16 Coffee Chains In The US, Ranked

Coffee can spark serious debates and polarize an entire audience of coffee lovers. There are those who enjoy the delicate nature of light roasts, those who prefer the kick-you-in-the-pants dark roasts, and others who only want a hint of coffee in their sugary, flavored drink. Coffee chains in the U.S. offer everything from regularly brewed coffee to one-of-a-kind drinks that are more of a delectable dessert than a simple beverage. How do you choose the right coffee chain? We gathered together some of the most popular coffee chains in America to help you decide where to go to get your next cup of Joe.

It's nearly impossible to compare a hot, black coffee with a blended coffee treat, and many coffee chains offer more than just coffee; there's tea, cocoa, energy drinks, fruity beverages, and an array of finger foods. From chains with tens of thousands of locations (hello, Dunkin') to smaller, local chains (hello, Marylou's), a number of factors went into making this list (see our methodology below). We're sure you'll like something at every chain, but not every coffee shop can be No. 1.

16. Biggby Coffee

Biggby Coffee is big, with more than 375 locations and over 400 flavor combinations to choose from. We guess you could say, go Biggby or go home. Beginning in 1995, its original location was in East Lansing, MI. Today, franchises around the U.S. are independently owned and operated, lending both familiarity and uniqueness to the brand. Though you'll find a long-standing coffee chain that delivers consistent products, it landed last on our list because it doesn't stand out among the rest.

Biggby Coffee offers coffee consumers the chance to order from its establishment via drive-thrus, walk-ups, or sit-down cafes. A range of drinks, including brewed coffee, lattes, cold brew, teas, shakes, and smoothies, are available, as well as seasonal drinks. Along with your traditional or specialty coffee, the menu features baked goods like muffins, bagels, cookies, and donut holes. However, Biggby Coffee could be your choice if you're looking for coffee that's less like coffee and more like dessert — such as the cookies & cream sweet foam cold brew.

15. PJ's Coffee of New Orleans

PJ's Coffee came about in 1978 in New Orleans, and it's now located in more than a dozen states across the country. Another coffee chain that doesn't necessarily stand out to warrant moving further up the list, PJ's gets points for specialty, limited-time-only coffees, like southern wedding cake velvet ice latte and chicory cold brew (chicory-infused coffee, topped with black sugar sweet cold foam). Also gracing the menu — something you won't find at other coffee shops — are beignets, a popular, fried French puffed pastry dusted with confectioners' sugar.

Though PJ's serves up a few items you're unlikely to find elsewhere, the rest of the menu is average enough, offering single-origin, direct-trade roasts, as well as iced, frozen, and blended coffee, lattes, energy drinks, nitro cold brew, and tea. If you're not looking for caffeine-loaded beverages, this coffee shop also has non-caffeinated treats. For snacking, PJ's menu features baked goods and pastries, including croissants, scones, cinnamon rolls, and sandwiches.

14. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is as serious about its tea as it is about its coffee. This coffee chain started in 1963, sources its beans from the top 1% of Arabica beans, and roasts in small batches. The company also sources high-quality, hand-blended tea from private, family-owned estates. Though attention to detail and quality earns praise, this coffee and tea shop is considered middle of the road for caffeine consumers.

Menu items include regular brewed coffee, cold brew, lattes, espresso, flavored, and blended drinks. Should you find yourself near The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, you'll find something to suit your taste buds, whether caffeinated or not. Choose from more than a dozen coffee drinks from The Coffee Bean, such as Vietnamese cold brew. You might have the opportunity to try a seasonal option, like Ceylon milk tea with brown sugar boba or matcha cream mango latte. There's also a range of food items to choose from — your typical baked goods, plus sandwiches and chips.

13. Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons is a well-known coffee chain in Canada, but there are also locations across the U.S., including spots that offer drive-thru-only service. This Canadian-born coffee chain started in 1964, working closely with small coffee farmers to ensure high-quality beans. Though it's a go-to for coffee lovers north of the border, it's not quite as popular in America. Promising fresh coffee always, Tim Hortons' coffee is served within 20 minutes of brewing, or it's not served at all, according to the website. This freshly brewed coffee is what has truckers going out of their way to grab a cup.

