In America, there has never been a better time to be a coffee enthusiast. The National Coffee Association reports that the number of cafés is on the rise and that coffee consumption reached a two-decade high this decade. Unfortunately, however, the rising cost of several necessities in the country, including coffee, has increased the cost of living for coffee lovers. According to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the cost of coffee increased by more than 17% over the previous year, which can put a strain on any coffee drinker’s budget.
Although Americans have traditionally taken their love of coffee extremely seriously, caffeine is now used for more than just getting up in the morning. Urban centers all across the country are experiencing a rise in the number of craft coffee shops, which encourage self-expression and provide places for the local community to socialize, work, or simply enjoy a well-made caffeinated beverage to-go. Here is a list of some of the top coffee-drinking locales in the United States, including one that was once known for being the most famous tea party in history – until it switched to coffee.
The United States has been dependent on coffee like it is our patriotic duty since the Boston Tea Party inspired a switch from leaves to beans.
20. Austin, Texas Java
Austin residents take their coffee pretty seriously. Nate’s Baked Goods and Coffee, located close to Austin’s bustling 5th Street, serves delicious pastries and unique coffee drinks in a welcoming environment. The Tommie Austin hotel insists on having guests pass through The Coffee Bar, a coffee bar in the foyer, so guests can taste the local Texas coffee brand Greater Goods Coffee Company.
The nearby Quack’s 43rd Street Bakery is well-known for its enormous 32-ounce coffee cups and extraordinary baked goods in a unique environment. It is a Hyde Park institution and is beloved in the community. Another great spot is Neighbors. They ingeniously combined a dog park and coffee shop, Neighbors is the ideal place for dog lovers to mingle and socialize while enjoying specialty coffee drinks.
19. Washington, D.C. Coffee
In 2014, veterans opened Compass Coffee in Washington, D.C. The business presently has 12 locations in the Washington Metropolitan Area in addition to a roasting facility in the renowned Shaw area of Washington, D.C. Beloved Café Unido debuted its first American coffee shop at La Cosecha, a contemporary Latin American market in the city.
The best beans from the best Panamanian farms, including Panama Geisha, also known as the champagne of coffee – the most expensive coffee variety in the world, are used by this company. Swings Coffee Roasters, which operates out of two locations in the city, has been a mainstay of the local coffee culture for more than a century. Numerous committed customers of the shop have traveled the world while carrying Swings’ beans.
18. Atlanta, Georgia Caffeine
Atlanta has a plethora of fantastic coffee shops to discover. Those who don’t want to limit themselves to one type of coffee should go to PERC, which offers coffee flights – a multi-beverage experience in which three to five coffee drinks are prepared and served side by side. Brash Coffee Roasters is a trendy coffee shop made of repurposed shipping containers. It is wildly popular among both locals and visitors.
East Pole is a wholesaler and stand-alone shop with a laid-back atmosphere and a patio where baristas make freshly brewed lattes, drip coffee, and cortados inside a sleek and modern-looking shop. Dancing Goats coffee can be found in Ponce City Market, Decatur, and elsewhere —it’s a coffee brand that self-proclaims to be the local film industry’s known hotspot for making the best coffee in town. It does not close, serving delicious coffee regardless of the weather.
17. Cincinnati, Ohio Cup of Joe
Cincinnati is home to many top-notch roasters of both coffee and tea. Actually, Ohio is currently experiencing a boom in the craft coffee industry. Cincinnati, which is home to the University of Cincinnati and tens of thousands of caffeine-dependent students, has a wide variety of independent coffee shops.
Highlights include Coffee Emporium, the city’s oldest continuously running coffee business, which provides quite great coffee, and Smooth Cincy Coffee, whose cold brew nitrogen-infused coffee helps coffee lovers cool off on hot days. Collective Espresso, a tiny, hip local network of coffee shops, focuses on the beverage in its purest form and delivers only exceptional coffee.
16. Los Angeles, California Cappuccino
Many people are familiar with Alfred, the legendary coffee influencer empire that has its own nationally recognized hashtag. Other favorites in La La Land include Melrose’s trendy Carrera Cafe, and the Sunset Strip’s The Butcher, The Baker & The Cappuccino Maker, who stand out by elevating latte art to a whole new level.
However, coffee shops in Los Angeles are incredibly diverse. Stone Street LA is a dog-friendly shop with a large outdoor patio area that is ideal for working or socializing. Over quality food and drink, Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen fosters community, creativity, and connection. Cafecita is working toward a physical location, but for the time being, it is a women-owned and operated business that sources exclusively from sustainable, female-owned coffee farms/coops and donates to various women’s nonprofits.
15. Chicago, Illinois Espresso
Although not technically located in Chicago, the internationally renowned coffee brand’s 35,000 square feet Starbucks Reserve Chicago Roastery is the world’s largest, boasting five specialized floors, each featuring specialty coffee drinks, coffee-infused cocktails, pastries, and pizzas.
