Snowy winter days mean outdoor adventure, cross-country skiing through pine forests, ice skating on a frozen pond, and gleefully tubing down local hills and mountains. It also means warming up and getting cozy with a hot drink and a tasty treat. Saranac Lake has a delightful variety of coffee shops and restaurants perfect for finding ideal sweet indulgences and the best coffees. We’ve sampled everything — really! — to give you the best advice on where to go and all the goodies you can and should try.
Blue Moon Cafe
Blue Moon Cafe serves up their own coffee, Cold River Coffee Company, in a range of blends, flavors, and strengths. Take it easy with a light roast or go hardcore with the Deep Woods Dark Roast. Cappuccino, mochas, and other handcrafted hot drinks are always available as well, including special seasonal flavors for added warmth. The baristas are happy to help find just the right flavor combination for you.
Blue Moon has a great breakfast menu if you're in the mood to sit and linger over breakfast, but if you're on the go and ready to hit the slopes, don't even try to resist the bountiful bakery case. Muffins, scones, cookies, and cakes are all baked in-house in a variety of flavors so that there is something for everyone. A recent stop found me picking up a pumpkin pecan bar that was like a pie combined with a cookie. Grab a treat or two and share with your friends and family.
Nori's Village Market
Nori’s Village Market is a long-time Saranac Lake hotspot for coffee, healthy food, and much, much more. A recent renovation has expanded the shop’s Riverside Cafe, offering tables overlooking the Saranac River in an art-filled atmosphere. The baristas delight in pulling fragrant cappuccino, espresso, matcha latte, and more. Fruit fans can opt for a refreshing smoothie in tempting concoctions like peanut butter and jelly, peaches and cream protein, and chocolate peanut butter banana.
As an accompaniment for your hot drink, Nori's offers an array of inventive cookies, muffins, cupcakes, and bars, all baked in-house. The always-changing selections are delicious and just happen to be good for you. If you like chocolate, even just a little, listen to me: try. the. brownie. Nori's brownies are famous around town for being soft, rich, and totally delicious. Eat one and then buy a handful to take home.
Origin Coffee Co.
Origin Coffee Company has made a name for itself by serving great hot drinks with fun twists and classics like cappuccino, mocha, and the London Fog, a dreamy mix of hot tea and steamed milk. Try a seasonal coffee like butternut squash chai latte, or add a housemade syrup for an extra dose of flavor. Flavors range from traditional — maple, vanilla — to the more unusual, including lavender and cardamom.
Freshly baked local bread is a great base for wild and wonderful toasts, such as avocado with spicy red pepper and walnut spread or jam, local chevre, and lime zest. For a little more oomph, try a savory frittata or an egg sandwich on a cheddar and scallion biscuit.
Origin also offers a rotating selection of cookies, muffins, bagel bombs, sweet rolls, and a personal favorite, homemade toaster pastries. Not only are they light-years ahead of the generic store-bought kind, but they are so good they inspired me to try making them at home. Flaky pastry, sweet fruit preserves, and a smooth frosting come together for a little pocket of flavor heaven. Trust me.
For all your early (or not so early) morning hot and sweet needs, Saranac Lake has something tasty to start your day full of adventure and activity. Make this the winter you visit!