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Layne Gibbons

APR 18, 2019

Coffee and Cleveland. Two things we happen to be huge fans of, which is why you won’t find us at a chain coffee shop with no character ordering a sugar-laden drink. We prefer the small time, locally owned shops and roasters. Somewhere that puts Cleveland and the community on full display.

If that sounds like something you’re into, you have to check out these Cleveland coffee shops. They serve carefully-crafted brews in a welcoming environment that makes every visit worthwhile.

Like their name says, this coffee stop is on the rise. With a focus on relationships, this local roastery knows where their product comes from and wants their coffee to reflect that. Try their pour over or AeroPress methods to find your favorite brew at one of their many locations in Hingetown, Lakewood, Little Italy, Tremont (inside the old Fairmont Creamery building), The Arcade — and while you’re at it, stop by their roastery on Walton Ave.

When it comes to unique coffee shops in Cleveland, LOOP has to be near the top of the list. That’s because they’re part record store, part art gallery, part coffee shop. (We told you this place was unique.) The fact that they’re set up in the trendy Tremont neighborhood doesn’t hurt, either. Walk through the doors and into the cafe on the ground floor. Grab a cup of coffee, check out the art, or head upstairs to scope out the record collection. Coffee, art, and music is all we really need anyway, right?

The sleek, clean design is on point. The baristas are super knowledgeable. And the coffee and espresso is meticulously sourced. That’s how Pour on Euclid Ave. goes about creating a coffee experience that will put a smile on your face. Stop into this local coffee bar for a pour over, then post up to get some work done. The space is inviting and they even have locally-made pastries and bagels to snack on.

Fluffy Duck’s bright and airy space will make you want to stay all day. It’s the perfect place to get some work done while enjoying a fresh cup of caffeine (we’re not picky — any kind of roast will do). Situated on Chester Ave. in University Circle, Fluffy Duck has your basic brew favorites along with fresh-baked beads, sandwiches, and—get this—personal pizzas. Coffee and pizza? #Score.

Coffee and clean eats: that’s what you can expect to encounter at The Root Cafe, a coffee shop and eatery that caters to Cleveland’s vegetarian and vegan community! Their extensive food menu features vegan-friendly and gluten-free meals made from local and organic ingredients. And the coffee bar serves up brews from local favorites like Rising Star and duck-rabbit coffee. Snack healthy in Lakewood while you enjoy your pour over, espresso, or cold brew.

If you’ve never been to this gem situated on the popular dining strip in Cleveland (East 4th, in case you’re new), put them on your list. Tap into the energy of the neighborhood by having your coffee outside on the patio, or pull up a seat inside the industrial space. And here’s an insider’s tip for you: Erie Island Coffee Island is open until 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights. So, if you’re looking for somewhere to cram or crush some work late into the evening, this is your spot. What’s even better — you don’t have to live downtown to have a sip, they also have a location in Rocky River on Detroit Ave.

Picture a rabbit’s head on a duck’s body. Crazy, right? Well, if you love coffee, you’ll become really familiar with this coffee company’s crest. duck-rabbit coffee focuses on roasting light beans to create a natural, earthy, and citrus flavored coffee. You might have seen or tasted their creations at other Cleveland spots like The Root Cafe and Tremont Farmers’ Market. If not, you can always stop by their home shop on Columbus Rd.

With six locations, Phoenix Coffee Co. is obviously doing something right. For the past 25 years, this Cleveland coffee shop has been serving flavored lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and a whole lot more. They’ve taken over Ohio City, East 9th St., Cleveland Heights, and more. So if you haven’t seen a Phoenix Coffee around, you’re not looking hard enough. What really sets this place apart is all their beans are roasted in small batches in the 216, making sure whatever coffee, latte, or espresso you order is nothing but perfection.

Any local spot that has high-quality coffee, house-made waffles, and Mason’s Creamery Ice Cream is a winner in our book. If you agree, make your way to Vintage Tea & Coffee on East 12th to snack and kickback. Enjoy your locally-roasted brew, hand-crafted before your eyes. With pour overs, cortados, and flat whites, you’ll be a coffee snob (in a good way!) in no time.

