Last Updated on by Angie
I love coffee. And I don't mean sugar-laden, heart-attack-in-a-cup frappuccinos.
When I say I love coffee, I mean I love single origin coffee that actually tastes like something besides burnt beans (sorry Starbucks). Because I love experimenting with coffee brewing techniques at home, and have a good idea of how to brew a good cup, it takes a really excellent coffee to get me excited about visiting a coffee shop.
There is good reason for this. When I first moved to Pittsburgh I was pretty underwhelmed with the coffee scene. Luckily things have greatly improved over the past few years and they continue to get better all the time. Thanks to this new scene of coffee shops in Pittsburgh, I am on a quest to find the very best.
So which Pittsburgh coffee shops are worth your time? Our ever-expanding guide gets to the bottom of that question.
Adda Coffee & Tea House
Adda Coffee & Tea House in Shadyside is a relatively new addition to the Pittsburgh coffee scene, but it's one that knows its stuff. Serving coffee roasted by Verve (Santa Cruz, CA) and boasting a glorious Japanese-style cold brew dripper right on the bar, this place is legit.
The cold brew was some of the smoothest we've tasted in Pittsburgh, and the single origin espresso (Ethiopian on our visit) was bright but balanced. Adda also serves Rishi teas and even has food.
The rotating food menu features both sweet and savory dishes and highlights a different region around the world (on our visit the focus was on Maine).
Adda Coffee & Tea House has two locations, one at 200 South Highland Avenue in Shadyside and a second at 926 Western Avenue in the North Side.
Commonplace Coffee was high on my must-try list as they roast their own beans and their coffee offerings include pourover options as well as single origin espresso.
Our first visit to Commonplace Coffee was at their Squirrel Hill location which was incredibly busy with students studying for finals. We tried a Colombian pourover and the barista seemed quite hurried in her pourover technique.
I understand that they were busy, and I probably shouldn't have been that jerk that ordered a pourover when there was a long line. At any rate, the pourover was a bit too tea-like for my tastes and didn't have as much body as I would have expected.
We had the chance to try Commonplace Coffee again a few weeks later when we were wandering around the Mexican War Streets yard sale and stumbled upon their location at 1501 Buena Vista Street.
The Tanzanian pourover was incredible and prepared with great technique, but even more impressive was the cold brew. I think their cold brew was the first I'd ever had that was drinkable on its own, and downright delicious, without the addition of cream and sugar. The balance of acidity and body was great and it was very refreshing on a hot day.
Commonplace Coffee has several locations in Pittsburgh. The Squirrel Hill branch featured in this article is at 5827 Forbes Avenue. We frequent the location in the Mexican War Streets at 1501 Buena Vista as well.
Redhawk Coffee has two locations in Pittsburgh, one downtown and a second in Oakland, plus a new coffee roastery to be opening very soon.
Jeremy's first visit to Redhawk was a quick stop into their downtown location which is shared with PG&H- a store dedicated to handmade products from area artists. A caffeine boost in a gorgeous ambiance right in the heart of downtown? Sign us up.
He opted to get a pourover with a Kalita Wave (a variant of the more popular Hario V60), and ended up having a nice chat with the owner about coffee flavors, his palate (making for a perfect coffee selection), roasting palates, and Pittsburgh at large- making it the kind of coffee visit we would like every time we hit up a shop.
Looking forward to trying more from this one very, very soon!
Redhawk Coffee has two locations, one at 536 Smithfield Street downtown and one at 120 Meyran Avenue in Oakland.
Fort Pitt Coffee
Fort Pitt Coffee is a small coffee shop in downtown Pittsburgh that features historic photos and a cozy space. While this one has a somewhat limited menu compared to what we are used to seeing, it does have something fairly unique- Cuban espressos. This one is made with cane sugar to give it a bit of a sugary kick. But just be careful here as a single cubano is four shots, while a double is eight!
You can also make this one a Cortadito (cortado equivalent) which adds a bit of milk to the single- sweet options that are guaranteed to have you flying all day!
