Revealed: The best cities in the USA for coffee lovers

US cities famous for their coffee culture include Seattle, Portland and Austin. But how did their numbers stack up in our index of the best coffee cities in the US?

In modern America, coffee has become the fuel to sustain our hectic schedules. But coffee lovers across the country are slowing down to enjoy the array of delectable coffee options available. They’re turning away from big-chain coffee in favor of lovingly selected, locally roasted beans.

The best coffee shops in America are the small-batch roasters who work hard to deliver an exceptional coffee experience. They live, breathe and love their beans and value every customer. These independent, family-run or small-chain operators offer the best-tasting coffee along with amazing service and hospitality.

So if you’re a coffee connoisseur you’ll be dying to know where the best US coffee cities are and how your hometown fared. Let’s find out.

How we found the best coffee cities in the US

The data doesn’t lie. We analyzed independent reviews, prices and availability in compiling this list of where to find the best coffee cities in America.

Methodology

  • First, we built a list of independent and small-chain coffee shops from the 200 largest US cities.
  • Next, we gathered customer reviews from various online sources to determine an average customer satisfaction rating per city.
  • We then calculated the average price of a medium latte in each city. This established an affordability ranking.
  • From there, we looked at the number of coffee shops per person to analyze choice and availability.
  • Finally, we created indexes to highlight the 100 best US cities for coffee lovers. Let’s check them out.

Highest-rated independent coffee cities in the US

Based on customer reviews, Kansas City ranked as the best independent coffee city in the USA.

We gathered customer ratings from several popular online sites to find which cities ranked highest.

01.

Kansas City, MO

Coffee culture is a serious business in the midwest, so earning positive customer reviews is no walk in the park. Getting the highest customer ratings in the US is a significant achievement for Kansas City and a well-deserved result.

Try one of the best independent coffee shops in Kansas City

Second Best Coffee

An espresso-centric slow bar located in the Waldo neighborhood of South Kansas City. They brew by the cup using clever drippers or as shots through Kansas City's first Slayer espresso machine.

Lavender Honey Soy Latte

Lavender Honey Soy Latte

Where?: Their main location is 328 W. 85th St, KCMO 64114, or you can also find them trailside at 9918B Holmes, KCMO 64131

02.

Portland, OR

Portland has a diverse yet intimate coffee scene. Often the person making your coffee is the same person who owns the coffee shop and roasts the beans. With highly regarded baristas meticulously roasting small-batch coffee, it’s no wonder the customers are raving.

Try one of the best independent coffee shops in Portland

Oracle Coffee Co.

A dedicated multi-roaster, supplying a rotating menu of coffees from some of the best roasters across the country. Enjoy your favorite cup of joe, or try their seasonal specials.

Flapjack latte with a mocha in the background

Flapjack latte with a mocha in the background

Where?: South Waterfront, 3875 SW Bond Ave, Portland, OR 97239

03.

Fort Wayne, IN

Visitors and locals revel in the up-and-coming art culture, river activities and Midwestern charms in Fort Wayne, which is the second-largest city in Indiana. It also boasts an exceptional coffee scene, with the third-highest customer review score in the country.

Try one of the best independent coffee shops in Fort Wayne

Ophelia’s

Ophelia’s is a women-owned and operated all-day cafe serving craft coffee, elevated comfort food and creative cocktails on the Wells Street Corridor. Customers love the food and drinks but also rave about the decor, the staff and the vibe. Remember to book ahead, it’s a popular local hangout and space is at a premium.

