Sterling Heights

Three must-visit independent coffee shops in Sterling Heights

Tucked away in the shopping centers of Sterling Heights are some of the finest independently-owned and operated coffee shops and cafes around, the types of places that are popular with the locals but maybe not the obvious choice for an out-of-towner looking to stop somewhere for a fresh cup of joe. And while the draw of the corporate chains can be appealing for their easy predictability, settling in to a table at a local coffee shop provides an experience that is unique unto itself, each with its own offerings, specialties, and personalities. They run the gamut of what gives Sterling Heights its sense of place.

Coffee First Cafe & Bake Shoppe
38373 Dodge Park Rd.

This small but mighty cafe on Dodge Park Road defines warm and cozy with its wood interiors, wall-mounted fireplace, and old school coffee counter, ideal for catching up with friends or chatting the ear off your local barista. With its early hours, Coffee First Cafe really does mean coffee first — the cafe opens at 6 a.m. on the weekdays, making it a nice place to stop and grab breakfast and coffee on your way to work. But even at 3 p.m. on a weekday, the coffee shop sees a steady stream of neighbors coming through its doors.

Things to do nearby: Coffee First Cafe & Bake Shoppe is located just a mile-and-a-half down the road from Dodge Park, the library, community center, and everything else that the city center has to offer.

Eat Well Café
44635 Schoenherr Rd.

Found across the street from Lakeside Mall but set far enough back from the road that you’d be forgiven for almost missing it, Eat Well Café is a cafe with a mission. Guests have the option to “round up” their totals, with the extra change going to various charities and programs as administered by Heritage Church, to which they’re attached. Michigan’s own Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company supplies the coffee, while Eat Well makes its own soups, sandwiches, and more. They’ve got the food game down so much that they even offer catering for corporate and private events.

Things to do nearby: Located near the intersection of Hall and Schoenherr roads, Eat Well offers a nice, local option for some caffeine-infused extra energy while shopping at Lakeside Mall, the new Total Wine & More, and just about any other store you can think of.

Palm Sweets Bakery & Cafe
3605 15 Mile Rd.

Especially known for their baklava, this bakery and cafe offers a wide assortment of sweets, from authentic Mediterranean treats made in-house to ice creams, candies, and plenty more. And even if you’ve never been here, you might still recognize their baklava: select Kroger grocery stores carry Palm Sweets products. The large seating areas, both indoors and out, have plenty of space to stretch out and chat with family and friends. And quality coffee, from Italian coffee company Illy, ties it all together.

Things to do nearby: Palm Sweets is located next to the Chaldean Community Foundation Community Center, which is teeming with community programs, and just down the street from James C. Nelson Park and its sandpit volleyball courts, playgrounds, and nature trails.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.