Whenever I find myself on the West Bank and in need of a spot to work with great ambiance, I head to Mapps Coffee and Tea. In a world of glossy, super-trendy coffee shops, Mapps feels like walking into the familiar home of an old friend. A West Bank staple, Mapps is a neighborhood favorite for students in need of an easy study spot or neighborhood regulars looking for a caffeine fix.

With its humble façade, warm wood interior, and eclectic décor, this family-owned business beckons locals to its homey and laidback atmosphere. On a recent morning when I stumbled in blurry-eyed and in desperate need of a big cup of coffee, the staff welcomed me with a friendly smile and quickly had my latte ready, a perfect balance of espresso and hot, frothy milk. If you’re not a coffee drinker then check out their specialty drinks, fruit smoothies, and iced drinks for those sweltering summer days. Feeling peckish? Mapps also serves a small but impressive offering of Panini sandwiches, soups, and baked goods. Oh, did I mention they also roast their own beans? You can pick up a bag by the pound and bring a bit of the Mapps flavor home with you.

Mapps also boasts a spacious layout with plenty of seating, and a comfortable level of atmospheric noise – perfect for reading a book or having a casual chat with friends. There’s free Wi-Fi as well, so bring you laptop along and enjoy this West Bank gem.

For more information visit mappscoffeeriverside.com.

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