Coffee Review Series: Moonrise Cafe

Hello, Bison! We are so close to finishing out the year! Maybe strong! Maybe not! Things are finishing up! I (and I hope you) have been packing up to move back home. Maybe you have even been following some of the tips to avoid stress that I outlined in my article last week. Either way, it is time to crack down. It is time to lock in! What better environment for locking in than a cute little coffee shop in downtown Fargo? My recommendation for this week is Moonrise Cafe!

Moonrise Cafe is about eight minutes from campus. It requires a little trip down University, followed by a left turn onto Second Ave. N., and then a right turn onto Broadway. It is packed in a cute little spot downtown, near Broadway Square but slightly away from the busyness of it all. Parking isn’t too bad, but that depends on the time of day. Parking in downtown Fargo is kind of hard to enjoy. You might just have to park a few blocks away. The location is very walkable, though—especially as Fargo warms up again (hopefully this time without getting cold again).

Alright, now it’s time to talk about the actual coffee shop. Moonrise Cafe is SO cute! There is plenty of seating, which is very convenient. There is not quite as much as some of the other coffee shops I have been to, but the shop is as full as it could be with seating. I also cannot imagine it getting too busy that there would be no seating left at all. Moonrise is just a quaint little cafe. There is a pretty good variety of seating, too. There is a couch, a few high-tops and many lower tables. I sat at the high tops because they overlooked the street. Moonrise is full of plants and artwork, making for a perfect homework atmosphere. They even have some poetry books scattered around, which were very helpful for procrastinating.

The food options at Moonrise Cafe are different from the other coffee shops I have reviewed. The biggest thing that sets them apart is their cakes. They offer slices of cake, as well as full cakes. When I went, they had a chocolate pistachio cake that they were selling by slice and a red velvet heart cake. Their bakery options are even a little spunky. They offered blueberry cardamom scones, turmeric cookies and a plethora of other (slightly more normal) baked goods. I did not try any of them, but they looked quite good. Moonrise also has quite a few hot food items. They have breakfast burritos and sandwiches, even a Kimchi+egg+cheese breakfast sandwich! I have never heard of that, but I’m sure it is good if they keep selling it! What I am trying to get at here is that if you are into unique foods, go to Moonrise. Their foods are out of the ordinary, but I don’t doubt that they are anything less than delicious.

The coffee at Moonrise is incredible. I ordered an Iced Cafe Miel and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was perfectly cinnamon-y. The espresso was pulled to perfection—they even asked if dairy milk was okay. (How helpful for the lactose-intolerant folks! This was a perfect opportunity for me to embrace the fact that I probably should avoid dairy, but instead, I said that dairy milk was perfect. I do not regret it.) My boyfriend got a chai latte—that of course I had to try for research purposes—and it was quite delectable. The barista told us up-front that their chai was not very sweet and recommended that we add honey or vanilla. So helpful! With honey, the chai was incredible. It was a little more clove-y than other chai lattes I have tried, but I loved it. There are obviously so many other things I have yet to try, but those two drinks were delicious.

Another thing to love about Moonrise Cafe is how organized it is. I do not usually talk about this, but I was very impressed. The baristas asked for names for every order and called them out, plenty loud enough for people to hear which is surprisingly uncommon. The drinks were finished in a very timely manner. The store was also very clean giving customers a perfect place to just decompress. This coffee shop was not stressful at all, which is definitely something to look for.

The baristas at Moonrise Cafe were incredibly friendly. They were helpful, offering recommendations for the best possible drinks. They made the ordering process smooth and efficient, without being cold. I definitely give their customer service five stars. 

Overall, I would highly recommend Moonrise Cafe. This is one of my favorite coffee shops that I have been to in the Fargo-Moorhead area. I even grabbed a punch card while I was there because I have every intention of returning. Try it out! Do some homework here; you won’t be stressed out by the atmosphere—only your homework! And as always, don’t forget to top your barista!

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