Cincinnati, Ohio is a hot spot for specialty coffee shops and locally sourced beans. It’s the kind of city that a coffee lover dreams of. Almost every neighborhood has at least one local shop serving local beans. There are so many good places to try, and because I grew up here, I’ve had many years of taste tests.
If you’re looking for the best cup of coffee in town (or an espresso of course), try out one of the best coffee shops in Cincinnati from my list below (in no particular order). I’d love to hear how you liked it!
For a great breakfast to go along with your coffee, check out the Symphony Hotel.
Note: Carabello Coffee & Trailhead are technically in Northern Kentucky, but often times Northern KY is considered an extension of Cincinnati (like the Cincinnati airport really located in Hebron, KY) so I have included it in this list.
Best coffee shops in Cincinnati
Deeper Roots – 2 locations: Oakley & Over-the-Rhine (OTR)
This is a coffee shop in Cincinnati that you don’t want to miss. The connoisseur of coffee has REALLY good drinks. The coffee shop is warm and inviting with a friendly and knowledgeable staff. It’s a quiet and relaxing place, perfect for getting work done or reading a book. It’s a bit more expensive than some of the other coffee shops in Cincinnati, but it’s worth it.
Coffee Emporium – Hyde Park & OTR
Coffee Emporium has a great selection of coffee in 2 convenient locations. Each has a different feel, but the espresso is smooth and consistent in both. In Hyde Park, you’ll find a slow and relaxed environment with an amazing outdoor patio. It’s a summertime Cincinnati coffee shop staple.
In OTR you’ll find a faster pace community with conversations in every corner. It’s a bit more social and great for a hang out or to people watch.
Urbana – OTR
Keep an eye out for a light blue Vespa cart with an espresso machine on the back. You can find it around the downtown area of Cincinnati, a lot of times near the parking lot at Findlay Market. If you see it, you know it’s from Urbana and that you’re in for a coffee treat!
If you don’t want to go searching, you can also stop by the storefront. Urbana serves Italian style espresso and coffee that does not disappoint. The coffee shop has a low-key, urban-chic vibe and serves delicious pastries. No matter where you try Urbana, you’ll find yourself building a relationship with the friendly baristas.
Brick – Norwood
With a mission to build community, Brick is one of the best coffee shops in Cincinnati to meet up with a friend or work on your laptop. It is a rustic and casual coffee shop and the baristas are easy-going. The coffee is great, and they also serve delicious pastries from local bakeries. Brick is a coffee shop especially good to bring kids.
Coffee Exchange – Pleasant Ridge
This Cincinnati coffee shop is family owned serving fresh coffee and homemade to die for pastries. It is a place where locals gather to socialize and have a quality cup of coffee. They specialize in fun lattes – that rotate for the season. The shop also serves beer, wine & liquor if you decide you want to switch drinks. It’s another place great for kids.
Carabello Coffee – Newport, KY
Carabello is a coffee shop with a mission to help build sustainable lives for those living in Third World coffee producing nations. It feels like your second family the minute you walk in the door. Full of natural light and exposed brick, everything about this coffee shop is inviting. To accompany their delicious coffee, they have a selection of small bites.
Red Tree Art Gallery – Oakley
Red Tree covers their walls with local art, and sells hand-crafted merchandise perfect for gifts. The baristas always have a smile on their face and aren’t shy to have a conversation. This Cincinnati coffee shop is a laid back and comfortable place to enjoy a great cup of coffee, get together with a friend or have a business meeting.
Trailhead Coffee – Newport
What may look like a typical bicycle shop from the outside really contains an amazing coffee shop. It’s a quiet and simple coffee shop, serving great beans roasted in Dayton, Ohio. They serve local breads and pastries that are perfect to snack on while having a warm conversation with the barista. In the warmer months, the outside ride up window is a favorite. If you’ve found Reser Bicycle Shop, then you’ve found Trailhead.
Coffee Garden – Hyde Park
Coffee Garden offers an escape from the chaos of everyday life. It’s a great place to find some tranquil relaxation time, study, or get some work done. The inside is cozy when the cold weather hits, and the outside features a colorful garden from the spring until fall.
Collective Espresso – 2 locations: OTR and Northside
A small, intimate coffee shop, Collective Espresso strives to provide pure coffee – no syrups or frilly fun drinks. It’s sleek and clean feeling very open. It’s a great place to meet up with a friend to catch up or enjoy peaceful time to yourself.
Iris BookCafé – OTR
A homey Cincinnati coffee shop in the heart of OTR. You’ll find shelves and shelves of books, and a shaded back patio that makes you feel as if you’re in a secret garden. It’s a great place to relax, read a book or get some work done. They also serve a variety of vegan friendly food.
Pleasantry – OTR
This coffee shop in Cincinnati is unique because it is actually a restaurant, but has a full coffee bar. I wouldn’t come for a coffee in the evening, or on the weekend, but if you’re looking for a pleasant space to have a great espresso or coffee on a weekday, then you shouldn’t rule Pleasantry out.
This Cincinnati gem has a laid back, open aired vibe with a breezy side patio perfect for a summer day. If you are looking for food, Pleasantry has a great boutique menu featuring midwestern cuisine.
1215 is a coffee shop perfect for a first date or quiet afternoon of work in an intimate setting. A nice change from the craziness of the main drag, Vine street. The staff is very friendly and quick at getting your drinks. They not only serve coffee, but also wine, desserts and a bit of liquor – it’s a perfect place to order an Irish coffee.
The Best Coffee Shops in Cincinnati for Students
Rohs St. Cafe – Clifton
Located near the University of Cincinnati, you’ll often find Rohs Street full of students. This coffee shop in Cincinnati is all about the local community and you can feel that warm welcome as you step in the door. It’s a big space, but homey and comfortable as well.
86 Coffee Bar & Concert Venue – Clifton
This Cincinnati coffee shop is a college student’s paradise. They roast the beans on site in the basement, and are very proud to serve you upstairs. It’s a coffee shop by day with a comfortable lounge area for studying and pool tables to hang out with friends. Every Wednesday they serve free pancakes from 8am-10am. 86 turns into a concert venue at night.
What do you think? Are you ready to expand your coffee experience and try out a local coffee shop serving local coffee beans? Let me know how you enjoyed your experience!
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Tags: Cincinnati, Coffee