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Where to Find the Top Coffee Shops and Espresso Bars in Philadelphia

Ultimate guide of must-visit cafes for coffee lovers

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The wave of coffee enthusiasm is clearly here to stay in Greater Philadelphia.

The region’s java scene has been percolating for years now: Cafes roast their own signature beans, baristas specialize in perfectly engineered espressos and coffeehouses use one-of-a-kind La Marzocco machines. From an Australian flat white to a Chemex-brewed cuppa, the possibilities for delicious caffeinating are endless.

Check out a few of our favorite coffee shops and espresso bars in the city with the interactive map and list, below.

01

La Colombe

Philadelphia's flagship coffee purveyor

Inarguably the originator of Philly’s first wave of coffee, La Colombe remains the go-to spot for rich Italian-style espressos and excellent macchiatos. Restaurants and eateries around the city pour the beloved blends. Head to La Colombe’s gorgeous Fishtown headquarters for light bites to go with your perfect cup of coffee, including lattes on tap.

Where: Multiple locations including, 1335 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125

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02

Elixr Coffee

The eco-friendly reclaimed wood paneling and cool marble countertops are only a backdrop for the main event at Elixr Coffee: the superb Synesso Hydra-brewed espresso.

Where: Multiple locations including, 207 Sydenham Street Philadelphia, PA 19102

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03

Greenstreet Roasters

Sustainable coffee roasted on-site

The tiny Spruce Street shop that Greenstreet Coffee Roasters inhabits is emblematic of its ethos: small and sustainable. The single-origin, responsibly sourced coffees are roasted in the company’s South Philly headquarters.

Where: 1101 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

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04

Old City Coffee

More than 25 years of quality cups

— M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

With three high-traffic locations — one in Old City, plus two booths in Reading Terminal MarketOld City Coffee has produced fresh, tiny batches of high-grade Arabica coffee for more than 25 years now.

Where: Multiple locations including, 221 Church Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

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05

Ultimo Coffee

Craft coffee at its best

Ultimo Coffee
— R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Its espresso was rated best in the city by The Philadelphia Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan and best in the country by The Daily Meal, and rightfully so. Ultimo serves Counter Culture Coffee, perfectly ground and brewed to order — for serious coffee lovers only.

Where: Multiple locations including, 2149 Catharine St, Philadelphia, PA 19146

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06

ReAnimator Coffee

Hometown cafe with a national fanbase

A roaster with national recognition, ReAnimator Coffee serves its own beans in espresso drinks and pour-overs at sleekly minimalist cafes in Fishtown and Kensington.

Where: Multiple locations including, 1523 East Susquehanna Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125

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07

Menagerie Coffee

An espresso bar and hand-pours in Old City

Neighbors of Menagerie Coffee in Old City come for the full espresso bar, hand-poured coffee from a variety of brands and locally sourced small eats. Regular offerings might include a turkey, brie and apple butter combo on pumpernickel or hummus and tzatziki on grilled sourdough.

Where: 18 South 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

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08

Joe

NYC-based coffee shop now in Philly

A New York roaster with a solid presence in Philly, Joe operates two locations — one in Rittenhouse Square, the other in University City. Both serve the House Selection, The Waverly espresso and other delicious blended and single-origin options.

Where: Multiple locations including, 1845 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

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09

Saxbys Coffee

Popular Philadelphia-based café serving coffee, cold brew and more

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Saxbys Coffee, a locally based cafe with more than a dozen locations in the Philadelphia region, takes special pride in its Cold Brew Iced Coffee. The smooth, sweet, rich drink is made by a unique method that involves steeping ground coffee in cold filtered water, which slowly coaxes flavor from the beans.

Where: Multiple locations including, 2000 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

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10

Green Line Café

Organic coffee and locally sourced fare

Green Line Café
— J. Fusco for GPTMC

With an emphasis on coffee and community, Green Line Café serves its patrons not just fair-trade coffee and healthy fare, but also a friendly space to hear live music at its Spruce Hill locations.

Where: Multiple locations including, 4426 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

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11

Chhaya

The organic, fair-trade espressos and lattes at Chhaya complement fresh meals of seasonal salads (green apple and arugula with Lancaster bacon bits), sandwiches (in-house smoked pastrami with homemade sauerkraut) and creative waffles like Nutella/strawberry and veggie chili/cornbread.

Where: 1819 E. Passyunk Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19148

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12

Federal Donuts

Line-up for donuts, fried chicken and coffee

Federal Donuts
Next level coffee and donuts at Federal Donuts. — M. Edlow for GPTMC

Federal Donuts is perhaps best known for its inventive fried chicken and donuts, but the house coffee, a proprietary blend from PT’s Coffee Roasting Co., is an equally delicious reason to visit — particularly in the warmer months when it’s cold-brewed with a Japanese siphon tower.

Where: Multiple locations including, 1219 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

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13

High Point Cafe

Daily made pastries and top-rated espresso

Its espressos have been given top ratings, and the two locations of High Point Café in Mt. Airy boast a mean menu of quiches, baked goods and crepes of the same quality.

Where: 602 Carpenter Lane Philadelphia, PA 19119

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14

W/N W/N Coffee Bar

A nighttime spot for java and drinks

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Count on creative edibles at W/N W/N Coffee Bar. The cooperatively owned and operated cafe and bar serves items like spicy popcorn and Japanese-style pancakes, in addition to its Elixr-roasted coffees.

Where: 931 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123

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15

HubBub Coffee

From mobile cafe to permanent coffee spot

What began as a moving enterprise is now a brick-and-mortar establishment. HubBub Coffee pours steamy double shots of espresso and signature blends from rotating guest roasters at its flagship cafes in Center City, University City and Radnor. Meanwhile, the house drip and cold brew coffees are made from an in-house brew. In the summer of 2015, HubBub embraced its mobile roots with the release of two, bright red Cold Brew Trikes to wheel its signature cold brew throughout the city.

