2023 Data: The Best Coffee Cities in the U.S.

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By Sam M. Huisache Updated January 23, 2023

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Illustration of several people enjoying a coffee shop

☕ Which U.S. city has the most coffee shops per capita? ☕Boston is the most coffee-filled city in America! With 61 coffee shops per 100,000 residents, it has nearly 3x more coffee shops than the average city (22.58).
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Best Coffee Cities, Ranked | Americans' Coffee Preferences | Coffee Calculator | Top 15 Coffee Cities | Best (and Worst) Coffee City Statistics | 10 Worst Coffee Cities | FAQ

As more Americans are driven to take on second jobs due to historic inflation, they're also looking for ways to stay energized.[1] Coffee remains among the most popular ways for the country to get its caffeine fix. According to a recent National Coffee Association survey, 66% of America's daily coffee drinkers have about three cups of coffee a day. This tracks with data that shows coffee consumption has increased by 14% since January 2021 alone.[2]

Americans are also heading back to coffee shops after a pandemic-induced slump.[3] Although coffee shop visits haven't reached pre-COVID numbers yet, it's clear that Americans' love of coffee is still as strong as an espresso.
We've found that Detroit is one of the most popular coffee destinations, based on overall Google Trends search interest in the topic — more people are searching for coffee in Detroit than in any other city.

One reason Americans may not be as quick to rush back to coffee shops is the rising cost of coffee. According to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the cost of coffee increased by more than 17% between August 2021 and August 2022, which might put a strain on any coffee drinker's budget.[4]

A cup of coffee is the most expensive in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where an average cup of cappuccino costs $5.75. It's cheapest in Riverside, California, where they're only $3.88 on average.

To find the best cities for coffee lovers overall, we looked at the 50 most populated metros in the U.S. and ranked them against the following metrics:

  • 6x: Percentage of local annual income spent on buying a cup of coffee every weekday
  • 6x: Average price of a cup of cappuccino
  • 4x: Number of coffee shops per 100,000 residents
  • 2x: Number of donut shops per 100,00 residents
  • 1x: Google Trends score for five coffee terms: coffee, cappuccino, coffee shop, whole bean, cafe

To get a sense of how Americans feel about each city's coffee scenes, we also polled 1,000 American adults about their coffee city preferences.

Curious about how your city's coffee scene measures up against the rest? Read on to find out more about America's best coffee cities.

Best Coffee Cities Statistics 

  • Baltimore is the coffee capital of the U.S. Find out why. 👇
  • Americans think Los Angeles has the best coffee, while Birmingham, Alabama, has the worst. 👇
  • Boston has the most coffee shops per capita, while Jacksonville, Florida, has the fewest. 👇
  • Providence, Rhode Island, has the most donut shops per capita, while Minneapolis has the fewest. 👇
  • Detroit has the most coffee passion and searches the most for coffee-related terms. 👇
  • Louisville, Kentucky, is the worst coffee city in the U.S. 👇
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia, has the most expensive coffee, while Riverside, California, has the least expensive. 👇
    • Coffee is $1.87 more expensive on average in Virginia Beach than in Riverside. 👇
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The 50 Best Coffee Cities, Ranked

Where Are the Places With Good Coffee, According to Americans?

We surveyed 1,000 Americans on their perception of the best coffee destinations in the U.S. Below are the top 10 cities in terms of the percentage of respondents who identified the city as having one of the best coffee scenes in America (in their top five), or a "good coffee reputation" score so-to-speak.

Los Angeles was the most popular city for coffee by far out of the 50 most populous cities in the country. New York and Seattle unsurprisingly join L.A. in the top five, two cities already well-known around the country for their coffee scenes, as they are "the city that never sleeps" and the home of Starbucks, respectively.

Best Coffee Scenes

  1. Los Angeles, CA: 43.3%
  2. San Francisco, CA: 30.4
  3. New York, NY: 29.6%
  4. Seattle, WA: 22.6%
  5. San Diego, CA: 20.8%
  6. Miami, FL: 19.4%
  7. Denver, CO: 17.5%
  8. Washington, DC: 16.7%
  9. Chicago, IL: 15%
  10. New Orleans, LA: 13.1%

We also asked Americans to name which cities they think have the worst coffee scenes. Unfortunately for Birmingham, Alabama, Americans just aren't feeling the coffee there.

What's interesting, however, is just how polarizing the topic of coffee can be. Although L.A. came in on top for best coffee scenes, it's also in the top five for worst coffee scenes. New York City and Denver also shared similar fates, as they're on both the best and worst 10 lists as well.

Worst Coffee Scenes

  1. Birmingham, AL: 35.4%
  2. Phoenix, AZ: 28.6%
  3. Sacramento, CA: 20.5%
  4. Hartford, CT: 19.9%
  5. Los Angeles, CA 17.3%
  6. Jacksonville, FL: 17.3%
  7. San Diego, CA: 17.1%
  8. San Jose, CA: 16.8%
  9. Riverside, CA: 16.4%
  10. Denver, CO: 15.6%

Coffee prices are also a huge factor in determining whether a city's coffee scene is up to par. Furthermore, if your own city has pricey coffee, you might be less likely to venture out to local coffee shops.

