Susan’s Upstate Caffeine Tour: Stop Two: Coffee and a Bookstore

assorted books on shelf

Photo by Element5 Digital on

We all like a good view. This is one of my favorites. Books. Lots and lots of books.

There aren’t many things I like as well. But the city of Oneonta has a place that has two of my all time favorite things with a connecting door between them.  That’s right. Coffee and books. Can it possibly be any better than that?


white ceramic mug filled with coffee beside coffee beans

Photo by Janko Ferlic on

This magical place is called the Latte Lounge. It’s on Main Street in Oneonta, right next to The Green Toad Bookstore. They’re brick storefronts with massive, high ceilings and a big old door that opens between the two. You don’t even have to step outside.

Beyond the obvious (books and coffee, people!), there are other charms to the Latte Lounge. First, the brick walls. There’s something really wonderful about an old brick industrial building. And though I’m not enamored of every color choice made by the Lounge, who am I to complain? Coffee and books!

In fact, if you look on the Local Authors shelf in The Green Toad, you’ll see a familiar name. (I admit to a bit of shameless self-promotion.)

Plus, there are some absolutely WONDERFUL design elements in this coffee shop. They’ve got massive old industrial thingies that I, honestly, cannot identify. They have a huge curved window placed inside, creating a private little tabletop within the larger space. And they’ve got some great old Formica tables and chairs in the back, items that harken back to the days when Mom wore pearls and Father Knew Best.

There’s food at the Latte Lounge. All kinds of food.

I haven’t had any of it. What can I tell you? I’m there for the coffee. And the books.

But the baked goods look pretty good and the menu items look like they’d satisfy anyone who wasn’t just about the coffee.

How does the Latte Lounge rate on my brand new coffee spot ratings system?

I give it a four. And a half. It looks great, coffee is delicious. But they serve in paper cups, not ceramic mugs. It’s sensible; it’s a college town, people often wander into the bookstore.

But ceramic mugs are a very important part of my coffee experience. So I’ve gotta ding ’em a little for that. But that’s my only gripe.

So — you’re not from around these parts. Maybe you’re from Brooklyn. Where, you ask, is Oneonta? Isn’t that somewhere in the Adirondacks?

No, intrepid adventurer. Oneonta is arguably the threshold of central New York, if you’re traveling west from Albany. If you only travel on the Thruway, you’ll never see it. It’s off I-88, the least crowded four-to-eight lane toll-free highway I’ve ever driven on.

I’ve been told I shouldn’t mention the wonders of Delaware and Otsego Counties too loudly. I know from experience that can lead to a rather overwhelming tidal wave of Air BnBers and ZipCars.

But I trust you. If you like it here, you’ll like it because you get it. The charm, in part, is how surprising it is to find something kind of hip and urban surrounded by breathtaking hills and farmland. And, like me, you’ll want to share it.

You won’t spoil it. You’ll cherish it.

And don’t forget to visit the bookstore. Put a lid on your coffee, please.

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