Aside from a good cup of fresh, hot coffee sought after by road travelers, Tim Hortons' menu features flavored coffee, lattes, blended or frozen coffee drinks, and cold brew, which is cold steeped for 16 hours. If you don't need the extra caffeine, there are also refreshing, non-caffeinated beverages to choose from. Similar to other coffee chains, Tim Hortons offers baked goods, pastries, sandwiches, and sweet treats to go with your coffee.

12. Dutch Bros Coffee

Dutch Bros Coffee has quite the variety of mixed coffee drinks, including secret menu items you may not want to miss, but it doesn't rank too high since many of the drinks are more like dessert than coffee. Originating in Grants Pass, OR in 1992, Dutch Bros was actually founded by two brothers pushing a cart of coffee. Today, it has hundreds of locations in more than a dozen states across the country. The company gives back by supporting local communities through various programs.

The menu is well-rounded, whether you want caffeinated or non-caffeinated beverages. Choose from seasonal drinks, energy drinks, lemonade, iced tea, chai lattes, shakes, blended and frozen drinks, smoothies, hot cocoa, sparkling soda, and nitro cold brew. If that isn't enough for you, Dutch Bros also offers coffee with protein powder and flavoring for that extra kick. Unlike a lot of coffee shops, the food part of the menu is limited to snacks, such as muffin tops and granola bars.

11. The Human Bean

Starting as a drive-thru coffee service in 1998, The Human Bean has since morphed into over 300 locations in the U.S. And what once started as an afterthought — serving every cup of coffee with a chocolate-covered espresso bean on top — has since turned into its signature presentation. In fact, not much has changed since The Human Bean opened its doors nearly 30 years ago. It still roasts its coffee beans in small batches. These tried-and-true methods earn it a solid spot on our list.

The Human Bean offers coffee lovers traditionally brewed coffee, hot or iced, with other options such as cold foam and cold brew. You can also find your typical lattes and espresso shots, blended frozen coffee drinks, iced tea, fruit smoothies, and energy drinks. It features seasonal frozen drinks, and unlike some other coffee shops, you can enjoy matcha or chai drinks, as well. But there are plenty of non-caffeinated drinks if coffee doesn't happen to be your thing.

10. Coffee Beanery

Starting in 1976, Coffee Beanery has grown to more than 100 locations and is known for its flavored coffee, like banana nut bread, blueberry cobbler, and cherry vanilla. It's also popular for selling its coffees via a coffee of the month club, as well as a subscription service where you can build your own box of coffee samples. Choose from a wide range of single-origin, specialty roasts and blends, or flavor varieties that span from sweet and fruity to rich and nutty.

Coffee Beanery was founded by a husband-and-wife team and still operates as a family-run business. The company hand-selects its coffee beans and roasts them on site, while packaging and distribution also stay in-house. The sheer number of flavored coffees lands Coffee Beanery toward the middle of our list, because if you enjoy flavored coffees, this is a must-try. With options like white raspberry mocha and blackberry and vanilla sweet tea, your taste buds will go on a whirlwind journey.

9. Scooter's Coffee

Scooter's Coffee opened in 1998 as a drive-thru in Nebraska and was named for its quick and efficient service. Now you can "scoot in and scoot out," as its website puts it, with your preferred cup of Joe at more than a dozen locations. Plus, your coffee cup will be sporting a smiley sticker to brighten your day — a happy reason to land midway on our list. If that doesn't work, perhaps purchasing a small, hot brewed coffee for only a dollar will help get your day going.

Scooter's roasts the top 10% of coffee beans, creating high-quality hot and iced coffee, plus lattes (non-dairy available), cappuccino, espresso, and blended coffee drinks. For the non-coffee bunch, Scooter's offers hot chocolate, iced tea, smoothies, and non-caffeinated beverages. If you get hungry while you're there, choose from sweets and baked goods like donuts, cake bites, cookies, muffins, egg bites, pretzel snacks, as well as breakfast sandwiches and burritos.

