A recent visit to Vandalia, IL yielded a pleasant surprise. Shimoji Coffee opened at 7:00 AM on Sunday. The drive-through coffee shop was established in 2016 and works hard to assure a consistently pleasant customer experience. Shimoji roasts a rotating variety of beans for their shop and for consumers to enjoy at home. Hand-crafted syrups and made-from-scratch baked goods compliment the high-quality message that is the Shimoji brand.
The beverage selection is extensive with brewed coffees, espresso drinks, teas, smoothies and hand-crafted sodas all cheerfully dispensed from the double drive-through. They really pack a lot into, or out of, the small building.
Preparing for a 45-minute drive to a swim meet, I swung by Shimoji, not really expecting them to be open. The lighted sign gave me hope that I would have a better companion than hotel coffee to accompany me on the drive. The barista made sensible suggestions based on my plain, black coffee preference. I chose a Red Eye and a large Americano. Braced for a strong jolt to the tongue, I was pleased with the smooth, flavorful Red Eye. I poured the Americano into my thermos and headed west to the pool.
The coffee paired nicely with the peanut butter and jelly sandwich from the Holiday Inn Express. Once at the pool, I warmed up and prepared for my first race of the day. The 1000 yard Freestyle is 20 laps in the 25 yard pool. I finished the race with a meet record for my age group. I’m not saying it was the coffee that propelled me, but I’m not saying it wasn’t either.
Shimoji Coffee is conveniently located at the intersection of 8th and Gochenour, near I-70 in Vandalia, IL. The small, drive-up only shop has a surprisingly extensive drink menu. Knowledgeable baristas efficiently deliver tasty beverages in a friendly and helpful manner. Locally roasted beans and a commitment to quality make Shimoji Coffee worth visiting.