Nonnas (5)


Founded in 1996, Nonnah’s was one of the first restaurants to set up shop in the Vista. Nonnah’s, a family owned store, was voted “Best of Columbia” seventeen years in a row by Free Times, The State Newspaper, The Columbia Metropolitan Magazine, and the Daily Gamecock. If you’ve already been to Nonnah’s you know what a great addition it has been to The Vista. They have a supper menu, brunch, full service bar with a wonderful list of wines, big frothy cappuccinos, and great desserts.  Continue reading


Floriole Café and Bakery

A bright café & bakery offering lunch & an array of European-style pastries in sleek, airy surrounds. I first came to Floriole for a writers meetup group that explores local coffee houses to write together. Floriole as a great place to meet with friends, get work done and enjoy great coffee and pastries. There’s a second floor, great music, lots of light, clean, and the staff is courteous. On fair weather days, they open up the huge glass frontage to the sidewalk for an all-to-cherished sidewalk café Chicago summer time experience. Continue reading


The Station

Seattle is one of my favorite cities in the world and I just flew back to town Tuesday night. Staying with a friend on Beacon Hill, she told me that I needed to check out The Station. Wednesday morning, bright and early, before we were to go out into the mayhem of the parade to celebrate the Seahawks Superbowl victory, I headed out to The Station to grab some coffee and a little something to eat. The Station is a small and very personable place where it seems that everyone knows each other. I was welcomed to share a table with a friendly group of people all celebrating the Seahawks victory, all but the humorous, curmudgeonly gentleman sitting across from me who couldn’t care less. It was like the Cheers of coffee houses, everyone really seemed to know everyone there.

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Next Door Chicago


Next Door isn’t your typical coffee-house. In fact, it really isn’t. It’s an experiment by State Farm to dive into the third place space by providing free, no-pressure seminars and coaching about personal finance topics; budgeting, insurance, and getting started with a business. These seminars take place in conference rooms and ‘IKEA-like’ portable ‘coaching cubes’ that can be moved around the space. There are seminars and classes put on by locals covering topics like health and wellness, yoga, poetry, blogging, and social media. This is not your everyday space. State Farm owns the space and anyone is welcome to come in and plop down on one of the sofa’s or community tables. There’s a coffee shop that rents space inside to provide coffee, tea, pastries, and crêpes.  Continue reading