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Water Street Coffee Joint (Downtown)

May 20, 2023

  • 315 E. Water Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 373-2840
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s kind of crazy I’ve worked in downtown Kalamazoo and never been to Water Street Coffee Joint downtown, right?

I’m not a coffee drinker so there’s actually a few places downtown I’ve never been to. I drive by Water Street almost daily but I do just that. Drive by it.

My co-worker needed to pick up some gift cards for his mom last week. He was trying to do it online but they don’t have digital gift cards. They only do order online then they send physical gift cards which wasn’t going to work. I suggested we just drive over there when we had time.

The downtown Water Street Coffee Joint location is the original. The really small, odd shaped building sits on a triangle piece of land on the corner of Water Street (hence the name) and Kalamazoo Avenue right next to the railroad tracks and across the street from Bell’s Eccentric Cafe. The parking lot is really small and really tight. There’s additional parking on Water Street if you can’t get in to the lot.

Co-worker went in first and I was just going to let him go…but then I realized, I was hungry. It’s been a while since I’ve been to any of the other Water Street Coffee’s as well but I assumed they’d have some kind of sandwich or something to eat. Since we were here, I might as well check it out.

The coffee joint is surprisingly bigger inside than it looks. The first area when you walk in is the order counter. I expected it to be really tight but there’s plenty of room. There are a couple of big display cases with food and cold drinks. All the coffee is made behind the counter using coffee roasted at a nearby production facility. Water Street’s coffee is pretty popular around town. They have a wholesale option that a lot of area businesses take advantage of.

There’s actually a pretty big case of sandwiches already made. Co-worker was really pushing me towards the Breakfast burritos. I’ve actually had those a couple of times. Another guy that works in our office always has bigger eyes than stomach. On a couple of different occasions, he’s bought two and brought them to the office only to realize one is enough. He typically gives me the second so he doesn’t over eat.

I was in a sandwich mood though. I picked the Italian Grinder and got it warmed up. You can get it cold if you like but we had time and the warming up didn’t take long. The sandwich comes with choice of side. I chose the kettle chips. The cost was right around $12.

There is a bakery case right next to the cash register…and it was really tempting but I passed for today…and it’s really hard for me to pass up good chocolate chip cookies.

There is a seating area on the other side of the building…because what’s a coffee shop without a place to sit an write your manuscript? We needed to get back to the office and since I just had a sandwich and chips, I grabbed it and we headed out.

The Italian Grinder has salami, ham, capicola, and provolone cheese that is topped with marinated cherry peppers, a zucchini relish, a balsamic glaze, and Greek dressing. It’s served on Schiacciata bread. There’s a lot more veggies on this sandwich than I would normally eat but I decided to be adventurous and just leave everything on it. It was really quite good and while I got veggies in every bite, the meat was still pretty pronounced. The Schiacciata bread was something new to me. It’s similar to focaccia but it doesn’t rise as much. It’s pretty chewy but that gives it a lot of it’s flavor. This was a really good grab and go type sandwich.

Not being a coffee drinker keeps me away from coffee houses. I’ve been to other Water Street locations so I know there’s more than coffee. It just never occurred to me to look up what they have and stop and grab a sandwich. Knowing what I know now about the sandwiches…and the breakfast burritos, I know stopping for coffee doesn’t have to be the primary objective. Stopping for a quick, delicious meal can be the reason to stop.

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