UPDATED OCT 28, 2019
While we're no Seattle, there are still plenty of intimate, locally owned coffeehouses around town. Here's the full list of the best spots to fuel up in Pittsburgh.
Founded in 2003 in Indiana, PA, this coffee spot has expanded rapidly throughout Pittsburgh, with locations in Squirrel Hill and Mexican War Streets (to name a few). Core coffees like the citric, spicy Los Naranjos Colombia roast, the sweet, jam-like Mwalyego Tanzania, and more deliver global cultures straight to the Burgh. Check out the Voluto location’s rotating selection of food trucks sure to take your coffee shop experience to the next level.
Step inside this quaint storefront on 4121 Main Street between Bloomfield and Lawrenceville, and you’ll find a 1920s interior bursting with colorful flowers, curated art, and a high-end coffee bar to boot. And what’s more, founders Kira Hoeg and Tommy Conroy use their expertise of coffee culture and international travel to change the store’s contents with the seasons — talk about the perfect backdrop for your daily cup of joe.
This no-frills cafe on the border of Lawrenceville and Bloomfield has become a must-see spot for coffee and tea-lovers alike. Its espresso drinks, drip brews, teas, and lattes, all crafted from Ceremony Coffee and Song Tea, will take you to another planet. Bright, white walls create an overall minimalist vibe, making Constellation the perfect destination for a much-needed escape.
“Adda” is a Bengali word that, in short, means a place for conversation — and this Shadyside spot sure lives up to its name. Each month, Adda’s artwork and menu of delicious teas, coffees, and pastries reflect the culture of a different region of the world (what better conversation starter than that?). And if you’re feelin’ classy, check out their “High Tea” on the second and fourth weekends of every month, where you’ll be treated like royalty with samplings of their entire tea menu.
This hidden gem is the perfect spot to hide out and cozy up with a good book. An old post office turned coffee shop, Carnegie Coffee Company's historic charm and vintage feel create a warm, inviting, and Instagram worthy atmosphere (be sure to check out their telephone booth!). As if it couldn’t get any better, the shop also serves breakfast, lunch, and some tasty baked goods on a daily basis. Stop by to re-energize with your favorite caffeinated beverage, and fuel up on a quick sandwich, panini, or salad.
What makes this East Liberty coffee joint so appealing? It has a lot to do with a special Sivetz Roaster that reduces burning during roasting for a less-acidic, more-robust coffee flavor. But you can get more than just coffee, tea, and espresso here. We suggest first-timers opt for a “Fancy” drink (pour over, Chemex, French press) for a good, old-fashioned flavor you just can’t beat. Or, order from the “This’n’at” extras menu to get a taste of something more refreshing like granola and yogurt. Dying for something more? Pair your drink with their famous chocolate covered espresso beans, an ice cream sandwich, or a gluten-free doughnut.
La Prima is about as close as you’ll come to a traditional Italian espresso bar. What initially started as a shop founded in 1988 to sell and service old espresso machines has now become one of Pittsburgh’s go-to java spots in the Strip District and Oakland. Enjoy your espresso at the bar, Italian-style, or order a cup for takeaway while you browse the Strip’s iconic outdoor market. La Prima is one of the only certified organic coffee roasters in the Burgh, so you can feel good about your cup of joe in more ways than one.
A coffee shop that hosts a Green Day cover show — that’s the kind of fun you’ll find at Black Forge Coffee in Allentown. It’s a shop that has come to the Burgh “bearing heavy jams, dark coffee, and an atmosphere you can describe in your own words.” They source coffee from Zeke’s, tea from Gryphon’s, pastries from Threefifty, sandwiches from Community Kitchen, and vegan goodies from Onion Maiden (it doesn’t get more local than that). Stop in for a brew, an open mic, or both!
Ever been in the South Side after a night out in desperate need of some java? Head to Big Dog on Sarah St. where you'll find an oatmeal bar and Intelligentsia coffee inside. Enjoy a cup outside on the patio during the warmer months, or cozy up by the fire when the temperature drops. Either way, this place is a dream come true.
Redhawk Coffee is red hot in Pittsburgh right now. Locals are buzzing about this specialty shop and espresso truck founded by Branden Walter Jr., a former barista at Espresso A Mano, and his wife, Mary Gonzales. And lucky for us, what started as a pop-up storefront on Meyran (the first independent coffee spot in Oakland) has taken a more permanent residency. What better way for Pitt students to prep for an all-nighter than with a locally made macchiato (or three)?
The story behind Pear & The Pickle, a little market and cafe in Troy Hill, is reason enough to stop by. Sad to leave their friends and the food from Brooklyn behind, owners Alex and Bobby decided to open up Pear & The Pickle to fill the void. Here, you can shop for fresh produce, baked goods, or (most importantly) a steaming cup of Stumptown coffee. And trust us — you’re going to want to pair your beverage with a breakfast sandwich, because these downright delicious creations are the talk of the town.
Kaibur Coffee is any vegan or vegetarian’s dream cafe. Delivering Elixr specialty coffee, espresso, and hipster vibes to Polish Hill, Kaibur brings a whole lot of flavor to your AM cup of joe. Don’t forget to grab an egg sandwich (GF bread and tofu subs available!) or vegan donut on your way out the door for an extra delicious start to your morning.
If coffee, cats, and community sound like your kind of paradise, you’ll want to check out The Black Cat Market in Lawrenceville. Benefit from the healing powers of animal interaction while you cozy up with a fresh brew from Grounds and Hounds Coffee Co. or an espresso from Zeke’s Coffee. They even have book clubs, local artists, poetry readings, and on-the-spot cat adoptions, so you can leave with more than just a latte on your next trip to Butler St.
This auto-themed cafe brings its killer atmosphere and even better brews to Downtown Pittsburgh. Head inside Gasoline Street Coffee to explore a space composed of exposed brick, vibrant colors, and local art. And if you’re looking for an extra jolt to wake those sluggish muscles, these guys have the stuff you need. We recommend the Turbo Diesel — a drip coffee and espresso shot combo that’s guaranteed to get the blood flowing.
Coffee, tea, cocktails, wine, brews, kombucha—De Fer has whatever you’re after and then some. They’re all about making the world a better place, one top-quality (and strong) cup of coffee at a time. And we couldn’t agree with that philosophy more. Get to the Strip District for rare tea, fine goods, and small-batch coffee — sourced responsibly and sold with love.
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