From Portland to New York and from coffee carts to the oldest Starbucks, here are 22 places to get the perfect cup of jo.
Americans have always taken their coffee culture very seriously, but caffeine no longer serves solely as a way of waking up in the morning. Craft coffee shops are brewing in urban areas across the country, spurring creativity from within and offering community gathering spaces to meet, work, or just enjoy a well-made caffeinated beverage to-go. From a city that was known for the most famous tea party in history (before it turned to coffee) to a city that “never sleeps” (so of course, it needs an ample supply of caffeine)—here is a lineup of some of the best coffee destinations in the U.S.
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Portland paved the way for the practice of craft coffee roasting and continues to be a leader in the caffeine scene today. PDX coffee classics like Stumptown and Case Study are must-stops in addition to a few standout shops that pay homage to culturally-rooted practices. Revolución Coffee House specializes in café de olla, a popular drink during the Mexican Revolution. The traditional coffee included cinnamon brought to Mexico by the Spaniards 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 with about twice as much caffeine as traditional Arabica beans. Super Joy Coffee employs award-winning roasting skills on imports of limited supply beans from the Yunnan region of China to serve brews with Chinese influence, like the date latte, the Chinese pepper mocha, or the lychee ice coffee.
In Seattle, coffee is a way of life. Local mobile hotel brand, Cabana, includes Steeped Coffee packets of Seattle-based coffee roaster Caffe Vita (regarded as a Seattle favorite) in every Cabana rental so travelers won’t have to go without on a trip. Those who visit or take a staycation to the Four Seasons Seattle can use the dedicated on-site coffee concierge service to satisfy any java desire from 6 a.m.–10 a.m. daily. The famous Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room is truly steeped in history, located near Pike Place Market, offering a coffee library of single-origin beans. Visit Cherry Street Coffee House to experience a welcoming community space that’s been a part of the Seattle brew scene since the late 90s. At the same time, the downtown location of Anchorhead Coffee offers exceptional views of the water near Pike Place Market.
Kona’s award-winning coffee has gained popularity worldwide for its full-bodied flavor. Hawaiian coffee is more diverse than just Kona Coffee; the crop is grown across five islands in eight different regions across the state. Hawaiian coffee stands out due to its mineral-rich volcanic soil and ideal climate for growing coffee plants. Visit Maui Coffee Attic on Maui, which is a cozy mom-and-pop café with a stage and performance area in addition to fantastic drinks. Honolulu Coffee Co. now features multiple locations but has humble origins as a small kiosk in downtown Honolulu dating back to 1992. In addition to the plethora of artisanal cafes across the islands, visit Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea to try Hedonic, a revolutionary, terroir-driven sensory-focused coffee brand partnered with the property to offer two meticulously sourced, custom-roasted signature blends proprietary to the destination.
San Francisco, California
The San Francisco Bay Area founded some world-renowned coffee icons, including the now internationally recognized Blue Bottle Coffee, born in Oakland over two decades ago, and the original Peet’s Coffee, which opened in Berkeley back in the ’60s. The original Philz Coffee opened in the Mission District of SF in the ’70s, and Buena Vista Cafe, which isn’t a dedicated coffee shop per se, but this 100-plus-year-old spot is a must-visit for its legendary Buena Vista Irish Coffee. Some unique and contemporary outpost spots include Lady Falcon Coffee Club, a specialty coffee company housed in a revamped vintage 1948 GMC bread truck that caffeine fiends can find in the Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco. Another great spot is Barebottle Brewing Co., a neighborhood craft brewery creating coffee and beer.
To embark on Mile High City adventures like climbing 14ers or brewing world-famous beer, Denverites need coffee that offers mile-high strength. In the RhiNo neighborhood, Crema Coffee House perfectly pulls espresso drinks complemented with house-made syrup. Both locations of Huckleberry offer a cheerful space to relax and enjoy friendly service with famously good house-roasted beans. Nearby, Blue Sparrow Coffee is a feast for all senses with interior design elements that are pleasing to the eye, alongside a classic coffee menu serving quality drip brews from a regularly rotating selection of featured roasters. In the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Amethyst Coffee Company offers a warm, bohemian atmosphere and a welcoming spot to gather for good conversation. There’s even an outdoor fireplace to sit around and get cozy while sipping. Downtown Little Owl Coffee is known for crafting fantastic grab-and-go coffee beverages and tasty baked goods.
