If you are heading out and about in search of adventure, you probably need fuel for your car but you also need some energy and fuel for your body. For me, that usually starts with a good cup (or two) of coffee and a good local meal.
In Jefferson, there are several good spots to hit up for both. On a recent Saturday, my friends and I started our day with some coffee at Greene Bean Coffee and then enjoyed lunch at Uptown Cafe. Incidentally, both of these locally owned businesses are on the square and just around the corner from each other.
Greene Bean Coffee
Greene (We're in Greene County after all) Bean Coffee has only been open a few years, but they seem to be generating a good following. Not only are they a great local coffeehouse, but they also roast their own coffee beans. Like the craft beer, winery, and distillery growth in Iowa - the craft coffee and bean roasting industry has also witnessed extensive expansion in recent years. Iowa Adventurer toured Ross Street Roasting Company in Tama earlier this year.
Inside the coffee shop, you find a cozy and quaint vibe with hardwood floors, corrugated tin ceiling, local artwork on the walls, and other fun furnishings. It has a "big city" feel in small town Iowa.
The light fixture makes quite a statement.
If you are not there to stare at your phone, have a meeting, or catch up with an old friend, there are books and games available.
One corner of the business is where the roasting magic happens.
They have a nice selection of drip coffees, specialty drinks, and even bottled cold brews.
If you would prefer to brew the coffee at home, they have their in-house roasted beans for sale in addition to lots of other merchandise.
Check out Greene Bean Coffee's Facebook page and give them a like. Next time you are in the area and need a pick-me-up, I do not think you can go wrong here. I was impressed and look forward to visiting again in the future.
Though we started our adventures in Jefferson at Greene Bean Coffee, we enjoyed lunch at Uptown Cafe. It's just around the corner from the coffee shop and it offers some very delicious diner fare as well as all-day breakfast, hometown classics, and comfort food.
After a busy morning of stops, which included the Gallup House, our trio was hungry and Uptown offered the cure for that.
You won't find gorgeous chandeliers or linen napkins in this place - that wouldn't fit here. It's simply a good small town cafe and they let the food do all the talking.
The space is filled with tables and booth but I did enjoy the old barn boards, which offers a nice rustic touch.
There is a back room that appears to be where the Kiwanis Group meets. There is a whole wall with framed pictures.
They have a bit of a rooster theme throughout. There is a quilt with roosters hanging on the wall and these metal roosters were above our particular booth.
I believe they have regular lunch specials during the week but the menu is also quite extensive.
My two friends and I, for whatever reason, all decided the same menu was sounding good. When at a small town cafe, you can usually never go wrong with a hot beef sandwich. Our server said it was delicious and she was not wrong.
They had an extensive listing of homemade pies but all of us resisted that temptation. Perhaps the locals can let me know if that was (as I presume) a mistake?
Of course, it wouldn't be a small town diner without a bulletin board at the entrance full of community announcements and business cards.
There is a sign on the door as you enter or exit asking patrons to believe in the cafe. Having enjoyed the lunch, I am definitely a believer in Uptown Cafe. Next time, I'll have to try one of the other good restaurants in town or come back for one of their all-day breakfast specials. I always welcome suggestions!
If you are out and about in Jefferson and need some reasonably priced but delicious breakfast or lunch, definitely give Uptown a try. In the meantime, check out and like their Facebook page.