Ok, let me start by saying that yes, we do have Starbucks in Shenyang. And we even have Dunkin Donuts. (Unfortunately, DD misses the mark on the brewed coffee here. The American style coffee is still “new” here I guess and I think they still don’t really “get” how to make it well just yet. Usually just tastes stale. Maybe it’s good if you can get a fresh pot.) And while I enjoy both of those places, if I really want a relaxing cup of coffee nobody can touch Icy’s coffee at IS Caffe. (yeah, that’s not a typo. I’m not really sure why it has two f’s but it does.)
I’m not sure what it is. Maybe because it’s the closest for me, and I can walk there in 15 minutes.
Or maybe it’s just the great atmosphere. The decor is adorable and she plays great music.
Or maybe it’s because she speaks fluent English and so I can mix it up and order something special and off the wall and she gets it right. always.
Or maybe it’s because she serves them in beautiful mugs and glasses. That are normal size and not over-priced miniatures.
Or maybe it’s just the beautiful, perfect cup of latte, mocha, frappe, cappuccino that you get EVERY time.
But I love it.
It’s located on San Hao Jie (aka. Computer Street) in between Wencui Lu and Wenti Lu.
View Shenyang in a larger map
Just look for the FT. Silicon Valley sign. It’s easy to spot from either direction. (Just watch out for construction… of course, that goes for everywhere in Shenyang.)
Do yourself a favor… the next time it’s -20 degrees outside this winter and you need a break from this crazy expat life, go grab a comfy chair and a steamy mug of joe at IS Caffe. (Just don’t go too early in the morning. She doesn’t open until 11ish.)
Just chill and enjoy the free wifi and amazing coffee.
You won’t be sorry you braved the weather. Or the sidewalks.
Update October 21, 2011: Did I mention how much I LOVE this place?! Today, I switched bags just before I left the house to walk here. Got up to the counter and ordered my coffee only to realize I had left my wallet in my other bag and had no money! Being the awesome people they are, they made my coffee anyway and said, “Just pay me next time you stop by.”
I love Shenyang people! They really are fabulous.