The Scoop: The Coffee Cup Cafe is a fun and tasty diner in Boulder City, Nevada, near Las Vegas. Couples flock there to share the eatery’s signature menu items, including omelets, chili, and pancakes. What’s more, they’ll feel welcomed by the second generation of owners, as well the regulars who frequent the restaurant. For its commitment to high-quality food and relaxed atmosphere that is perfect for a date, The Coffee Cup Cafe has earned our Editors’ Choice Award.
The Coffee Cup Cafe in Boulder City, Nevada, was featured on the first season of the popular Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives.” Host Guy Fieri connected with the family-run eatery to try out its local favorites: Pork Chili Verde, Huevos Rancheros, and its famous Bloody Mary.
The Pork Chili Verde is made with tender pork and topped with cheddar cheese. Guests can also explore other Southwestern favorites, including hash browns and tortillas, a smothered burrito, and an omelet that Guy Fieri called “the bomb.”
Guy was also impressed with the restaurant’s Bloody Mary, which is served in a tall glass with a strip of bacon for a stir stick. The mix was created by the Stevens family matriarch in 1989 and is so popular that the eatery began selling it for fans to try at home.
The show also highlighted the restaurant’s atmosphere, which is welcoming to daters and families alike. Its walls are lined with surfboards that highlight its laid-back attitude.
The Coffee Cup Cafe is a welcoming place, and a big part of its charm comes from the fact that it’s still a family-run business. Al and Carri Stevens bought the restaurant in 1994. Their two adult children, Terry and Lindsay, have worked there since they were in high school. The Stevens family and their team still operate the restaurant seven days a week from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The good vibe attracts many singles and couples looking for a low-key date spot.
“The Coffee Cup is such a hometown eatery that locals and travelers feel like it’s a safe and fun spot for meeting for the first time — and first dates,” Lindsay told us.
The Coffee Cup Cafe has earned our Editors’ Choice Award for offering high-quality food and a relaxed atmosphere for a date.
A Family-Owned Business Focused on Quality
Carri and Al met in the 1970s at a grocery store in Las Vegas. Al was a meat cutter, and Carri was a bagger. They were engaged two weeks after first meeting. About 10 years later, Carri was working as a fill-in at a restaurant in Boulder City. She heard they were going to sell the restaurant, and she and Al decided to buy it. The Coffee Cup is now one of the most beloved local eateries in the area.
As new restaurant owners, Carri and Al worked seven days a week building connections with regulars and wearing many hats. Their children came after school when they were old enough to make biscuits for the biscuits and gravy dish served at the restaurant.
In 2003, Carri and Al moved “The Cup,” as they call it, into a larger space in Old Town with a bigger kitchen.
Over time, the Stevens family have come to employ a staff of 32 people, and they also work themselves. They helped develop the eatery’s distinctive menu. At first, The Cup served mostly special orders that regulars requested. Over time, they added more items to their menu that became popular.
For instance, when one diner requested meatloaf, the restaurant came up with a version topped with brown gravy and eggs.
Everything is prepared in-house, including the gravy, potato salad, coleslaw, and tuna salad.
The restaurant even attracts visitors from around the country and the world. Many make the trip from Las Vegas to experience the peace and quiet of Boulder City.
If a couple wants to have a date at The Cup, they can make a memory by bringing a coffee mug from their hometown. The eatery proudly displays those cups on its wall.
Attracting Fans From Near and Far
“Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” brought new fans to The Coffee Cup Cafe, though the eatery was already quite popular with locals. The Stevens family takes pride in getting to know regulars on a first-name basis.
“The Coffee Cup in Boulder City NV is the bomb. We have been going there for more years than I care to admit, and I have never had a bad meal or service. The family-owned diner has the best service where the principles are out in the crowd all the time meeting and greeting their customers. The atmosphere is relaxed, and fun, and much of the decor has ties to Boulder City and the family,” wrote one customer in an online testimonial.
But even non-local couples who want to make a quick date or pit stop at the eatery feel welcome.
Lindsay suggested couples make a date out of a trip to the Boulder City area and The Coffee Cup Cafe. She suggests couples breakfast at the diner before browsing the boutique shops and antique stores in town. Then, they can head out to nearby Lake Mead for an afternoon of boating before coming back to the city for cones at Grandma Daisy’s Ice Cream Store.
“I also feel that Boulder City makes a first date unique for many that don’t live here because of the small-town feel,” Lindsay said. “You can escape from the fast-paced Las Vegas. It most certainly will be a date to remember.”
The Coffee Cup: Building a Legacy in Nevada
Al and Carri’s children didn’t always want to take over their parents’ legacy at The Coffee Cup. Lindsay was going to college in San Diego, and Terry was training to be an EMT.
But after Al almost died of throat and blood cancer, they realized how important it was to preserve what their parents had built. Even when he was sick, Al instructed his kids about what to do with his restaurant, including cleaning the bathrooms and fixing the roof.
They also saw how much the restaurant meant to its regulars. Customers asked Carri about how Al was feeling and even offered to take him to his appointments.
Amid that tragedy, Carri made the tough decision to put the restaurant up for sale. Though she found a buyer, she couldn’t go through with the sale. Even when Al struggled through his second bout of cancer. Instead, she turned the restaurant over to Terry and Lindsay.
“Money doesn’t rule everything,” Carri told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Family counts.”
Long-time customers, and even tourists stopping by, are all considered part of the family at The Coffee Cup. Perhaps this is why it is so common to see couples on dates here.
Lindsay shared a story about a couple who had their first date at The Coffee Cup — and two years later, they decided to get married there.
“We hadn’t had a wedding inside our restaurant before. Their first date was right here, and they thought it would be incredible if they tied the knot in that same spot,” she said.
The Coffee Cup is a special place that the younger Stevenses will preserve for generations to come.