When you crave an expertly brewed cup of coffee, do you carefully brew it yourself? Head to your local Starbucks? Buy an inexpensive mug at the nearest convenience store? If you’re like many others, head to a local independent cafe instead, where the barista knows your name and regular order. And if you find yourself in the west, these are the best cafes to look for.
A large independent cafe (which is synonymous with “cafe” for today’s purposes) is more than just a place to grab a quick cup of coffee. The best don’t just make great coffee, and employ baristas who are passionate about coffee and ready to share their expertise with you. They are also comfortable and inviting places to meet friends or a date, get some work or just sit with your thoughts and a cup of comfort. (These are the best coffee towns in America.)
Many of the best coffees source their coffee beans from the best producers in the world and, in many cases, build relationships with the producers themselves. They often roast their own beans in-house. And for those who don’t roast their own beans, they buy theirs from reputable roasters.
In some great cafes, coffee lovers can sample a variety of freshly brewed single origin coffees, discovering the subtle nuances of individual flavors and aromas. Other places get their coffee beans from a single source and turn them into a wide variety of drinks that go way beyond what you’ll find at your local Starbucks. (If that ubiquitous chain is your thing, however, you’ll want to know the Starbucks capitals of America.)
To determine the best independent cafes in the 13 Western States (as defined by the Census Bureau), 24/7 Tempo reviewed and extrapolated from articles and rankings on a wide range of websites, including Food and wine, Travel and leisure, Fodor, The cultural journey, Free time, Eater, Cheap, Voyage of the Big Seven, and Bark, as well as many lists of state and local cafes. To maintain a level playing field, we only considered cafes with three or fewer locations.s.
Click here to see the best independent cafes in the West