Cincinnati is home to many amazing coffee shops, some more well known that others. But sometimes they are harder to find than the overtly advertised green mermaid. So to help you find the best hidden coffee shops, I’ve narrowed it down to the top ten.
Lola’s is in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, across the street from the Banks, Bengals Stadium, Reds Stadium and US Bank Arena. But with all the massive buildings in Cincy it’s easy to overlook. It’s underneath a popular bar, The Blind Pig. Lola’s offers traditional coffee beverages but its the atmosphere that make it standout. It’s a quiet oasis compared to the bustling streets outside and the bar above. It’s the perfect place to catch up on some homework or meet a friend. With it being walking distance to so many attractions, it’s the perfect meeting spot before an event and you’ll get your caffeine kick in too.
2. Coffee Emporium
Coffee Emporium is the opposite of Lola’s. From the outside there’s a rusted coffee pot sign letting you know you’ve arrived but the inside is massive. Their Over-The-Rhine location is one of the biggest coffee shops I think I’ve ever seen. It’s a fun place to people watch, with business meetings, group projects, parents taking their kids out for an afternoon snack. Even with how big the place is, it’s usually very busy too. The baristas still make you feel welcomed and it’s got a community feel to it. Pulling up a chair next to a stranger while they work isn’t abnormal there. Their cold brew coffee is stellar and will put your Starbucks to shame.
3. 1215 Wine Bar and Coffee Lab
Another OTR gem, 1215 Wine Bar and Coffee Lab is wedged between two very popular OTR restaurants so it’s easy to miss with the crowds waiting next door. But if you can slip past the people and into 1215, you won’t be disappointed. The concept seemed weird to me a wine bar and coffee lab, so what do they serve exactly? The question is what do they NOT serve. You can order wine, coffee, beer, alcohol or even a mixture. They have amazing coffee cocktails that will make you always want an Irish coffee everyday.
4. Cheapside Cafe
So technically, this isn’t a coffee shop per say but it is absolutely worth a mention. They have delicious food but their coffee is also top of the line. They’re located on 8th street, a little ways away from the main downtown area but once you turn the corner a little white building with a Tepee in the back greets you. Their interior is entirely wooden and rustic but has such a clean look to it. And incase you missed me mentioning the tepee, yes they really do have a tepee on their patio that you can sit and sip your coffee in.
5. Kidd Coffee Company
Kidd Coffee is a small Cincy chain. Located only inside of major buildings like Great American, Macy’s and Carew Tower, it is very hard to find unless you know it’s there. The coffee serves these Cincinnati structures the same way a Starbucks sits inside of Target. But their coffee is worth a trip inside these businesses. They use Ghirardelli to flavor their coffee and if you need any other incentive, they have a drink called the Milky Way Latte that will make you want a job downtown so you can have it everyday.
6. Deeper Roots
Deeper Roots has locations in Oakley and Findlay and they are both worth a trip. Their name says it all, they are a community focused coffee company, their motto is #goodforthepeople. They focus on ethically sourcing coffee and creating coffee that makes people want to keep returning. Their lattes are beautifully crafted and their shops very welcoming. You’ll leave here feeling caffeinated and happy.
7. Taste of Belgium
Although Taste of Belgium is a Cincy cult favorite many go here for their food but not everyone knows about their hidden treasure, coffee. They serve all kinds of specialty coffees that pair perfectly with their famous Belgian waffles. They offer about the same variety of beers as they do coffee so you’ll never be thirsty! They have several flavored lattes but by far their best is their house speciality their TOB latte. The latte features candied orange and chocolate, a combination I was skeptical of the first time I saw it but it’s my go to whenever I’m in the area. With six locations, including ones in OTR and the Banks you have no excuse to not try them.
8. Collective Espresso
Another OTR hidden coffee shop, it’s located off of a side street from the main OTR hub. Collective Espresso aims to make coffee the right way, and anyone who has tried it knows that they do just that. They pride themselves on having no syrups and focus on making coffee in its most natural form. With a second location on the Northside, wherever you are in Cincinnati you’ll have to stop by for a wonderfully made cup of coffee.
9. Carabello Coffee
Carabello Coffee is located in Newport, KY right across the bridge from Cincinnati. But this trip will be absolutely worth in. Of all of the hidden coffee shops this one may have the best coffee of all of them. Not only is their coffee unbeatable, their baristas are also top notch. They serve any coffee you could imagine, any flavor and any size. They have a larger seating area but it feels homey with flowers on every table and little paper notes in the cracks in their brick wall. Next-door to them is where their true artistry comes alive. They have the analogue coffee bar which is where they craft various coffee beverages, testing out coffee flavor and coffee cocktails. The owners travel all around the world to educate themselves on coffee and are very focused on giving back. When you go here if you order an iced coffee you get it in a mason jar with a mug, perfect for you next insta post.
10. Point Perk
Point Perk, like Carabello is actually located across the river in Covington KY. And like Carabello they serve Carabello coffee. So what’s so different about them? This hidden coffee shop located on Pike Street is directly across the street from the well loved Braxton Brewery. Point Perk is a subset of The Point Arc, an organization that helps adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Point Perk employs and empowers these adults to achieve their highest potential. Not only do they have an amazing mission but they truly craft delicious coffee. Point Perk is a small coffee shop that is currently in the works of expanding due to their success. They were even named by Southern Living as The Best Coffee Shop in the South and I couldn’t agree more. Point Perk has been a favorite of mine since the day they opened, and I promise when you leave here you will be filled with so much happiness, you won’t even need the caffeine boost.
Which coffee of the above coffee shops are you going to try out? What best hidden coffee shops in Cincinnati didn’t make the list? Comment below and let us know!
Featured Image Source:https://www.instagram.com/carabellocoffee/
MARIA HEHMAN IS A GRADUATE OF THOMAS MORE COLLEGE, WHERE SHE OBTAINED A BACHELOR'S OF ARTS IN ENGLISH, WITH AN EMPHASIS IN CREATIVE WRITING. SHE WORKS AS A MANAGER IN RETAIL AND DOES FREELANCE WRITING IN HER SPARE TIME. HER WRITING TOPIC WITH SOCIETY19 VARY, BUT FASHION IS HER GREATEST INTEREST. YOU CAN FIND HER MOST DAYS DRINKING ENTIRELY TOO MUCH COFFEE WHILE WATCHING HER FAVORITE SHOW, FRIENDS.