Citrus peel cortado

Citrus peel cortado

Where?: 603 North Wells Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46808

Hand with world
City
Hand with pin
State
Hand with star
Average % of reviewers giving a rating of excellent
Louisville KY 93.48
Kansas City MO 94.46
San Francisco CA 88.28
Portland OR 94.36
Honolulu HI 90.68
Cincinnati OH 87.97
Reno NV 85.68
Long Beach CA 85.84
Fort Wayne IN 93.68
Orlando FL 86.68
Madison WI 89.78
Cleveland OH 85.52
Pittsburgh PA 83.68
Denver CO 85.59
Norfolk VA 87.00
Tampa FL 83.68
Detroit MI 86.98
Hayward CA 88.68
San Antonio TX 88.33
Austin TX 90.87
Washington DC 81.72
Boston MA 92.65
Greensboro NC 88.57
Tucson AZ 82.28
Alexandria VA 83.26
Philadelphia PA 85.92
Seattle WA 84.98
Corpus Christi TX 92.68
Huntington Beach CA 88.81
New Orleans LA 86.68
Baltimore MD 81.67
Oakland CA 85.60
Charlotte NC 87.79
Boise ID 83.68
Minneapolis MN 83.19
Stockton CA 88.68
Lexington KY 88.14
St. Louis MO 85.68
Overland Park KS 85.57
Colorado Springs CO 84.63
Newark NJ 86.05
Arlington VA 78.70
Miami FL 84.63
Omaha NE 87.85
Hollywood FL 86.61
St. Petersburg FL 87.68
Lubbock TX 87.68
Nashville TN 83.89
Lincoln NE 89.86
Albuquerque NM 84.58
Jacksonville FL 84.88
Tempe AZ 85.81
Fullerton CA 78.68
Sacramento CA 84.31
Memphis TN 85.00
Indianapolis IN 87.65
Riverside CA 82.89
Henderson NV 87.37
Roseville CA 85.41
Anchorage AK 82.68
San Diego CA 86.50
Fresno CA 81.42
Cary NC 86.19
Virginia Beach VA 85.18
Buffalo NY 84.68
Oklahoma City OK 84.90
Columbus OH 85.43
Jersey City NJ 82.68
Santa Clarita CA 81.48
Chicago IL 86.37
Garden Grove CA 84.68
San Jose CA 83.60
Scottsdale AZ 83.86
Torrance CA 82.68
Gilbert AZ 83.45
Fremont CA 77.68
Bakersfield CA 81.55
Rancho Cucamonga CA 85.18
Anaheim CA 84.74
Wichita KS 85.58
Raleigh NC 84.75
Milwaukee WI 84.63
Toledo OH 84.86
Las Vegas NV 81.77
Corona CA 82.68
Durham NC 80.81
Chandler AZ 83.44
Fort Worth TX 84.60
Atlanta GA 82.79
Glendale AZ 85.63
Phoenix AZ 87.41
Santa Ana CA 84.60
Dallas TX 84.21
Tulsa OK 84.09
Winston-Salem NC 79.68
Los Angeles CA 85.37
Houston TX 84.68
Irvine CA 80.05
El Paso TX 82.32
Plano TX 78.53

Best value city for coffee lovers in the US

Louisville KY came out on top as the best-value coffee city in the US.

We calculated the average price of a medium latte to find out which American cities offer the best value for money for coffee lovers.

01.

Louisville, KY

When you think of Louisville, your first thought might not be coffee. Perhaps the Kentucky Derby or Muhammad Ali springs to mind. But customers In Louisville are lucky enough to enjoy the lowest coffee price of anywhere in the country.

Fante's Coffeehouse

A European-style coffee shop with a trio of special lattes named for owner Leo’s grandchildren. Try the Luke Latte (salted caramel mocha with whip and caramel drizzle), the Lucy Latte (rose-flavored) and the Lilly Latte (honey, lavender and vanilla).

Campfire mocha and a chocolate chip scone

Campfire mocha and a chocolate chip scones

Where?: 2501 Grinstead Dr, Louisville, KY 40206

02.

San Francisco, CA

Coffee has always been important in San Fran. It’s where Folgers and Hills Brothers started, and the city has had a love affair with coffee ever since. With so many superb coffee shops on every street corner, customers are spoiled for choice, and prices are the second-lowest in America.

Try one of the best independent coffee shops in San Francisco

The Coffee Movement

Serving beans from a wide variety of specialty roasters, this cafe aims to bring a communal vibe and celebratory nature to its coffee experience. Their classics delight as much as their imaginative seasonal drinks.

Coffee cream soda

Coffee cream soda/p>

Where?: 1030 Washington Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

03.

