Editor’s Note: I love—make that all caps LOVE—HUB Coffee in downtown Helena. It’s where I always go when I’m editing on deadline and need an exceptional cup of coffee to power me through. It’s also where I choose to have business meetings. Not only is the space bright & inviting (floor-to-ceiling windows, clean design, lots of seating options—from leather arm chairs to large tables), it also serves delicious food. When I put the HUB on TheLastBestPlates.com’s docket, I assigned Kyra Ames for two reasons: she grew up in Helena and knows its coffee shops & eateries like the back of her hand, and because her sister Shalon owns it. Kyra and I have mutually raved about the place—which is only a block from Shalon’s other Last Chance Gulch business, Taco del Sol—since it opened. Kyra’s POV is as “inside” as it gets. So take a tip from me & Kyra, and check this place out. – Lynn
More Than Just Coffee
When I first tasted the Mediterranean sandwich at HUB Coffee, my sister Shalon Hastings’ newest business venture in Helena’s historic Last Chance Gulch, nothing could have prepared me for the burst of flavors. Initially, I’m not one for choosing a vegetarian sandwich, so I was a little apprehensive when Shalon suggested it, sighting it was one of their best sellers. After my fist bite, I quickly realized why—between the delicate balance of sweet balsamic vinegar, creamy sun dried tomato aioli, basil pesto and the crisp crunch of fresh vegetables—I became a converted vegetarian for a brief moment. Along with my sandwich, Shalon also recommended the Lemon Apple Fiz, one of her signature sodas combining fresh lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, HUB-made ginger syrup, and club soda. It was one of the most refreshing ‘sodas’ I’ve ever had. Not too sweet or tart, and again, it had the perfect balance of flavors.
HUB Coffee is not your average, everyday coffee establishment. With a small kitchen, in-house baker, and my sister’s lifelong passion for food and beverages, one can expect enticing items like Gingered Roast Beef or Chicken Sonoma sandwiches, Korean Salad with chicken and rice noodles, Indian Chaat Masala Slaw, and Chipotle Sweet Potato Salad.
Shalon says of her menu and recipe approach, “it isn’t exactly fusion…it’s more like a blending of recipes I’ve been perfecting over the years”. She strives to offer approachable ‘ethnic’ items alongside more familiar, down-home items like the HUB Egg Salad or Reuben Sandwiches. Shalon sites her culinary influence from her travels to the California wine country, New York City, San Francisco, France, and Mexico.
It wouldn’t be a coffee shop without the traditional espresso, lattes, and teas. Shalon is adamant about the consistency of every espresso shot—the baristas have a scale to get the exact pressure of the tamp, and she sources her fresh roasted beans from Ghost Town Roasters in Bozeman. HUB also serves a house-made Chai that rivals any in San Francisco. They sweeten the fresh Chai tea concentrate at the time of ordering. This allows for the customer to decide how sweet they would like it, which is one of the many driving forces of HUB’s success, customer service. HUB also serves a hearty breakfast burrito alongside their house-baked sweets like German Chocolate Brownies, which have a perfect dense cake consistency, French Puff’s, muffins and other baked goods.
As Lynn mentioned earlier, Shalon also owns Taco del Sol on the walking section of Last Chance Gulch. So, if you find yourself looking for a quick bite after a latte at HUB, wander up the walking section of Last Chance Gulch to Taco del Sol for a fish taco, burrito or shredded beef taco and a pint of beer.
With an eclectic selection of delectables ranging from sweet to savory and traditional to ethnic, one would be hard-pressed not to find a favorite good or beverage, all within walking distance in historic downtown Helena.
Monday-Friday 7:00am-5:00pm, Saturday & Sunday 8:00am-4:00pm
314 N Last Chance Gulch
Helena, Montana 59601
Taco del Sol
Monday-Saturday 11:00am-8:00pm, Sunday 12:00-7:00pm
21 N Last Chance Gulch
Helena, Montana 59601