Carmel’s Caffeine Trail

Seems as if everyone is a coffee snob these days.  If you want to be hip and cool about your beans, you better know the difference between a Folgers drip and an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe pour-over.

As more people turn away from national chains and embrace locally roasted and brewed coffee, the City of Carmel has decided to launch a Caffeine Trail in Carmel to satisfy the desires of a new generation of both coffee and tea lovers.

The City unveiled the new and tasty attraction in January shining the spotlight on local shops and cafés offering gourmet coffees and teas. Tourists, visitors and local residents can now look to the Caffeine Trail to see where they can get a pour-over coffee, an espresso, a loose-leaf cup of tea and other treats found in the growing number of small shops around Carmel.

“Carmel has long celebrated many genres of art in a variety of ways, from the performing arts at The Palladium to the art of design at the Indiana Design Center.  We also embrace the visual, culinary and graphic arts in the Arts & Design District,” said Nancy Heck, Director of Community Relations and Economic Development.

“It’s time to celebrate the pleasures of caffeine in our city.  There is an increasing interest in culinary expertise across the nation.  Here in Carmel we have a number of restaurants and cafés dedicated to serving up cups of coffee, espresso, latte or freshly brewed tea that can be considered works of art.”

We could not agree more.

Carmel has become home to more than two dozen shops that sell excellent coffees and teas, many of them within in walking distance of the city’s popular Monon Greenway.

Among the regular stops for many coffee and tea lovers are Eggshell Bistro and Hubbard & Cravens, both located at Carmel City Center and both offering the best of fresh roasted beans, excellent espressos and latte’s for customers, who also come in for great food.

A half block up the Trail, many folks have enjoyed visiting Soho Café & Gallery, which sources its fresh beans from a variety of local and regional roasters and prepares them perfectly with professionally trained baristas.  And as you move further north, the choices include Bubs Café with its big stack of pancakes, the Blu Moon café at the Indiana Design Center and a little Square Donuts shop that happens to get its beans from the nearby Julian Coffee roasters.

The City plans to publicize the Caffeine Trail in a variety of ways, hoping that it becomes one more reason for visitors to come and spend time experiencing all that Carmel has to offer.

Specific vendors were selected for the Caffeine Trail because they offer a barista on staff or the ability to operate like a barista (using professional equipment) to make espressos, lattes and other drinks.  Many feature locally roasted beans like those produced by Hubbard & Cravens or small batch independent coffees from roasters across the U.S.  Carmel also provides tea lovers a special treat at Tina's Traditional Old English Tea Room in the Arts & Design District.  The majority of coffee shops, such as Soho Café & Gallery on the Monon Trail, feature a variety of loose leaf teas.

Like the wine trails in California and the bourbon trails in Kentucky, the Caffeine Trail is just one more reason to visit, stay and play in Carmel.                                                                       


1. Hubbard & Cravens

703 Veteran’s Way

2. Eggshell Bistro

51 City Center Drive

3. Soho Cafe & Gallery

620 S. Range Line Road

4. Bub's Café

220 2nd Street SW

5. Blu Moon Café

200 S. Range Line Road #115

6. Square Donuts

14 S. Range Line Road                                               

7. Tina's Traditional Old English Tea Room

30 N. Range Line Road

8. Jack's Donuts

516 E. Carmel Drive

9. Zing Cafe at Village of West Clay

12710 Meeting House Road #150

10. Cafe Patachou at Clay Terrace

14390 Clay Terrace Blvd.

11. Café Patachou at Brookshire

4733 E. 126th Street

12. Starbucks at Clay Terrace

14490 Clay Terrace Blvd.

13. Starbucks at Kroger

1217 S. Range Line Road

14. Kolache Factory

890 E. 116th Street #100

15. Quirky Feather Confectionary

890 E. 116th Street #125

16. Chocolate for the Spirit

301 E. Carmel Drive