Tuscon, AZ

Tuscon is famous for the awe-inspiring Sonoran Desert and starry nights, and it was also the first US city designated by UNESCO as a ‘City of Gastronomy.’ Their independent coffee scene is booming, with people swapping their prickly pear sun teas for macchiatos and flocking to a growing number of boutique coffee shops that offer exceptional value for money.

Try one of the best independent coffee shops in Tucson

Black Crown Coffee Co

Black Crown Coffee Co is serious about its coffee, roasting around 70 pounds of coffee every two days. They only use beans harvested at peak ripeness, scouring the global coffee market for the finest organic, fair-trade, green beans available.

‘White Pony’ and ‘Black Widow’, both off of the specialty menu

‘White Pony’ and ‘Black Widow’, both off of the specialty menu

Where?: 4024 E Speedway Blvd Tucson, AZ 85712

Hand with flag
City
Hand with pin
State
Hand with coffee
Average cost of a medium latte
Louisville KY $3.92
Kansas City MO $4.14
San Francisco CA $3.99
Portland OR $4.41
Honolulu HI $4.41
Cincinnati OH $4.34
Reno NV $4.15
Long Beach CA $4.19
Fort Wayne IN $4.23
Orlando FL $4.42
Madison WI $4.54
Cleveland OH $4.33
Pittsburgh PA $4.29
Denver CO $4.34
Norfolk VA $4.34
Tampa FL $4.20
Detroit MI $4.16
Hayward CA $4.16
San Antonio TX $4.21
Austin TX $4.50
Washington DC $4.25
Boston MA $4.67
Greensboro NC $4.45
Tucson AZ $4.10
Alexandria VA $4.18
Philadelphia PA $4.38
Seattle WA $4.51
Corpus Christi TX $4.32
Huntington Beach CA $4.23
New Orleans LA $4.76
Baltimore MD $4.19
Oakland CA $4.60
Charlotte NC $4.36
Boise ID $4.45
Minneapolis MN $4.41
Stockton CA $4.41
Lexington KY $4.51
St. Louis MO $4.41
Overland Park KS $4.50
Colorado Springs CO $4.50
Newark NJ $4.32
Arlington VA $4.25
Miami FL $4.51
Omaha NE $4.66
Hollywood FL $4.31
St. Petersburg FL $4.52
Lubbock TX $4.39
Nashville TN $4.46
Lincoln NE $4.55
Albuquerque NM $4.42
Jacksonville FL $4.27
Tempe AZ $4.60
Fullerton CA $4.22
Sacramento CA $4.51
Memphis TN $4.35
Indianapolis IN $4.75
Riverside CA $4.26
Henderson NV $4.50
Roseville CA $4.33
Anchorage AK $4.65
San Diego CA $4.96
Fresno CA $4.26
Cary NC $4.77
Virginia Beach VA $4.55
Buffalo NY $4.63
Oklahoma City OK $4.58
Columbus OH $4.66
Jersey City NJ $4.63
Santa Clarita CA $4.34
Chicago IL $4.66
Garden Grove CA $4.73
San Jose CA $4.29
Scottsdale AZ $4.55
Torrance CA $4.29
Gilbert AZ $4.30
Fremont CA $4.50
Bakersfield CA $4.30
Rancho Cucamonga CA $4.39
Anaheim CA $4.53
Wichita KS $4.55
Raleigh NC $4.68
Milwaukee WI $4.69
Toledo OH $4.47
Las Vegas NV $4.64
Corona CA $4.33
Durham NC $4.43
Chandler AZ $4.56
Fort Worth TX $4.50
Atlanta GA $4.85
Glendale AZ $4.60
Phoenix AZ $4.73
Santa Ana CA $4.73
Dallas TX $4.65
Tulsa OK $4.76
Winston-Salem NC $4.62
Los Angeles CA $4.72
Houston TX $4.75
Irvine CA $4.76
El Paso TX $4.53
Plano TX $4.58

Cities with the greatest choice of independent coffee shops in the US

Pittsburgh has the best coffee shop variety and choice for coffee lovers in America.

