9 Unique Coffee Shops in Lansing & East Lansing

Rachel HannahAugust 2, 2023

When I first moved to the Lansing area almost a decade ago there were lots of local restaurant options but the coffee shop scene was virtually non-existent. In just the last few years new coffee houses have been popping up (this would have been nice during my college days) and trying them all has been one of my favorite things to do in Lansing!

Now there are enough places beyond the Biggby and Starbucks chains where I decided that writing a blog post about them could actually be helpful!

Below, I’ll explain what stands out to me about the drinks at each coffee shop, the environment, which ones are good for studying/working in, where they are located, and more. So let’s get into the best coffee shops in Lansing and East Lansing!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

Best Coffee Shops in Lansing

1. 517 Coffee

517 coffee shop exterior lansing mi
517 coffee shop interior lansing mi

Price: $4.50 USD for a latte

Seating: Only two small tables in the corner

Location: 6030 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd – Southside Lansing

Hours: 7 am to 3 pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 2 pm. Closed Tuesday.

You won’t really find specialty coffee shops on the Southside of Lansing but 517 Coffee Company is a welcome addition to the neighborhood!

517 Coffee started out as a small basement roasting operation by a husband and wife team back in 2014 and it didn’t turn into its own cafe until the beginning of 2022. Now that is a labor of love!

The owners are down to earth and are heavily involved in supporting other local businesses and their community.

From the outside, the small brick building doesn’t look like much but once you get a taste of their coffee you’ll understand what this place is all about! They have all your typical coffee and espresso drinks, matcha, and chai.

I ordered the Baklavatee which had pistachio-walnut syrup, honey, and cinnamon – a super delicious combination! If you want something to nibble on they have a small selection of donuts and other baked goods in the case.

2. Blue Owl Coffee

blue owl coffee shop exterior reo town lansing
iced to go lattes blue owl coffee reo town lansing
retro brick gallery wall blue owl coffee reo town lansing mi

Price: around $6 USD for a 12oz latte

Seating: Lots of tables inside and outside, there are outlets in both places.

Locations: REO Town, Old Town, East Lansing

Hours: 8 am to 5 pm every day

Blue Owl Coffee is a local standout! It has been one of my favorites from the beginning and it still is. There are three locations with their REO Town location being the original and the most cozy in my opinion.

The brick wall, retro decor, and furniture make it somewhere where you want to stay for a while. I always found myself getting a lot of work done here and there are a lot of tables with outlets.

One thing unique about Blue Owl is that all of its flavors are infused naturally instead of the flavored syrups that most coffee shops use! Not only is this better for you but the taste is authentic and there is no weird aftertaste like some syrups have sometimes!

If you aren’t a coffee drinker they have a wide variety of interesting teas to try and even cocktails! Blue Owl Coffee is definitely a staple coffee shop in Lansing you shouldn’t miss out on.

3. Strange Matter

strange matter coffee cup
strange matter coffee shop lansing mi back entrance

Price: 12oz lattes start at $4.50 USD

Seating: Yes, a nice open space with ample seating but it fills up quickly. There are a couple of tables outside.

Locations: Downtown Lansing, Lansing

Hours: Monday to Thursday from 7 am to 4 pm, 7 am to 5 pm on Friday, and Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm

I would best describe Strange Matter as simple. Their straightforward drink menu matches the minimalistic and modern themed interior and every drink that I have ordered here I’ve been happy with.

First off, when you go up to order you are bound to notice their colorful case of donuts and baked goods (mostly vegan) which are always tasty even if you aren’t vegan yourself!

Their seating area is nice and open and it’s a comfortable place to get some work done with lots of natural light coming in the windows. You’ll need to come early though if you want to guarantee a place to sit because it can get busy.

4. Château Coffee Co.

chateau coffee co sign lansing mi
coffee bar at chateau coffee co lansing mi
lounge area at chateau coffee co lansing mi

Price: $5.75 USD for 16oz latte

Seating: Handful of tables and chairs, lounge seating by fireplace, outdoor picnic benches

Location: 1701 S Waverly Rd

Hours: 7 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday and 7 am to 6 pm Saturday and Sunday

One of the newest coffee shops in Lansing is Château Coffee Co. on the west side tucked away in an old plaza. I drove by it a few times before I decided to stop in and I’m glad I did.

I went for a Strawberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Latte and it was incredible!

It was opened at the beginning of 2022 by an MSU student who was originally born in Lebanon. You will see touches of his roots in the decor, and on the menu including Arabic coffee, baklava, and ladyfingers to name a few.

On top of all this, I noticed they served all of the most common coffee drinks and had TONS of interesting flavor combinations, seasonal drink specials, and coffee flights. The coffee they use in their espresso drinks is from 517 Coffee which I already mentioned earlier in the list!

There’s a lot of room to sit and chat or study for a few hours and the environment is laid back. I already know this is a Lansing coffee shop I will be frequenting in the future!

Best Coffee Shops in East Lansing

5. Foster Coffee Company

lounge seating in front of windows foster coffee east lansing
iced seasonal latte foster coffee east lansing mi

Price: $7.40 USD for a 16oz latte

Seating: The main level has a few small tables and sofas with minimal outlets but the upstairs loft has lots more seating and outlets for working.