To find out how much your daily to-go cup is costing you in any of the top 50 metro areas, plug your info into the calculator below!

Coffee Calculator

The 15 Best Coffee Cities

The top 15 coffee cities in the U.S. not only have more affordable cups of joe on average but also tend to simply have more coffee shops from which to choose. This is a great thing for javaheads looking to move to one of the country's best coffee cities or plan a road trip around the top coffee destinations.

Below we delve into what makes the top 15 coffee shops so notable. We even highlight the stellar local coffee shops that are putting these cities on the mappuccino.

1. Baltimore, MD

💲 Best for Budget Brews

Let's get brewin'! The average price for a cup of cappuccino in Baltimore is $4.50. That's a 5% discount compared to the average of $4.76 among cities in our study.
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Charm City's affordable cups of coffee aren't just cheap every now and again, they're also affordable for even the heaviest of coffee drinkers. A daily cup in Baltimore adds up to 1.4% of the average annual income there, 20% less than the national average (1.74%).

If these prices sound enticing, you'll be excited to learn that Baltimore has plenty of cafes from which to choose. It is home to 26 coffee shops per 100,000 residents, which is 15% more than the average city's number of coffee shops per capita (22.6).

» Best Coffee Shops in Baltimore: Artifact Coffee and Ceremony Coffee Roasters

2. Hartford, CT

🍩 Do or Do-nut

You gotta have somethin' to pair with your coffee, and Hartford's got you covered.  It has 17.7 donut shops per 100,000 residents — 3x as many donut shops as the average city (5.5).
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Coffee is just as popular as donuts in Hartford. People in Hartford search frequently for coffee-related terms. Hartford has an average Google Trends score of 67.4 out of 100 for an array of coffee terms, 17% more searches than an average of 57.6 for
all cities in our study.

But how will all that coffee set you back? Well, a daily cup of coffee in Hartford adds up to 1.5% of the average annual income there, 14% lower than the national average (1.74%).

Another interesting stat about Hartford is its overall popularity with Americans. Despite coming in at No. 2 based on our metrics, it was one of the least popular coffee cities among survey respondents. In fact, it was No. 4 on our list of 10 worst coffee scenes according to Americans. This indicates that despite Hartford actually having a great, affordable coffee scene, Americans are sleeping on it!

» Best Coffee Shops in Hartford: Semilla Cafe + Studio and J.René Coffee Roasters

3. Boston, MA

☕ Big Brews in Bean Town

Boston has a whopping 61 coffee shops per 100,000 residents, the most of any city in our study. Compared to the average of 22.6 among cities in our study, that's nearly 3x the number of coffee shops!

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It's an underestimation to say that Boston has a reputation for being a big coffee town, given its history with tea. In fact, 1 in 8 (12.9%) survey respondents indicated Boston as a city with a top-five coffee scene! As a result, coffee is extremely popular in the northern city where warm drinks are a must in the winter.

The good news for locals is that a daily cup in Boston adds up to just 1.34% of the average annual income there, compared to the average of 1.74% among cities in our study. That's a 23% advantage for Boston.

What's more, Boston also has a lot of great donut shops for folks to pair with their morning cup of joe. With 20.8 donut shops per 100,000 residents, Boston has nearly 4x the number of donut shops than the average city (5.5).

» Best Coffee Shops in Boston: Ripple Café and Render Coffee

4. Providence, RI

💰 Cheap Sips

The average price for a cup of cappuccino in Providence is $4.25. That's an 11% discount compared to the average of $4.76 among cities in our study. Cha-ching!

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Savings on those cups of coffee also add up if you're in Providence (or choose to move there).
A daily cup in Providence adds up to 1.56% of the average annual income there, compared to the average of 1.74% among all cities in our study.

Providence is another city with myriad cafes! With 45 coffee shops per 100,000 residents, Providence has nearly 2x the number of coffee shops than average (22.6). Providence is also home to the most donut shops per capita in the country! With 23 donut shops per capita, Providence has over 4x the number of donut shops than average.

» Best Coffee Shops in Providence: Bolt Coffee and The Coffee Exchange

5. Riverside, CA

🤑 In the Valley of Savings

Move over, L.A., Riverside is the place to be if you need to get your daily coffee fix! A daily cup in Riverside adds up to just 1.48% of the average annual income there, compared to the average of 1.74% among the cities in our study.

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Are you a daily coffee drinker on a budget? Perfect! Riverside's average cost for a cup of coffee is only $3.88, which is 18% cheaper than the national average of $4.76.

Big donut guy? Riverside has 7.7 donut shops per 100,000 residents. Compared to the average of 5.5 among cities in our study, that's a 40% baked good advantage for Riverside.

