“Yep — you know me.”
With that little exchange, I became part of that interesting subrace of coffee drinkers known as regulars. I am now a regular at Cafe Evoke.
I’ve been to several of the coffee shops in town, but Cafe Evoke is my favorite. Here are the reasons why.
There is a great deal of selection beyond the basic “pastries and chocolate” menu at Evoke. Like some other coffee shops, they offer granola, yogurt, fruit and oatmeal as breakfast options. Where they stand apart from chains like Starbucks is in their other food options.
The sandwiches are excellent — I particularly like the grilled cheese, with its medley of cheddar, goat cheese, pesto, and delicious fresh bread. If you want salad, they have several good options as well. The caprese is a tasty combination of fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomato, which is particularly refreshing in the summer.
If you’re only in the mood for snacks, they have a good selection of pastries. It changes frequently so you don’t get bored with the choices. I’m partial to the scones myself — they go well with cappuccino. The hummus and olive tapenade with pita chips is also great, and remarkably filling for its size.
Desserts are also available, with the most unique probably being the s’mores. When you order them, they come with a little personal burner over which you roast your marshmallows; once you have the marshmallow cooked to your personal preference, it goes between a slab of 70% cacao chocolate and two thin waffle crisps.
If you’re going for bang for the buck, the sandwiches are competitively priced and come with a side of chips and homemade salsa. $7 for a tasty sandwich and a side is pretty good.
I am not particularly a coffee snob. Though I really love a good cup of coffee, I’ll drink what’s available (though I may complain about it to all within earshot). I have friends and family who are coffee snobs, though, and several of them say that Evoke has the best cup of coffee in Edmond. I tend to agree. All About Cha and Full Cup compete, but I still think Evoke has the edge.
Evoke doesn’t just offer coffee, either. They make really tasty Italian sodas if you’re looking for something a little more refreshing. They also offer tea, which I have not tried yet.
If you’re in the mood for something alcoholic, they also offer beer and wine, including some that are hard to get elsewhere. I’ve been more impressed with the beer than the wine — particularly the Java Stout, which is delicious — but both are viable options.
Pricewise, Evoke goes for quality over quantity. You will get less coffee for your money than you will at Starbucks, but it will be a far better cup. I normally get a 6oz cappuccino, which is $3.25 after tax. If you are the kind of person who only likes coffee for the caffeine fix, you’d be better served going to 7-Eleven. Beer is around $5 for a can, which is fairly standard for the type of beer they serve.
If you’re going for bang for the buck, get an Americano or a regular coffee — they have the best price-to-size ratio. The smaller sizes are worth it, though.
The atmosphere in Evoke is decidedly modern. Clean lines, open spaces, and liberal use of white give it a spare, crisp design. Rough-finished wood tables add some warmth to the room, and a mural on one wall helps keep the decor from crossing the line to spartan. I’m still not sure what it depicts — maybe you have some ideas.
If you prefer to cycle around town, this coffee shop is very bike-friendly, with several racks set up inside. Just walk your bicycle through the door and park it right there — you don’t have to worry about keeping an eye on it or locking it up.
The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they take their craft seriously — I was witness to an experimental session the other day where they were working out the exact number of ounces of coffee necessary for a new apparatus. Coffee as science, apparently. I appreciate that kind of devotion to one’s profession.
I’ve already talked about this a little, but the price is fairly competitive with the other coffee shops around Edmond. You get a little less for your money than you do at one of the chains (read: Starbucks), but the product is far better. Food and alcoholic beverages are fairly comparable to everywhere else, though the wine may be slightly higher than some of the selections at Vin Dolce. If you’re debating whether to make Evoke your coffee shop of choice, price is not a significant factor.
Anything goes. You get everyone from cyclists to businessmen in here, and their clothing runs the gamut from nylon shorts to worsted wool suits. I’ve even seen a few people in scrubs.
Great coffee, a wide selection of food and beverages, knowledgeable staff, and clean design make Evoke my favorite coffee shop in Edmond. Stop by next time you’re in the downtown or get them to do a coffee bar at your next event. Check them out at cafeevoke.com (seriously, look at the design on the site, if nothing else) or follow them on Twitter at @cafeevoke.