Though Boston may be most known in most history classes for a “party” involving another kind of hot beverage, the city certainly knows how to make a good brew. Sure, you’ll find Bostonians’ cherished Dunkin’ on every corner, but there is also a wide selection of craft coffee shops to explore. Thinking Cup serves delicious handmade brews like pour-overs and iced blends (yes, even when it’s 17 degrees outside, New Englanders enjoy a good iced coffee). It’s a cozy gathering spot to meet a friend for a chat. The George Howell Coffee’s flagship location in the Godfrey Hotel at Boston’s Downtown Crossing roasts its espresso in small batches every day for maximum freshness and serves coffee tasting flights for those who are indecisive or adventurous. Gracenote Coffee’s Boston Leather District standing espresso bar makes legendary nitro cold brew, filter coffee, lattes, mocha, hot chocolate, tea, and espresso.
Las Vegas, Nevada
It’s no surprise there are a plethora of locally-owned and operated coffee shops in Las Vegas to always keep the caffeine buzz going. Beloved Bad Owl specializes in house-roasted specialty coffee brewed in various creative methods. Bungalow Coffee Co. is a brightly lit space serving handcrafted coffee made from ethically-sourced beans. Nearby, Golden Fog’s plant-based specialty coffees and monthly rotating art gallery wall pay tribute to local artists. At Sunrise Coffee, the longest-running independent coffee shop in Las Vegas, the team serves vegetarian and vegan foods made from scratch. Magnum Coffee’s warehouse-style outpost out by the Harry Reid International Airport is a perfect place to sit and watch the exciting air traffic directly across the street. And Mothership Coffee Roasters’ downtown location is a prime spot to get work done, hosting a large outdoor courtyard space to soak up the desert sun.
Pittsburgh might be a destination known for producing steel, but now it’s also a known coffee destination. Visit the Strip District neighborhood, a one-half square mile walkable shopping district that seemingly overflows with the aromas of fresh-roasted coffee. Stop by de Fer Coffee & Tea–a comfortable, fun, vibrant community that hosts community events like latte art contests. Adda Coffee & Tea House regularly rotates its selection to highlight a different world region through its specialty coffee and teas. Griff’s Grounds Coffee in Penn Hill specializes in made-to-order French-Pressed coffee and tea beverages, grinding the beans in a different order to ensure the freshest flavors. At Trace Brewing, enjoy the best of both worlds in a spot that brews both coffee and beer, so those who don’t drink alcohol can still meet with friends and enjoy a fantastic coffee “brew” instead.
Press Coffee has been a classic Phoenix coffee spot since its founding in 2008 and has expanded to host local outposts in Scottsdale, Tempe, Phoenix, Chandler, and Gilbert. The flagship Phoenix location is a great place to work or grab a brew and watch the roasting action happen right on-site. Brand new to downtown Phoenix is Kahvi Coffee + Café, which burst onto the caffeine scene on Roosevelt Row in 2021, inspired by Tulum, Mexico, and Scandinavia shops. It’s housed in a beautiful, wide-open space made to enjoy coffee and conversation, also serving light bites, wine, beer, and cocktails. Fillmore Coffee Co. in downtown Phoenix aims to offer an atmosphere in its shop inspired by the strong coffee culture of shops in Australia, using in-house roasted beans.
Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina, is a coffee lover’s paradise, offering more than 25 coffee shops within its city limits. Methodical Coffee’s downtown location boasts a bright interior space with delicious coffee and ultra-sleek decor, making it an excellent spot for coffee meetings. Due South Coffee Roasters is located in a revitalized cotton warehouse with an industrial-style feel and sells delicious brewed drinks and whole roasted beans for purchase. Coffee Underground serves freshly brewed coffee, and hosts live shows, comedy acts, and independent film screenings in its spot nestled just underneath Main Street. Another cozy favorite, The Village Grind, is perfect for posting up with a coffee for a day of work or relaxation in an inviting spot filled with plants. And The Grateful Brew stands out as a spot to enjoy coffee and craft beer under one roof, with delicious hand-crafted beverages and a full-service espresso bar.
Although not technically based in the Windy City, the internationally infamous coffee brand’s 35,000 square feet Starbucks Reserve Chicago Roastery is currently the largest Starbucks in the world, boasting five specialized floors, each featuring specialty coffee drinks, coffee-infused cocktails, pastries, and pizzas. Sputnik Coffee Company operates out of Chicago’s historic Back of the Yards neighborhood, roasting, brewing, and serving a blend that’s self-defined as accessible, down-to-earth, and focused on bold simplicity. Metropolis Coffee Company was founded by a father-son duo nearly two decades ago, but today remains a family-owned business operating out of the Edgewater café, where the business was firstborn. And it’s easy to spend all day at South Loop’s Momentum Coffee & Coworking, an affordable coffee and coworking Incubator that opened to serve underrepresented entrepreneurs in Chicago. It’s open-to-the-public for coffee but doubles as a fully resourced coworking space to its members.