Fort Pitt Coffee is located at 1 Market Street in downtown Pittsburgh.
Gasoline Street Coffee
Gasoline St. Coffee is located in downtown Pittsburgh and has a cool industrial/retro vibe. Not only that, it serves up some delicious coffee, filling a much-needed niche for specialty coffee in downtown. The menu items have fun gasoline-themed names like Turbo Diesel (coffee with a shot of espresso), and they user beans from local roaster Commonplace Coffee so you know it's going to be good.
We had a great time relaxing here on a warm weekday when the garage doors were open and enjoyed a well-crafted cortado.
Gasoline Street Coffee is located at 643 First Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh.
Kaibur Coffee in Polish Hill is located in the former Lili Cafe spot (an employee purchased the shop and opened under the new name), so if the whole thing seems a little familiar, that's probably why. Serving up vegan/vegetarian-leaning food, the drinks are top notch with smooth espresso from Elixr Coffee (Philadelphia) teaming up well with milk that's perfectly steamed to retain its sweetness.
We enjoyed a lemon poppyseed donut that was dense and just sweet enough, and we also got the vegan reuben (made with seitan) which pleased even meat-loving Jeremy.
Kaibur Coffee is located at 3138 Dobson Street in Polish Hill.
La Prima Espresso Co.
How do you know this place is legitimate? Flocks of grey-haired Italian gentlemen are always hanging out here, conversing in Italian and sipping their macchiati and espressi. There are no seats except for a few small tables on the sidewalk- a few high top tables can also be found inside for standing up while you down your espresso.
La Prima roasts and blends their own beans, which we can always appreciate as consumers; however, as of late we've been becoming less and less of a fan of this spot as the roasts seem to be quite dark and well beyond our preferred taste for coffee.
Still, there is something to be said about the ambiance of this one as it is truly Italian through and through.
La Prima Espresso Co. is located at 205 21st Street in the Strip District and is open seven days a week.
De Fer Coffee & Tea
We were super bummed when 21st Coffee and Tea closed in the Strip District, but nearly as happy when we learned a new coffee shop was opening in the same spot.
De Fer Coffee and Tea is a specialty coffee and tea shop that also roasts its own coffee beans. In addition to the usual suspects of espresso based drinks and pourover coffees, they offer teas and a few specialty drinks like a maple cortado and matcha latte.
The food menu is still under development but currently they offer pastries from La Gourmandine and a fun toast menu. They also serve wine, beer, and cocktails, making this a spot you can hit up any time of day!
De Fer Coffee & Tea is located at 2002 Smallman Street in the Strip District.
Our first impression of Orbis Caffe, location in Mt. Lebanon, was that it looks like a European cafe with hardwood floors and ornate ceiling tiles. We went on a Sunday and everyone was enjoying their Sunday brunch from this cafe's impressive rotating menu. Alas, we ate just before arriving, so we stuck with the coffee.
We ordered what is becoming our favorite espresso drink, a cortado, and a pourover coffee. The cortado was balanced and smooth with a really nice microfoam. There were several options for the pourover coffee; we went with the Papua New Guinea from Washington, PA-based roaster 19 Coffee.
We don't normally drink Indonesian coffees as we find their funkiness a bit too much sometimes, but this one was very drinkable. It was earthy like we expected but this was balanced with some fruitiness and floral notes.
One of the things we like most about Orbis Caffe is that they offer coffees from three different roasters: 19 Coffee (Washington, PA), Ceremony Roasters (Annapolis), and Intelligentsia (Chicago). It's great to see the mix of local roasters and nationally known roasters to provide a little bit of something for everyone.
Orbis Caffe is located at 675 Washington Road in Mount Lebanon and is open seven days a week.
Biddle's Escape is a quirky and fun coffee shop nestled in the Regent Square neighborhood, making it a great stop before or after a hike in Frick Park.
