As a traveling man, I tend to lean up against a good cup of coffee just a little more often than I'd like. Still, I'm no coffee addict; I'm a coffee enthusiast. I make a priority of finding the best cup of coffee everywhere I go - be it a big city or a small town. Below is an ever-expanding list (alphabetically, by state, of course) of my favorite coffees in the world... Or at least in the country. Help me expand this list by telling me your favorite coffees in the world.
- Urth Cafe in Santa Monica (with other locations in the greater LA area). Everything from food to coffee to their matcha (Japanese green tea powder) lattes are amazing.
- Intelligensia in Venice (with other locations in the greater LA area). Awesome one-on-one barista experience and a wide variety of coffees that have never let me down.
- Boxcar in Boulder not only has the coolest looking espresso machine I've ever seen but also HOLY COW THE COFFEE IS AMAZING. Go to there.
- Tisane Euro Asian Cafe in Hartford, CT has great coffee, tea and food. Right off the highway, so it makes for a pretty convenient pit stop if you happen to be passing through.
- Lorca in Stamford. For breakfast get the "Manchega Pesto" sandwich. All of their coffees rotate often, but what they bring in is always artisan direct trade type stuff. Just want a treat? They're a bakery, too! Try their house made churros with any of the dipping sauces. This place is incredible.
- The Coffee Pedaler in New Haven is serving one of my new favorite roasters - George Howell (from my neck of the woods in Acton, MA). I had the Costa Rican which was on drip. Delicious and right off the highway for super easy access if you happen to be driving the length of CT (or need somewhere to clear your mind before buying a couch at IKEA).
- Aurora Coffee in the Little Five Points neighborhood of Atlanta is just SO tasty. Hot day and their iced coffee makes a great pair... And there's no shortage of hot days in ATL.
- The District Coffee House in Boise, ID. I went there 3 times in one weekend. That's how you know it's great!
- Ipsento in Chicago is where you need to be. Cool split-level hang and a friendly staff nicely compliment their rotating roster of roasters. Always different. Always great.
- Elbow Room right on route 9 in Williamsburg is not only 2 minutes from my house, it's also FANTASTIC and relatively unknown compared to other area roasters. Get over there and try it out.
- Render in Back Bay Boston. Game over. Go nowhere else. Get the hazelnut latte, even if you've never had one or never liked them. They use real hazelnuts, grind them up and you've never had anything like it. Unless you have, in which case you know exactly what I'm talking about. Also, their breakfast menu is killer.
- SIP in Northampton serves Counter Culture which is always a top-notch choice. They make a killer cortado with the "Big Trouble" roast in the espresso grinder and instead of drip, they've got an always-fresh carafe of french press that they are always making fresh through the day. Let me also just mention their incredible food menue: they have an incredible food menue. You should eat something while you're there.
- No. Six Depot in West Stockbridge is just off the Mass Pike and if you're in the northern Berkshires, don't miss an opportunity to try their cold brew. Or anything, really. It's all roasted by them (I think it's in-house but may be off-site) and they are all clearly very passionate about their work. It comes across int he cup, I swear. They also have amazing food. Eat it.
- George Howell is an increasingly popular roaster in the Northeast with a couple of his own Cafe's (one in Boston, one in Newtonville). That said, you can taste this amazing coffee right in Harvard Square at Crema Cafe. If you look around, it's getting easier to find. I happen to have "Alchemy", the George Howell espresson roast in my cup (via Aeropress) right now. Get some.
- Comet Coffee in Ann Arbor's downtown Nickels Arcade. My go-to when I'm in town.
- Little Red Wagon Coffee - Bozeman, MT
- Cafe Grumpy in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan is a great place to sit and have a delicious coffee-anything (it's all good).
- REX is just around the corner from Grumpy and has less sitting area. Definitely the spot for an on-the-go drink. Cold brew lattes are delicious, if you're into that sort of thing. They're serving the heck out of the Counter Culture line. Stare out the window and across the street nostalgically at the Chelsea Hotel while drinking for maximum effect.
- The Daily Press CLT is really the only place you should be getting coffee when you're in Charlotte, easily worth a trip from downtown to the "NoDa" (or North Davidson) neighborhood. And once you're there, you'll want to walk around and check out the awesome art galleries and shops lining the vibrant and up-and-gentrifying streets. They are always getting really creative with their drink ideas and brewing methods, but in a very tasteful way. Although I'm not in Charlotte very often, I always, always stop into The Daily Press and have not once been disappointed. (It also doesn't hurt that they share the same space with my go-to Charlotte venue, The Evening Muse).
- Black Rock Coffee has amazing drive-thru locations all around the greater Portland area. I discovered this place on a whim when Seth Glier and I were on the road, coming from a friends house, on our way to go exploring downtown Portland. The pretty ladies made us great coffees that made us feel zippy. Go to it.
- The Barista Parlor is in East Nashville and should probably be your first stop in town. There's nothing else to say. It's art, not coffee. There's no better place to sit down and enjoy your stay, either. You won't be sorry!
- Red Bicycle - Nashville, TN
- Steadfast Coffee in Nashville, TN is brand new and brand-AWESOME. Check them out in the Skillery Gallery in Germantown.
- Crema has two Nashville locations that I'm aware of (one stand-alone and one at the trendy bar/bowling alley Pinewood Social, both of which are delicious). Their stand-alone shop is where I bought my awesome little 8oz glass KeepCup travel mug and filled it first with a beautiful cortado.
- Epoch has two locations that I know of in different areas of Austin, and they're both open 24 hours. I can't say I wouldn't take advantage of this. The coffee is delicious and the hang is great.
- Filler Up Coffee Station in Midway is a great place to grab a delicious breakfast burrito and coffee. They also serve "red" lattes, americanos, etc. It's basically loose leaf rooibos tea pulled the same way you'd pull an espresso shot. It's caffeine-free, delicious (especially with some honey) and is certainly much healthier than coffee!!
- Muddy Waters in Burlington, VT is just the coolest. Not only great coffee but they'll put all sorts of yummy alcohol in your drinks, too! Check out the menu, it's not your standard cafe! And they're open until 11pm Tue-Thur and midnight on the weekends!
- Scout & Co. in Winooski and Burlington (just 10 minutes apart) has a slogan sure to win over any newcomer: "Explore Coffee. Discover Ice Cream". Although I've never had ice cream there, the coffee has never fallen short of perfect. They're working with a few different roasters, one of which is the incredible George Howell of my home state, MA.
- Jammin Java in Vienna, VA is not just an AWESOME coffee shop (iced coffee is fantastic) but one of my favorite venues in the country. AND they serve great food as wall as drinks at their full bar. Check it out.
- Acoca Coffee in Appleton, WI. OH MY GOD. This place is probably in my top 5. Massive array of made-to-order hot or iced fair trade and organic coffees from all around the world. Roasted and brewed to perfection. Don't bother looking further than this if you are in this awesome little town.
- Coal Creek Coffee Company in Laramie, WY... So you're driving in the vast empty of Wyoming and then all of a sudden, Laramie. Looking for coffee? Go nowhere but Coal Creek.