Austin takes its coffee very seriously. Even the newly unveiled tommie Austin hotel has its guests arrive through the all-day lobby coffee shop, and wine bar called The Coffee Bar to give guests a chance to try the local Texas coffee brand, Greater Goods Coffee Company. Nearby, a local favorite and staple in Austin’s Hyde Park neighborhood, Quack’s 43rd Street Bakery is known for its enormous 32-ounce coffee cups and out-of-this-world baked goods in an eclectic environment. Nate’s Baked Goods and Coffee is tucked away in a tiny bungalow off of Austin’s bustling 5th Street, where coffee lovers can find tasty pastries and coffee concoctions in a quaint atmosphere. Neighbors is a brilliant combination of a dog park and coffee house, creating the perfect spot for dog owners and pup lovers alike to connect while sipping crafted coffee beverages.
Compass Coffee is a Washington, D.C.-based coffee roaster founded in 2014 by two U.S. Marines. The brand now has 12 brick-and-mortar locations around the Washington Metro Area and an active roasting facility in D.C.’s historic Shaw neighborhood. Beloved Café Unido launched its first stateside coffee shop at La Cosecha, which is a contemporary Latin American marketplace in the city. This brand promotes responsible sourcing and uses the best beans from the best farms in Panama, including Panama Geisha, the highest-priced coffee variety in the world (also known as the champagne of coffee). Swings Coffee Roasters hosts two locations in D.C. and has been part of the area’s coffee culture for 100-plus-years. This shop has a group of passionately loyal customers who have traveled the world with Swings’ beans in tow to internationally spread the word about their favorite brand.
Los Angeles, California
Many are familiar with the legendary coffee influencer empire Alfred, which boasts its own nationally famed hashtag. And other favorite spots in La La Land, like Melrose’s trendy Carrera Cafe or the Sunset Strip’s The Butcher, The Baker & The Cappuccino Maker, stand out by taking latte art to a whole new level. But there’s an incredibly diverse selection of coffee shops across LA. Stone Street LA is a dog-friendly shop with a large outdoor patio area perfect for working or meeting friends. Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen fosters community, creativity, and connection over quality food and drink. Cafecita is working toward a brick-and-mortar location but now is a women-owned and operated business sourcing exclusively from sustainable, female-owned coffee farms/co-ops while supporting various women’s nonprofits. La Monarca Bakery’s name is inspired by the resilient spirit of the monarch butterfly—migrating each year from Mexico—and serves authentic flavors reflected in countless on-site beverages.
There are a plethora of fabulous coffee shops to explore in Atlanta. Those who don’t want to pick just one kind should visit PERC, which serves coffee flights. Brash Coffee Roasters is a trendy coffee spot fashioned out of repurposed shipping containers and is a hot spot for locals and visitors alike to spend time. East Pole is a wholesale seller and standalone shop with a laid-back atmosphere and a patio where baristas create freshly brewed lattes, drip coffee, and cortados inside a shop that feels sleek and modern in design. Find Dancing Goats coffee in Ponce City Market, Decatur, and beyond—it’s a coffee brand that’s self-proclaimed to be the known hotspot in the local film industry for making the best coffee in town. It doesn’t shut down, serving delicious coffee no matter the weather.
Jacksonville’s coffee scene is historic. In fact, it’s home to the only remaining Maxwell House manufacturing plant in the U.S., perched right in the heart of downtown and daring back to the early 1900s! But there are also dozens of newer, locally-owned and operated coffee shops to experience. Visit Social Grounds, which was started by a U.S. veteran. This shop sources the best coffee from around the world to roast it in-house and works with the City of Jacksonville to employ and empower homeless Veterans. Vagabond Coffee’s aim is to create an atmosphere in each of its locations that allow visitors to come together as a community and enjoy a great cup of coffee no matter their background. Sago Coffee in Jacksonville Beach believes in giving back to the community in meaningful ways, partnering with a different local cause each quarter to donate 25% of profits toward a local nonprofit.