The outdoor seating area is dog-friendly, and the inside has an eclectic atmosphere with an abundance of African masks adorning the walls. A huge selection of looseleaf teas and herbs lines the back wall, and a few pinball machines are even lurking in the corner.
Although you'll probably remember the ambiance here more than the coffee, they offer a good cold brew, all your standard espresso-based drinks, drip and French press coffee, and a huge selection of teas.
Biddle's Escape is located at 401 Biddle Avenue in Regent Square.
Espresso a Mano
Espresso a Mano in Lawrenceville is always bustling, no matter the time of day, with hipsters staring like zombies at their Mac screens for hours upon hours.
On our first visit we tried an espresso and a cortado. The espresso on its own was pretty acidic and thin-bodied. The cortado was excellent with an amazingly smooth, perfectly creamy microfoam (and pretty latte art).
On my second visit I was wanting a little less caffeine since it was my second cup of the day. I asked the barista if he could just do one shot instead of their standard two in my small latte. He replied that no, they only pull double ristretto shots.
I appreciate coffee shops wanting to control the quality of their products, but I think this has to be balanced with customers' needs and wants as not everyone can handle that much caffeine.
Getting past this, Espresso a Mano makes an impressive latte worth checking out.
Espresso a Mano is located at 3623 Butler Street in Lawrenceville.
Delanie's Coffee is an impressive space with high ceilings, shiny hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, a loft area, and local artists' works adorning the walls. In addition to the usual offerings of espresso drinks, drip coffee, pourovers, and French press, Delanie's has their own juicer churning out fresh fruit and vegetable juices. There's also a fairly extensive cafe menu including all kinds of baked goods, sandwiches, and smoothies.
During our recent visit we tried a cortado and a macchiato. The barista asked if I really wanted a latte instead of a macchiato. As a former barista myself, I appreciate that most people don't really know what a macchiato is, but that question alone lets you know what kind of customers frequent this place (i.e. the kind that frequent Starbucks and don't really know what a macchiato is).
The drinks were fine except I ordered a decaf and it was not decaf, and we got the feeling our order was misheard not once, but twice during our visit. Overall, I definitely don't see this place as a destination for great coffee, but maybe more of a cafe for hanging out or meeting up with people. We're always up for a return visit to confirm!
Delanie's Coffee is located at 1737 East Carson Street in South Side.
Kaffeehaus is a great new addition to the north side neighborhood of East Allegheny. The space is small with a simultaneously trendy and historic vibe, with the original style tin ceilings that are oh-so-beautiful. The coffee offerings are standard espresso-based drinks, hot and iced coffees, and nitro coffee.
We tried an Americano which was just fine, and a nitro coffee which was one of the better ones we've had in the city with chocolate and caramel undertones. Kaffeehaus also offers homemade sweets like cupcakes and pastries as well as a few lunch items.
This part of town feels on the verge of a revival, and we hope that this coffee shop is the first of many great things to come in the neighborhood.
Kaffeehaus is located at 1022 Chestnut Street in East Allegheny in the North Side.
Everyday Cafe is located in Homewood in a new building that utilizes the facade of the original post office. The cafe offers drip coffee, espresso based drinks, and teas as well as a small food menu. Food options include basic breakfast sandwiches and deli sandwiches in addition to hot items like baked flatbreads and panini. On our visit we stuck to simple drinks like an espresso and a cortado, both of which were balanced and made for a perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
The cafe displays works by Teenie Harris, the famous photographer who made his home in the neighborhood and is buried in the Homewood Cemetery. Another reason to love this cafe is that they return their profits back into the community, specifically towards programs that support youth and entrepreneurs.
Everyday Cafe is located at 532 N Homewood Avenue in Homewood
Set amidst the lush, mansion-filled neighborhood of Highland Park, Tazza d'Oro bustles on the weekends but still manages to maintain a peaceful vibe. The atmosphere is distinctly different from that at Espresso a Mano- think families and couples with dogs rather than 30 college students behind Macs.
