The Best Coffee Shop In Every State

For some reason, there is always a line at Starbucks. And not to bash the big green mermaid, which has some respectable brews, but if you were to visit many cities around the country, you would find plenty of small, local shops making much better stuff with nary a wait. And this isn't just a phenomenon in places like Seattle or Portland. Every state has numerous coffee shops that roast their own beans, craft their own drinks, and provide environments that are truly unique to their regions.

So what are the best coffee shops in each state? To answer this mouth-burning question we talked to locals all over the country, hit the road, and, yes, even consulted some experts on the internet. What we found was that no matter where you are in America, there's a place that's giving you a better, more local experience than a big national chain. If you find yourself in any of these cities, these coffee shops are a must-hit.

Alabama: Prevail Union

On its surface, Prevail Union looks like a sleek, upscale coffee bar, complete with pour-over coffees from all over the world. But dig a little deeper and you'll find this spot on Montgomery's famous Dexter Avenue is steeped in history. Prevail Union sits just around the corner from the department store Rosa Parks worked at the day she refused to give up her seat on the bus, while other buildings still display segregated water fountains as historic reminders, all giving you a hint of the city's civil rights past.

Alaska: Heritage Coffee Roasting Company

Sourcing pretty much anything other than salmon is tough when you're situated in the far-off environs of Alaska. But Heritage Coffee in Juneau manages to get some of the best coffee beans from all over the world, though you can only visit the city via plane or boat. They roast the stuff right in downtown Juneau, where Heritage has expanded to eight locations around the city with a homey, Alaskan feel. The company is also a big part of the Juneau community, donating to numerous local organizations and supporting both children's and arts organizations.

Arizona: Exo Roast Company

After you make your stop for the best hot dog in Arizona at El Guero Canelo, stave off your food coma by heading to Exo for a solid jolt of caffeine. You'll get a fully local experience with stuff like the mesquite cold brew. Or try the chiltepin cold brew, a spicy, fruity coffee. The creative coffees draw some of Tucson's more imaginative people to work from the shop, and you shouldn't be at all surprised to see a musician you caught at a live show the night before sitting next to you as you sip.

Arkansas: Mugs Coffee Company

In North Little Rock's Argenta historic district you'll find this massively popular coffee spot with Central Arkansas's best cup of coffee. The wood on the walls and the overstuffed leather furniture still give the place a distinctly Ozarkian feel, but the modern vibe of Little Rock still permeates throughout. That vibe could also be mistaken as the smell of freshly brewed coffee or pressed sandwiches, as Mugs Coffee Co. is equally renowned for its food as it is for its coffee culture.

California: Temple Coffee Roasters

Surely no place means more to its hometown than Temple Coffee Roasters. Not that Sacramento doesn't have a fantastic food scene of its own, but Temple is so good it boasts its own subscription coffee club for those outside California's capital.

Sure, Los Angeles and San Francisco have some great spots of their own, but are they pouring the Three Pillars Blend with notes of cocoa, sugar, and dried fruit? That's why Temple, more than any other California coffee shop, has developed a massive following outside its home city.

Colorado: Thump Coffee

Though Thump came to the Mile High City from Bend, Oregon, it's made itself an indispensable part of the Denver coffee scene, thanks mostly to its rich selection of coffees and quirky quotes above the coffee bar. Though the standard coffee drinks are solid, do yourself a favor and order one of their custom roasts like the North Fork, which offers hints of citrus and chocolate in each sip. No matter what your order, Thump is a craft coffee shop that doesn't take itself too seriously. And for that, we'd go here over anywhere in Colorado.

Connecticut: Fussy Coffee

You'll find a packed menu at Fussy Coffee in New Haven's Science Park, where a coffee menu boasting stuff like Tokyo flat whites with miso and coconut curry cappuccinos also offers a number of imported wines and Belgian-style French fries. And though the name may imply the place appeals to a finicky clientele, the rest of the food menu is varied and open-minded. So if you'd rather pair a Korean banh mi or Thai peanut rice bowl with your chai coconut cold brew, you can do that too.

