Fairbanks is a west coast college town. A requirement of any west coast college town is a high number of independent coffee shops for the size of the community. Fairbanks has a population of about 35, 000 residents with the normal requisite chain coffee shops found in modern cities, yet Fairbanks still maintains four excellent independent coffee houses. Each one has its own distinct character and menu. The coffee at each tastes different, but is very good. Coffee connoisseurs will be able to find a palate pleasing treat when visiting the Golden Heart City, and college students remain pleasantly caffeinated throughout their years of study.

Lulu’s Bread and Bagel, 475 Riverstone Way, Fairbanks, – With great coffee and a full menu of bagels, bagel sandwiches and breads baked in-house, Lulu’s has become a popular morning hang out for West Fairbanks residents. The bagel sandwiches are served open-face and are piled with toppings. The cinnamon rolls tend to sell out by mid-morning on the weekends. A variety of quiches are also available. Lulu’s serves Kaladi Brothers coffee, which is roasted in Anchorage. Lulu’s also sells bags of Kaladi Brothers coffee for those who want to brew Kaladi Brothers at home. Open for breakfast and lunch, Lulu’s is a great morning retreat for the whole family, having kid temperature hot chocolate available on their menu.

Alaska Coffee Roaster Co., 4001Geist Road, Fairbanks, University area – Just as their name states, Alaska Coffee Roasters roasts their own coffee on site. They serve a wide variety of meat pastries and flatbread pizzas baked in their wood fired oven. The ingredients vary, and include trendy, gourmet toppings like feta cheese and prosciutto ham. Sweet baked goods and Republic of Tea brand teas are also available. Alaska Coffee Roasters has free wifi, but electrical outlets can be difficult to access, so go fully charged. They are open until 10 pm for later study sessions or a place to visit with friends.

College Coffeehouse, 3677 College Road, Fairbanks located in the campus corner mall. This coffee shop is the easiest walk from most of the University housing areas. In addition to tables, College Coffeehouse also has a few overstuffed leather couches for people to sit and visit with one another while enjoying their coffee. College Coffeehouse has organic, free trade coffee, and serves a variety of specialty teas.

Wifi is free, and there are also desktop computers with Internet available for fifteen free minutes with a purchase, with a small fee after that amount of time. With this level of internet access, College Coffeehouse can be particularly nice for those visiting Fairbanks who would like to send email back home, but don’t have a laptop with them.

College Coffeehouse is open during the evening, with artistic and musical performances scattered throughout the week.

McCafferty’s, A Coffee House, 408 Cushman Street, downtown Fairbanks. McCafferty’s is the only independent coffee shop and roaster in the downtown area. They serve excellent soups and sandwiches. They have a large variety of sugar free syrup flavorings for those with special dietary needs. McCafferty’s location in the downtown area, away from University, sets it apart form the other coffee shops in Fairbanks. While being a comfortable place to meet and visit with friends, it is also very much a part of the city’s downtown district, even having large storefront windows looking out on the busy sidewalk. McCafferty’s is a great place for those who have business, work or have been shopping downtown during the day.

These are my favorite independent local coffee shops in Fairbanks, Alaska. If you come to visit or already live here, all of these are great places to get a good cup of coffee.