8 Hottest New Coffee Shops in Philly

By Danya Henninger  |  February 24, 2015

Coffee in winter serves a dual purpose — it not only perks you up, it warms you up too. From a cafe that shares space with a tattoo shop to one where you can rent DVDs, Philly’s got a new crop of coffeehouses that are just waiting to fill your java needs. (And see our 2015 Coffee Survey results here.)

  • CineMug

    Do you miss chatting with fellow movie lovers while browsing the shelves of your neighborhood rental shop? Former TLA Video manager Daniel Creskoff did, so he built his own. Now you can stop into the cafe at the corner of Broad and Tasker for a coffee and also pick up a DVD or Blu-ray to get a hard-to-find flick with an extra dose of human interaction.

    Must-Order: ReAnimator beans are run through a vintage Nuova Simonelli Yacht Club machine for pristine espresso creations.
    On the Menu: Bagels and spreads from South Street Bagels are complemented by half-size Cosmi’s Deli hoagies and a selection of sweet pastries.

    1607 S. Broad St.; 267-314-5936

  • Vice Coffee & Tattoos

    You wouldn’t expect tattoo artists to be cheerily smiling behind the early-morning counter at this Loft District coffee- and inkhouse, and they’re not, but come 1 PM, the body-artist half of the biz in operating full effect. In addition to tattoos, coffee and food, there’s also a growing library lining the walls.

    Must-Order: One Village roasted beans are used in all kinds of coffees, and chai fans should check out the housemade syrups and spice blends.
    On the Menu: Sandwiches and quesadillas made at nearby sister bar The Institute are supplemented by Le Bus pastries and cupcakes from East Passyunk’s Ms. Goody.

    1031 Spring Garden St.; 267-861-0444

  • The Monkey & the Elephant

    Lisa Miccolis’ new cafe in Brewerytown has a mission greater than caffeinating Philadelphians (though it takes that one seriously too). Several part-time employees are drawn from the ranks of former foster children dropped by the system after they turned 18, offering them mentorship and community, plus a chance to learn bankable barista skills.

    Must-Order: One Village beans are used to create both pour-overs and pulled espresso drinks.
    On the Menu: Simple sandwiches built on Philly Muffin English muffins are joined by pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt and granola on the food list.

    2831 W. Girard Ave.; 484-343-3709

  • Square One Coffee

    Lancaster’s hottest coffee roaster now has an outpost in Midtown Village, and the cafe has the same sunny atmosphere as the original. The large space has an on-site training lab, and offers pastries and Lancaster yogurt parfaits to complement the java.

    Must-Order: Sample some of the single-origin roasts while you’re at the cafe, then pick up a bag of fresh beans to brew at home.
    On the Menu: Four Worlds Bakery pastries and cupcakes from Philly Cupcake make good pick-me-up coffee complements.

    249 S. 13th St.; 267-758-6352

  • The Gold Standard on Fitz

    After the low-key but cult-favorite Beauty Shop Cafe was forced to leave this Graduate Hospital corner, the space sat empty while developers argued their way around an impasse. Last fall, progress was made, and the team behind West Philly’s Gold Standard reopened the coffee shop with Green Street roasted beans, pastries and a small sandwich selection.

    Must-Order: The AM special brings a 12-oz. coffee (or tea) plus a pastry from Metropolitan Bakery for just $3.75.
    On the Menu: Bagels, egg sandwiches, regular sandwiches and salads all rotate through the grab-and-go case.

    2001 Fitzwater St.; 267-758-6409

  • W/N W/N Coffee Bar

    “Bar” means many things, and this Loft District co-op (with a name inspired by “waste not, want not”) run by a collective of friends encompasses quite a few of them: it’s a coffee bar in the morning and a cocktail and beer bar at night. A creative crowdfunding idea of allowing patrons to “buy shares” in the venture is still available — kick in and you’ll get 20% extra credit on purchases while helping build out the still-developing interior.

    Must-Order: Cappuccino with Elixr-roasted beans and Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op milk.
    On the Menu: Weekend brunch includes house-baked almond cream puffs ($2) and a savory sauerkraut pancake with Kewpie sauce ($10).

    931 Spring Garden St.; no phone

  • Gran Caffe L’Aquila

    Brothers Ricardo and Gigio Longo of Toscana 52 have brought a piece of Italy to Chestnut Street in Center City with their new bi-level cafe, gelateria and restaurant. Though coffee is only one facet of the establishment, it’s a big one, roasted in-house by well-regarded Italian coffee expert Michele Morelli.

    Must-Order: Instead of single-origin options that have become trendy, Morelli creates blends to better guarantee consistency in the finished cup. Try an espresso ristretto-style for an extra-strong sip that has no trace of bitterness.
    On the Menu: Gelato by the scoop is available grab-and-go, as are a selection of sandwiches and house-baked pastries. Sit down to sample the full lunch and dinner menus, full of pasta, crudo, charcuterie and entrees.

    1716 Chestnut St.; 215-568-5600

  • Saige Cafe

    Brand new near Temple’s campus is this cafe that serves coffee and pastries but also hot dishes like burgers, soups and panini. Live-music nights feature local bands, and students and faculty can take advantage of a standing 10% discount.

    Must-Order: Study-friendly lattes are a specialty of the house.
    On the Menu: A signature burger comes with avocado, bacon and ranch dressing for just $7, and 10 or more panini sandwiches are offered at or under the same price point. There’s a juice bar offering smoothies too.

    1802 N. Warnock St.; 267-398-9443