Collinwood’s Six Shooter Coffee is here to spread Cleveland’s coffee knowledge. The brew you’re about to drink is locally micro-roasted in Cleveland, and the beans it’s made with are sourced in a way that gives back to those who farmed them. Really, it’s great to know that you’re helping Cleveland with every sip. But you don’t have to travel to Collinwood to have a try, you can also grab a quick cup at their roastery in the West Bank of the Flats!

Here, your caffeine experience is anything but common. This edgy Lorain Ave. coffee shop is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. So if you’re looking for some hot java in the middle of the night, Common Grounds will be open and ready to serve. Fitt Tip: they also have some board games and pinball machines so your coffee break is sure to be a good one.

Tremont’s Beviamo is a force to be reckoned with, bringing together coffee and good-for-you eats. Their own organic roast can be tasted in the forms of cold brews, espresso, French press, and pour overs. They also have raw, organic, and vegan goods to accompany your coffee!

Right down the road from the aforementioned Fluffy Duck is Joe Maxx. This cafe has really taken off (they’ve got locations around the country) and we’re happy they decided to call Cleveland one of their homes. Named after a former WWII pilot who later carried roasts from Central America to the states, Joe Maxx would make sure restaurants only got the freshest coffee. (Talk about a true American hero.) Nowadays, they have shops all over and serve up some unique coffee beverages, like their Kiki Aloha, Black and Tan, and unique holiday blends.

Cleveland’s coffee game is strong, and with Passengers Cafe thrown into the mix, the game just got stronger. This little shop is hidden inside West 25th’s Cleveland Hostel and is all about the locals. Bagels, jams, and dairies are all sourced locally whenever possible, which make for a nice snack when sipping your specialty beverages. Fitt Tip: the next time you stop by, head up to their roof deck to sip that latte while looking at Cleveland’s beautiful skyline.

This place takes their coffee seriously. Not to be mistaken for being pretentious, Troubadour loves a fresh roast and every step of the process from farm-to-cup. That’s why you can’t order fancy flavors, syrups, frappes, or food at this Fairview Park shop. Just coffee, pure and simple. If you’re used to having 10 ingredients added to your drink, allow their baristas to find a coffee for you that won’t need all the extras.

If you’re down for a good time, head over to Goodkind Coffee. After all, how could you not be having a good time when you’re sipping a thoughtfully-crafted brew? Right across from Barrio in Lakewood, Goodkind Coffee is open every day of the week and features flavorful beans to try and scones to taste. They even make their own almond milk from scratch for anyone who isn’t a fan of dairy. You can’t beat that.

Newer to the Cleveland coffee scene is Metropolitan Coffee in Old Brooklyn. With local roaster Rising Star as their main bean supplier, you can sip on Americanos, chai lattes, or a simple cup of joe. No matter what you order, though, it’ll surely kick that caffeine craving. They also bake small bites in a kitchen that’s completely nut-free (whoo!). Fitt Tip: Metropolitan has $12 yoga classes every Tuesday and Thursday night!

If you ask us, Mojo’s Coffee is totally underrated. Hidden in Bay Village, this cafe has every drink you can think of, along with gluten-free snacks to munch on (they also have a long list of frappes and smoothies for anyone who is looking for something chilled). Oh, and did we mention that Mojo’s also offers an entire menu dedicated to vegan eats and drinks? Yeah, like we said: underrated.

The aptly-named 5 Points Coffee & Tea in the five points section of West Park is committed to the community and they’re showing it through their passion for coffee. From signature cold-brews to vegan croissants to a sassy espressos — this Irish-themed coffee shop has what you need for an afternoon (or anytime) pick-me-up. Fitt Tip: 5 Points offers weekly $10 yoga classes! Check out their Instagram for details about the next class.

Just in case you couldn’t guess, Old Brooklyn’s Coffee, Coffee, Coffee really loves coffee. They have some of the most unique cups we’ve ever seen: a Cosmic Powers Latte made with matcha, superherbs, and milk. And their Cuppadreamo is filled with turmeric, local honey, and espresso. See? Unique. Trust us — you’re not gonna see fun cups like these anywhere else.


**Updated by Layne Adams, September 2018