By Bruce Mike
Coffee and motorcycles go hand-in-hand for me as well as food and motorcycles. I know I’m not alone in this based on the number of motorcycle themed/friendly coffee shops and restaurants. They are not just here in Minnesota, they seem to be pretty common in most states.
On a recent trip to Seattle I thought I would check out what that city had to offer. I wasn’t there long but I did visit Cafe Racer Cafe and Smarty Pants Bar and Grill. Both places were interesting and I picked up swag from each of them. I decided to make this a regular thing when I travel. I’m sure it’s not an original idea but with a smartphone it’s really easy to do.
Local motorcycle friendly places that I frequent are Diamonds Coffee Shop and Bob’s Java Hut. Diamonds is on Central in Northeast Minneapolis and hosts a number of motorcycle events as well as serving fantastic coffee in a great atmosphere. Lucy the owner is a long time rider who always has a smile on her face and a story to tell. Bob’s Java Hut is on 27th and Lyndale and for me is the original rider’s coffee shop. I hung out there in the mid-nineties when it was across the street from it’s current location. In 1995 I rode the first Minnesota 1000 that started and finished at Bob’s. Both of these coffee shops hold fond motorcycle memories for me.
There are numerous Minnesota restaurants that have special events for motorcycle riders. A quick Google search will turn up a bunch of them. Some of my favorites include Third Thursdays at Blue Cat Motors in St. Paul, The Bring Out Your Dead Rally at Sir Benedicts in Duluth and Two-Wheel Mondays at Sal’e in Withrow. Blue Cat will often have a taco truck and a great gathering of riders with some very cool bikes. Sir Benedicts has great food, a great atmosphere and a great view of Lake Superior. Sal’s will give you free spaghetti on Mondays if you show up on a snowmobile, horse or motorcycle.
Another coffee shop I have visited several times is the Fuel Cafe in Milwaukee. It was after my last visit there that I came up with the idea of looking up motorcycle themed coffee shops when I visit other cities. The comfort and familiarity I feel when visiting these places makes for a nice break when I’m away from home. They all have been independently owned businesses, which I like to support, and justifies my purchasing of t-shirts and sweatshirts.
My wife and I are planning a car trip this fall and I hope to add to what is currently a fairly short list of cafes and restaurants. I know, this is a motorcyle publication and why am I talking about a car trip. My wife and I have ridden our bikes on many trips and we decided to take a car this time simply because it’s been so long since we’ve done it. We have a blast on long drives together and a car trip takes a lot less organization and prep.
So far we know we’re heading south and we’re going for at least ten days. We’ll be taking a leisurely route with no interstates if possible. If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations for interesting, motorcycle related stops, email them to email@example.com.