Sozo Coffeehouse No Longer Hidden

Clandestine Old Market coffeehouse deserving of above-ground recognition


Photo by Maddie Mollner

Slick from ice and snow, this shaky staircase leads to Sozo Coffeehouse

Maddie Mollner, Student Life Editor

Traveling all the way to 14th and Jones streets just outside of the Old Market may seem like quite a trip just for a cup of coffee, but Sozo Coffeehouse proves itself worth the gas money and a trip down a creaky metal staircase. Yes, you read that correctly; in order to enter Omaha’s biggest coffeehouse, one must take an excursion underground.

Photo by Maddie Mollner
Exterior and entrance to Sozo Coffeehouse

With the jingling of the bell that one hears upon opening the navy blue door also comes a sincere “Welcome to Sozo!”, an array of paintings and christmas lights strung about the ceiling.

As I stepped up to order, I was greeted warmly by amicable and inviting staff. I ordered a rose latte from the menu, a chalkboard ingeniously decorated by hand. A beverage at Sozo normally costs between three and four dollars, a small price to pay in comparison to most cafes, such as 13th Street Coffeehouse, which is also in the area.

Photo by Maddie Mollner
Intricately decorated menu hung above the ordering counter

When my drink was brought to me, it was accompanied by weird smell which probably had something to do with a flower and dairy being mixed into one beverage. Clearly rose and milk do not get along.
However, I was pleasantly surprised when the first sip of it did not match the smell in the least. Although the two main components of the rose latte lie at opposite ends of the taste spectrum, they wonderfully blended together to create a rich, sweet taste.

Obviously a few setbacks are going to present themselves in an establishment that is underground. One of these setbacks is that the entirety of the floor is concrete, making some spots uneven to walk on. But if you’re able to walk through a few dips in the floor, this inconvenience doesn’t mean much. Another small issue is that, with Nebraska winter conditions and poor insulation, the restrooms are freezing; but it’s a minor concern compared to an otherwise wonderful coffee experience.

Besides offering a variety of tasty coffee and plenty of comfortable seating, Sozo also houses four private study rooms that are available to rent for $2 per hour as well as a large conference room for $10 per hour. These study rooms hold comfortable couches and are perfect for getting together with a group to review for an upcoming test. Sozo also has a stage space for performances by local bands, which can be rented for $50 per hour. To inquire about reserving any of these spaces, visit Sozo’s website.

One of four study rooms that Sozo has to offer

Despite a long drive and not-so-flat flooring, Sozo Coffeehouse is definitely one of the most enjoyable cafe establishments in downtown Omaha. The rose latte is one to sample, and if you’re not a fan of coffee, the hot chocolate is divine. As the Omaha winter drudges on, consider Sozo on your next unnecessary snow day.

Maddie Mollner

Maddie joined The Flightline in January of 2017. She is a senior this year, involved in cheerleading. Outside of school, she reads, collects flamboyant socks and hangs out in parks with her friends. You can email her at [email protected]