Although Tazza d'Oro doesn't roast their own beans, they exclusively use Counter Culture beans from Durham, North Carolina. They offer several single origin coffees as pourovers as well as single origin espresso and espresso blends.
Another cool fact about this shop is that all their baristas receive training and certification from Counter Culture. Basically, you can be sure that the people behind the counter know their stuff!
When we visited we tried a single origin espresso and a cortado, both of which were well-executed and delicious. Single origin espresso is an interesting beast and something that we're definitely excited to drink more of now that we know there are several shops in the city that offer it.
If you're intrigued but not sold on the idea, check out Tazza d'Oro on Mondays when they offer free shots of a featured single origin espresso for dine in orders.
Tazza d'Oro is located at 1125 North Highland Avenue in Highland Park.
This super trendy coffee shop may seem a bit pretentious if you're not an extreme coffee nerd like me.
But I'm here to convince you that it's really not and is actually just a spot for delicious coffee – they've got pourovers made with beans from local roasters Commonplace Coffee and Passenger Coffee Roasters, and espresso drinks made using the ultra modern Modbar system. The Modbar machines are set up underneath the counter, giving the espresso bar a super slick and minimalist look.
On our recent visit we tried an espresso and a malagocchino. The espresso was a bit more acidic than I like but was definitely high quality and made with care. The malagocchino was a macchiato with shaved chocolate and sea salt on top, which made for a stunning presentation. Arriviste is not just for coffee drinkers – they've also got high quality teas, baked goods, and other little goodies for sale like Askinosie chocolate bars.
4121 Main is an interesting hybrid business that does floral arrangements for weddings and events, and is also part coffee shop. The space is quite artsy and full of floral arrangements- a beautiful place to grab a cup of coffee.
The espresso machine is even a work of art, designed by Kees van der Westen and built in Holland. Their coffee comes from Heart Coffee Roasters in Portland and the menu is full of interesting seasonal lattes using housemade syrups and accompaniments, as well as traditional espresso drinks and pourovers.
We opted for a seasonal maple lavender latte and a cortado, both of which were smooth and balanced. The maple lavender latte was surprisingly delicious- the delicate lavender flavor didn't get lost in the espresso but complemented it perfectly.
4121 Main is located at 4121 Main Street in Bloomfield / Lawrenceville.
Ka-Fair is a Thai coffee shop and bakery that opened up in Morningside in 2019. Apart from your traditional spread of coffee favorites, this one offers an array of tea and non-coffee options in a rather eclectic space which makes it as much of a spot to hang out in as much as it is to go grab a cup of coffee (of which I grabbed the special drip coffee feature).
When visiting this one, be sure to sample one of their housemade cakes or sandwiches in order to wind out your visit- the owner was a practicing cake decorator in Thailand and offers classes here!
Ka-Fair Coffee and Cakery is located at 1806 Chislett Street in Morningside.
Steel Valley Roasters
Good news – there is now a specialty coffee shop in Homestead. Steel Valley Roasters roasts their own beans for pourovers and drip options, and they source their beans for espresso from local roaster Klvn.
The coffee offerings include pourovers brewed using V60 or Chemex, as well as drip coffee, French press, cold brew, nitro, and espresso based drinks. We tried a macchiato as well as a V60 pourover.
The macchiato was fine but not what we expected – this is not a traditional macchiato with a touch of foamed milk, but rather a Starbucks-style macchiato with a lot of steamed milk and syrups. We enjoyed the V60 pourover which had a light body and clean finish.
One thing we appreciated about this spot is that the staff was able to help us with picking the single origin coffee for our pourover, explaining the differences in the coffees.
Steel Valley Roasters is located at 207 E 8th Ave in Homstead.
Convive Coffee Roastery
You may not expect to find good coffee in a strip mall, which is perhaps why it's taken us so long to make it in to Convive. But we're glad we finally visited – the coffee here is definitely a highlight on this list.
Convive roasts their own beans and offers the usual espresso based drinks as well as pourovers. Something unique here is that the pourover machine is an automatic which is something we haven't seen elsewhere in Pittsburgh yet.
