PHILADELPHIA, July 28, 2015 – The wave of coffee enthusiasm is clearly here to stay in Greater Philadelphia. This summer, La Colombe opens its newest outpost, in the modernist landmark Rohm and Haas building. The vintage-esque interior opens to a coffee garden overlooking Independence Mall, and both areas are scenic spots to enjoy the roaster’s excellent brews and light fare.
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. Here’s a look at some of the favorites:
Signature Beans & Brews:
•       Offering its own fair trade-certified organic beans roasted in-house, Newtown Square’s Burlap and Bean distinguishes itself as an ambitious independent spot with a cozy, welcoming atmosphere. 204 S. Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square, (484)
•       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 in East Falls has brought the winning blend to a new neighborhood. 8620 Germantown Avenue, (215) 242-8600; 3300 Henry Avenue, (267) 331-8908
•       The tiny Locust 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)
•       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)
•       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. 130 S. 19th Street, (215) 563-0860; 1414 S. Penn Square, (215) 977-7770; 1335 Frankford Avenue, (267) 479-1600; 6th & Market Streets,
•       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 now. 221 Church Street, (215) 629-9292; Reading Terminal Market, 12th & Arch Streets, (215)
•       In the town of Kennett Square, Philter owner/barista Chris Thompson serves handcrafted drip coffee to his loyal customers in his 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)
•       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,
•       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. Multiple locations,
Coffee, With Entertainment To Match:
•       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 more than 1,600 titles to borrow. 1607 S. Broad Street, (267) 314-5936,
•       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. 4239 Baltimore Avenue, (215) 222-3431; 4426 Locust Street, (215) 222-0799; 3649 Lancaster Avenue, (215) 382-2143; 28 S. 40th Street,
•       Serving up house-roasted, organic coffee along with a weekly schedule of independent musical acts and open mic-nights, Wayne’s Gryphon Café keeps its visitors awake and entertained. The cafe also operates a second location in the South Kensington Oxford Mills complex. 105 W. Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, (610) 688-1988; 100 W. Oxford Street,
•       Melodies Cafe pleases the Ardmore crowd with its Counter Culture coffee, veggie-friendly meals all day and live music. 2 E. Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, (610) 645-5269,
Coffee, With Food To Match:
•       The Counter Culture coffee at Midtown Village’s Cake and the Beanstalk can be expertly matched with 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,
•       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,
•       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,
•       Its espressos have been given top ratings, and the three locations of High Point Café in Mt. Airy boast a mean menu of quiches, baked goods and crepes of the same quality. 602 Carpenter Lane, (215) 849-5153; 7210 Cresheim Road, (215) 248-1900,
•       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. 18 S. 3rd Street,
•       Count on creative edibles at W/N W/N Coffee Bar. The cooperatively owned and operated cafe and bar serves items like almond creampuffs and Japanese-style pancakes, in addition to its Elixr-roasted coffees. 931 Spring Garden Street,
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 Sydenham Street, (239) 404-1730,
•       What began as a moving 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 house 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,
•       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,
•       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. 2400 Lombard Street,
•       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,
•       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,
Sustainable Sips:
•       At Bodhi Coffee in Society Hill, the space makes use of salvaged materials, the Stumptown coffees are available in pour-over and drip styles, and the food is fresh, organic and local. 410 S. 2nd Street, (267) 239-2928; 263 S. 10th Street,
•       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. 331 S. 22nd Street, (215) 546-1479; 928 Pine Street, (267) 519-8860; 2319 Walnut Street, (267) 239-2068,
•       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,
•       Fairmount hangout Mugshots Coffeehouse maintains a commitment to sustainability via recyclable packaging; vegan, vegetarian and organic snacks; fair-trade coffee; and local-food offerings. 1925 Fairmount Avenue, (267) 514-7145,
•       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. 217 W. George Street, (215) 627-1620,
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,
•       Dark and sweet, pot-brewed Turkish coffee is on offer at the charming Café Fulya, and the Turkish pastries and specialties like manti complete the Ottoman experience. 727 S. 2nd Street, (267) 909-9937,
•       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. 1716 Chestnut Street, (215) 568-5600,
•       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 like dumplings, noodles and iced jellied cappuccinos. 141 N. 9th Street, (215) 922-5122,
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