The Best Independent Coffee Shops in the U.S.

Best Independent Coffee Shops in the U.S.

The amount of loyal following that coffee has acquired over the decades is quite substantial. In fact, there’s an entire culture specifically dedicated to the glorious goodness—including a whole slew of Internet meme’s, t-shirts, quotes and the like. If that alone doesn’t prove the power of coffee, then try conversing with a caffeine-obsessed individual in the morning before they’ve had their cup of Joe and you’ll see what we mean by saying the world runs on coffee (you’ve been warned)!

Luckily for coffee addicts, the pure, unadulterated enjoyment of high-quality coffee has paved the way for some of the best independent coffee shops dedicated to providing that perfectly balanced latte you can’t help but crave.

If you happen to be on vacation near one of these spots, make it a point to stop in for a cup of their finest!

Unique U.S. Coffee Shops You Don’t Want to Miss:

Panther Coffee | Miami, FL
Hours: Sun 9am-8pm, Mon-Sat 7am-8pm
Serving: Breakfast, Snack Food, Beer/Wine

Eclectic, modern and uniquely designed to fit seamlessly with their respective surroundings, Panther Coffee is making its mark as a top contender in the coffee world. This small-batch roaster, with locations in Wynwood, Sunset Harbour and Coconut Grove, supplies some of the best coffee in the country with its hulking pre-WWII Probat Perfekt Roaster at the helm. There’s also free Wi-Fi if you want to enjoy your coffee and hang for a while!

Cafe du MondeCafé Du Monde | New Orleans, LA
Hours: 24 hours/day, closed Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
Serving: Chicory-spiced coffee, Beignets, Soft drinks

Talk about some serious coffee cred—as one of the oldest shops in America (est. 1862!), Café Du Monde is an essential French Quarter stop. It started out as a simple coffee stand, serving up café au lait and beignets, and while it has grown to accommodate a larger crowd, it still only serves those two things. It’s a bit touristy, but for good reason! People will be lined up all day long to enjoy a cup (or three) of the chicory-spiced coffee, black or au lait, and their justly famous beignets, served hot and covered in powdered sugar.

Star Lounge Coffee Bar | Chicago, IL
Hours: Mon–Fri 6am–6pm, Sat 7am-3pm, Sun 8am-3pm
Serving: Coffee, Baked goods, Rockin’ Music

Friendly, passionate baristas, organic beans, uniquely crafted lattes with creative foam art, and an atmosphere equivalent to turning your home into a coffee shop—this is what you get at Dark Matter Coffee™ Star Lounge Coffee Bar. The coffee is roasted upstairs, and during the summer, regulars can hang out on the back deck and take advantage of the occasional summer barbecue or local bands that play.

Heritage Bicycles General StoreHeritage Bicycles General Store | Chicago, IL
Hours: Sun-Mon 7:30am-8pm
Serving: Bikes/accessories, Apparel, Coffee, Food

When we think of unique coffee shops, this place definitely deserves a spot on the list. Run by a fifth-generation Chicagoan who got his start building custom vintage bikes, Heritage offers a seamless integration of biking and coffee cultures, creating an artistic space and community-oriented environment where you get your bike fixed AND score a caffeine fix! Who would have thought these two concepts could go hand-in-hand? You’ll definitely want to experience it for yourself.

Espressamente illy at the Palazzo | Las Vegas, NV
Hours: Sun-Thurs 6am-12am, Fri-Sat 6am-1am
Serving: Coffee, Gelato, Crepes, Baked goods

Espressamente illy has over 150 bars in more than 22 countries and truly epitomizes the art of the Italian café culture. As one of a handful of coffee bars across the U.S. by this world-class espresso brand, illy’s sleek Vegas outpost features coffee drinks made with the signature blend of Arabica coffee as well as a grab-and-go bar with canned espresso, plus a massive selection of traditional European pastries, artisanal gelato and fresh-made crêpes. They also offer an assortment of sandwiches and other baked goods.

Siphon Coffee at Hi-CollarHi-Collar | New York City
Hours: Sun-Sat 11am-12:30am
Serving: Japanese-style Coffee and Food

If you want a truly cultural coffee experience, Hi-Collar is a must. With its Japanese-style pour-overs and high-tech cold-brew systems, you’ll get to experience what a kissaten-style coffee shop is like. Walk in, pull up a stool and watch as the baristas prepare your drink and serve it in either handcrafted porcelain or chilled copperware. If you’re hungry as well, you can order some traditional Japanese food to round out your experience.

Photo Credit: Will Vanlue and Bex Walton cc

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