Sputnik Coffee Company is based in Chicago’s historic Back of the Yards neighborhood, where it roasts, brews, and serves a blend that it describes as approachable, down-to-earth, and focused on bold simplicity. Metropolis Coffee Company was founded nearly two decades ago by a father-son team, but it is still a family-owned business that operates out of the Edgewater café, where it was born.
14. Long Beach, California Brew
Over the past few years, Long Beach’s coffee scene has flourished and become incredibly well-known for it. Some of California’s top roasters are flocking to Long Beach, and the city has since become home to many top-notch specialty coffee shops.
If you’re in the neighborhood, Lord Windsor’s is like a royal specialty coffee shop. Wade and Lindsay Windsor started their company in 2012, and it grew quickly to become one of the region’s first specialty coffee roasters and cafés. Wide Eyes Open Palms’ mobile coffee store also offers mouthwatering pour-overs, iced lattes, and cold brew in bottles.
13. San Diego, California Black Eye
San Diego is known for more than just beer. The Succulent Café is entirely covered in succulents. Lofty Coffee has a swank new take on coffee and Better Buzz‘s Hillcrest location has two levels of seating and a lively atmosphere. Copa Vida, a well-known brand with locations from Carlsbad to downtown East Village, translates coffee to “life.”
There’s also Oceanside, which has a slew of locally owned cafes serving excellent coffee and a dedicated coffee trail map to help coffee enthusiasts find the best places to fuel up. Nearby, Carlsbad’s downtown village has 16-plus coffee shops in a six-square-block area, including Baba Coffee, which is famous for its Praline Goddess cold brew.
12. Boston, Massachusetts Cuppa
Though most history classes associate Boston with a different type of hot beverage, the city knows how to make a good brew. There is a Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner, but there are also many craft coffee shops to discover. Thinking Cup serves delectable handcrafted brews like pour-overs and iced blends – yes, even when the temperature is -10 degrees outside, New Englanders enjoy a good iced coffee. It’s a nice place to meet a friend for a chat.
The flagship location of George Howell Coffee in Boston’s Downtown Crossing, the Godfrey Hotel, roasts espresso in small batches every day for maximum freshness and serves coffee-tasting flights for those who are unsure or adventurous. The nitro cold brew, filter coffee, lattes, mocha, hot chocolate, tea, and espresso at Gracenote Coffee’s Boston Leather District standing espresso bar are legendary.
11. New Orleans, Louisiana French Roast
Since the third-wave cafes began to appear in the 2010s, New Orleans’ independent coffee shop sector has flourished. The importance of neighborhood cafes has grown over the past few years as a result of the services they provide, including community printers, a community fridge, and pop-up and weekend art markets.
Some companies, including French Truck Coffee and Congregation, roast their own beans, while others use locally roasted brands to prepare drinks. A more recent favorite on Gentilly Boulevard, Park Island Brew launched in 2020. It is because of its elaborate espresso beverages, the charming corner building has become a hub for the community.
10. Denver, Colorado Americano
Denverites need mile-high strength coffee to embark on Mile High City adventures like climbing 14ers or brewing world-famous beer. Crema Coffee House in the RhiNo neighborhood expertly pulls espresso drinks complemented by house-made syrup. Huckleberry’s two locations provide a cheerful environment in which to relax and enjoy friendly service with their famously good house-roasted beans.
Nearby, Blue Sparrow Coffee is a visual feast with eye-catching interior design elements and a classic coffee menu serving quality drip brews from a rotating selection of featured roasters. Amethyst Coffee Company in the Capitol Hill neighborhood provides a warm, bohemian atmosphere and a welcoming place to gather for good conversation.
9. Sacramento, California Drip
Sacramento is one of the top metro regions in the US for having the most independent coffee shops per capita because there aren’t many huge chains there. Here, specialty coffee businesses with trendy influences like Chocolate Fish Coffee, Old Soul Co., and Insight Coffee Roasters are churning out delicious brews.
One of the nicest cafes in the city is the award-winning Temple Coffee, which gets its laid-back atmosphere from modeling after some of Indonesia’s many temples. The trendy Naked Lounge is a great place to grab a coffee, something to eat, and take in the city’s sights and sounds. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to relax there because it has both indoor and outdoor seating.
8. Miami, Florida Dark Roast
Miami is the best city to sample Cuban coffee without needing to travel outside of the nation. Their espresso-sized beverages will definitely wake you up because they’re created with strong coffee and sugar. A must-go-to coffee cafe serving both classic and unusual coffee concoctions is La Colada Gourmet. It is located in the heart of Little Havana. If you want something sweet, pick the tres leches coffee.
Whatever bizarre beverage you’re wanting, the unique Vice City Bean is sure to have it. All the staples and more are offered at this welcoming neighborhood restaurant. One of the cafe’s baked delicacies pairs well with its exquisitely designed drinks. Whether it’s a complex effervescent tea or a coffee drink with lavender flavoring.
