The Willow Tree Coffeehouse and Music Room, located in downtown Johnson City, embodies a peaceful ambience that anyone looking for a break from the rush of life would enjoy.

“Magic, community and music” are the three words that Zoë Dosher, one half of the mother-daughter duo owners, would use to describe the vibe of the shop. One of Dosher’s favorite parts of the Willow Tree is the art many patrons leave behind.

“We love it because it fills the walls with pretty stuff to look at,” said Dosher.

Aside from the general air, the coffee and comfort food served here are house-made with love. Dosher and her mother came up with many of the recipes for their food and specialty lattes on their own. If you need a recommendation, Dosher suggests the “Nutty Professor,” a flavorful blend of white chocolate, hazelnut and vanilla.

Another out of the ordinary location that has gained popularity among downtown’s visitors is Freiberg’s, an authentic German restaurant located right in the heart of town. The establishment remains true to their theme by decorating the outer and inner in a traditional Germanic style and using both German and English words on their menus.

“Best beer cheese and pretzels to ever hit your taste buds!” said Madison Wilder, a frequent visitor to Freiberg’s.

Some other customers claim that the schnitzel is phenomenal. Boasting lunch specials that leave the typical college student jumping for joy, this is a place that customers can always expect a bang for their buck.

Speaking of places that drive a hard bargain for their college customers, Main Street Pizza Company serves up an endless variety of affordable slices while maintaining a very classy environment. Three separate dining locations attached to the main kitchen provide a different experience each visit, with quality food remaining a constant. Aside from the heartier dinners, Main Street also offers a creative take on brunch meals from Wednesday to Sunday.

Waitress Lizzy Varghese said that in addition to delicious meals, the customers make up the soul of the establishment.

“I think that it’s a really great place to just meet some wonderful people,” she said.

Downtown Johnson City is also home to some of the most creative and fun stores in our area. One of the more interesting is Atlantis, a down to earth shop specializing in healing gemstones and arts. The staff are all knowledgeable in their products, from what stones are rumored to heal the body to what are supposed to clear the mind. Atlantis also showcases works of local artists, supporting both the town and those who live in it.