Buzzy Philadelphia Cafes for Coffee Connoisseurs

These 8 local coffeehouses amp up your caffeine game.

Philadelphia’s coffee scene is brewing up some top sips, thanks to homegrown beaneries like La Colombe, Rival Bros. and Elixr stirring up a taste for the good stuff. These days, caffeine fiends looking for a fix in Philly don’t have to venture too far. But here are a few of our favorites.

La Colombe

Coffee lovers may recognize this purveyor’s familiar logo at retail outlets like Whole Foods. But few may know that Todd Carmichael and J.P. Iberti founded their coffee company right here in Philly, making La Colombe arguably the city’s most famous caffeine export. In the City of Brotherly Love, find five cafes, but our favorite remains the company’s Fishtown HQ on Frankford Avenue, with its rustic, artsy vibe, vintage espresso machine and even a distillery. 1335 Frankford Ave., 267.479.1600; 1414 S. Penn Square, 215.977.7770; 130 S. 19th St., 215.563.0860; 100 S. Independence Mall W, 267.479.1650; 915 W. Lancaster Ave., Suite 160, 215.398.3091

La Colombe

Menagerie

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based roaster Dogwood Coffee Co. supplies the java at this Old City fave. In addition to the top brews, the cozy cafe also attracts locals with its chill, laptop-friendly vibe and fresh pastries. 18 S. 3rd St., no phone; The Bourse Food Hall, 111 S. Independence Mall E, 215.625.0300

Rival Bros.

BFFs Jonathan Adams and Damien Pileggi started their company in 2011, pouring their own brews from a truck before moving into a brick-and-mortar in Fitler Square. Since then, they’ve opened up two more cafes, while maintaining their artisan hand-made standards for house-roasted beans. 2400 Lombard St., no phone; 1528 Spruce St.; 1100 Tasker St.

Rival Bros. Coffee

Square One Coffee

From bean to cup, this Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based micro-roaster takes its coffee pretty seriously. The founders use fair trade practices with growers and tout highly trained baristas—some of whom are certified with the Barista Guild of America, which we didn’t even know was a thing—pulling shots. 145 N. Duke St., Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 267.758.6352; 249 S. 13th St., 267.758.6352; 1811 John F. Kennedy Blvd., 267.930.8654

Herman’s Coffee

This Pennsport neighborhood original honors owner Mat Falco’s grandfather in name and spirit. Grandpa Herman sipped his coffee in his garage, so naturally, Falco turned the garage of a former auto repair shop into a coffee shop. But the down-to-earth digs belie a serious approach to coffee beans, with a full Deidrich roaster on the premises and an expert at the helm. The result is top-notch, hand-roasted small batches Herman himself would be proud to sip. 1313-17 S. 3rd St., no phone

Talula’s Daily

Lauded chef Aimee Olexy’s picture-perfect cafe is where locals go for a taste of her equally popular Talula’s Table restaurant (dubbed “the toughest table” to get into in America by Portfolio.com). The country general store concept instantly puts you in the mood for a good cuppa Joe (in this case, Philly’s own La Colombe) and some of the best bites in the city—some of which you can take home with “grab-and-go” options. 208 W. Washington Square, 215.592.6555

Ray’s Cafe & Tea House

Yes, this cafe dishes up some tasty Chinese food, but it also pours some of the city’s best coffee. Bean lovers in the know seek out owner Grace Chen’s lovingly hand-crafted cups, custom brewed in a siphon setup that looks like a mad scientist’s lab. Though it looks complicated, it takes only three minutes to get some of the smoothest coffee in the city. 141 N. 9th St., 215.922.5122

Elixr

Sippers into lighter brews may want to check out this local cafe and roaster with several Pinterest-worthy locations. The Callowhill outpost on N. 12th Street also offers an “omakase”-style tasting bar, with five “barista’s choice” roasts to sample. 207 S. Sydenham St., 315 N. 12th St., 3675 Market St., 239.404.1730

Elixr

Anne Kim-Dannibale
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