We compared the number of independent coffee shops with the population data to find out which cities offered the most choice for coffee lovers. Coffee paradise Portland was pipped at the post by some intense competition, coming in at a respectable 4th place.

01.

Pittsburgh, PA

Much more famous as ‘The Steel City’ than ‘Coffee Central,’ it’s great to see Pittsburgh’s coffee scene recognized on the national stage. Emerging from its working-class roots, Pittsburgh now has more variety of independent coffee shops for coffee lovers than anywhere in the country.

Try one of the best independent coffee shops in Pittsburgh

Tonic Coffee

Tonic offers a delightful coffee experience with a strong focus on taste and presentation. They use light-roasted beans from SEY, a micro-roaster based in Brooklyn. Their distinctive menu of classic pours and coffee mocktails is creative, balanced and delicious.

Espresso mojito

Espresso mojito

Where?: 3410 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

02.

New Orleans, LA

The history of New Orleans is inextricably linked with coffee. It was one of the most important coffee ports in the country in the 1700s and remains a key link in the coffee supply chain today. So it’s no surprise that New Orleans had the second-best independent coffee shop availability of all US cities.

Try one of the best independent coffee shops in New Orleans

Cafe Bon Ami

A hip espresso bar located in the historic Factors Row. Pour-over purists and latte lovers alike love their quality brews. Like most customers, you won’t be able to resist pairing your coffee with their luscious pastries sourced from local bakeries.

Chile mocha

Chile mocha

Where?: 822 Perdido Street, Suite E, New Orleans, LA, 70112

03.

Anchorage, AK

Anchorage is better known for glaciers, outdoor adventures and stunning scenery than for coffee culture, but this may be about to change. Locals love the single-origin air-roasted beans available in a dazzling array of coffee huts, carts and shops popping up across the city.

Try one of the best independent coffee shops in Anchorage

Sip Coffee House

Sip offers some of Anchorage’s best local beverages and handcrafted food. They proudly serve coffee from famed local roasters Kaladi Brothers and Black Cup. Try their exquisite and creative coffee flights, which change each month.

Caramel apple butter chai, pumpkin spice con panna and a cookie butter breve.

Caramel apple butter chai, pumpkin spice con panna and a cookie butter breve.

Where?: 510 West Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99503

Hand with world
City
Hand with pin
State
Hand walking
People per independent coffee shop
Louisville KY 4364
Kansas City MO 6238
San Francisco CA 4373
Portland OR 3563
Honolulu HI 3646
Cincinnati OH 3802
Reno NV 5230
Long Beach CA 5995
Fort Wayne IN 13996
Orlando FL 4727
Madison WI 5230
Cleveland OH 5489
Pittsburgh PA 2309
Denver CO 5638
Norfolk VA 7902
Tampa FL 4645
Detroit MI 14516
Hayward CA 18523
San Antonio TX 16001
Austin TX 8514
Washington DC 3928
Boston MA 5587
Greensboro NC 10164
Tucson AZ 6672
Alexandria VA 7426
Philadelphia PA 9415
Seattle WA 4333
Corpus Christi TX 21360
Huntington Beach CA 25057
New Orleans LA 2883
Baltimore MD 6576
Oakland CA 4506
Charlotte NC 15309
Boise ID 4167
Minneapolis MN 4225
Stockton CA 16331
Lexington KY 12612
St. Louis MO 12418
Overland Park KS 8417
Colorado Springs CO 6553
Newark NJ 17691
Arlington VA 6801
Miami FL 5855
Omaha NE 8646
Hollywood FL 22218
St. Petersburg FL 13738
Lubbock TX 21888
Nashville TN 6932
Lincoln NE 15664
Albuquerque NM 8236
Jacksonville FL 17108
Tempe AZ 9218
Fullerton CA 10379
Sacramento CA 7892
Memphis TN 16588
Indianapolis IN 10240
Riverside CA 14419
Henderson NV 20599
Roseville CA 21938
Anchorage AK 3425
San Diego CA 8109
Fresno CA 12828
Cary NC 9131
Virginia Beach VA 12534
Buffalo NY 8050
Oklahoma City OK 11496
Columbus OH 10214
Jersey City NJ 5382
Santa Clarita CA 11957
Chicago IL 13579
Garden Grove CA 7173
San Jose CA 18667
Scottsdale AZ 9468
Torrance CA 18424
Gilbert AZ 19986
Fremont CA 7542
Bakersfield CA 15357
Rancho Cucamonga CA 25184
Anaheim CA 15171
Wichita KS 18207
Raleigh NC 12010
Milwaukee WI 9724
Toledo OH 22300
Las Vegas NV 7780
Corona CA 22584
Durham NC 14026
Chandler AZ 12907
Fort Worth TX 20749
Atlanta GA 7145
Glendale AZ 22968
Phoenix AZ 23777
Santa Ana CA 14637
Dallas TX 15782
Tulsa OK 13041
Winston-Salem NC 12677
Los Angeles CA 23059
Houston TX 22996
Irvine CA 12567
El Paso TX 23612
Plano TX 20759