Where: Mulitple locations including, 1717 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA

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16

Rival Bros.

Nitro coffee and more

What happens when a chef and a coffee roaster (lifelong friends) join forces for the good of espresso drinkers? Rival Bros. is what — a full-service cafe with all the classic espresso drinks plus The Derringer, a riff on the cortado that’s made with a bit more milk and the house single origin espresso. Don’t miss out on the nitro coffee — cold-brew coffee that’s pressurized with nitrogen and served on tap to create a creamy, almost Guinness-like pour.

Where: 2400 Lombard Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146

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17

Black 'N Brew

Vegetarian and vegan friendly neighborhood hangout

This popular East Passyunk cafe is a neighborhood go-to featuring local favorites including coffee from La Colombe and a variety of homemade pastries. Vegetarians and vegans will find plenty of delicious options here for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon snack.

Where: 1523 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147

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18

Shot Tower Coffee

Contemporary coffeehouse serving bold roasts and locally made snacks

Shot Tower Coffee
— R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Queen Village’s Shot Tower Coffee turns out impeccable espressos and coffees with Counter Culture Coffee brewed with a Fetco and micro-lot coffees brewed with the Kalita Wave.

Where: 542 Christian Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

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19

Good Karma Coffee

Keeping it green across the city

Fair trade and certified organic coffee is the foundation at all three locations of Good Karma Café, and owner David Arrell takes his best-practices philosophy to an even higher level, with green construction and corn-based plastics.

Where: Multiple locations including, 331 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

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20

Grindcore House

Rock out to heavy metal tunes, coffee and vegan treat in hand

Grindcore House
— Photo by M. Fishetti for GPTMC

The vegan lifestyle is celebrated at Grindcore House, a Pennsport hangout where coffee drinkers can choose from a variety of non-dairy creamers (like soy, rice, almond, coconut) and a meatless, eggless, milkless menu of pastries and sandwiches.

Where: 1515 South 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

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21

Mugshots Coffeehouse

Neighborhood gathering place keeping it local

Fairmount hangout Mugshots Coffeehouse maintains a commitment to sustainability via recyclable packaging, vegan, vegetarian and organic snacks, fair-trade coffee and local-food offerings.

Where: 1925 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130

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22

One Shot Coffee

You’ll want to linger in this comforting brunch spot

One Shot Coffee
— J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Built from reclaimed wood and tile, Northern Liberties’ expansive One Shot Coffee showcases its socially conscious heart with Stumptown’s direct-trade coffee and seasonal organic fare — of which some ingredients are grown in customers’ gardens.

Where: 217 West George Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123

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23

Ants Pants Cafe

A breakfast, lunch and brunch eatery on South Street West that now also serves dinner

Curious about Australian coffees? Ants Pants Café in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood is a great place to be indoctrinated into flat whites and long blacks — not to mention iced coffees made from espresso ice cream and whipped cream.

Where: Multiple locations including, 2212 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146

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24

Cinemug

Coffee and a movie

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Cinemug, a cafe from a former video store clerk, revives the idea that cinephiles should have a collective gathering place to watch and rent movies. In addition to ReAnimator coffee and sandwiches, the store maintains a library of more than 1,600 titles to borrow.

Where: 1607 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA

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25

Gran Caffe L'Aquila

Italian cafe by way of Philadelphia

Espresso the way Italians intended it thrives at Gran Caffe L’Aquila, where the beans are roasted by Michele Morelli, an Italian coffee celebrity, and for an added bonus, the menu features gelato, pasta, sandwiches and house-baked pastries.

Where: 1716 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

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26

Bluestone Lane

Australian delights in Rittenhouse Square

Philly’s official second Aussie coffeehouse, Bluestone Lane occupies the street level of The Warwick Rittenhouse Square hotel. Melbourne roaster Niccolo beans are brewed into specialty drinks such as magics, piccolos and iced long blacks. The light menu of daytime eats includes an avocado smash toast.

Where: Multiple locations including, 1701 Locust Street, Philadelphia PA 19103

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27

Square One Coffee

Countryside coffee roaster right in Center City

A Lancaster-based micro-roaster with a farmer-centric approach, Square One Coffee caters to downtown workers and residents with two Center City locations. Small batch coffees from Ethiopia, Colombia, Ecuador and beyond complement local dairy products, Four Worlds pastries and vegan snacks.

Where: Multiple locations including, 1811 John F Kennedy Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19103

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28

Ray's Cafe & Tea House

Popular Chinatown cafe with international flavor

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A Chinatown institution serving Hario siphon brews long before it was trendy, Ray’s Café & Tea House pairs its wide selection of international coffees (Jamaican, Japanese, Ethiopian) with snacks like dumplings, noodles and iced jellied cappuccinos.

Where: 141 North 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

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La Colombe
Elixr Coffee
Greenstreet Roasters
Old City Coffee
Ultimo Coffee
ReAnimator Coffee
Menagerie Coffee
Joe
Saxbys Coffee
Green Line Café
Chhaya
Federal Donuts
High Point Cafe
W/N W/N Coffee Bar
HubBub Coffee
Rival Bros.
Black 'N Brew
Shot Tower Coffee
Good Karma Coffee
Grindcore House
Mugshots Coffeehouse
One Shot Coffee
Ants Pants Cafe
Cinemug
Gran Caffe L'Aquila
Bluestone Lane
Square One Coffee
Ray's Cafe & Tea House
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