As the country’s coffee culture evolves, so do the number of spots to enjoy a great cup of java in Philadelphia. The city has seen an explosion of third wave coffee, where sustainable ethos, single origin sourcing, and attention to detail in the cup translates to a whole new world of caffeinating. Cafes embracing that ethos take their brews seriously, not unlike sommeliers with wine. A number of new coffee shops have opened during the pandemic, giving Philadelphians even more to love about the city’s coffee scene. Here are the decidedly excellent spots to drink coffee right now.Read More
The Top Spots in Philly for a Great Cup of Coffee
Specialty lattes, drip coffee, and beans to-go are just some of the highlights at these neighborhood coffee destinations
One of a few local favorites in Mount Airy’s thriving coffee culture is Avenues Cafe, right on Germantown Ave. There, you’ll find a cozy vibe and hot coffee, plus board games and weekend events to round out the cafe offerings.
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High Point Cafe (multiple locations)
Delectable pastries, a long menu of specialty coffee drinks, bags of beans, and more are the draw to High Point Cafe, with two locations in Mt. Airy. The crepes are a lovely option for breakfast or lunch, and the Queen Bee pastry — made with honey, sea salt, cardamom, and croissant dough — is out of this world.
Uncle Bobbie's Coffee & Books
Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books is the destination for folks in Northwest Philly (and beyond) who are looking for books written by people of color, and the wide selection on offer — for adults, teens, and kids — is inspiring. While browsing the shelves, customers can grab drip coffee, espresso, specialty lattes, and lemonades, plus baked goods from Au Fournil and Crust Vegan Bakery.
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Ultimo Coffee (multiple locations)
There’s the original Ultimo shop in Point Breeze, plus locations in Graduate Hospital, Germantown, and Rittenhouse, the latter being home to a custom powder-coated espresso machine. That machine isn’t just for looks — these coffee experts know how to pull a shot, and are among the best-trained baristas in the city. Pre-order online for pickup.
Thu Pham has been roasting her specialty Vietnamese coffee to sell wholesale on J Street for over three years, but her full-service cafe was always the goal. There, coffee drinkers can indulge in strong Vietnamese lattes and co-work in a lovely space, while also ordering banh mi, breakfast sandwiches, and all kinds of magnificent lunch options, helmed by Jacob Trinh of Trinh Eats.
With five destinations around Philly, Reanimator Coffee is a favorite of many of the city’s residents. The Port Richmond shop is just as airy and light as all of Reanimator’s cafes. Prefer to brew at home? Fans can order beans and merch to be delivered straight to their doors. Check social media for the rotating list of seasonal beans.
Home to many a pop-up event and even more specialty latte combinations, Forin Cafe is Kensington’s destination for delicious caffeinated drinks like the pineapple and mint espresso tonic and ube matcha latte. Check social media for Forin’s plethora of collaborations and events.
The Monkey & The Elephant
This Brewerytown spot not only offers coffee and baked goods in a welcoming setting, it also has a mission worth supporting. The not-for-profit cafe employs former foster youth, so sipping a cortado also does good for the Philly community.
Bold Coffee Bar
This Francisville shop offers traditional drip coffee and espresso drinks alongside indulgent treats, like an Oreo Crumble Latte and an Iced Peanut Butter Cup Latte. Bold Coffee Bar uses Rittenhouse-based Vibrant Coffee beans. To eat, find an array of croissants and sweet pastries. Order online.
After starting out as a coffee pop-up during the pandemic, Persimmon Coffee finally opened a brick-and-mortar in June of 2022. The space is calming and intimate, and the specialty drinks — like the seasonal Foolish Tiger, made with espresso, homemade persimmon and ginger syrup, cinnamon, black walnut bitters, maple syrup, and steamed oat milk — are delicious and inventive.
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“We are simply the medium” is the mantra for this small batch single-origin roaster in Logan Square. Meaning: They’re just the conduit between good beans and the perfect sip. Famous for serving cold brew out of hand pumps on the back of tricycles, Peddler defines “boutique.” The vibes at the brick-and-mortar shop are decidedly retro-mad scientist. Try the cold brew, which uses multiple glass drip chambers. Order outside or on the Ritual app.
Ray's Cafe & Tea House
Chinatown establishment Ray’s Cafe may be known for its strong siphon method coffee, but it also serves up Taiwanese comfort food to go along with your caffeine. Order dumplings and noodle soups, and don’t skip the tea — even coffee people will get a jolt from Ray’s triple greens.
Green Line Cafe (multiple locations)
In the last decade and a half, Green Line Cafe has grown to multiple locations all around the city. The family-owned business, which considers itself “West Philly’s Living Room,” serves the community fair-trade coffee and health-conscious food. Order online.
Opened by an Elixr and Bodhi Coffee alum in 2014, this airy-yet-cozy cafe serves Dogwood Coffee out of Minneapolis to adoring fans in Old City. It’s an outpost of good java in the tourist zone, and locals flock there for chill vibes and good sandwiches. You can preorder online.
Elixr (multiple locations)
Center City oasis Elixr is still kicking out some of the best pour overs in the city. The original shop on Sydenham Street is a go-to spot for high-quality cups. Find a stunner of a second shop, complete with an onsite roastery, in Callowhill, and a third location at 16th and Market. Order online for pickup.
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Sustainability and responsible sourcing are the buzz at Greenstreet, a cozy and funky roaster that goes to great lengths to secure the most ethical beans directly from producers. All that work and care translates to some of the best cups Philadelphia has to offer and should be on every coffeehead’s list. Even the shop’s website is thoughtful, offering useful how-tos and tips. There are two locations — one in Washington Square West and one in Point Breeze.
One of those brave businesses that opened mid-pandemic, Jiggy Coffee serves Washington, D.C.-based Small Planes Coffee, organic tea, and pastries — both traditional and vegan. Order online, if you’d like.
The beans at Rally Coffee are from local roaster Blind Tiger Coffee, plus Rally sells locally-made treats, including Weckerly’s ice cream sandwiches, High Fidelity baked goods, and Okie Dokie Donuts. There’s always something new happening here, so follow along on social media.
Function Coffee Labs
Unlike most coffee shops in Philadelphia, Function Coffee Labs sources its beans from multiple roasters for an ever-changing single-origin lineup (it changes every one to two weeks). Meticulous care in brewing means Function is a coffee paradise, offering always-stimulating and seasonally fresh options. This shop also added an array of baked goods to its offerings in recent history. Think sourdough cinnamon buns; bacon, goat cheese, and onion biscuits; and more.
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Herman’s became a specialty grocery store, known for Philly’s best selection of imported tinned fish during the pandemic. The popular Pennsport shop, situated in a repurposed garage, has turned itself into a citywide destination by hosting regular pop-ups. Owner Mat Falco mans the onsite roaster. Try an espresso tonic: two shots of espresso with Fever Tree Tonic in rotating flavors, like the fan-favorite grapefruit sage. Order online or in person.
A vegan pioneer, Grindcore is a long-running hangout for South Philadelphians. The concept is simple: great coffee and a fantastic selection of vegan food in a cozy space, all set to an unusual soundtrack mixing grindcore, punk, and whatever else the baristas are in the mood for. There’s a second location, in partnership with Crust Vegan Bakery, in West Philly. Order online.