Delaware: Brew HaHa!

Despite having eight locations in Wilmington and its surrounding areas, Brew HaHa! still manages to make each shop feel like a small-town roaster, where the barista greets you by name and doesn't even need to ask if you're having your usual. That's because the folks who founded this place decades ago based the concept on a café they discovered in a small town in the Italian countryside, and aim to recreate that same experience in each location. The formula has worked, as it's been named the best coffee shop in Delaware for 23 years running by Delaware Today.

Florida: Bold Bean Coffee Roasters

While Panther Coffee in Miami and Tampa's Buddy Brew can both hold their own nationally, no shop is better to hide from the heat than Bold Bean in Jacksonville's artsy San Marco neighborhood.

While Jax doesn't get near enough credit for its arts scene, spend an afternoon here sipping their craft pour-overs, and you'll see plenty of artists, musicians, and start-up entrepreneurs collaborating around you. And if you're looking for a place that feels exactly like a coffee shop should in Florida, Bold Bean is the spot.

Georgia: Foxy Loxy Print Gallery and Cafe

Some might say coffee and tacos would be a digestive decision right up there with soda and pop rocks, but enjoy a meal at this Savannah sidewalk café and you'll think much differently. Foxy Loxy's Tex-Mex menu pairs surprisingly well with its rich, strong coffees. You can also delve into several Latin-American-inspired coffees like the horchata latte and the traditional café con leche. You'll need them to wake you up after feasting on their beef and chorizo tacos. Or, if you're stopping in for breakfast, pair a horchata with the huevos rancheros quiche, a spicy take on the eggy coffee shop staple.

Hawaii: Paia Bay Coffee Bar

In terms of variety, surroundings, and utility, this stop in quaint Paia Bay is tough to beat. First, the town is the last little bit of civilization before heading up Maui's fabled Road to Hana, so if you're looking for an espresso to fuel you for the ride, this is the spot.

Second, the crowd at Paia Bay Coffee Bar is a mix of Maui magic, including the people who make this island such a blissful place. If you're not in a hurry to get on the road, it's worth stopping in for a leisurely cup while the island breeze blows through the dining room.

Idaho: Flying M Coffee

Inspired by the Seattle coffee craze of the 1990s, University of Washington students Kevin and Lisa Myers returned to Lisa's native Idaho after graduation, got married, and opened this tiny shop in Boise. The place served high-quality coffee among clashing vintage furniture and oddball gifts. It grew even further when Flying M began roasting its own beans in the mid-1990s. 

Flying M is an Idaho institution that gives back, too. Each year, the shop hosts the Flying M for AIDS benefit show, where local artists auction off their creations with proceeds going to help local residents with HIV and AIDS.

Illinois: The Wormhole

Though Greater Chicago has as many great coffee shops as it does perpetually frustrated Bears fans, sometimes it takes something special to set a place apart. And sometimes, that something special is a Delorean, completely hollowed out and mounted atop the bar. That's what you'll find at The Wormhole, and though that car won't take you back 30 years in history, the vintage NES complete with all your 8-bit favorites just might. Yeah, the coffee is good too. But in a city where that's not hard to find, sometimes it's better to seek out nostalgia.

Indiana: Fortezza Coffee

Fortezza Coffee feels like a slice of Seattle or Portland dropped in the windy midwestern plains, where carefully selected espresso beans yield mixed coffee drinks that could hold their own with anything from a larger city.

You'll also find local craft beer, bento boxes, and other millennial staples on Fortezza's menu. Perhaps that's why Fort Wayne's young mobile workers congregate at Fortezza during the day. The fact that Niche named Fort Wayne the most affordable city in America is evident at Fortezza, where you can buy a latte a day and still probably save enough to afford a house.

