Smokey Row Coffee Review for 2024

Over the last 21 years, Smokey Row has become an institution, and its customers cannot get enough.

smokey row logo

Whether you visit Smokey Row for the coffee or the spectacular food, you are sure to find something that tickles your fancy. As this review will go on to show, Smokey Row may have started out as a coffee shop at its roots; it has now become so much more.

smokey row outside

Smokey Row now has four locations, and they are in Pella, Oskaloosa, Des Moines, and Pleasantville. Each location has something truly unique, and it’s no wonder each one is as busy as the other.

Smokey Row, What It’s Like

Well, what can be said about Smokey Row apart from wow? Smokey Row Coffee Company offers something quite remarkable that it should be seen to be appreciated. If there is one thing you cannot fail to appreciate when you enter the building, it’s the effort they have gone to, to give this place something special.

smokey row inside

While the layout may seem generic at first, Smokey Row has definitely gone to lengths to give the public something everybody can be drawn to. Somehow they have managed to meld together a perfect blend of nostalgia and modernity and then finish it off with a contemporary edge.

smokey row inside2

The wondrous thing about the design coming together like this is that it gives a warm, welcoming, and friendly atmosphere to all who enter and you feel at home. While some coffee shops nowadays aim towards creating a buzz, Smokey Row creates a homely vibe that really is quite enchanting.

smokey row inside3

As you can expect, a coffee shop with an atmosphere like this gets busy, and this is also down to the options they have available. At Smokey Row, you can find coffee, smoothies, shakes, and some incredible food too.

smokey row busy

If you are looking to grab coffee first thing in the morning, you are sure to get incredible and speedy service. The staff are sincerely fantastic and really know how to treat their customers.

smokey row staff

While the coffee shop can get extremely busy at times, you will always be served quickly, and should you need assistance; this is gladly offered too.

smokey row service

If there is one thing that Smokey Row really has going for it, it’s the amount of seating. The coffee shop really has thought out its seating plan, and more often than not, you can find a seat and relax with a coffee and some food without any issue.

smokey row busy2

If you are looking for a huge selection of food that you won’t find anywhere else locally, you should also stick with Smokey Row. Not only are the food choices outstanding, but the portions are also large, and the price is extremely low.

smokey row food

After the initial morning rush, Smokey Row is an incredible place to work or study and has an atmosphere that you just feel comfortable being in. While the coffee shop is never quiet, it does run at a pace that is peaceful and can offer a place to spend a day.

smokey row pleasantville

Now, while the food, service, and atmosphere may be incredible, we have to get onto the important stuff. So the next section is where we take a look at the coffee.

The Coffee

When you walk into Smokey Row Coffee Company, you are greeted with signs that tell you that “Coffee is a passion,” and with their claims, it would be rude not to see if they really lived up to this.

As standard, Smokey Row serves their very own house blend, and firstly I was taken by the price. The coffee itself was priced at $9.95, which isn’t too bad by today’s standards.

smokey row coffee blends

As always, we began by cracking open the back and taking in as many notes as possible.

From the moment that seal broke, every taste bud in my body hit overdrive. From undertones of vanilla and caramel to exquisite berries, this was one coffee that really had me at hello.

smokey row house blend

The one thing that worried me at this stage was the experience I have had with coffee in the past, and that’s the letdown between aroma and taste, let’s start by saying that these worries were needless with the Smokey Row house blend.

Unbelievably, not only did the taste not let it down, the taste is remarkable. Smokey Row house blend coffee has a smoothness and delicateness that is rarely found in African and American coffee blends.

smokey row coffee

There seems to be a chocolatey undertone that I haven’t had since my first taste of Civet coffee.

Not only is this coffee a surprise for the price, but it is also quite surprising as it’s the product of a smaller range of coffee shops. It is obvious that so much thought and effort has gone into the production of the Smokey Row house blend coffee, it leaves the imagination to wonder just how fantastic some of their other offerings may be.

smokey row coffee2

For Smokey Row, it seems that over the last 21 years, a lot of thought has been put into their coffee, food, locations, and brand as a whole. It’s no wonder Smokey Row is so popular when they manage to think of everything and make things seem so easy.

What Others Say

The general consensus surrounding Smokey Row is nothing short of fantastic. It doesn’t matter where you turn; people never have anything but great stuff to say about this company.

It’s abundantly clear that people love the staff, food, and atmosphere, and like us, they love their coffee. One of the biggest compliments that Smokey Row seems to get is just how much value for money they provide.

smokey row coffee3

Whether you are in one of the locations talking to the locals or scouring the internet for reviews, you will only find great words said about Smokey Row overall, if you are looking for somewhere that gives an incredible all-around service. The word on the street is, Smokey Row is the place to go.

Photo of author


Nathan is the founder of The Darkest Roast (featured in the NY Times, Yahoo, and Tasting Table). He is a self-taught coffee expert and has tried 100s of coffees from around the world. Nathan's goal is to help you find the best coffee, so you only drink the best.