Philadelphia's Cafe Shops, Beans & Coffee Brews

Philadelphia's Cafe Shops, Beans & Coffee Brews

Coffee & Tea
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With a new wave of cafes and coffee enthusiasm has hit Greater Philadelphia area. Philly's local coffee scene has been building steam for years now: Cafes roasting their own signature beans, baristas creating perfectly engineered espressos and coffee-houses using supreme La Marzocco machines. From an Australian flat white to a Chemex-brewed cuppa, the possibilities for delicious java drinks are endless. Here’s a look at some of the Philly's local favorites:

 

Signature Beans & Brews:

 

  • Patrons can catch a whiff of caramelizing beans in the upstairs roastery at Chestnut Hill Coffee Company. Downstairs, the coffee bar turns out well-pulled shots and elaborate swirls of latte art. A second location has brought the winning blend to the East Falls neighborhood. 8620 Germantown Avenue, (215) 242-8600; 3300 Henry Avenue, (267) 331-8908
  • 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 Alter Street headquarters. 1101 Spruce Street, (610) 504-3934, greenstreetcoffee.com
  • Serving house-roasted, organic coffee, Gryphon Café keeps its visitors awake. The cafe operates locations in Wayne, the New Leaf Club in Rosemont and Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood. 105 W. Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, (610) 688-1988; 1225 Montrose Avenue, Rosemont, (610) 526-1937; 100 W. Oxford Street, (215) 425-3055, gryphoncafe.com
  • 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. 1845 Walnut Street, (215) 278-2454; 3200 Chestnut Street, (215) 240-4577, joenewyork.com
  • Inarguably the originator of Philly’s first wave of coffee, La Colombe remains the go-to spot for rich Italian-style espressos and excellent machiattos. Restaurants and eateries around the city pour the beloved blends, and the flagship La Colombe in Fishtown draws crowds for brunch and happy hour, as well as for coffee breaks. 130 S. 19th Street, (215) 563-0860; 1414 S. Penn Square, (215) 977-7770; 1335 Frankford Avenue, (267) 479-1600; 6th & Market Streets, lacolombe.com
  • With three high-traffic locations—one in Old City, plus two booths in Reading Terminal Market—Old City Coffee has produced fresh, tiny batches of high-grade Arabica coffee for more than 25 years. 221 Church Street, (215) 629-9292; Reading Terminal Market, 12th & Arch Streets, (215) 592-1897, oldcitycoffee.com
  • In the town of Kennett Square, Philter owner/barista Chris Thompson serves handcrafted drip coffee to his loyal customers in a relaxed, welcoming coffee shop. Also on the menu: hand-bagged loose-leaf tea from the nearby Mrs. Robinson’s Tea Shop and food using ingredients from local producers and farmers. 111 W. State Street, Kennett Square, (610) 444-7687, philtercoffee.com
  • 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. 1523 E. Susquehanna Avenue, (215) 425-5805; 310 W. Master Street, (267) 758-6264, reanimatorcoffee.com
  • 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 method that involves steeping ground coffee in cold filtered water, which slowly coaxes flavor from the beans. Multiple locations, saxbyscoffee.com
  • 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.1811 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, (267) 930-8654; 249 S. 13th Street, (267) 758-6352, squareonecoffee.com

 

Coffee, With Entertainment To Match:

 

  • Newtown Square’s Burlap and Bean distinguishes itself as an ambitious independent spot with a cozy, welcoming atmosphere. Every Friday and Saturday night, the cafe transforms into a listening room for live music. 204 S. Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square, (484) 427-4547, burlapandbean.com
  • 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 ReAnimated coffee and sandwiches, the store maintains a library of 1,600 titles to borrow. 1607 S. Broad Street, (267) 314-5936, cinemug.coffee
  • 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 poetry and view local art. 4239 Baltimore Avenue, (215) 222-3431; 4426 Locust Street, (215) 222-0799; 3649 Lancaster Avenue, (215) 382-2143; 28 S. 40th Street, greenlinecafe.com

 

Coffee, With Food To Match:

 

  • The Counter Culture coffee at Midtown Village’s Cake and the Beanstalk can pair with The Franklin Fountain ice cream for an affogato or with the homemade red velvet cake, blondies or vegan chocolate chip cookies for the ultimate mid-day break. 1112 Locust Street, (215) 592-6505, cakeandthebeanstalk.com
  • The organic, fair-trade espressos and lattes at Chhaya complement fresh meals of seasonal salads (peach and fig with honeyed walnuts), sandwiches (prosciutto, apple and mozzarella panini) and creative waffles like Nutella/strawberry and veggie chili/cornbread. 1819 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 465-1000, chhayacafe.com
  • The all-day, main-floor portion of Double Knot’s double concept serves up coffee on tap, hand pours, espresso drinks and even coffee cocktails. The kitchen turns out Asian fare: banh mi, salads, noodle plates and rice bowls. 120 S. 13th Street, (215) 631-3868, doubleknotphilly.com
  • 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. 1219 S. 2nd Street, (267) 687-8258; 1632 Sansom Street, (215) 665-1101; 3428 Sansom Street, (267) 275-8489; 701 N. 7th Street, (267) 928-3893, federaldonuts.com
  • Its espressos have earned 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. High Point also runs its own gluten-free baking business. 602 Carpenter Lane, (215) 849-5153; 7210 Cresheim Road, (215) 248-1900, highpointcafe.us.com
  • Pastry chef Jessica Nolen (Brauhaus Schmitz, Whetstone Tavern) keeps the focus on all things flaky at Little Bird Bakery and Café. Patrons can sip Counter Culture coffees, nibble on sandwiches made with house-baked breads and sample the sweets (macaroons, whoopee pies, cookies and cakes). 517 S. 5th Street, (267) 519-2312, littlebirdbakes.com
  • 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 on pumpernickel or hummus and tzatziki on grilled sourdough. 18 S. 3rd Street, menageriecoffee.com
  • Count on creative edibles at W/N W/N Coffee Bar. The cooperatively owned and operated cafe and bar serves items such as almond creampuffs and Japanese-style pancakes, in addition to its Elixr-roasted coffees. 931 Spring Garden Street, winwincoffeebar.com

