Ah, January. While the holidays have ended and the festive cheer has been boxed up, January is still a great month to relax and get cozy. And what better way to do so than to curl up on a comfy coffee house sofa, sipping a piping hot latte?

There are a number of excellent coffee shops and bakeries sprinkled through the Salem area, and I’ve compiled a list of my personal favorites (being the coffee connoisseur that I am). There are, however, many other great coffee houses I haven’t covered. If you have a favorite that isn’t on the list, please add it to the comments section below.

The Governor’s Cup
The Governor’s Cup is a cozy little coffee shop downtown, with an open area downstairs and additional upstairs seating for quieter conversations. You can sometimes catch live music (usually rock) on Friday and Saturday nights. During my high school years, I listened to many local rock bands here. It’s a great outing for friends, or even by yourself!
Note: during the day the Governor’s Cup is relatively quiet, but the volume has the tendency to rise on the weekends.

Gerry Frank’s Konditorei
Konditerei offers lunch and dinner meals, in addition to espresso and tea drinks. Not to mention their delicious desserts, which range from Chocolate Raspberry cake to English Toffee cake in addition to a variety of pastries. I also love the atmosphere at Konditorei- the interior of the restaurant is painted in a bright red color, and the overall ambiance is completely adorable. Be aware that you may need to save a little extra time in your schedule when you visit. It has the tendency to get a little crowded, especially on the weekends.

They are open 7 days a week (please visit their website for specific hours).

The Little Cannoli
The Little Cannoli is located in the historic Reed Opera House downtown. They specialize in authentic Italian cannolis, and also carry such delectable treats as eclairs and cookie pies. Not to mention espresso drinks such as the Nutty Buddy (espresso, hazelnut flavoring, Ghiradelli chocolate and whipped cream). The cannolis are to die for- the almond-flavored shells are dipped in chocolate, and filled with ricotta cheese and marscapone. Yum!

The Little Cannoli is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9-5 pm.

Blue Pepper

The Blue Pepper is an internet cafe and gallery. Not only can you order lunch and a delicious espresso drink, but you can also check out a computer or take a peek at local art pieces. They have excellent teas and italian sodas. And of course the espresso is excellent as well. Try the Caramel Decadence or the Apline White Chocolate Mocha. This is a great place to meet friends or even curl up with a good book. You’ll love the warm and inviting atmosphere.

Coffee House Café
The Coffee House Café is also located downtown, in a great location for people-watching. They serve a wide variety of espresso drinks, as well as organic snacks and desserts. I had a flourless chocolate cake there a few years back, and it was delicious (especially since I knew it was healthier than the alternative). Coffee House Café also has a large seating area- perfect for big groups to meet up and relax.

For more information on restaurants and cafés in the Salem area, please visit our Places to Dine section.

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