8. Dunkin'

When Dunkin' opened in Quincy, MA in 1950, it was a pioneer. Previously known as Dunkin' Donuts, this iconic coffee shop was all about fresh-made donuts. There was a time when you could even watch them make the donuts. Over the years, Dunkin' grew to more than 13,200 locations, most of which are in the New England area. Fun fact: There's a Dunkin' roughly every 5 minutes from Weymouth, MA to Bridgewater, MA — about a 45-minute drive, and I've been to all of them.

Fondly referred to as Dunks by New Englanders, a box of munchkins or dozen donuts was a common sight gracing kitchen tables and counters on a weekend morning. The Dunkin' chain has since broadened its horizon beyond its infamous donuts and coffee to include specialty drinks and a variety of food. In addition to its classic roast, you can order lattes, cappuccino, espresso, macchiato, and the popular frozen coffee drink Coolatta. Along with donuts, you'll find a range of breakfast sandwiches and baked goods, as well as hash browns and stuffed bagel bites. Though Dunks has staying power, some feel its quality has declined over the years, earning a midway spot on our list.

7. La Colombe

La Colombe is French for dove, named for the universal symbol of peace, which is why the dove graces this coffee chain's cups. It's opened more than two dozen cafe locations since 1994, serving up classic, single-origin roasts from light to dark, as well as espresso and lattes. But it might be most known for its ready-to-drink cold brew cans and draft lattes. La Colombe also offers a subscription service and multiple brewing options for enjoying its roasted coffee at home.

La Colombe cafes have an artsy, down-to-earth style that matches its coffee and pastry selection; more reminiscent of a true coffee shop, and why it gets placed near the top of our list. Enjoy well-crafted lattes featuring foam art while biting into a puffed pastry or baked good, such as croissants, muffins, or scones. You're less apt to find over-the-top, sugary coffee drinks here, although there are a few specialty drinks available, such as strawberry mocha, vanilla matcha, and cereal milk oat draft latte.

6. Dunn Brothers Coffee

Dunn Brothers Coffee originated in Minnesota in 1987 and has bloomed into over 60 locations, sourcing high quality, Fair Trade-, and Rainforest Alliance-certified coffee. Creating handmade drinks, fresh food, and roasting its beans in small batches — all on site — gives it a higher ranking than other coffee chains. How many coffee chains offer freshly sliced meats and cheese or freshly baked items like blueberry muffins, frosted donuts, and strawberry cream cheese croissants?

Dunn Brothers is a one-stop coffee shop for your morning brew and breakfast. Build your own cheesy egg sandwich with choices like biscuits or bagels and sausage or bacon. But there are a number of other fresh-made items like avocado toast, lunch sandwiches, and even pizza or soup. But certainly, Dunn Brothers is well-liked for its coffee options, such as one of the best cold brews around. Steeping for 24 hours, its cold brew is strong and bold, and many coffee lovers drink it black. But it's also the backdrop to many of its iced drinks like nitro vanilla iced and chocolate steamed nirvana.

5. Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee's first location opened in 1992 in Minnesota, and it's since grown internationally, including its nearly 500 locations across the U.S. Paying close attention to the beans it sources, Caribou Coffee is Rainforest Alliance-certified and roasts its beans in small batches, offering light to dark roasts. In other words, as its website puts it, in order to achieve the best results, every batch is reportedly "roasted by one person, on one machine, one batch at a time." It's this high quality, coupled with its extensive menu, that puts Caribou higher up our list. Plus, the decaf coffee available is naturally processed through a chemical-free, water-based method.

Along with your classic-style coffee options, like latte, cappuccino, and espresso, Caribou Coffee handcrafts specialty beverages like fruit shakers, energy drinks, and flavorful combination drinks, such as mint mocha, cookies and cream, spiced chai, and matcha vanilla. The menu is so vast, from sandwiches to yogurt to baked goods to granola bars, you'll find something that fits into your dietary lifestyle.