We tried a cortado which had intricate latte art but was just as delicious as it was beautiful. The balance of espresso acidity and creaminess from the milk was great, and the steamed milk had some of the smoothest microfoam we've had in a while. We also tried the Ethiopian Hamela estate pourover which was light and smooth.
We also bought some beans to go, the Bali Kintamani Highlands, and we have absolutely loved the full body and fruitiness of this natural processed coffee.
Convive Coffee Roastery is located at 751 Providence Blvd off of McKnight Road just north of Pittsburgh.
Carnegie Coffee Company
Carnegie Coffee Company has a fantastic ambience as it's located in the old post office building in Carnegie.
High ceilings, hardwood floors, lots of natural light, and a bunch of different cozy seating areas make this a great place for hanging out or working. Carnegie Coffee Company serves food like pastries, sandwiches, panini, salads, and soups from Mediterra Bakehouse and Sausalido Bistro.
The coffee they serve is from Illy, an Italian coffee roaster, which is predictable and decent coffee. The drink menu includes drip coffee and standard hot and iced espresso based drinks. We noticed the coffee wasn't ground to order but had been sitting in the grinder (this may not bother anyone else but me), but our double espresso was smooth and balanced.
Carnegie Coffee Company is located at 132 E Main Street in Carnegie, PA just south of Pittsburgh.
Caffe D'Amore is a cozy little neighborhood coffee shop in Lawrenceville. We popped in after dinner nearby- normally they're not open that late in the evenings, but there was a special poetry reading going on.
The menu consists of your standard espresso bar drinks, a selection of teas, cold brew, and pour overs. While our cortado and latte were nice, we were also intrigued by the selection of items for sale in the cafe.
There's handmade mug coozies from local artists, mason jars of housemade shrubs, and a selection of goodies from local bakery Om Nom Bake Studio. Caffe D'Amore has partnerships with lots of local farms, restaurants, and dairy farms, which adds to the community vibe.
Caffe d'Amore is located at 5400 Butler Street in Lawrenceville.
Located on Penn Avenue on the border between Lawrenceville and Bloomfield, this artsy coffee shop serves coffees from Annapolis-based Ceremony Coffee Roasters. On a recent Sunday morning visit, the place was packed with groups of tattoo-laden twenty-somethings. I definitely felt out of place without tattoos covering the entire surface area of my body.
We tried a cortado which had average latte art but a great smooth, creamy texture and balanced flavor. We also tried a straight up espresso, which was very bright in flavor with tart acidity and medium body. If we make it back we'll be sure to check out their much beloved cold brew options and/or a Chemex brew.
Constellation Coffee is located at 4059 Penn Avenue in Lawrenceville/Bloomfield.
Astroid Cafe in South Side's Highline building is affiliated with the adjacent Beauty Shoppe coworking space, similar to The Bureau's relationship with the company's co-working space in East Liberty.
We recently visited Astroid and tried an espresso and an espressive, a signature drink that's a long espresso shot pulled at a lower pressure with a longer extraction time. The beans at Astroid are from Parlor Coffee in Brooklyn- on our visit the espressive was made using a coffee from Burundi resulting in a juicy but good bodied drink.
Astroid also serves pastries from local baker Sam Cobbett and a few lunch items; we tried a croissant that was exquisitely flakey and buttery.
Astroid Cafe is located at 333 E Carson Street, Suite 135. When visiting, you may have to tell a security guard you are there for the shop. Be sure to check out the Pittsburgh skyline view at the end of the road too!
Zeke's Coffee Shop
Zeke's is a cute coffee shop in East Liberty with a funky vibe. They roast their own beans and the menu includes espresso- based drinks as well as pourovers, Chemex, and French press. There's lots of baked goods, too, including muffins, scones, cookies, and quiches.