America’s very best cities for coffee lovers

These cities are the cream of the crop. They’ve ticked every box with the highest combined ranking of customer reviews, value for money and availability.

When we combined all our metrics and looked for our overall winner, Seattle topped the list. We had some surprising entrants in the top 10, with Tempe, AZ, coming in at 3rd and Omaha, NE, at number 8.

01.

Louisville, KY

A fabulous result for Louisville, crowned as the best US city for coffee lovers. The secret to their success was strong results (and strong coffee) across the board. They ranked 1st for best value coffee, 4th for best customer reviews and 11th for best choice and availability, giving them the highest combined rating of all.

Try one of the best independent coffee shops in Louisville

Quills

Quills is a favorite of locals and was established in 2007 by two coffee-loving brothers. It was born to create a space where the people of Louisville could fuel their coffee passion and find community. The baristas know their beans and consider each pour a piece of art.

Cappuccino and coconut scone

Cappuccino and coconut scon

Where?: Several Louisville locations including 802 E Main St Louisville, KY 40206

02.

Kansas City, MO

After securing America’s highest coffee shop customer ratings, Kansas City also joins the winner’s circle with its overall ranking. The midwestern city achieved an enviable second place in our list of the best US coffee cities.

Try one of the best independent coffee shops in Kansas City

Messenger Coffee Co

Messenger Coffee Co taste hundreds of flavors each season to bring customers new flavors to enjoy. They partner closely with global farmers to develop their businesses ethically and sustainably. In their Crossroads store on Grand Boulevard, you can see their roastery and coffee lab, and enjoy great views with your coffee.

Cortado pick me up

Cortado pick me up

Where?: Three locations including 1624 Grand Blvd Kansas City, MO 64108

03.

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco has achieved a top 3 place in the best coffee cities in the US. Often thought of as the cultural center of the west, San Fran secured 2nd place for value. Solid rankings in the other categories earned them a podium finish in the combined rating.

Try one of the best independent coffee shops in San Francisco

The Mill

At the Mill, they downplay the effort they go to in creating their divine coffee blends. Their website says ‘We brewed some coffee for you,’ before letting on that this involves spending months of each year with coffee growers in East Africa and millers in Latin America then hand-roasting the beans in a vintage roaster.

Cappuccino perfection

Cappuccino perfection

Where?: 736 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

By combining the different elements we looked at in this study we can reveal the best place in the US for coffee.

The table below shows you the combined ranking score, the elements of which are:

Choice index
This ranks how much choice there is in each city by looking at the number of independent coffee shops per head of population.

Cost index
This ranks the average cost of a coffee in cities across the US.

Rating index
This ranks the average online review rating of coffee shops in each city.

