Name: Bellden Cafe
This café serves up quality coffee with a charitable twist: they support a rotating cast of local nonprofit organizations. They offer these nonprofits a space to discuss their work, providing café staff as volunteers, and donating proceeds from the sale of specialty items. In addition to coffee, visitors can enjoy pastries, sandwiches, salads, acai bowls, and toasts.
Name: Espresso Vivace
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
For anyone looking to make the journey to Seattle on a genuine coffee pilgrimage, you simply must stop by for an espresso drink at Vivace. Co-founder and coffee legend David Schomer revolutionized the industry by customizing his espresso machines to create a more consistent heating temperature. Along with extra shots but light pulls and a distinct silky-style microfoam in the milk-based espresso drinks, it’s no fluke that chef Emeril Lagasse called Espresso Vivace “one of the best coffees I ever had in my life…”
Name: Metropolis Coffee
Metropolis is a coffee shop and roastery that services much of the greater Chicago area. They believe that great coffee comes from a line of respect, beginning with bean farmers and the love of their land. They pay fair prices for harvest (direct-trade) and offer a range of brewing methods: pour-over, Japanese cold brew, and standard drip. Their prices are some of the most affordable around. The shop is conveniently located (just off the Granville red line stop) and boasts three rooms of tables, chairs, and couches. Each room seems to have a “set” volume level—the entrance is noisy, the second room is full of discussion, and the farthest room is full of people quietly reading and writing.
Name: Oromo Café
Neighborhood: Lincoln Square
The newly-opened Oromo Café is like the United Nations of coffee—their espresso and coffee drinks feature flavors from around the world, including India, Turkey, Madagascar, and Ethiopia. You can ask the barista to spike your beverage with superfoods, such as spirulina, for an added boost of nutrition. My personal favorite is the pistachio-rose latte; it’ll run you around the price of a beer at a local bar, but it’s a can’t-miss drink. You can also get traditionally-brewed Turkish coffee and Iraqi teas.
Formerly called “Dwelltime,” this neighborhood café boasts plentiful seating, fine coffees, pastries, a weekend brunch menu, and affordable lunch options. Unlike in other Cambridge spots, you won’t have to fight Harvard and MIT students for a seat. However, be warned: they do not offer WiFi. This, however, makes for a cozy atmosphere—you’ll spot people reading and talking quietly throughout the café. They have outposts throughout the city, meaning you can pick up a cup of Barismo coffee in several spots throughout the Boston metropolitan area.