On our visit we tried a cortado and a pourover. The espresso in the cortado tasted like a very dark roast which isn't really our favorite, but the pourover was delicious. They used an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe for the pourover, which was very juicy and fruity tasting. Zeke's also has a drive through if you need caffeination in a hurry.
Zeke's Coffee is located at 6015 Penn Avenue in East Liberty.
The Bureau is an East Liberty coffee shop managed by Joey Hilty (owner of The Vandal) that shares a building with a coworking space as well as the artistic Schoolhouse Electric shop (an incredibly Instagrammable lighting shop if there ever was one).
The coffee shop has a somewhat minimalist menu of standard cafe offerings, but offers a rather elegantly designed workspace that is perfect for those who want a bit of ambiance while they work and enjoy a coffee (or especially for those who work in the coworking space just a few doors down).
If you are a fan of the visuals of the food at The Vandal, this coffee shop continues that trend perfectly!
The Bureau is located at 224 N Euclid Avenue in East Liberty.
The Loveliest in Sewickley is a cafe and boutique women's clothing shop that is probably one of the most Instagram-forward stores in the region.
This is in one part due to the marketing and space design (the entire store could be a photo-op), but also because their lattes come with optional extras to “make it pretty” (next to a well placed, if not suggestive, Instagram logo on the menu)- a few include making your drink pink (to match the color of the store, naturally), adding colored glitter, marshmallows, or customizable latte art to name a few.
I opted not to spend the extra $2.50 to burn our blog name into my latte, but I will say that the rose chai latte was quite delicious. The flavors of rose and chai blended quite well for a robust, if on the slightly sweet side, beverage. But next time, I will definitely try a more traditional coffee. I just couldn't help myself during my first visit.
The Loveliest is located at 545 Beaver Street in Sewickley.
Anchor and Anvil
Anchor and Anvil has two coffee shops in the region, one located in Ben Avon and a second in Coraopolis. They serve up coffee from Grand Rapids based roaster Madcap Coffee and use locally sourced whole milk for their lattes, cappucinos, and other similar drinks.
My first visit to the Coraopolis location was a quick one, and I opted to sample a specialty drink of theirs known as the Smokestack Mocha- a latte with two shots of esspresso, dark chocolate, and topped with mole bitters and a chipotle and paprika salt powder. Enough to warm you up and wake you up all at the same time without being overly smoky due to the chipotle.
We are planning a return trip to this one to try some of their more traditional brews, and if what we have seen so far is any indication we will be quite pleased with the results!
Ineffable Ca Phe
Ineffable Ca Phe in Lawrenceville is a Vietnamese coffee shop that serves up coffee roasted locally at Commonplace Coffee. The shop has a traditional spread of coffee styles as well as Vietnamese coffee (ca phe sua), bubble tea, and a limited banh mi menu that is among the very best in the city.
During our first visit we opted to try the ca phe sua, which is served in a filter that drips coffee on top of condensed milk right in front of you. The entire brewing process can take up to ten minutes, and those who are able to wait are rewarded with a deliciously sweet and smooth creation that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else- a must try!
Ineffable Ca Phe is located at 3920 Penn Avenue in Lawrenceville.
Black Forge Coffee
Although the coffee at Black Forge Coffee House is quite good, there are lots of other draws to this gritty spot in Allentown. With the slogan “darkness brewing eternal,” this dark cafe comes with on-site tarot readings and concerts multiple nights of the week, you can probably determine whether or not this is your kind of place fairly quickly.
They serve up Zeke's coffee and have a really interesting menu with unique syrups and flavors (like a hickory smoke latte). On our visit we tried a macchiatto which was smooth and balanced, and an iced latte with honey and vanilla which was just sweet enough making it well worth a visit even if the cafe is not your style.
Black Forge Coffee is located at 1206 Arlington Avenue in Allentown.
Coffee Tree Roasters
With half a dozen locations around the city, Coffee Tree Roasters is one of the more established and prominent coffee shops in Pittsburgh.
Each shop has a little bit of a different atmosphere and its own features. We recently checked out the Mt. Lebanon location, which had a huge selection of coffee gear and accessories for sale (great for coffee geeks like me) but is pretty small on the inside.
