What’s college without coffee?

While looking over my shrinking list of “Quintessential College Eateries,” (as my blog mates were picking some of the great Morgantown dives) it suddenly dawned on me that no one mentioned the coffee shop scene. Of course! One of my first introductions to college life was when I was in high school and eating with my dad at a college coffee shop in Bowling Green, Kentucky (pops used to work at Western Kentucky University or WKU…eerily similar to WVU). So it is only fitting that I cover the best coffee hangout in Morgantown, the Blue Moose Cafe.

Located on the corner of Spruce and Walnut Streets, the Blue Moose Cafe is a must-visit Morgantown dive.

To be sure, labeling the Blue Moose as strictly a “coffee hangout” does the joint a huge disservice. The Blue Moose really embodies what makes up a great college restaurant, cafe, or eatery. For one, it has a very open yet cozy atmosphere in which many students, professors, and locals spend countless hours pouring over work or catching up with friends. The Blue Moose also features a plethora of locally produced artwork (that is for sale) and is home to a vibrant acoustic music scene (usually Wednesday is the open-mic night). Of course the service at the cafe is exceptional, as the servers make a habit of using pleasantries and light conversation to ease you on your visit. But what really makes the Blue Moose a great coffee shop and cafe is the shear amount of “wake my ass up” drinks available and the eclectic assortment of homemade foods.

A colorful cast of drinks awaits your tongue at the Blue Moose Cafe.

Of the dozens of drinks I have tried from the Blue Moose, I can honestly say I have never had a bad experience. From the Chai-inspired Lattes and “The Americano” with various shots of flavors (like French Vanilla, Pumpkin, or Caramel) to something much more “low-brow” like a steamer or milkshake, everything has a unique taste. My personal favorite is the “Honey Milk,” comprised of steam milked, brewed to a frothy goodness with a healthy (or unhealthy) dose of honey mixed in. The flavor of the Honey Milk is just so simple and soothing, not nearly as complex as their breakfast, lunch, and dinner items.

"The Americano" is a classic coffee beverage…this one happens to have some French Vanilla flavoring and a triple-shot of Espresso…yes a triple-shot.

Just as explicitly titling the Blue Moose as a “coffee shop” is a disservice, so is trying to review their extensive menu. For starters, you can always order breakfast from the Blue Moose…and their portions rival that of Tudor’s, so beware when you order! As for lunch and dinner, the cafe offers a lot of different sandwiches and salads for the adventurous mouth. Their Reuben Sandwich is delicious, as is their Black Bean Burger and the Spinach and Red Pepper Sandwich, which consists of fresh spinach and roasted red pepper under a bed of melted Provolone cheese and served up on toasted Ciabatta bread. A friend of mine ordered the “Mediterranean Moose Salad,” and at first glance it looked amazing. In fact, when I uploaded these photos to my Facebook (it’s just easier when you are photographing from a SmartPhone), I had comments about the wonderous appearance of the salad in minutes!

This Mediterranean Moose Salad is brimming with tasty treats…and as one patron put it,"Its so fresh and just…healthy."

Although I could probably go on for another 1, 000 words about the Blue Moose’s food and atmosphere, this is a place you really have to experience yourself. It has all the makings of a great college dive, a cool name, a relaxed and off-beat setting, smiling and talkative servers, and a head-turning group of drinks and menu items. Thus, you can imagine my surprise when a senior at WVU recently told me she had never been to the Blue Moose before…I was blue in the face (no pun intended). So give this local dive a shot, and you might end up with a cup of coffee and a shot of your own…of espresso that is.



About CoreyCP

Graduate Student in Journalism at West Virginia University.
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9 Responses to What’s college without coffee?

  1. I love coffee and have spent several early mornings after pulling an all-nighter trying to caffeinate for the test in the Blue Moose. However, I have missed out on the Americano somehow and am excited to go try one. Thanks for the details. I really enjoy knowing what different “high, medium and low-brow” coffees have in them and would love to hear more.

  2. Thanks for covering the most “collegiate” coffee shop in Motown. I know when I was younger, the college life was always depicted as a bunch of hippies sitting around in a coffee shop wearing all black and berets. So, yes I find it extremely essential that we covered this. I have been here once and yes the portions are huge. I really do need to try the Honey Milk. That sounds amazing! Great post and pics Corey!

  3. deepafadnis says:

    I love this cafe! i remember I survived the first few days in morgantown just because of blue moose cafe. Although their salads and sandwiches are amazing, I love their bagels… the blueberry and raisin bagel is just a feast for me. I also like their exotic smoothies. They are just awesome. This post was great. I hope blue moose gets the appreciation they deserve.

  4. ewadd986 says:

    I have never been a big coffee person until this year when I moved in with a new roommate who drinks a lot of coffee. Now I’m hooked and love trying out different types of flavors and combination’s, I’ll have to make my way out to Blue Moose sometime. I never knew they sold all that food either which is a plus.

  5. CoreyCP says:

    I must say guys, my personal favorite food items from here are probably their breakfast options. As every thing has that homemade taste and feel (watch out Tudor’s) and it is usually served up with some fresh fruits (think Kiwi, Pineapple, or Oranges). Though I haven’t tried everything on the menu, I can assure you that you will have a tough time finding something you won’t like be it food or drink…and of course, they have a nice (4 tap) assortment of craft beers on hand. There is always the Samuel Adams Boston Lager and their seasonal selection (currently the German-inspired Noble Pils) and two offerings from Mountain State Brewing Co. (currently The Seneca IPA and the Miner’s Daughter Oatmeal Stout). Maybe we can get a graduate lunch together at this locale?

  6. capnwinters says:

    ” Of course the service at the cafe is exceptional, as the servers make a habit of using pleasantries and light conversation to ease you on your visit.” Are you serious? Those people are hostile as hell. If you aren’t a sessile coffee shop guy/girl with a knit cap and a Mac, you may as well get out as far as they’re concerned. I’d say they are far more standoffish and lackadaisical than “smiling and talkative.” You must have charmed their hipster hearts, Corey. The food is good though, and it certainly does lie right to the heart of the college eatery week you guys have been doing.

  7. lindsaycobb says:

    I haven’t had a chance to try their coffee, but most things at the BLue Moose that I’ve had are great. (… except the buckwheat pancakes. I did not like those, not my kinda food.) Great post!

  8. Shay Maunz says:

    I do love the Blue Moose, and you’re totally right that it’s a quintessential college eatery in Morgantown, mainly because it’s such a great spot to hang out downtown. I actually don’t think it has the best coffee in town, though – I actually prefer the coffee at the Daily Grind. But there’s no wifi there! What on earth are they thinking?!

    Plus I love the food at the Blue Moose. I feel like it’s my civic duty to recommend the black bean burger to everyone I know. It’s so totally wonderful.

  9. CoreyCP says:

    I can see where you are coming from with the servers’ attitudes Kirk, but I guess whenever I show my ID to get a Seneca IPA or to verify my credit card, they see my old mop/afro haircut and just open up to me…not kidding. And Shay, the Blue Moose is one of only a handful of locations in Morgantown that I would seriously consider doing schoolwork…away from school of course. You’re totally right about the coffee part, Jay’s Daily Grind serves up the best, but their lack of WiFi (something I failed to mention about Blue Moose) and their 1970s style of doing business (the last time I was there they had still not implemented the science-fiction-like idea of a “credit card machine”) really hinders their chances to be the “Best College Coffee Spot.” Shine On You Crazy Blue Moose!

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