7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Go Juice
Pittsburgh is known for producing steel, but it is also a coffee destination. Visit the Strip District, a half-square-mile walkable shopping district filled with the aromas of freshly roasted coffee. Check out de Fer Coffee & Tea, a welcoming, fun, and vibrant community that hosts community events such as latte art competitions.
Adda Coffee & Tea House rotates its specialty coffee and tea selection on a regular basis to highlight a different world region. Griff’s Grounds Coffee in Penn Hill specializes in custom-made French-Pressed coffee and tea beverages, grinding the beans in a unique order to ensure the freshest flavors.
6. Tampa, Florida Rocket Fuel
Caffeine is a welcoming shop that, as the name suggests, serves everything from pastries to signature drinks. Try the orange cold brew, a traditional cold brew coffee with orange slices that will refresh and re-energize you regardless of humidity level. When you enter Foundation Coffee Co., you immediately notice two things: On one wall, a 20-foot-tall fountain with a cascade of water is mounted.
A three-tiered Kyoto Drip Brewing tower on the opposite wall provides an excellent view of the brewing action. Foundation Coffee Co. uses a variety of brewing techniques to ensure that each coffee is carefully crafted for a robust flavor. Buddy Brew’s Tampa Bay location, which is just a few blocks from the University of Tampa campus, exudes the coolest coffee hangout vibe.
5. Portland, Oregon Blend
Portland pioneered the practice of craft coffee roasting and remains a caffeine industry leader today. Stumptown and Case Study, as well as a few standout shops that pay homage to culturally-rooted practices, are must-stops in Portland. Café de olla, a popular drink during the Mexican Revolution, is served at Revolución Coffee House.
The traditional coffee included cinnamon, which the Spaniards brought to Mexico, and was prepared by “Adelitas” (women in the military). Portland Cà Phê brews single-origin coffee from Vietnam’s Central Highlands, specializing in Robusta beans, which have roughly twice the caffeine content of traditional Arabica beans.
4. Honolulu, Hawaii Pour Over
It is because of its full-bodied flavor, Kona’s award-winning coffee has gained worldwide acclaim. Hawaiian coffee is more than just Kona Coffee; the crop is grown in five islands and eight different regions throughout the state. Hawaiian coffee is distinguished by its mineral-rich volcanic soil and ideal climate for coffee plant cultivation.
Honolulu Coffee Co. now has several locations, but it began as a small kiosk in downtown Honolulu in 1992. Another great spot is Island Vintage Coffee. Though they have several locations throughout the island, its Waikiki store is one of the few that opens before 7 AM, which accounts for the constant influx of jet-lagged travelers. Be sure to check them out and find out the real meaning of aloha!
3. Orlando, Florida Liquid Energy
There are always plenty of coffee shops in the US – and Orlando, Florida is no exception. If you’re seeking a nice place to satisfy your caffeine craving head to where the magic lives. Every coffee shop has a different menu and environment. There is likely to be a coffee shop that suits any preferences, whether you’re craving a classic cup of joe or something a little more unique.
Bright and cozy describes the atmosphere at Deeply Coffee. They provide numerous varieties of warm coffee. For fresh goodies, they collaborate with nearby bakeries. Thai tea and pop-tarts are also available. If you’re running errands, Holy Grain Coffee is conveniently placed in a shopping center. The coffee in this business is wonderful and has a rustic feel to it. They also have a huge selection of sweets and goodies!
2. Seattle, Washington Bean Juice
Coffee is life in Seattle, Washington. Cabana, a neighborhood hotel brand, includes Coffee bags from the local coffee roaster Caffe Vita – a Seattle favorite – in every Cabana rental for their trip. Those who visit or staycation at the Four Seasons Seattle can take advantage of the dedicated on-ground coffee concierge service, which is available daily.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room, located near Pike Place Market, is steeped in history and offers a coffee library of single-origin beans. Last but not least, pay a visit to Cherry Street Coffee House, a welcoming community space that has been a part of the Seattle brewing scene since the late 1990s.
1. San Francisco, California Brain Juice
The original Peet’s Coffee, which first opened in Berkeley back in the 1960s, and the now-famous Blue Bottle Coffee, which was created in Oakland over twenty years ago, were both formed in the San Francisco Bay Area. The first Philz Coffee opened in the Mission District of San Francisco in the 1970s. Also, the famed Buena Vista Irish Coffee is the reason to visit the 100+-year-old Buena Vista Cafe, which isn’t quite a coffee business per se.
Coffee addicts can locate the Lady Falcon Coffee Club, a specialty coffee company housed in a restored vintage 1948 GMC bread truck, in the Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco as one of the city’s more distinctive and modern outpost locations. Another fantastic location is Barebottle Brewing Co., a local craft brewery that makes beer and awesome coffee!
There is no need to skip a caffeine fix when there are so many amazing jitter juice options available. You will undoubtedly have a good time at any of these coffee shops, regardless of which one you choose to go to. Be sure to check out things to do in other coffee heavens’ too!
These areas are perfect for a quick day trip or a long weekend getaway. Explore our favorite things to do or peruse some pre-built itineraries.