Their menu is typical with hot and iced espresso drinks, cold brew coffee, and drip coffee. Coffee Tree Roasters does roast all their own beans, and my favorite thing about them is that you can buy beans by weight. They typically have dozens of varieties for sale, and they have the roast date on the bins so you can make sure the coffee you're getting is fresh.
We tried a double espresso which had a low acidity and good body, and an iced caramel latte which was sweet but not overly so. We also picked up some Yirgacheffe beans for a good price.
Coffee Tree Roasters has several locations around the city. We visited their Mount Lebanon location for this review at 299 Beverly Road.
California Coffee Bar
California Coffee Bar in Brighton Heights is a new addition to the coffee scene in Pittsburgh as of early 2017. The space feels open with high ceilings, and the menu includes a bit more than your standard coffee shop menu.
Besides espresso drinks, pourovers, and French press, they also have a selection of teas, nitro coffee and nitro tea, juice shots, raw juices, and protein shakes. We tried a nitro coffee which was pretty good and the Vitality juice with carrots, beets, ginger, apple, and lemon, which was really pulpy but had a good flavor.
The food menu here is pretty impressive, including a full oatmeal and yogurt bowl bar at breakfast and soups, salads, and sandwiches at lunch.
California Coffee Bar is located at 3619 California Ave in Brighton Heights.
Big Dog Coffee
Big Dog Coffee is located on a quiet side street in South Side, a few blocks from the hustle and bustle of Carson St. It's a peaceful, cozy place perfect for working or relaxing. As you might guess from the name, the shop is dog friendly. They serve Intelligentsia coffees and have lots of snacks like gelato, pastries, and even an oatmeal bar.
I ordered a French pressed Ethiopian coffee while I was there. It was alright, but a bit mild and thin bodied compared to how I normally like French pressed coffees. I'd love to go back on a Saturday with our dog, try a latte, and hang out for a while.
Big Dog Coffee is located at 2717 Sarah Street in the South Side.
Allegheny Tea & Coffee Exchange
Allegheny Tea & Coffee Exchange in the Strip District is unique in that they roast their own coffees- a large roaster sits inside the shop which is pretty cool to check out.
Dozens of barrels are lined up inside the store containing nearly any kind of single origin or flavored coffee you could want. They also have a large selection of teas and tea and coffee accessories.
On my recent visit I tried some samples of their nitro coffee which is a cold coffee served on draft like beer (but without alcohol). If you like flavored coffees, they have lots of nitro options for you.
I stuck with a regular latte which was average with a few flaws. The espresso wasn't ground right when I ordered my drink (ground espresso needs to be used in a matter of seconds), and the milk was foamy and more like a cappuccino. If I went back it would be to buy some whole bean coffee rather than to drink coffee there as the selection was quite impressive.
Allegheny Tea and Coffee Exchange is located at 2005 Penn Avenue in the Strip District.
Coffee Buddha is a cute coffee shop spread throughout the entirety of a two-story house on Perry Highway. The menu includes standard espresso based drinks as well as a few less common ones like a Cubano and a Bombon. There's also a few fancy pourover options like Hario V60 and Chemex.
On our visit we tried a Cubano (espresso pulled through raw sugar), which was sweet but balanced. We also ordered a cortado which was good but the milk was steamed a bit too hot so it lost some of its sweetness. One of the main draws of Coffee Buddha is their monthly food truck roundups where half a dozen or more food trucks gather in the parking lot.
We checked out the March roundup and it was a great event with a good selection of Pittsburgh food trucks like Mission Mahi and The Coop, just to name a few.
Coffee Buddha is located at 964 Perry Highway in the North Hills.
Every time we visit Mechanic Coffee in Verona, we are reminded that great coffee doesn't have to be flashy, have a theme, or even a unique creation that you can only find at the shop. All you need is house-roasted beans, an espresso machine and a few brewing implements, and a passion for the classics. Mechanic Coffee offers just that.
