Downtown Holland coffee tour: Lemonjello’s Coffee

With its close proximity to Hope College, decently priced coffee and bright-colored yellow and red brick walls, Lemonjello’s eclectic and bustling atmosphere has appealed to the vast majority of Hope students. It is almost a given that one will find Hope students at Lemonjello’s, either studying or chatting with friends. Open from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lemonjello’s offers a variety of fun specialty beverages, including flavorful mood lattes and a unique selection of energy drinks. 

It wasn’t hard to find students who love Lemonjello’s. Eric Alsgaard (’25) admitted that he goes to LJ’s around three times a week. “People who know me know to meet me at Lemonjello’s,” he said, “and when people ask, ‘Do you want to go to LJ’s?’, I’m like ‘Of course I do, there is no other option.’”

“There’s such a large influx of college students,” Alsgaard said, mentioning how much he loves getting sidetracked by people he knows while he’s working on something. “I love the people and the vibe here,” Alsgaard mentioned, “The staff is super friendly and Matt, the owner, is super nice and you can just strike up a conversation with him.” Alsgaard enjoys sitting at the high top lined with windows, noting that, “[y]ou can sit at the bar and still see a large part of campus.” 

Similarly, Andrew Silagi (’24) comes to Lemonjello’s around twice a week. “I like to meet up here with people and have conversations,” he said, adding that he regularly meets up with friends and mentors at Lemonjellos. “It has the most legendary connotation,” Silagi noted, “and it’s been here for a while and has a really good atmosphere.” In regards to the young vibrance of the shop, he said, “I feel validated in my college student identity when I’m at LJ’s.” 

The interior of Lemonjello’s on a sunny day

Silagi also reminisced on the first time he ever went to Lemonjello’s. He was visiting Hope and how he remembers how much he admired the overall vibe of the coffee shop, specifically noting the music they play. “I love the music,” Silagi mentioned, “they play underground music that I really enjoy.” 

Lemonjellos offers three different options of drip coffee each day. They use Madcap Coffee’s beans, locally roasted in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Their house blend is called the 616, which is a lighter roast with hints of vanilla, milk chocolate, and citrus. Alongside the coffee, Lemonjellos also has a wide selection of baked goods, offering gluten-free and vegan options. They are most well known for their housemade muffins. “The muffins are my favorite part for sure,” Silagi said, “The raspberry chocolate chip muffins are amazing.” Alsgaard, on the other hand, commended their cinnamon muffins. 

Like most coffee shops, Lemonjello’s offers a wide range of milk and syrup options for lattes and/or cappuccinos. It is the only coffee shop downtown that doesn’t upcharge for a milk substitution, which is good news for Hope students. Alongside that, Alsgaard admitted, “If you bring your own mug, you get a fifty-cent discount on whatever you order.” 

Here are a few drink recommendations from Hope students:

  • 616 Drip Coffee: “I super recommend trying the 616,” said Alsgaard, “because it’s a very sweet kind of black coffee. It’s not bitter or harsh.” 
  • Cafe Miel
  • Summer Steamer: Silagi described this drink as a “sort of a blackberry raspberry hot chocolate.”
  • Iced Americano: “This is pretty good for hard black coffee drinkers.” Alsgaard commented.
  • Green Army Guy: “Their sodas are actually really good,” Alsgaard noted, “especially the green army guy.” 
  • The Mary: Alsgaard emphasized, “They can make the seasonal drinks all times of the year, they just don’t advertise it.” 
  • Cappuccino: “I get a cappuccino with oat milk because it’s a little stronger than a latte but still very creamy,” said Bridget Hodgkin (’25), “I also love the pretty latte art on top.” 
  • Chai latte

Whether pronounced “LEM-un-JEL-ohs” or the French-sounding “la-MON-juh-lohs”, Hope students know and love Lemonjello’s. Since 2003, Lemonjello’s has had a longstanding tradition of serving quality coffee and pastries to the Hope community.

Next time you need a caffeine boost or have a sweet tooth, stop by Lemonjello’s on 9th Street to experience the vibrant atmosphere and delicious coffee for yourself! 

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