Big Mouth

Eau Claire Downtown Coffee

More stories from Maggie Cipriano

On Hawai’i Time
December 3, 2018

Located in downtown Eau Claire is one of my absolute favorite spots. Eau Claire Downtown Coffee, or ECDC, is nestled inside The Lismore, a Doubletree hotel. It is filled with fresh pastries, coffee, espresso drinks, tea, smoothies and various food options.

The decor is a modern take on mid-century modern classics. The chairs are slim and artistic, and the colorful carpet leading to the fireplace is made up of trendy triangles. With a double-sided fireplace and barn doors, this swanky space belongs on an HGTV show.

Personally, I always snag a seat next to the fireplace, where the chairs are much too big for one person, yet too small for two people.The tree trunk end tables beside the chairs make sure that every seat has some table space to take Instagram-worthy pictures of your latte art and multi-colored macarons.

Windows make up the surrounding walls, letting in all the natural light one may need to study, or take that successful Instagram picture.

After setting your backpack down in the best spot available, make your way to the counter. In the pastry case there are giant chocolate chip cookies, oversized kolaches, homemade doughnuts and an array of cakes and cupcakes.

Beside that case, there is a chilled pastry case. This case holds the many flavors and colors of macarons, pies, salads and beyond. After exploring all of the options for food, moving onto the drink selection may seem overwhelming, but do not let it be.

Here is what you should order: the matcha latte with almond milk. This is the best matcha around. It is smooth and green, and sweet, but not too sweet. The almond milk adds a nutty flavor instead of the sweeter, more mild taste of regular milk.

If matcha is not your cup of tea, ECDC is known for its wonderful tea selection and espresso drinks. Not only does ECDC have a selection of tea and coffee, but within their selections, there are more choices: fruity coffee, nutty coffee, fruity tea, herbal tea and more.

As for the food, hands down, the best item on the menu is the Farmer’s Market Grilled Cheese. Between sourdough bread, there seems to be, yes, an entire farmers market of flavor. With roasted zucchini and eggplant, spinach aioli, fresh basil, tangy herbed goat cheese and a drizzle of a sweet balsamic reduction, this grilled cheese meets all of the comfort food requirements — just in a fancier way.

It is creamy, salty, sweet, filling and over-the-top delicious. With a side of potato chips, and goat cheese oozing from the sides with each bite, this meal is not for the faint of heart. It will take dedication and a hungry stomach to finish this sandwich.

To round off the meal, there must be a dessert. What I usually go for is the giant chocolate chip cookie. This is not an exaggeration, this cookie is bigger than my head. It is soft on the inside and chewy on the outside with a chocolate chip or two in every bite. This meal promises a fully belly and happy heart.

ECDC has vegan and vegetarian food and drink options such as vegan scones, muffins and soup, but these are limited and may not be made every day.

As far as coffee shops go in Eau Claire, ECDC has the highest price point with the most extravagant options. At the price point, you will definitely get the most for your money, especially with the student discount and a punch card.

With finals quickly approaching, head to ECDC for an Instagram-worthy, quiet study spot complete with tasty snacks and caffeine to keep you going.