Hand with world
City
Hand with pin
State
Hand with checkboxes
Choice index
Hand with coin
Cost index
Hand with star
Rating index
Hand with medal
Combined overall rank
Rancho Cucamonga CA 100 40 49 189
Huntington Beach CA 99 15 11 125
Phoenix AZ 98 92 24 214
El Paso TX 97 65 86 248
Los Angeles CA 96 89 48 233
Houston TX 95 94 58 247
Glendale AZ 94 76 40 210
Corona CA 93 31 83 207
Toledo OH 92 52 55 199
Hollywood FL 91 26 30 147
Roseville CA 90 30 47 167
Lubbock TX 89 39 21 149
Corpus Christi TX 88 28 5 121
Plano TX 87 73 99 259
Fort Worth TX 86 58 65 209
Henderson NV 85 57 25 167
Gilbert AZ 84 25 76 185
San Jose CA 83 23 75 181
Hayward CA 82 7 12 101
Torrance CA 81 22 82 185
Wichita KS 80 70 43 193
Newark NJ 79 27 34 140
Jacksonville FL 78 20 54 152
Memphis TN 77 36 51 164
Stockton CA 76 45 13 134
San Antonio TX 75 12 15 102
Dallas TX 74 82 68 224
Lincoln NE 73 69 9 151
Bakersfield CA 72 24 91 187
Charlotte NC 71 37 20 128
Anaheim CA 70 64 57 191
Santa Ana CA 69 91 64 224
Detroit MI 68 6 27 101
Riverside CA 67 19 80 166
Durham NC 66 48 94 208
Fort Wayne IN 65 14 3 82
St. Petersburg FL 64 63 22 149
Chicago IL 63 85 32 180
Tulsa OK 62 97 69 228
Chandler AZ 61 71 77 209
Fresno CA 60 18 93 171
Winston-Salem NC 59 77 96 232
Lexington KY 58 62 17 137
Irvine CA 57 96 95 248
Virginia Beach VA 56 68 50 174
St. Louis MO 55 44 39 138
Raleigh NC 54 87 56 197
Santa Clarita CA 53 35 92 180
Oklahoma City OK 52 72 53 177
Fullerton CA 51 13 98 162
Indianapolis IN 50 93 23 166
Columbus OH 49 84 46 179
Greensboro NC 48 50 14 112
Milwaukee WI 47 88 63 198
Scottsdale AZ 46 67 71 184
Philadelphia PA 45 38 35 118
Tempe AZ 44 75 37 156
Cary NC 43 98 33 174
Omaha NE 42 83 19 144
Austin TX 41 56 7 104
Overland Park KS 40 55 44 139
Albuquerque NM 39 47 66 152
San Diego CA 38 100 31 169
Buffalo NY 37 79 59 175
Norfolk VA 36 34 26 96
Sacramento CA 35 61 67 163
Las Vegas NV 34 80 88 202
Fremont CA 33 54 100 187
Alexandria VA 32 8 78 118
Garden Grove CA 31 90 60 181
Atlanta GA 30 99 81 210
Nashville TN 29 51 70 150
Arlington VA 28 17 97 142
Tucson AZ 27 3 87 117
Baltimore MD 26 10 90 126
Colorado Springs CO 25 53 62 140
Kansas City MO 24 4 1 29
Long Beach CA 23 9 36 68
Miami FL 22 60 61 143
Denver CO 21 33 42 96
Boston MA 20 86 6 112
Cleveland OH 19 29 45 93
Jersey City NJ 18 78 84 180
Reno NV 17 5 38 60
Madison WI 16 66 10 92
Orlando FL 15 46 28 89
Tampa FL 14 11 72 97
Oakland CA 13 74 41 128
San Francisco CA 12 2 16 30
Louisville KY 11 1 4 16
Seattle WA 10 59 52 121
Minneapolis MN 9 43 79 131
Boise ID 8 49 74 131
Washington DC 7 16 89 112
Cincinnati OH 6 32 18 56
Honolulu HI 5 42 8 55
Portland OR 4 41 2 47
Anchorage AK 3 81 85 169
New Orleans LA 2 95 29 126
Pittsburgh PA 1 21 73 95

Ready for the rich aroma of America’s best coffee?

Now you know where to find the best coffee in the US, it’s time to get out there. If you’re in the area or fancy a road trip, why not stop in and experience some of these top American coffee cities for yourself?