The graceful minimalism of Bandit’s decor, right down to their gorgeous, caffeinated creations, brings one word to mind: artful. Stepping in to the shop off Central Avenue transports you into a bright, clean space of black and white. A swath of window occupies the entire street wall, allowing studiers and socializers to gaze into the vacant eyes of Casita Taqueria’s sugar skulls or to post up at a table and simply enjoy the sunlight pouring in. There’s no outside seating, but hopefully that’s on the to-do list for the future.
At Bandit, every cup of coffee is art.
Drinks are served in glass cups of varying shapes and sizes so imbibers may savor with their eyes even before the first sip. The menu at Bandit is presented as minimally as the rest of their design, with options laid out simply from “espresso” or “espresso + milk” to hot coffee or cold brew. Don’t hesitate to ask the friendly, black-clad staff anything about their offerings: they know their shit and are happy to share.
Cappuccinos, mochas, and the like aren’t on the menu but can be made (awesomely), if you ask. Prices range from $3 for espresso or loose leaf tea to $4 for anything more substantial—including a bubbly glass of Mother Kombucha on tap! Two varieties of cold brew are also on tap— one of which is a nitro-infused pressure brew for the creamiest cuppa joe you’ve ever had. All their coffees are single origin (as opposed to blends) and are prepared by some of the best bean roasters around the country—including King Coffee from Tampa. You won’t find that bitter roast á la Starbucks here—everything I’ve tried has been well-rounded and smooth, if not downright creamy. Don’t do coffee? Don’t despair! In addition to loose leaf tea and kombucha, Bandit has a cooler full of non-caffeinated beverages in cans and bottles, like fruit flavored San Pellegrino.
Although coffee is the clear focus here, Bandit also offers a limited selection of baked goods from local businesses such as The Hole Donuts and Craft Kafe (both with vegan options!). In a world of conglomerate coffee take-overs, it’s nice to see a local coffee shop actually committed to the city they’re representing. Their half and half is locally sourced, and they recycle (did you hear that, Kahwa?). Plus, anytime a customer provides their own cup, their coffee is only $2. To-go cups are an additional $0.25. So stick around, learn a thing or two about coffee, make a friend, or peer into the heart of the Burg and contemplate your place within it. Bandit has, and they’ve fit right in.
Bandit Coffee is located on 2662 Central Ave and is open every day from 8-6.