4. Marylou's

Marylou's is a hidden gem in southeastern Massachusetts, with roughly 40 locations. Beginning its coffee journey in 1986 with the bold claim of being "the best coffee in town," Marylou's is easily recognizable with its bright pink logo and décor. Competing against both the local Dunkin' and Starbucks chains, Marylou's holds its own with its flavored and specialty iced coffees. Though most coffee chains now feature unique flavor combinations, Marylou's was one of the first to take iced coffee to a new level with its introduction of the funky Fanabla — iced mocha coffee with whipped cream.

Since its inception, Marylou's has expanded its menu to include other flavor combinations, like raspberry mocha, strawberry shortcake, and cinnamon hazelnut fluff. It also features traditionally brewed coffee but is known for its flavored coffee — my personal favorite was a requested blend of vanilla macadamia nut. But you can order any combination of flavored coffee that you like. Marylou's deserves a top spot thanks to its ingenuity, consistency, and for living up to its advertised claim.

3. Starbucks

Most people are familiar with Starbucks, the coffee chain that started in Seattle in 1971. But perhaps there's no other coffee chain that gets coffee lovers into arguments more than this one. You either love its coffee or hate it (personally, I love it). Since more folks love it, it ranks higher on our list. Whether you want a simple cup of coffee, shot of espresso, nitro cold brew, or an over-the-top sugary treat, Starbucks has it.

Offering light to dark roasts, as well as limited-time seasonal blends, popular Starbucks drinks include pumpkin spice latte and peppermint mocha. But there are also secret menu drinks you may not want to miss that are less sugary, such as the Medicine Ball — hot tea with honey and lemon — and Chai-der, a combination of chai tea and apple cider. There's practically no limit on the variety of drinks you can order at Starbucks. There's also a range of food choices, from sandwiches to snacks and baked goods, with ingredients you don't often see at other coffee chains. Plus, the egg bites are really good.

2. Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Stumptown Coffee Roasters spends an inordinate amount of time sourcing just the right beans. What makes the beans so special? For more than 20 years, it has participated in direct trade — buying directly from coffee producers to ensure a higher quality product. And though Stumptown pays close attention to the sourcing and roasting process, it aims to deliver a cup of coffee that is so smooth you don't even think about it. You simply enjoy it.

We consider Stumptown one of the best coffee brands on the market, and likewise, the coffee chain also ranks high for us. Creating coffee with art, it specializes in cappuccinos, lattes, espresso, and regularly brewed coffee. You can also enjoy baked goods and pastries. Beyond the cafes, you can participate in a subscription service to receive Stumptown coffee at home. If you're looking for something ready to drink, there's canned cold brew.

1. Peet's Coffee

Peet's Coffee has been around since 1966 and consistently ranks high for many coffee lovers. Whether you visit the coffeebar or buy beans for home brewing, this company delivers a solid cup of coffee every time. Promising to brew coffee every 30 minutes with hand-roasted beans, Peet's provides fresh, hot coffee whenever you stop in at one of its coffeebars. Choose from regular brewed coffee, hand-pulled espresso, a variety of lattes, or cappuccino. Its iced coffees begin with fresh cold brew, and flavor options include pumpkin, white chocolate mocha, caramel, and vanilla.

Peet's Coffee also offers customers seasonal beverages like lemonade and iced tea. If you're hungry, you can purchase breakfast sandwiches, pastries, cakes, and egg bites, plus fresh artisan baked goods that are delivered daily. But if you don't want to leave your home, Peet's has a subscription service so you never run out of your favorite coffee.


Coffee is a multi-billion-dollar industry with no shortage of coffee chains in the U.S. Many are worthy, whether they're on this list or not. I narrowed the list down based on decades of coffee shop visits (I've been to most of the coffee chains on this list), what other coffee lovers had to say, as well as what the chains offered their customers — coffee varieties, non-caffeinated beverages, and food. Due to the overwhelming number of chains to choose from, I began with the most popular and then ordered them according to what the general coffee consumer has to say about them.