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Woman holding a to-go coffee cup in front of a large glass window with view of the city
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The 10 Best Coffee Cities in America

SmarterTravel

From chicory coffee in New Orleans to Cuban coffee in Miami, a good cup of java is worth traveling for. If you want to have plenty of options for your morning brew, head to one of America’s best coffee cities for your next vacation.

Rental site Apartment Guide calculated the ratio of coffee shops per 100,000 residents for every city in the U.S. along with the ratio of cafes per square mile to determine the best coffee cities in America.

1. San Francisco, CA

Oakland Bay Bridge and San Francisco skyline at sunset
JFL Photography | Adobe Stock

San Francisco is the birthplace of one of America’s oldest big coffee brands (Folgers) and the strong brew tradition continues today with coffee shops on nearly every corner of the city. 

Must-Visit Coffee Shop: Named after an old navigational tool, Sextant was founded by Kinani Ahmed, a first-generation Ethiopian who was inspired by the rich coffee culture of his home country. 

2. Berkeley, CA

Aerial view of skyline of Berkeley, California
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In 1966, Berkeley became home to the very first Peet’s coffee shop. The coffee culture remains strong in Berkeley, with plenty of unique places to try.

Must-Visit Coffee Shop: The original Peet’s Coffee still exists on Vine Street in Berkeley, and features a small museum dedicated to the brand that you can browse while you sip.

3. Miami, FL

Skyline of Miami, Florida as seen through palm trees
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Miami is the best place to sample Cuban coffee without leaving the country. Made from strong coffee and sugar, this espresso-sized drink is sure to wake you up.

Must-Visit Coffee Shop: La Colada Gourmet, located in the heart of Little Havana, offers innovative coffee drinks (in addition to the classics). Get the tres leches coffee for a sweet treat.

4. Seattle, WA

Space Needle in the foreground of the Seattle, Washington skyline
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As the birthplace of Starbucks Coffee, Seattle is usually attributed as the number one coffee shop in the US, so it’s surprising to see it rank number four. There’s no shortage of cafes in this city though, so you’ll still have plenty of options for a cup. 

Must-Visit Coffee Shop: Moonshot Coffee, a takeout-only shop, serves up unique combinations like the Medici (espresso extracted over orange zest, combined with housemade dark chocolate sauce and steamed milk). 

5. Portland, OR

Waterfront Park and skyline of Portland, Oregon
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Portland gets a bit of a bad rap for being gray and rainy, but at least when the weather is bad, a cozy coffee shop to warm up in is never far away. 

Must-Visit Coffee Shop: How can buying a cup of coffee be a charitable act? When you get it from Ardent Coffee, an all-volunteer run, donation-based coffee shop that donates 100 percent of its profits toward ending modern slavery. 

6. Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Christian Hinkle | Adobe Stock

Pittsburgh beat out a number of east coast cities to claim the title of sixth best coffee city in the US. Boutique coffee shops abound here. 

Must-Visit Coffee Shop: Cold brew aficionados will love Allegheny Coffee & Tea Exchange, which features six rotating taps of housemade nitro coffee. 

7. Orlando, FL

Orlando skyline fom lake Eola Florida US
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Surprisingly, Florida claims two spots on this top ten list, and Orlando is one of the best places in the state for coffee. 

Must-Visit Coffee Shop: Travel the world through your cup of coffee at Craft & Common, where owners Brandon and Lindsay Duensing offer drinks inspired by their journeys around the world. 

8. Bellingham, WA

Bellingham, Washington as seen from over the water at sunset
Daniel Avram | Adobe Stock

For the ultimate coffee roadtrip, head to Washington state, home to three of America’s top ten best coffee cities. This stunning coastal city offers plenty of outdoor activities, along with lots of coffee shops to recover in after. 

Must-Visit Coffee Shop: If you fall in love with Camber Coffee’s brews on a trip to Bellingham, you’re in luck—this cafe ships roasted-to-order beans across the US.

9. Everett, WA

Everett, Washington skyline with mountains in background
CLShebley | Adobe Stock

Just 25 miles north of Seattle you’ll find Everett, Washington, another top coffee city. Everett’s historic downtown area is full of locally-owned coffee shops. 

Must-Visit Coffee Shop: Narrative Coffee holds a blind tasting of different roasters every two months to choose its beans, so the ever-changing menu always has something new to try.

10. Asheville, NC

Skyline of Ashville, North Carolina at sunset
SeanPavonePhoto | Adobe Stock

Asheville, North Carolina serves up great coffee in a wide variety of cafes alongside stunning Blue Ridge views. 

Must-Visit Coffee Shop: Board the iconic red double decker bus that houses Double D’s for some of the best coffee and desserts in Asheville. 

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