Iowa: The Lantern Coffeehouse and Roastery

Iowa isn't where you'd expect to find a place the Food Network said has world-class coffee beans. But such is the far-flung gem that is the Lantern Coffee House & Roastery in Sibley. The name actually comes from the nonprofit ministry that started this roastery, enticing its potential flock with house-roasted coffee and fresh pastries. And whether you want to stay for the scripture or the sandwiches, you'll feel revived in some way or another after you leave.

Kansas: Espresso to Go Go

When celebrity chef Alton Brown made his way through Wichita, he immediately threw this place on his list of top ten coffee shops in America. Why? Maybe it's the epic jolts of energy delivered with a heavy dose of personality you'll find under the giant disco ball at Espresso To Go Go. Its secret menu (which has its own web page, seriously jeopardizing its level of secrecy) is full of drinks that give you heart palpitations just reading the ingredients.

But it's not just high-speed adrenaline that makes this place so cool. Their coffee is made with a reverse osmosis water system on an imported Italian espresso machine. So if you're not trying to test your cardiac capabilities, Espresso To Go Go still has plenty of options.

Kentucky: Please and Thank You

Please & Thank You in Louisville's East Market is known infinitely better for its chocolate chip cookies than it is for its coffee. But you know what? Sometimes the sweetness you can pair with your java is even more important than the drink itself, and this downtown original has become a cookie-lover's destination for anyone who's visited Louisville. And though the cookies have become the sort of mail-order staple that would make Lou Malnati's take notice, stopping in for a cup of coffee can be equally as rewarding, even without the baked goods.

Louisiana: Abita Roasting Company

If you're in New Orleans, head across Lake Pontchartrain for the best coffee shop in Louisiana. There you'll find Abita Roasting, in Madisonville, Louisiana.

Take a seat on the broad southern patio at Abita and you'll forget you're only 45 minutes from the Big Easy. Even on a sweltering Louisiana afternoon, there is something inherently cooling about enjoying a cup of coffee on a shady porch next to the Tchefuncte River. More than anywhere else in the state, Abita has a sense of place that's well worth traveling just to experience.

Maine: Coffee by Design

While plenty of cool coffee shops have popped up here in the last decade, Coffee by Design is still the percolating stalwart of Portland, Maine. In addition to being a household name in Portland, they were also named Roast Magazine's 2020 Roaster of the Year (via Daily Coffee News). As part of its commitment to local arts, CBD heads up the Rebel Blend Fund, a non-profit that supports the arts in Portland. It's funded mostly by sales of Coffee by Design's Rebel Blend found at all of its stores.

Maryland: Basecamp Coffee Company

Calling the mountains of Allegany County, Maryland anything that requires a "base camp" is a bit of a stretch. But there is no better way to start out a day of hiking through the countryside than with a hot cup of coffee from Basecamp in Cumberland. Here you'll find beans roasted in-house, tended to by owner Hayden Ort-Ulm who honed his craft by experimenting on his parents' air pop popcorn maker. He's expanded the operation a quite a bit since then, now roasting beans for coffee houses and restaurants throughout the region.

Massachusetts: Curio Coffee and Wine

You know Curio Coffee is doing something right when they don't even roast their own beans but still bust out the best shop in Beantown. And that something is waffles so good you might briefly forget the place also serves coffee. 

While the waffles are definitely the main attraction at this Cambridge coffee house, the decorations are equally worth the price of admission. The fiberglass cow's head is one curiosity, as is the serpentine logo on each cup. Did we mention they had wine? If you want to stop here for your evening nightcap and your morning jolt, it's totally possible.

Michigan: Anthology Coffee

Spending a weekend morning squeezing vegetables and smelling candles at Detroit's Eastern Market can wear a person out. And, yes, it might be tempting to stop in for a Coney Dog on the outskirts of the market, but consider opting for Anthology Coffee instead, which opened its doors in 2019. The exposed brick and white wall space mixes modern style with Detroit's industrial past, and the coffee they're pouring is quite possibly the most flavorful in the entire city. They've even got bourbon-soaked coffee, and while it won't give you much of an alcohol buzz it will bring flavors you've likely never tried.

