Whether it’s a morning, afternoon, or midnight cup of Joe, one of the best parts of living in a city is that coffee is never further than a couple hundred feet away. Still, if you’re looking for some truly remarkable coffee to try, you’re better off ignoring the Starbucks double whip rainbow heartburn and visiting some cheaper indie stores. This is how you’re going to find the absolute best coffee shop in your city.
1. Try Them All
Okay, maybe not ALL the coffee shops, but trying out a new one every other morning can’t hurt if you have an adventurous spirit. The best pizza I have ever eaten was from a relatively unknown shop in London simply titled “Pizza Place”. Testing different drinks from each shop isn’t a long shot either, some places might make the best black coffee while others do a stellar frap. Don’t be afraid to ask and see if they’ve got their own homebrew on sale too, it never hurts to have some coffee that you can whip up on your own when your body is really craving that boost of caffeine or flavor.
2. Ask Around
Unless all of your friends are new to the area or don’t drink coffee, chances are that popular places are well-known to them at this point. Heck, ask strangers, it’s a great conversation starter and you might dig out information on the lesser-known places. The coffee shops I frequent in town tend to be hole-in-the-wall places, so if you’re looking for somewhere more soothing to sit down and work then this might be the premiere option. Just make sure to inquire about the vibe before you go there. It might be a little awkward to walk in with your laptop on board game night.
3. Try Partial-Coffee Shops
The public library downtown isn’t known for their coffee, but man if they don’t do it well. I’d head there just for the coffee if I lived closer, especially since it’s the ideal place to chill right next to their large selection of manga and comics. Hybrid coffee shops are much higher than the standard for most combination stores, the most prominent example being combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Since the only food they sell will consist of store-bought cookies and fresh muffins, their main focus will be on the beverages they’re handing out. Who knows, that coffee might be some of the best you’ve ever had.
4. Use Yelp
If you already use Yelp, you have my respect. In every squad, there is the one friend who avidly uses yelp. In my immediate family, that person happens to be my dad. Whether or not YOU actually have Yelp downloaded, I’d encourage whoever the Yelp-aficionado is in the group to get cracking whenever you and the lads are out looking for some tasty cold brews. Also: Optional, but why not download some sort of review app? Are you seriously going to trust the pickiest of strangers who insult waiters for being slow on a Saturday to tell you if they enjoyed a caramel mocha when you won’t even take a second to leave some stars? Ice cold.
5. Find The Music Scene
What is it about percussion grad students that allows them to sniff out the absolute best coffee places in the city every time? Talk to your friends who are majoring in music in college and see what their thoughts are. Ask anyone you know who does gigs or plays a lot what their thoughts on, and anyone you meet who has a penchant for music. Maybe it’s something about the dedication to a craft and the early mornings that lead to this very specific hipster-coffee addiction but be warned, they know their stuff.