friends from Greece who are living permanently in California. I’m sure they’ve visited Coffeebar Trikee because I’ve seen their posts on socials in this area. When I asked them they told me they had the best coffee in California. I would definitely recommend your article to you to visit the other places you recommended.
Thanks! What are the chances of you making a trip to California in the near future?!
I hope to be able to visit within the next five years. Thanks.
I have always preferred coffee to tea and even with the various importance I have read about different blends of tea, I still will pick coffee over it.These are some nice places in California, and although i haven’t been there before, and I wonder how good he coffee can be. But going by your description of these shops, the Tuff Beanz suits my taste a lot. “Without sugar please”.
I like to drink my coffee black too! If you make it this way and have a chance to sample any of these coffee shops, I’d love to hear about your experience. Come back and leave another comment with an update when you have a chance. Cheers!
Thank you so much for sharing this!
It is so nice to see how simple and cozy coffee shops can be worldwide, I simply love visiting all around the world through my computer.
I was reading some of your articles and it really inspires me, I want to become one day a digital nomad and go around the globe, traveling, enjoying myself, and out of the 9-5 loop.
Do you have any recommendations for rookies? Any special hint or tip you would give yourself a few years back?
Hi Luiz! I actually have several recommendations for those just starting out! You should check out my other site (tuckerballister.com). I actually have a multi-part guide to help freelance writers get their business up and running. If you shoot me an email through that site, I’d also be happy to provide you with a code for $10 off that guide. Of course, let me know if you have any questions!
It hurts me to see this article on best coffee shops in California after I had left there. I had a business trip to California and didn’t really get involved in enjoying the activities of the city before leaving. Taking time to enjoy coffee from there would have been a wonderful idea and way to enjoy my leisure. I like the coffeebar so much. I would bookmark this post for future purpose. Cheers
You can always come back! And we would love to learn about your experience with your favorite coffee shops in Truckee after your next visit!
Coffee is one thing I really love and it’s very rare for a day to pass by without me having at least a cup of it, it plays a lot of roles in making my day kick off nicely, energetic and with great vibe to work. I’m not based in Truckee but I think it’s a good idea to have this at the disposal of People who stays in the area or are new in the place. It’s nice to read through it.
Thanks! When you do get a chance to visit, sample some of these local spots and come back to let us know which was your favorite. Cheers!
This article will be of great help to people staying Truckee, new people moving into the area will find it really easy to get different types of coffee they want without stress. It’s very good of you to share your experience in order to help others who might need it. I hope one day I visit Truckee, I’ll email you as you’ve suggested, it’s helpful to know about this.
Thanks very much and I really do hope to hear from you!
For a normal hang out with friends and to also enjoy the ecstasy of taking and enjoying coffee in its full splendour, taking it in the Coffeebar would really be awesome. There is this sense of class and uniqueness that this place oozes of and I would not be thrilled to pass the beauty of exploring this beautiful coffee shop. thanks for recommending
You are very welcome! Coffeebar is definitely worth the stop next time you’re in town!
Enjoying coffee with family, colleagues and maybe with my partner in the outdoor can only be more making sense in a venue such as this coffeebar. Ever since I have started keto and intermittent fasting, it has been really a thing of beauty and joy and I have grown accustomed to taking coffee. so, i wouldn’t mind treating myself to a coffee outdoor here.
I’ve been reading a bit about the keto diet and have done some small experiments with intermittent fasting in my past lives (ha!). Anyway, I’m just curious, what schedule do you use for your fasting? For example, how many hours do you usually go between meals?