Best Coffeehouse St. Louis 2013 - The Mud House
While working for Mary Engelbreit, Casey Miller illustrated The Night Before Christmas picture book that Michelle Obama read aloud three Yuletides ago. These days, Miller owns the Mud House with her husband, Jeremy. Her artistic ability is apparent not only in the beautifully lettered chalkboard menu and caricatures drawn in latte foam, but it's also in the decorating of the high-ceilinged interior space, which is funky but uncluttered, eclectic but well curated. What could be more friendly and welcoming than a warm wooden mantle topped with old alphabet blocks spelling out the manifesto "We Love Cherokee Street"? Maybe that life-size photo of Bob Dylan avoiding eye contact in the corner, or the old signage advertising 39-cent breakfasts. The Mud House's chef, Tara Lansangan, serves some of the best breakfasts in town, though there can be a wait any morning of the week. If you want to enjoy the fast, free Wi-Fi without any hungry English Breakfast cravers glaring at your laptop shield, visit the coffeehouse after the lunch rush, around 2 p.m., and then relax with that darling latte and some French toast topped with bananas and walnuts. As in all the very best cafés, breakfast is served here all day.