Philly's Best Coffee
I’ve moved from a “long list” to a “short list”, now focusing on the east-west city strip (roughly Arch to South, Delaware river to West Philly), with a few must-have exceptions. Of course there are many other good places.
"T" means enough tables/room
to work comfortably for a few hours.
"t" is a less-good "T" (tables but not so many, room but not so much, …).
"!" ratings are for overall quality.
Roughly from east to west:
Menagerie (T!!), 18 S. 3rd. Nice design.
Square One (T!!), 249 S. 13th + others. Bright and airy. Loft can get warm.
Bluestone Lane (T!!), 1 S. Penn Square (next to City Hall, on the south side). Bright Australian vibe. So what if it’s a chain.
(T!), 1845 Walnut St. + others. Philly outposts of the Grand Central
La Colombe, 130 S. 19th (T!!!) + 1335 Frankford (T!!!!) + others. Hats off to both the original and still-wonderful 19th Street location and the “new” Fishtown location.
Peddler (T!!), 2100 Spring (behind the Franklin Institute).
Rival Bros (t!), 2400 Lombard + others.
Quite a tight space.
United by Blue (T!!), 3421 Walnut + others. Used to sell 3/4 expensive outdoor stuff and 1/4 coffee, but they knew their coffee too, and the coffee business took off. Now it’s 9/10 coffee and 1/10 outdoor stuff.
Green Line, 43rd & Baltimore (t!!) + 28 S. 40th (T!!) + others. The original at 43rd is classic West Philly, whatever that means.
Reanimator (T!!), 4705 Pine + others. (Also Res Ipsa, 2218 Walnut, same owner but much tighter space.) West Philly and center city outposts of the Fishtown / Kensington originals.