But aside from the fact that this non-flashy (and quite frankly, fairly small) coffee shop makes great brews and roasts their own beans, what we really like about this one is that their sister company, The Espresso Analysts, offers repair services for coffee equipment in the greater Pittsburgh area- giving their coffee shop enterprise its name!
So whether you want a delicious espresso or cortado, buy beans, or want to get your own espresso machine repaired via your sister company, a visit to this one when near Verona is a must.
Mechanic Coffee is located at 707 E Railroad Avenue in Verona, PA.
Generoasta Coffee is a moderately-sized cafe located in Warrendale just off of I-79. The coffee shop is known for offering a mix of coffee and teas, as well as a rather robust food menu as well that includes breakfast foods, salads, and sandwiches to name a few.
While the coffee shop offers roasted beans, there was limited information available on its blends, origins, tasting notes, etc. like you would expect for presumably house-roasted products. That being said, the house espresso was fairly mild and was not overly strong in acidity, and was a good choice for a quick visit.
This spot also boasts a modest seating area and a rather comfortable ambiance, so it would also make for a great spot for those who wish to order a coffee and stay for a while.
Generoasta Coffee is located at 901 Warrendale Village in Warrendale, PA.
Beaver Falls Coffee and Tea
Beaver Falls Coffee and Tea is a small coffee shop located in a converted house just across the street from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA.
In other circumstances, this coffee shop could fall into a fairly predictable pattern of neighborhood joints. But Beaver Falls Coffee and Tea goes the extra length to stand out by purchasing beans direct from farmers, roasting in-house, and generally doing all they can to spread the word about all things great coffee to students, residents, and visitors.
Jeremy visited this one on his own and was only able to sample one coffee during his first visit- a banana bread latte served with banana and hazelnut liquor. He described it as being fairly balanced overall without an over-sweetness that some coffee shops are guilty of when it comes to adding syrups.
But as he was visiting this one on his own we will both have to return to try more of their products in the future to truly get a handle on how they make coffee!
This one may not be making waves in the local coffee scene just yet (although, they should be); but they are filling a need for solid coffee in Beaver Falls that simply cannot be ignored.
Beaver Falls Coffee and Tea is located at 3219 4th Avenue in Beaver Falls, PA.
The White Rabbit Cafe
The White Rabbit Cafe in downtown Greensburg (about an hour east of Pittsburgh) is our kind of coffee shop- not because of what they serve, but because of the design.
This one really goes down the rabbit hole and is all-in on white rabbit references with a very Alice in Wonderland-esque vibe. Throw in the fact that this one is within steps of other businesses in downtown Greensburg (and is a popular working spot for local college kids), you get a rather relaxed vibe with one of the most unique cafe themes we've been to so far.
The White Rabbit Cafe is located at 113 N Main Street in Greensburg.
Wunderbar Coffee & Crepes
Wunderbar Coffee & Crepes is located in a renovated opera house from the 1800's in the historic German town of Harmony- about 30 minutes north of downtown Pittsburgh.
This coffee shop goes above and beyond your conventional cafes and roasts their own beans, uses locally sourced grains for their crepes, and has an ambiance that is happy and uplifting all at the same time. It is the kind of place where the owners welcome every visitor, and knows most of the regular patrons by name.
While we normally talk about coffee in this post, for Wunderbar we need to deviate and talk about the crepes. During our visit we were able to sample the Berries & Cream crepe which came loaded up with an impressive amount of cream cheese and berries and ended up being a very filling meal in its own right- a must try along with your coffee!
Wunderbar Coffee and Crepes is located at 253 Mercer Street in Harmony, PA.
More Coming Soon!
We're continually visiting new coffee shops and will be updating this guide as we discover new ones worth your time in the city!
Do you have a favorite coffee shop in Pittsburgh that is not featured in this guide? Comment below to let us know about it!
Find more things to do in Pittsburgh in our guide to the city's best spots!