Just in case you didn’t catch the difference in title- welcome to the very first “DESTINATION Coffee Crawl!” This Norman, Oklahoma coffee shop is definitely one of the most well-known in the area. Just a block away from Main Street and less than ten minutes away from the University of Oklahoma, its location is prime for avoiding unnecessary traffic while still retaining a steady stream of customers. The simplistic white stone and generic block letters don’t look like much on the outside, but once you step in, the smell of coffee and the minimal yet artistic design will have you liking Gray Owl in no time.
It wasn’t particularly sunny the last time I went. But the panel windows let in plenty of natural light. It makes the wall décor stand out even more than it already does. A lot of the art they have on display is available for purchase. Like a painting? Buy it! Support for local businesses, am I right? I’m not sure what’s up with the bikes…but maybe you can buy those too?
With as popular as this place is, it’s only right that it be as accommodating as possible. Good thing there are several tables, sidled up right next to the wall for optimal charging conveniency, a long bar top, and three separate sofas for those comfortable coffee shop chats. Now, that’s not always enough- in fact, it rarely ever is. Often, you really have to show up at just the right time to get a good spot, especially if you’re there to study.
But their drinks usually make up for the crowds. I’m a personal fan of their iced chai teas. I love chais- they’re generally my favorite thing to get when I go to a coffee shop. I’ve had quite a few of them from various stores and I have to say Gray Owl’s is hands-down the best one I’ve tried. They’re vanilla lattes are equally as delicious, and their cappuccinos aren’t bad. They also have a nice array of pastries and other snacks available.
While Gray Owl is definitely a chief coffee-lovers destination, there’s nothing particularly exciting or different about it. Norman’s a busy college town. It’s understandably difficult to find good places off campus to hang out with friends or study. But I do have to say, Gray Owl is the only place I’ve consistently had to leave because there was no place for me to sit. There are other coffee shops in the area with delicious drinks and calming atmosphere of their own. It definitely has its strengths and it’s worth a visit if you’re just rolling through town, but for me, it’s a 6/10.
Surely there are some loyal Gray Owl fans that disagree with my rating. What do you think about this textbook coffee shop? Put your reviews down in the comments section below! And let me know if you want to see more “DESTINATION Coffee Crawls!”