Cafe Brioso is one of those coffee shops where the traditional cup of joe is elevated to super star focus. The folks working at Brioso know their coffee and their coffee beans and the process of making various coffee drinks and...well you get the picture.
From their website:Our artisan-roasted coffees are roasted in-store by owner-roastmaster Jeff Davis, providing our customers the opportunity to enjoy the process—as well as the product—and let it become a part of their lives.
The shop is rarely empty and during peak hours it's jammed packed with commuters, downtown workers, freelancers and cool people hanging out for the day. It's a popular place for meetings and getting a little work done. One of the best things about Brioso is the people watching. Come for the coffee stay for the show. Downtown Columbus has some very interesting residents.
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Coffee and Food
The extensive coffee knowledge of the staff transfers to a pretty rockin' cup of joe. In a town full of places to fuel up, Brioso stands out with its variety and full-bodied flavor.
Artisan brews make the difference in taste and quality for all of the different coffee drinks Brioso offers. The blends are smooth and different than most of the other coffee joints in Columbus and the best thing is there is no bitter aftertaste. The iced coffee does not come sweetened and normally for a cream and sugar person it's an unpleasant surprise. Not at Brioso, it was different, a bit strong but nice.
Don't forget the other options of capuccino, tea and more.
The sandwiches and daily soups are huge draws midday so mind the lunch crowd. Generous portions and fresh ingredients are hallmarks of the food offerings, though if you arrive in early morning the breakfast options are pretty slim.
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Unlike other coffee shops where if you ask the difference between one drink and the next you don't get a short answer that simply lists ingredients. At Brioso if you're not careful you'll get a history and sourcing lesson. There are official titles that they go by, but in reality they are coffee historians. Knowledgeable of the parts of the world where the coffee bean is produced, the politics behind coffee production and the history of particular brews.
Sometimes you're torn between fascination and eyeglazing information you hope will be useful in a final Jeopardy question. For those who care where their food comes from and the fairness by which that food is cultivated in other countries, Brioso helps you feel good about your choice.
The real difference in the staff is their laid back demeanor and friendly
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Like with all parking downtown, you better watch your back and your time. The meters immediately out front are a half hour and dilligently tended by Columbus finest and a ticket there will cost you $25 making the good prices at Brioso disappear into smoke.
While it's a general pain to park downtown, the cafe is definitely worth dusting off your parallel parking skills.