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Blaze the Southern Idaho Coffee Trail – Part II

Steve Stuebner

In Part II of the Southern Idaho Coffee Trail, we take you to five coffee shops in Jerome, Twin Falls, Rupert, Burley and the itty bitty town of Almo, near City of Rocks National Reserve.

We start with Renew, in downtown Jerome, where they serve “coffee with a higher purpose,” meaning they are a Christian-oriented coffee shop. “We wanted to engage our community and bring God to them,” says Kurt Hopper, owner of Renew.

Renew offers a full menu of coffees, plus pastries, soups and sandwiches. It’s a large space, with 5,000 square feet of elbow room, and two pool tables for billiards fans.

On Yelp, Valerie from Dietrich, Idaho, says, “Love Renew!! Good loose leaf tea, paninis are awesome, ice cream YUM! Can’t say enough good!”

Twin Beans is a popular coffee hangout in downtown Twin Falls, where they offer a full menu of coffees made from fresh-roasted coffee beans. “We use high-end specialty-grade coffees, locally roasted,” says Paul Graff, owner. “We have beans from 18 different origins we can blend from.”

You can eat breakfast at Twin Beans, omelets and crepes, sandwiches with fresh-roasted meat and locally baked focaccia bread. “We have lots of organic and natural foods. Even our syrups are made with natural ingredients,” Graff says.

Twin Beans is open Wed-Friday for dinner, and they often have live music on Fridays.

On Yelp, James of Midway, Utah, says, “First Impression GRAND SLAM! The moment we walked in, we were greeted by Jordan. He was pleasant, helpful, and gave us some good suggestions on drinks. The coffee was great, but even if it was average, they get a 5 star rating because of how delightful the staff is. The building appears to be an old soda fountain/pharmacy shop and it has a lot of charm. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.”

Sofie Dunahoo and her daughter Shelby ham it up at Sophie’s Chatterbox in the Rupert Town Square.

In Burley, Lulu’s is run by two sisters, Camilya and Kristen. They serve a full menu of coffees, with muffins, oatmeal cookies and cinnamon bread in the morning, and in the evening, they serve beer and wine. Go in the side door in the morning for coffee, and the front door in the evening for wine and beer.

Lulu’s has a large, comfy space inside, where they even offer painting classes once a month – “Ladies Sip and Paint” — or rent out the space for special events, such as birthday parties or showers.

“What sets us apart is the atmosphere,” says Camilya Jimenez, who runs the coffee side of the operation. “When you walk in, you feel like you’ve found a hidden treasure. Our boutique has a New York feel to it, which is unique in Burley.”

Lulu’s offers monthly painting classes called “Ladies Sip and Paint” sessions.

Meagan of Albany, Oregon, says this on Yelp, “What a little hidden gem in Burley! Great coffee in the morning, and delicious beer and wine at night. Most importantly it has a warm inviting atmosphere with terrific service.”

Now we hop on the road over to downtown Rupert, in the town square, and visit Sophie’s Chatterbox, a popular breakfast spot with a wide variety of fresh-baked muffins, breads and coffee. The don’t have a full menu of specialty coffees, but their breakfast and lunch food keep people coming back for more. If you have time, check out Lake Walcott State Park nearby.

“We’re mostly known for our breakfasts,” says Sofie Dunahoo, who owns and runs the place with her daughter, Shelby. “We have a HHHangover Omelet with biscuits and gravy built into the omelet, and a Bad Ass Omelet with chicken fried steak built inside the omelet.”

So obviously, they’ve got a sense of humor.

“Out of this world. Food was wonderful and the staff excellent. If this place was in any big city there would be a line around the block! Can’t wait to stop in next time we travel anywhere nearby,” says Tom on the Sophie’s Chatterbox Facebook page.

Last, we head on down Idaho Highway 78 and the Elba-Almo Road toward Castle Rocks State Park and City of Rocks National Reserve to Tracy’s General Store in Almo. Tracy’s has standard coffee in the store, and other last-minute items you might need when visiting the parks or camping in the vicinity.

Tracy’s is located in a charming brick building that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Almo is a very small town, so there are few services. But there are choices. Check out the historic Tracy General Store if you’re foraging for a few basic food items, or if you need fuel, or you’d like a breakfast sandwich or a burger or a milk shake. But if you’re also interested in the Old West, enjoy your purchases while visiting with proprietor Miss Kent. Her store is 130 years old, her family pioneered in this valley, and she is an avid scholar of local history,” says Raymond, who wrote a review on Google.

Tracy’s serves as the local Post Office if you’ve got a last-minute card to send out in the mail.

If you missed Part 1 of the Southern Idaho Coffee Trail, here’s our post about little-known coffee shops in the western side of our region. Enjoy your coffee in Southern Idaho!