In Puerto Rico, a cup of coffee isn’t just a part of the day–it’s an entire day’s experience. The island has mixed more than 200 years of history with this magical bean as the product quickly became an economic driver dating back centuries. Puerto Rican coffee stands out due to the combination of where it is grown and how it’s processed. The Island’s volcanic soil and the coffee’s high growing altitude bring some exceptionally extraordinary flavors. In addition to standalone coffee bars, travelers to Puerto Rico can take a coffee hacienda tour and experience what the times were like back in the 1800s, when coffee was one of the island’s most important agricultural products. Coffee enthusiasts can get a detailed lesson on coffee production, history, and even learn how to taste coffee with true finesse. Notable haciendas to tour include Hacienda Buena Vista and Hacienda Lealtad.
San Diego, California
San Diego is all about its brews, but we’re not just talking about beer. Oceanside hosts a plethora of locally-owned cafes serving top-notch java with a dedicated coffee trail map for coffee lovers to find the best places to fuel up. Nearby, Carlsbad’s downtown village is home to 16-plus coffee shops in just a six square block area, like Baba Coffee, known for its legendary Praline Goddess cold brew. There’s also Succulent Café, which is covered in succulents from top to bottom. The sleek and trendy Lofty Coffee has locations across the county, as well as Better Buzz, but visit the Hillcrest outpost to enjoy two levels of seating with a lively atmosphere. Coffee translates to “life” at local coffee company Copa Vida, a beloved brand with shops from Carlsbad to the downtown East Village neighborhood.
Appropriately named Caffeine, this shop serves everything from pastries to signature drinks in a welcoming shop. Be sure to try the ”orange cold brew,” a classic cold brew coffee with orange slices, guaranteed to refresh and re-energize in any level of humidity. Upon walking into Foundation Coffee Co., two details catch the eye—on one wall, there’s a cascade of water streaming from the ceiling as a 20-foot-tall fountain. On the other wall, there’s an elaborate, three-tiered Kyoto Drip Brewing tower for guests to enjoy a prime view of the brewing action. Foundation Coffee Co. uses multiple brewing methods to make sure each coffee is crafted just right for a robust and flavorful taste. Buddy Brew’s Tampa Bay outpost feels like downtown’s hippest hangout to grab a cuppa just a few blocks away from the University of Tampa campus.
Loudoun County, Virginia
Virginia’s Loudoun County is a coffee mecca. In Leesburg’s main drag called King Street, the atmosphere has become a sort of Coffee Corridor for the region. There are half a dozen cafés and coffee bars within a few blocks of each other in this downtown area. King Street Coffee has been a part of the Leesburg community for more than 30 years. It is a popular local coffee house with fantastic coffee, a cozy interior to relax on a cold day, and an expansive outdoor porch with wide Adirondack chairs to lounge on a warm one. Nearby, Goosecup is a sleek spot that roasts its own beans and sells bags of retail and specialty drinks like flat whites, cortados, lattes, and macchiatos. A few other coffee spots to check out include Trinity House Café, SouthStreet, Dolce & Ciabatta.
New York City
NYC is the city that never sleeps—so of course, there’s no shortage of buzzing cafes and coffee shops across the five boroughs. Try New York-based Devocion, which sells the freshest coffee in the US. Next, check out Hi-Collar, a cafe by day and a bar by night. This outpost in the East Village serves siphon brews made with varying blends when the sun’s out, but when it gets dark, guests will find the caffeine swapped with Japanese whisky and shochu cocktails. In Ridgewood, Topos Bookstore Cafe is a place to sip and savor flavors and words in a brightly lit, relaxing setting. Ninth Street Espresso is a favorite among coffee purists, serving artisanal espresso and French pastries. Birch Coffee is known for its super smooth cold brew—roasting beans in Long Island City and brewing fresh at locations across NYC.
Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island is named “coffee milk” after its official state drink. The concoction is unique to The Ocean State, consisting of a sugary syrup (Autocrat is the state’s go-to) added to a glass of milk, which is then stirred and thoroughly enjoyed. Providence boasts shops like Dave’s Coffee, located along the Providence River, and Bolt Coffee which serves up artisanal blends in Downtown Providence. The Nitro Cart is known for its creamy cold brew, beginning as one coffee cart hand-made from scrap wood and since expanding to operate three carts and 50 (and counting). Be sure to visit White Electric Coffee, a worker-owned cooperative café, as well as Sin Bakery, appropriately named for its sinfully delicious treats and coffee drinks. New Harvest Coffee & Spirits offers locally-roasted New Harvest coffees and a curated cocktail menu perfect for a pick-me-up or a nightcap.