Location: 196 Albert Street

Hours: 8 am to 4 pm Monday to Saturday and on Sunday they open an hour later at 9 am.

Next on this list of East Lansing coffee shops is Foster Coffee Company. Their original location is in Owosso and my brother used to drive all the way there every so often just for their coffee because it was THAT good!

East Lansing finally got their own location right on campus and it’s always busy with both students and locals.

They roast their own beans and bake their own baked goods so the quality is top-notch! This is definitely reflected in the price of their drinks.

They usually have a few different featured drinks which I like trying but my go-to is either the vanilla mint or the lavender latte but it’s hard to go wrong with anything that you might order. They also do pour-overs, afagatos, teas (including chai and matcha), smoothies, and espresso milkshakes. If you’re hungry they have a few different wraps, sandwiches, avocado toast, and oatmeal.

To park I recommend the Albert Ave Parking Garage adjacent to Foster’s.

6. Poindexter Coffee

half bench plaid seating poindexter coffee graduate east lansing mi
green and white pencil wall poindexter coffee shop east lansing
gallery wall staircase poindexter coffee shop east lansing

Price: Around $5 USD for a 12oz latte

Seating: Plenty of seating including low and high-top tables and half booths.

Location: 133 Evergreen Ave

Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 7 am to 1 pm and Friday and Saturday from 7 am to 3 pm.

Poindexter Coffee is part of the Graduate Hotel chain that you can find all across the country. The Graduate East Lansing is a super impressive newcomer to East Lansing right across from MSU’s campus and you can find Poindexter Coffee right in the main lobby.

How fast will you be able to spot the bright yellow Lamarzocco espresso machine?

The 1920s aesthetics here are to die for with plaid upholstered half booths, a book wall, and a pencil-inlaid coffee bar it mixes classic with collegiate perfectly. I also love the open floor plan, high ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows for great lighting.

There is plenty of seating and all of the different areas conveniently have outlets.

My iced Snickerdoodle latte was extremely good and everyone else in my group loved their drinks too! Poindexter also serves breakfast and lunch all day long so it great a one-stop shop.

I love this East Lansing coffee shop so much and it’s definitely a top favorite!

7. Constellation Cat Cafe

white and brown cat laying next to constellation cat cafe cup
He is so fluffy!

Price: $6 USD for a latte

Seating: A few tables on the cafe side and in the cat room.

Location: 3320 E Lake Lansing Road

Hours: Monday to Thursday 12 pm to 8 pm and Friday to Sunday 9 am to 8 pm.

Constellation Cat Cafe is the cutest among the coffee shops in East Lansing because of the adorable cats that are up for adoption in one half of the cafe. While you can come just to enjoy a coffee or milkshake you can also reserve a spot inside the cat room to be able to play with them or just watch them through the glass window!

Only 12 people are allowed in the room at a time so make sure to make a reservation online in advance, especially on a weekend. It only costs $14 USD and includes one drink so it’s a really affordable thing to do in East Lansing!

If you’re looking to adopt a cat you can check out their Instagram page for up-to-date pictures of adoptable cats before you visit.

Note: If you decide to tip 100% go directly fund the food and supplies needed to support the rescued cats.

8. Chapelure

chapelure cafe east lansing

Price: Pastries average at $6 USD

Seating: Plenty of small tables in a small space

Location: 4750 Hagadorn Rd #10 | Inside the Hannah Plaza

Hours: Monday to Friday 8 am to 5:30 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 5:30 pm. Closed on Sunday.

Want to feel like you’ve been transported to a French cafe? That is what a visit to Chapelure will feel like.

The sweet treats in their case are light, tasty, and not overly sweet – just how they do it in Europe! They are a bit pricey though with most items costing at least $6 USD.

Their coffee is also consistently good too and my personal favorite is the Orange Mocha. Apparently, their plain drip coffee is excellent so I will need to try that at some point.

While the seating area is on the smaller side the tables are pretty close to one another it is clean and cozy. However, it can get noisy if you are trying to work and there aren’t a lot of seats that are next to outlets so come early if you want to take your pick.

9. Mitten Raised

Price: Cookies begin at $2.50 USD and the other pastries go up to $5 USD

Seating: Mostly high-top seating and shared long table seating

Location: 1331 E Grand River Ave

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday 8 am to 2 pm, Sunday 10 am to 2 pm, and closed on Monday and Tuesday

What’s better than a yummy treat and a coffee? I would say that Mitten Raised is the best coffee shop in Lansing if you want both!

While they are primarily known for their donuts, cookies, brownies, cakes, and croissants you can also get pretty good coffee drinks here too. I wouldn’t say their coffee is close to being the best on this list but it will definitely do the trick and the pastries will make your visit worth it!

Final Word on the Best Coffee Shops in Lansing & East Lansing

Thank you so much for reading! I hope this list of Lansing coffee shops will give you some new places to meet up with a friend or get some work done with an excellent cup of coffee! If you want more inspiration for Michigan I’ve included some other related guides below.

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Comments (2)

  • Brian

    August 23, 2023 at 9:54 pm

    I’ve visited Poindexter Coffee once on the Evergreen and really liked the interior and their lattes. Thanks for this comprehensive list!

    1. Rachel Hannah

      August 25, 2023 at 1:36 pm

      I agree, a nice new spot to have in town! I’m glad you found some value in this list. 🙂


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