Minnesota: Daily Grind Espresso Cafe

When this Stillwater coffee shop first opened its doors, the name was a clever play on words referring to the grinding process of coffee. But when the pandemic began in March of 2020, Daily Grind became home to a different kind of daily tradition: paying it forward. According to The Gazette, at least one customer has left some sort of donation to pay for the coffee of others since April of 2020.

Smack at the end of Brown's Creek Bike Trail, this is an ideal place to reward yourself with a croissant or breakfast sandwich after a long ride. You'll enjoy all of that on Daily Grind's sprawling patio with serene views of the St. Croix River.

Mississippi: Bankhouse Coffee

This shop in Long Beach along Mississippi's scenic Gulf coastline is housed in a 1924 bank building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Reminders of its financial history remain with the original vault on the ground floor, with photos from Long Beach's first post office adorning the walls.

But Bankhouse is a lot more than a history museum. It also serves up its brand name Coast Roast coffee, the most recognized flavor in the region, plus a whole slew of baked goods that make breakfast here the ideal way to start a day exploring Mississippi.

Missouri: Comet Coffee

Tasting St. Louis isn't all about smoky ribs and pizza covered in Provel. At this Highlands coffee shop, you'll learn that The Lou does baked goods and farm-fresh food pretty well too. Comet Coffee not only pours single-origin coffee, but they've also got a full menu of food like breakfast sandwiches and Japanese curry sourced almost exclusively from local purveyors. Comet also acts as a micro-bakery, crafting croissants that people flock from all over greater St. Louis to enjoy. They've proven so popular, Comet opened an offshoot croissant shop called Comet Croissanterie, which may have become an even greater destination than the percolating original.

Montana: Trû North Café

James Langteaux ditched Tinseltown for tiny Livingston, Montana, bringing the city one of the most creative coffee shops in the country. Trû North Café has made its mark by using maple syrup and bourbon in just about everything, from the coffee to the candied bacon and eggs.

The drinks are the stuff of pure Hollywood imagination, like the maple mountain cloud, where a layer of whole milk infused with maple syrup is topped with two shots of Yellowstone espresso, then finished with foamed heavy cream. Your typical small-town spot for dishwater swill this most certainly is not, and is the kind of gem everyone hopes to stumble upon when traversing Big Sky country.

Nebraska: Amateur Coffee

The heart of cattle country might not be the first place one would expect to find an all-vegan coffee shop. But if you've been to Omaha, you know this city is nothing if not full of surprises. Among them is Amateur Coffee, a shop founded by husband and wife team Jacob and Jasmyn Wichert with the intention of promoting veganism.

Perhaps their most iconic item is their colorful latte in a jar. They also sell bags of their house blend coffees to go, each one emblazoned with a house-designed sticker. Just don't be fooled by the fact that Amateur's alluring donuts are all vegan, and their waffles are also gluten-free. They might be a little healthier than their sugar-and-butter-filled counterparts, but calories still count even if they are vegan.

Nevada: The Roasting House

The Roasting House is like a calmed-down trip back to the wild west, as the bar that now supports a coffee machine was once the bar at the Brass Rail saloon. The historic spirit of the city encompasses every corner of The Roasting House, and while the coffee is exceptional, it's the experience that makes this place so special. They also roast in the same style as the original Comstock coffee roasters did over 150 years ago. At the Roasting House, you're as close to enjoying a steaming cup of coffee on the frontier as you're getting in the 21st century.

New Hampshire: Revelstoke Coffee

Break down the name of this craft coffee shop in New Hampshire's capital city of Concord, and you'll see a compound word combining "revel" (to bask in an experience) and "stoke" (to fuel with energy). While the shop is actually named after a Canadian Rockies adventure town, it's also a pretty solid description of what you'll do on every trip to Revelstoke

The sleek, brick-walled coffee den has become a fixture in downtown Concord. Though they've only been around since 2019, Revelstoke has already amassed a reputation as being the most coffee-forward concept in the Granite State.

