We have to admit it was almost impossible to narrow this list down to five. Our knowledge of neighborhood coffee shops runs so deep that it nearly rivals our real estate expertise. They’re where we meet with clients, stop for a caffeine fix and/or bathroom break while we’re running all over the city on appointments and, of course, where we go to start every morning properly.
Without further ado, and in no particular order, High 5 to these coffee shops:
Coffee Market: University City
405 S 45th St
Coffee Market, aka Earth Cup, aka Sam’s Place, is the ultimate neighborhood spot—it’s like Cheers, but with coffee. The baristas are great: friendly, laid-back, great at what they do. All the roasts are good (example: the aptly named Whoop Ass), but our favorite is the standard Coffee Market blend. Bonus points for outdoor seating that isn’t just a couple tables plopped in the middle of the sidewalk.
Shot Tower Coffee: Bella Vista/Queen Village
542 Christian St
Shot Tower serves crazy good coffee, brewed from Counter Culture and a few “microlot” beans (we had to google it too), so the higher prices are justified. But really it comes down to the atmosphere: It’s like our dream kitchen was turned into a cozy neighborhood hangout. Love the little prep sink for self-serve water!
Chhaya Cafe: East Passyunk
1823 E Passyunk Ave
We asked an Earth Cup barista for a recommendation for a South Philly coffee shop (there are so many it’s positively overwhelming…three on East Passyunk alone!) and Chhaya is where he sent us. What else is there to say, really? Word on the street is that their brunch is well worth the wait, but so far we can only vouch for coffee, espresso and tea. Delicious. And we love that the metered parking is all but free (for now, at least).
One Shot Coffee & Cafe: Northern Liberties
217 W George St
Serving Stumptown coffee and Intelligentsia teas, One Shot is also one of the best breakfast spots in the 19123. We liked it when it was on Liberties Walk, but we love it in its current location, a beautifully rustic space thoughtfully created by SL Design complete with a well-stocked library.
InFusion, a Coffee & Tea Gallery: Mt. Airy
7133 Germantown Ave
InFusion is a quintessential Mt. Airy gathering space: welcoming, colorful and a tad quirky. It’s been there for over a decade now, a testament to its status as a Germantown Ave fixture. Good coffee; good, healthy food options; plenty of seats, both indoors and out; and one of the first (and only) coffee shops in Philly to have an honor box.
Hate us for leaving Ultimo off the list? Think we’re blasphemers for omitting La Colombe or Old City Coffee? (We told you this was hard!) We’d love to hear your thoughts—maybe there’s even a place we haven’t tried yet.