Best Coffeehouse St. Louis 2005 - MoKaBe's
Readers' Choice: Starbucks
The last time we were in MoKaBe's, in the dead middle of a too-hot Thursday, a couple began an impromptu waltz. He was all feet and good intentions; she added a step-breaking shimmy to the proceedings and laughed. Everyone around watched, giggling into their coffee cups. The midday waltz was a funny sight, but not at all out of place at MoKaBe's, where friends play board games, students pour over Paradise Lost or the Atlas of Human Anatomy, and cute girls flip through free weeklies. Everything about this south-city coffeehouse -- from the comfy booths to the yummy menu items (soups, sandwiches, quiches, sweets) to the free wi-fi to the 1 a.m. closing time -- makes folks want to stick around for an hour or four. And Mo Costello's wonderful staff members definitely know the business of the beans: They pour good strong cups of straight-up java, plus plenty of delicious espresso drinks (the Caramel Dream tastes like a liquid cookie; the Mama's Boy blends espresso with apple syrup and cinnamon). There's a pretty patio, plus a smoking area (downstairs) and a spacious nonsmoking room (upstairs). If you need something to do after you leave, check out the super-comprehensive community bulletin board in the loo. And no, ladies, you're not seeing things: That is a sombrero-wearing ceramic likeness of Dubya peering out of an old-school urinal.