Experiencing the Quad Cities Coffee Trail

Food & Beverage, Online Exclusives

Explore the Quad Cities Coffee Trail with a java connoisseur and discover eight supercharged cafes serving premium high-test

At the end of April, I took advantage of the unusually warm weather to take a day trip to Quad Cities, driving 2 ½ hours from Chicago to explore a new area. I knew exactly how to spend my day there, even though I’d never even passed through. With the help of Quad Cities Coffee Trail, I now had a whole day planned out to experience one of the great loves of my life – coffee! You can also enjoy some of the best treats and drinks in town, and win some great prizes along the way. Read below to discover a few of the featured coffee shops along the trail. 

Charged Coffee and Cocoa Shop

I started off extra strong in the morning at Charged, which had a convenient drive-thru with a picnic table seating area. With such a warm welcome from the employees, I was soon enjoying an iced Bananas Foster and Caramel Cake Batter coffee. But this small shop offers much more upgraded options that include energy drinks to get you charged up for your day. 

Charged Coffee

Charged Coffee and Cocoa Shop drinks and drive thru shop in Orion, Illinois.

Iron + Grain Coffee House

My next stop was in East Moline at Iron + Grain Coffee House, with an emphasis on the iron! I felt as if I was in a stylized break room for steel workers, but the coffee and menu spoke of a warm southern style.  Altogether, my peach cobbler latte was my favorite drink of the day, along with a hearty breakfast sandwich. I enjoyed the ease of contactless ordering, and I took my time to peruse the boutique located next to the café. Full of cute accessories, clothes, and a plant station, I was happy to spend time shopping around. With three different locations around Quad Cities, this is an easy access coffee house.  

Iron + Grain Coffee House food, location, and coffee bean machine

Iron + Grain Coffee House coffee bean area, building and food offerings at the location in East Moline.

Kick Serve Coffee

Served with an extra kick of flavor, Kick Serve Coffee had many drink options served efficiently at their two way drive-thru. Their mango smoothie was fresh and delicious, while their mango lime energy soda had me bouncing off the walls! Even their cookies had cute smiley faces and decorations that brightened my day. This was a perfect quick drink pickup, with great fruit flavors to choose from.

Kick Serve Coffee energy drink, mango smoothie, and customized cookies.

Kick Serve Coffee energy drink, mango smoothie, and customized cookies.

Dead Poets Espresso

I was very much looking forward to this location, as who doesn’t love a cheeky café about Dead Poets? With decorations that did not disappoint, I loved the look of Dead Poets Espresso. It seemed as if at any moment someone would jump up on stage and perform slam poetry. With food and drink options, I settled for trying a quesadilla to curb some of my hunger. This was a coffee shop with one of the best locations of all. It’s situated next to a brewery, in the downtown area of Moline and near the John Deere Pavilion where you can go see their famous farming equipment. As I was enjoying a cheesy quesadilla, a beautiful rock road train passed by and a worker remarked, “Now that the train is here, you’re stuck!” I decided if I was stuck, this was the perfect place to be.

Dead Poets Espresso building in Downtown Moline

Dead Poets Espresso building in downtown Moline, Illinois.

Cool Beanz

During my quest for great coffee, this was another modern place I enjoyed. It included a drive through and café store with attractive drink and bakery options. The drinks are named “The Diploma,” “The Deans List” and “Sorority Girls” and is a great place for students. I settled for the sorority girl latte with mint and a cinnamon bun covered in frosting, perfect for the afternoon. Cool Beanz also had lots of great treats to buy and take home like flavored honey, maple syrup, coffee pots and cool travel cups. 

Cool Beanz Coffee and Bent River Brewing Company

Cool Beanz Coffee and Bent River Brewing Company in Rock Island, Illinois.

392 Caffe – West 3rd St

392 Caffe has two different locations in Quad Cities, but I only got to one on West 3rd St in Davenport. I wish I had visited both, as they had so many drinks to try out. This was a place I would dress up and take cute Instagram pictures in, with comfy lounge couches and great décor. Try their special blueberry donuts with one of their customized iced teas, a perfect combo for your morning.

A black iced tea from 392 Cafe on West 3rd St, left-hand photo credit to mattumland.com

A black iced tea from 392 Café on West 3rd St, left-hand photo credit to Matt Umland.

Rise Neighborhood Café

I got to this café just in time to enjoy a protein pack, sweet peach lemonade, and a quiet seating area. With a morning café vibe, Rise Café is right in the neighborhood, located in Hotel Blackhawk. The hotel is the #1 rated hotel in Davenport and includes a spa and other dining options. You can also take the time to see a show at the Adler Theater, right across the way.

Rise Neighborhood Cafe peach lemonade

Rise Neighborhood Café peach lemonade in Davenport, Iowa.

The Brewed Book 

At my last stop of the day, The Brewed Book was my most anticipated visit, as I am an avid book reader and collector. This is another quiet atmosphere where you can walk in, pick a coffee or Italian soda to enjoy and peruse the many options of gently used books ranging in genre. I managed to find a great Margaret Atwood volume to buy, and was surprised at the low prices. It was a Barnes and Noble type experience without the hefty prices, and a place I would love to visit again in the future.

Treats, drinks, music and books at The Brewed Book

Treats, drinks, music and books at The Brewed Book in Davenport, Iowa.

Tips and Tricks

I had a great experience doing this Coffee Trail. A couple of tips I’d like to mention for anyone that wants to try the trail themselves:

  • Plan which areas and coffee shops you really want to go to, there’s no way to get to them all in one day
  • If you’re really looking forward to the prizes offered by visiting a certain number of coffee shops, be sure and plan a way to claim your prize from the Visit Quad Cities office when they are open. They are closed on the weekends
  • Don’t drink too much of the energy drinks, it will wipe you out very quickly
  • Check the hours of each coffee shop before you head there
  • Don’t forget to ask for that code to enter for the Coffee Trail when you check out
  • Check the Coffee Trail site for special discounts to use when you visit each café

Other things to enjoy in Quad Cities 

Special Events

While you are driving around the Quad Cities Coffee Trail, it’s easy to happen upon all kinds of local events such as a baseball game, a craft fair, or a group of kite flyers by the Mississippi. Follow this link to discover local events you can participate in.

Train Spotting 

While in the downtown area of Quad Cities, many people were there with kids just to see the special train cars that pass through Moline. We saw several wonderful trains, and they love to blast those horns!

Quad Cities River Bandits

Located right next to the Mississippi, you can enjoy a baseball game with a breeze in Quad Cities. I wonder how many home runs are in the river? They also offer amusement rides at Modern Woodmen Park for families to enjoy.


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Article written by Kelsey Ledford



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