The 10 Best Coffee Shops That Are Better Than Starbucks

Starbucks is convenient if you need a quick pick-me-up – but you’re unlikely to find the best coffee there. Instead, small and independent coffee shops are the way to go because deliver delicious drinks such as lattes and Americanos using high-quality roasted coffee beans. These establishments (sometimes called “third wave coffee shops”) can also serve as an ideal place to work in or catch up with a friend. Plus, you’ll find that the baristas working at these coffee shops are dedicated to making every drink taste as delicious as possible. If you’re wondering where the best coffee shops to get an excellent cup of joe are, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of 10 coffee shops across the country where the coffee, service and ambiance are all equally essential to the experience.

1. La Colombe – 1335 N. Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA

For quality coffee and pastries in a casual environment, La Colombe is the place to go. You can find your nearest La Colombe coffee shop on their website. But, I’d recommend visiting their Fishtown location if you’re in Philly because you can sip your latte or cappuccino in a spacious, industrial-style atmosphere.

2. Abraço Espresso – 81 E 7th St, New York, NY

Coffee purists flock to Abraço Espresso because their menu hasn’t changed since opening in 2007. The coffee shop only offers organic whole milk, half & half and evaporated cane sugar as add-ins for your drink. Also, their coffee beans are roasted in house for the tastiest results.

3. Maru Coffee – Locations in CA

The team at Maru Coffee are very meticulous about their coffee roasting and brewing process—the complete opposite approach of mainstream coffee chains. Also, the modern aesthetic at Maru makes it the perfect place to sit and sip your coffee. You can find their CA-based locations on their website.

4. Blue Star Donuts – Locations in OR and CA

Although Blue Star Donuts’ menu features a limited number of java drinks, it’s still a place where you can get a mouthwatering donut to dunk in your coffee. In fact, their Coava Coffee Blue Star Blend is a staple coffee drink as it boasts a rich, chocolatey flavor with low acidity. Visit the Blue Star Donuts website to see their various locations in Oregon and California.

5. Endgrain Coffee Bar – 10 Pitman Ave, Pitman, NJ

For South Jersey natives, Engrain Coffee Bar is a gem as it’s a pioneering third-wave coffee shop in the region. Classic drinks like drip coffee and a single espresso shot are on the menu, while more experimental sips like nitro cold brew are also featured. Served by experienced baristas, grabbing a coffee from Endgrain is better than any commercial-chain coffee shop.

6. Char & Stave – 21 Rittenhouse Pl, Ardmore, PA

Are you a fan of coffee and whiskey? Well, enjoy both in one setting by visiting Char & Stave and ordering their Whiskey Smash Latte, which is made using their barrel-aged espresso with salted whiskey caramel and milk. It’s a nice boozy twist on your go-to coffee order!

7. James Coffee & Bakery – Locations Across CA

Java lovers can indulge their coffee palate at James Coffee & Bakery because they offer a revolving assortment of single-origin roasted beans and in-house craft blends. To accompany your cup of joe, enjoy one of the many pastries that are baked in their own bakery. See a list of James Coffee & Bakery locations by going to their website.

8. Ralph’s Coffee – Locations Worldwide

Ralph Lauren is equally passionate about coffee as he is fashion. This is why in 2014 he opened his first-ever coffee shop called Ralph’s Coffee in New York. Since then, Ralph’s Coffee has expanded their locations across North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific for anyone who wants to sip coffee in style.

9. Sophomore Coffee – 2223 Maryland Ave, Baltimore, MD

At Sophomore Coffee, it’s all about the simple luxury of basking in coffee in a beautiful space. Standout drinks on the menu include the Espresso and Tonic as well as the Shakerato (a shaken espresso and sugar beverage). All in all, you’re in for an unforgettable experience at this coffee shop!

10. Methodical Coffee – Locations Across SC

The baristas and roasters at Methodical Coffee are looking to engage people’s minds, tastes, and relationships through coffee. This is why they carefully roast their own and serve it in their cafes across South Carolina. It’s clear that attention to detail and offering the best coffee products are top priorities at Methodical Coffee.

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