New Jersey: Grover's Mill Coffeehouse

It's not often you find an entire coffee house themed to a 1930s radio hoax. But that's exactly the niche Grover's Mill Coffeehouse fills, as the mugs and décor are dedicated to the 1938 panic-inducing War of the Worlds radio adaptation helmed by Orson Welles. Kitsch aside, you'll also find some fantastic and hard-to-find beans here, like Dominican Red Honey coffee, along with a menu boasting unusual options like elk chili, pheasant and wild rice soup, and espresso venison stew.

New Mexico: Trifecta Coffee Company

The Trifecta roastery sources its beans from 18 different countries, roasting them all on-site and creating flavors you won't find in any other shop. The syrups and sauces in Trifecta's mixed coffee drinks are also made fresh, meaning a cup of coffee here is a true product of passion. Oh, and scones, cookies, and coffee cakes? Trifecta makes those too. The roasters are also model citizens of the coffee world, donating 5% of their profits to The Coffee Trust to support the people in the Ixil region of Guatemala.

New York: Ugly Duck Coffee

We're well aware that New York City is teeming with great little coffee shops. But, let's leave the city and consider this not-ugly-at-all shop from Rochester, which makes a cup of coffee better than anything you'd find in Manhattan. Yes, we said it.

Ugly Duck Coffee started as a series of rotating pop-up espresso bars around Rochester, but soon amassed a cult following stronger than any coffee roaster in the city. While the high octane espresso drinks are what got Ugly Duck where it is, the true stars of the show are their pour-overs, where the true flavor of their internationally-sourced beans shines. It's also an ideal spot for a quick breakfast, offering pastries from some of Flour City's best bakeries.

North Carolina: Smelly Cat Coffeehouse & Roastery

This shop in Charlotte's NoDa is housed in a narrow brick café that made the neighborhood cool long before the rest of America discovered it. Not only are the sunny tables outside a great place to work and people watch in the Queen City's most colorful neighborhood, but they're also ideal for leisurely enjoying homemade buttermilk biscuits or gut-busting breakfast burritos.

Yes, Smelly Cat roasts their own coffee, and if you're visiting Charlotte you'd be well advised to take a bag of their Organic Mexican or Colombian blend home with you. But with a welcoming atmosphere, a full menu, and plenty of cocktails on hand, it's the odd coffee shop that's just as ideal for a blow-out brunch as it is for a day of burying your face in a laptop.

North Dakota: Young Blood Coffee Co.

On a cold, snowy morning in Fargo, you'll find few better ways to warm up than Young Blood Coffee in the heart of downtown. Inside you'll enjoy a smooth cup of house-roasted coffee, a welcome change from the sometimes-bland stuff you'll encounter on road trips through the country.

The crowd here is also decidedly young and energetic, including folks who just finished a workout next door. That workout is often quickly negated, however, since Young Blood has a tempting stack of Fargo's best chocolate chip cookies staring back at you when you order. But go ahead and indulge. Remember, staying warm during a North Dakota winter takes lots of extra calories.

Ohio: Mom 'n 'Em Coffee & Wine

Are you one of those people with a clever collection of dish towels or retro drawings professing your dual love for coffee and wine? Then you'll find your tribe at Mom 'N' Em Coffee in Cinncinatti. The spot is an ode to owners Tony and Austin Ferrari, who wanted to start a business to give back to their mother. 

The result is a place where you can either fuel up or wind down, offering both fresh roasted coffee and a collection of small batch, hard-to-find wines that would make most wine bars jealous. That's part of why it was named one of the top five coffee shops in America by Food & Wine in 2019.

Oklahoma: Cirque Coffee

If there's one city in Oklahoma where you could open up a coffee shop whose motto is "Stay Weird," it's Tulsa, the art-deco and oil money confluence of art and cowboy culture. You'll find it personified inside the walls of Cirque, where the clean white walls are covered in cartoonish art. Also, the coffee drinks can come topped with Froot Loops and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. 

