Sights with Sami

Currents Editor West discovers a new coffee shop in downtown Eau Claire

More stories from Sami West

Sights with Sami

Have you ever found a place you thought was so great you had the undying urge to come back the very next day?

Me neither.

That is, until this weekend when I discovered Eau Claire Downtown Coffee (ECDC), 205 S. Barstow St., which has only been open for about a week.

I’ll be honest; I’ve been known to frequent coffee shops more than the average joe. If my friends or family aren’t sure of my whereabouts, it’s usually a safe assumption that I’m off at a coffee shop somewhere, most likely with piles of homework to do or with my nose in a book.

It wouldn’t be that uncommon to find me at a place like ECDC — but two days in a row? That doesn’t usually happen with my busy schedule and my unfortunate but inevitable status as a poor college student.

As much as I wish I could go to a coffee shop every day, it’s simply not feasible.

All those roadblocks virtually disappeared at ECDC, and I made my way over to the shop not just Sunday afternoon to catch up with friends, but also Monday afternoon to conquer my mountain of homework and get some much needed me time.

I couldn’t help but go twice — there is so much to love about it.

First of all, its location is top notch.

Since arriving in Eau Claire and discovering the downtown area, I was astounded when I realized my only option for a coffee shop sort of setting was Acoustic Café.

Though I love Acoustic Café, it’s definitely nice to have other options, especially one like ECDC. The place is certainly refreshing for this city, being more modern in design and possessing more of a big-city coffee shop vibe.

When I first stepped foot in ECDC, I immediately felt as if I had wandered into a coffee shop like Spyhouse in the Twin Cities.

Smooth jazz playing in the background, a fire roaring in the wall fireplace, one of the comfiest chairs I’ve ever sat in and the scent of freshly brewed coffee in the air, it was like I found my own personal heaven on that rainy Sunday afternoon.

My friends and I reveled in the atmosphere of ECDC as we chatted and soaked up the warmth of the fireplace and our coffees.

And on the second day, ECDC didn’t disappoint, that atmosphere transferring over well to the three hours of homework that I’d been procrastinating on all day.

I sat at the bar against the front window of the shop, and was able to appreciate the charming view that is Barstow Street and people watch. Both were nice distractions from my homework.

On top of that, I fell in love with ECDC’s selection of food and coffee.

According to their website, ECDC offers solely fresh and healthy food and, more importantly, “lots of coffee.”

Though I didn’t try any food during my two visits, I noticed how fresh and visually appealing the food selection was. I also took note of the variety.

ECDC didn’t stop at coffee shop regulars like muffins, donuts, breads, cookies and varying pastries. Oh no, they also had an assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables available for purchase, in addition to cooled non-coffee beverages and pre-made lunches by the register.

I can definitely vouch for their coffee, though.

One could say they lacked in a selection of specialty coffee drinks, but to be honest, I think that would only detract from the minimalistic, modern vibes of the coffee shop. You’re not meant to get a drink drowned in sugars and flavoring at this type of place.

As a college student, what stood out to me the most about this new business was the overwhelmingly cheap prices.

If you’re a Racy’s regular like me, you probably know all too well the painful price of ordering one of their famous mochas. I rarely am able to escape Racy’s without forking over at least five dollars. This is not an issue at ECDC.

I about toppled over from shock when I ordered “fancier” coffee drinks on both of my two visits (a caramel latte on Sunday and a mocha on Monday), and it cost me less than four dollars.

So if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck and a refreshing coffee shop located in Eau Claire, look no further. You’ve found it.

And, who knows, maybe you’ll even go two days in a row like I did.