 

Excellent Espressos:

 

  • 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. 207 S. Sydenham Street, (239) 404-1730, elixrcoffee.com
  • What began as an on-the-move enterprise is now a bricks-and-mortar establishment. HubBub Coffee pourssteamy double shots of Stumptown espresso at its flagship cafes in Center City, University City and Radnor. Meanwhile, the drip and cold brew coffees are made from a house blend. 1717 Arch Street, (215) 665-1982; 3736 Spruce Street, (215) 387-0700; 232 N. Radnor Chester Road, Radnor, (610) 687-1710, hubbubcoffee.com
  • University City coffee lounge Lovers and Madmen offers short-pulled espressos from its La Marzocco FB/80 in a friendly, collegiate atmosphere. 28 S. 40th Street, (215) 243-9851, loversandmadmencoffee.com
  • 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. Pastries and bread from High Street on Market sweeten the deal. 2400 Lombard Street, rivalbros.com
  • Amid the well-documented Shepard Fairey mural, thrift-store furnishings and vegan snacks at Fishtown’s Rocket Cat Café is a worthy fair-trade espresso roasted by Norristown’s Fonseca. A backyard patio expands the seating options for a drop-in sip. 2001 Frankford Avenue, (215) 739-4526
  • Between its Stumptown and PT beans and specially created La Marzocco machine, Queen Village’s Shot Tower Coffee turns out impeccable espressos. 542 Christian Street, (267) 886-8049, shottowercoffee.com
  • 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. 1900 S. 15th Street,
    (215) 339-5177; 2149 Catharine Street, (215) 545-3565, ultimocoffee.com

 

Sustainable Sips:

 

  • Society Hill’s Bodhi Coffee makes use of salvaged materials for its space and serves fresh, organic and local food. Patrons choose to take their Stumptown coffee in pour-over or drip style. 410 S. 2nd Street, (267) 239-2928; 263 S. 10th Street, bodhicoffeephila.com
  • Fair-trade and certified-organic coffee is the foundation at all three locations of Good Karma Café, and owner David Arrell takes his philosophy to an even higher level with green construction and corn-based plastics. 331 S. 22nd Street, (215) 546-1479; 928 Pine Street, (267) 519-8860; 2319 Walnut Street, (267) 239-2068, thegoodkarmacafe.com
  • Haverford’s Green Engine Coffee puts its green focus right in the name. Guests craving the Rival Bros. coffee see the shop’s eco-commitment in the wall of plant life, reclaimed flooring and repurposed church pew seating. Local yogurt and a small menu of panini with vegetarian options round out the offerings. 18 Haverford Station Road, Haverford, greenenginecoffee.com
  • The vegan lifestyle is celebrated at Grindcore House, a Pennsport hangout where coffee drinkers can choose from a variety of non-dairy creamers (soy, rice, almond, coconut) and a meatless, eggless, milkless menu of pastries and sandwiches. 1515 S. 4th Street, (215) 839-3333, grindcorehouse.com
  • Fairmount hangout Mugshots Coffeehouse maintains a commitment to sustainability via recyclable packaging; vegan, vegetarian and organic snacks; fair-trade coffee; and local food. 1925 Fairmount Avenue, (267) 514-7145, mugshotscoffeehouse.com
  • 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—some of which is made with ingredients grown in customers’ gardens. 217 W. George Street, (215) 627-1620, 1shotcoffee.com

 

International Brews:

 

  • 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. 2212 South Street, (215) 875-8002, antspantscafe.com
  • 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. 1701 Locust Street, (267) 239-0144, bluestonelaneny.com
  • Espresso the way Italians intended it thrives at Gran Caffe L’Aquila, where the beans are roasted by Michele Morelli, an Italian coffee celebrity. As if that wasn’t enough, the menu features gelato, pasta, sandwiches and house-baked pastries. 1716 Chestnut Street, (215) 568-5600, grancaffelaquila.com
  • Open all day,West Philadelphia’s Kaffa Crossing servesEthiopian dishes including fir fir, doro tibs and shiro wot. Those looking for liquid refreshments find strong cups of coffee and sweet specialty drinks like the Smooth Blog (vanilla, caramel, white chocolate). 4421 Chestnut Street, (215) 386-0504, kaffacrossing.com
  • 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, Brazilian, Kenyan) with snacks such as dumplings, noodles and iced jellied cappuccinos. 141 N. 9th Street, (215) 922-5122, rayscafe.com

 

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