Cirque is far from a gimmicky coffee shop, as their house-roasted coffee boasts impressively complex characteristics. That's because Cirque only lightly roasts its beans, which allows the unique flavors of the beans to shine through. And assuming you're so impressed you want a bag to go, it'll come with an appropriately weird drawing to remind you of the experience.

Oregon: Spin Laundry Lounge

The obvious temptation when talking about coffee in Portland would be to go with Stumptown, the craft coffee favorite owned by Peet's Coffee. But going with the obvious, well known choice would be about the most un-Portland thing to do. So in keeping with the Portland ethos, we're going with the next most emblematic thing: a laundromat.

Not that serving coffee in a clothes washing facility hasn't been around since the invention of vending machines, but the coffee at the Spin Laundry Lounge bar is actually really freaking good. Like, so good you'll stop in here even if you don't need quarters. It's certainly good enough to land it on Thrillist's rankings of best coffees in the Rose City. You might also stick around for the video games in the upstairs mezzanine and the occasional sporting events projected on the walls. Is it the best coffee in Portland? Debatable, at least considering the varied local coffee landscape. But is it the most Portland place you can get a cup of coffee? Absolutely.

Pennsylvania: Little Amps Coffee

With big nods to the bevvy of impressive shops in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, no coffee shop is as emblematic to its region than Little Amps in Harrisburg. Though they call themselves a "micro roaster," the three-shop chain has a big footprint, distributing their beans to other shops around the region. This state capital staple also collaborates with local ice cream makers to create specialty favors that give you a little boost with your dessert. But despite all of that, their hometown locations still feel like a small town coffee shop, where after a couple days in town they'll know your order without you having to say a word.

Rhode Island: Dave's Coffee

When a state's official drink involves coffee, and you're an integral part of creating said drink, earning the title of best coffee shop in the state is pretty much a layup. Such is the case with Dave's, whose coffee syrup is one of the main ingredients in coffee milk, the official state drink of Rhode Island, according to WGBH

Of course, if you're going to stop into this landmark along the Providence River, you may as well grab a cup of actual coffee too, and Dave's delivers in that department too. You'll find a half dozen or more house-roasted creations from Papua New Guinea, Nicaragua, and beyond there for the tasting. All of which made for a nice, warming companion to a stroll by the city's namesake waterway.

South Carolina: Methodical Coffee

When you have a literal street in your downtown called Coffee Street, you're setting the expectations pretty high for the local coffee scene. But Greenville doesn't disappoint in the coffee department, and Methodical is arguably the biggest reason why.

Methodical takes great pride in its beans, carefully roasting them on the lighter side so the true flavor of their origin shines through. So while the espresso drinks here are good, you'll best experience the difference with a pour-over. If you don't feel like braving the almost-perpetual lines, grab a bag to go and enjoy the stuff every morning. We guarantee it beats anything you find on the shelves at Harris Teeter.

South Dakota: Coffea Roasterie and Espresso Bar

Sioux Falls'  downtown caffeinated anchor is Coffea, a gourmet coffee shop stocked with lattes and pour-overs that feels miles from the South Dakota plains. Their single blend offerings are all sourced from different countries, and the flagship downtown location also has kombucha on tap. The milk used in lattes and other dairy drinks comes from a dairy farm half an hour from Sioux Falls. And the pastries, syrups, and other sweet stuff at Coffea are all made in-house, too, delighting local and visiting fans.

Tennessee: Rembrandt's Coffee House

You wouldn't think southeastern Tennessee would be the place to find a little slice of Europe. But tucked into Chattanooga's Bluffview Arts District you just might think you've crossed an ocean when sipping an espresso in the courtyard outside Rembrandt's Coffee House. The shop's Mediterranean architecture, detailed ironwork, and narrow French doors give way to a generous menu of specialty coffee drinks, some of which are combined with Rembrandt's house-made chocolates. 

