Omaha is full of great local coffee shops, but one of the most-loved is a local gem, Zen Coffee Company. With two locations, one on West Center and the original location on 25th and Farnam (and a new one opening soon), they are known for their unique and super-fun coffee flights, double cups, and delicious avocado toast. Even with a great menu and cool working atmosphere, one of the best things they have to offer is a dog-friendly environment.
When you stop in at Zen Coffee Company, you can order your drink with your pup at your side. Once you have your coffee drink of choice, you can step outside to their pet-friendly patio and enjoy your cold-brew, honey latte, or house brew black. They’ll send you off with a water cup just for your dog and a Pup Cup that includes whipped topping, peanut butter, and a milk bone.
Zen’s owner, Abby, is an animal lover herself. She and her husband Ryan own three – yes, THREE! – Great Danes, a chameleon, and a fish. “We love dogs and we love to make them happy and excited to come with their Pup Parents to visit!” she says. The staff recognizes dogs who are regulars and have been able to love on them over the years. The Pup Cup treat started off with a group of runners who would bring their dogs in for water. Over time, the staff wanted to treat the dogs, and the Zen Coffee Pup Cups were born.
Both the Downtown and West Omaha location offer pet-friendly patios. Due to health code restrictions, dogs and their owners need to stay outside, except while ordering. Service dogs are always welcome to sit inside. Their patios offer a shady space to relax and enjoy the weather. The new Zen Coffee location, opening in One Pacific Place near Trader Joe’s, will be a drive-thru kiosk. They will have some seating outside for you and your dog to sit.
It’s true that Zen Coffee Company offers a warm, inviting atmosphere and some of the best coffee in town. Once you visit, they are sure you’ll be back time and time again and hopefully with your furry friend in tow. Abby, the owner, was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, and loves being able to serve the community more than just a great cup of coffee.
A portion of all Zen’s profits goes back to those who are in need in the local area. They also love supporting teachers and students. If you show your student ID or teaching badge, they’ll give you a special discount. If you aren’t a teacher or student, you can still participate in their loyalty program for weekly discounts by signing up at the register next time you stop into Zen.
Zen Coffee Company also has a strong focus on being green and sustainable. They have even been able to become 100% waste free! “We ensure the support of ethical business practices and awareness that starts at the source of our coffee- the farmers, the importers, the roasters… all the way down the chain to our baristas and customers,” reads their website. They make all their baked goods in-house to guarantee sustainability. All to-go boxes and cutlery are biodegradable. They also recycle their food, paper products, straws, and grounds. They have been able to do this all with the help of Hillside solutions. They even have a fun “BYOM” option (Bring Your Own Mug), where you can bring in a clean mug of your choice to use for coffee. This helps eliminate waste, one reusable mug at a time.
Zen Coffee Company is a great place to grab a cup of coffee, meet up with friends, or start your day. The relaxed atmosphere, delicious baked goods, and dog-friendly patio make it a wonderful experience. All of the staff at Zen Coffee Company are dog lovers and get excited to see each and every pet who stops in. Previously, they had a polaroid camera that they would use to take pictures of each dog. After a while, they went through too much film and decided to instead create a special dog highlight on their Instagram to document some of their furry visitors. Over time, the highlight has grown to include cats, birds, and even snakes. The staff sometimes remembers customers by their dogs. They bond over their love of animals together. Abby puts it perfectly, “Coffee shops are definitely full of pet people!”