You can spend a warm Tennessee afternoon tasting macarons and nursing a latte, like you're in a sidewalk café that happens to be filled with southern accents. 

Texas: Greater Goods Coffee Co.

Texans are never shy to tell you they have the biggest, best, oldest, and most impressive of pretty much anything. But in the case of Austin's Greater Goods, Roast Magazine actually backs up their Lone Star Bravado, naming them Micro Roaster of the Year in 2021. Their Bright Minds — a medium roast with cherry cola and white pear notes — was also awarded a 93-point rating from Coffee Review.

Portions of every Greater Goods sale are donated to a local Texas charity. The shop also offers classes in everything from barista basics to making latte art to help enrich the community.

Utah: River Rock Roasters

The great western fantasy comes true at River Rock Roasting Company, about half an hour outside Zion National Park.

The shop sits on the edge of a basalt canyon etched into the landscape by the Virgin River. And while the view might be the best of any coffee shop in America, it's more than just a pretty space. The ethically sourced beans are all roasted in-house. That's why you'll often have to wait in line to experience this piece of desert paradise. But if you don't have a shuttle to The Narrows to catch, it's absolutely worth the wait.

Vermont: Muddy Waters

Vermont just seems synonymous with cozy, and in Burlington, no place feels more like curling up in a green mountain cabin than Muddy Waters. It's a hotspot for college kids and young professionals looking to escape the cold, though you won't find the crowds at all diminished during summer. It's been a Burlington mainstay on Main Street for decades, and if you're looking for somewhere to tuck in, you won't find a better place.

Virginia: Hopscotch Coffee

Lone Oak – one of Virginia's best known coffee roasters — sits right down the road from Hopscotch Coffee & Records in little Winchester, Virginia. Inside of Hopscotch, you'll find a wide array of finely roasted coffees alongside a hand-picked collection of vinyl. This might be the most hipster business we've ever heard of, but the atmosphere and vintage record shopping also make for an ideal way to start the day or pass some time if you find yourself in Winchester.

Washington: Lighthouse Roasters

Picking the finest coffee shop in the city that is the standard-bearer for coffee culture in America is a tough call. And as tempting as it was to throw up our hands and just pick the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market at the winner, Seattle has better coffee.

Lighthouse Roasters has been doing their thing since 1993, when it was one of the first coffee shops to roast beans in-house in America. They're still going strong in their original Greenwood location, showcasing local artists and unique blends in a small space that understates Lighthouse's historic impact.

West Virginia: Cathedral Cafe

Simply being a coffee shop in an old church would be cool enough, offering a spot to sip craft coffee under stately stained glass windows. But this shop in adventurous Fayetteville goes much further than simply offering a unique setting. 

Cathedral Cafe's size and welcoming aura create a gathering place for locals and visitors alike. Stop in here for a coffee before braving the New River's rapids, and you'll find guides, students, and backpackers all basking under light steaming through stained glass. If you're not in the mood for coffee, Cathedral is a full-service restaurant too, so you can enjoy the ambiance for lunch or dinner.

Wisconsin: Kavarna Cafe and Coffee

While Kavarna will never be anywhere near as famous as the Packers, it is still one of the more notable things to come out of Green Bay that didn't involve wearing cheese on your head. 

This shop started roasting its own beans in 2020, but even before that served as a community gathering place in this city of only 104,000. The shop is also a great steward of the environment, focusing on sustainable sourcing. It's also one of the best spots in Green Bay to find vegetarian and vegan food, not an easy feat when you're in the heart of America's Dairyland.

Wyoming: Paramount Cafe

While Cheyenne's Paramount Theater hasn't shown any first-run flicks in a while now, it's still a central part of life in downtown, now in its new incarnation as Paramount Cafe. The city's most noted coffee house serves coffee, yes, but also showcases local artists in its gallery and local musicians on its stage. And when the weather is cooperating also lets you enjoy your java — or a cocktail — in its spacious back garden.