» Best Coffee Shops in Riverside: Arcade Coffee Roasters and Back to the Grind Coffeehouse

6. Cincinnati, OH

💸 More Brews for Your Buck

A daily cup of coffee in Cincinnati adds up to 1.55% of the average annual income there, compared to the average of 1.74% among cities in our study, an 11% savings for Cincinnati.

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Cincinnati is a bit of an underdog in our coffee rankings! Only 3% of survey respondents selected Cincinnati as a top five coffee scene.

However, Cincinnati has 27 coffee shops per 100,000 residents, which is 20% more than the average of 22.6 among cities in our study. It's also home to the Cinncinnati Coffee Festival,
where coffee aficionados can join hundreds of their peers in a two-day celebration of coffee!

» Best Coffee Shops in Cincinnati: Coffee Emporium and Deeper Roots Coffee

7. Washington, D.C.

👏 More Sips Than a Little Bit

Washington has a whopping 58 coffee shops per 100,000 residents! That's well over 2x as many coffee shops per capita than the average city in our study (22.6).

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Given that D.C. has so many coffee shops, it's no wonder Americans consider it a great coffee destination. 16.7% of Americans listed Washington, D.C., as a city with a top-five coffee scene.

People in D.C. are also very enamored with coffee itself. D.C. has an average Google Trends score of 64.2 out of 100 for an array of coffee terms. Compared to an average of 57.6 for all cities in our study, that's 11% more coffee searches in the nation's capital.

» Best Coffee Shops in D.C.: Lost Sock Roasters and  Creative Grounds

8. Philadelphia, PA

❤️ Passionate Pours

Philadelphia has an average Google Trends score of 67.8 out of 100 for an array of coffee terms. Compared to an average of 57.6 for all cities in our study, Philadelphians are 18% more passionate about coffee than the average American.

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Philadelphia is also home to more donut shops than average. It has 8.3 donut shops for every 100,000 residents, 52% more than average (5.5). Check out Dottie's Donuts if you really need to see what Philly has to offer in donuts!

Folks in Philly may be so interested in searching for coffee online because, compared to many cities in our top 15, there aren't very many more coffee shops than average. Philadelphia has 23 coffee shops per 100,000 residents compared to the national average of 22.6. That's just a 2% advantage for Philly.

» Best Coffee Shops in Philadelphia: Ultimo Coffee and Bold Coffee Bar

9. Pittsburgh, PA

📩 Brew've Got Mail

People in Pittsburgh be searchin' for coffee. With an average Google Trends score of 70 out of 100 across five coffee-related terms, Pittsburgh residents search for coffee 22% more than the average American (57.6).

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Good thing for Pittsburghers, their searches lead to paradise in brew form. Pittsburgh has 39 coffee shops per 100,000 residents, a 73% advantage compared to the average of 22.6 nationally.

Although on paper, Pittsburgh's average price for coffee doesn't seem too spectacular at $4.12, that's still a 13% savings compared to the national average of $4.76. Bada bean, bada boom!

» Best Coffee Shops in Pittsburgh: Constellation Coffee and Caffè d'Amore Coffeeshop

10. Oklahoma City, OK

👌 Donut Stop Believin'

Oklahoma City has an impressive 8.7 donut shops per 100,000 residents, 59% more than the average city (5.5).

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If you're spending most of your breakfast budget on donuts, you may want to save on your cup of joe. In Oklahoma City, you can. OKC has an average price for a cup of cappuccino of $4.36. That's an 8% discount compared to the average of $4.76 among cities in our study.

And how exactly will that affect your budget, you ask? Well, a daily cup in Oklahoma City adds up to 1.38% of the average annual income there. Compared to the average of 1.74% among cities in our study, that's a 21% advantage for Oklahoma City.

» Best Coffee Shops in Oklahoma City: Culture Coffee and Clarity Coffee

11. Dallas, TX

😋 Speaking of Donuts … and Kolaches

Dallas has 11.9 donut shops per 100,000 residents, which is over 2x as many as the average city in the U.S. Glazed in Dallas will be able to help you out when you're
craving both donuts and the Texan baked treat, kolaches.

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Although Dallas is more known for football and its culinary scene, an impressive 12.3% of Americans picked Dallas as a top five coffee scene in the country.

Part of the allure of Dallas coffee may be that it's a bit cheaper than several other major cities in the U.S. The average price for a cup of cappuccino in Dallas is $4.64, a 2% discount from the national average of $4.76.

» Best Coffee Shops in Dallas: Cultivar Coffee and Peaberry Coffee

12. Los Angeles, CA

🎉 Los of Coffee

With 34 coffee shops per 100,000 residents, Los Angeles has 74% more coffee shops than the average city. Those aspiring actors need fuel for their auditions!

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Americans chose L.A. as the No. 1 coffee scene in the country, and Los Angelenos are also particularly more interested in coffee than average. They search for all five of the coffee-related terms we selected 15% more than the average American (57.6) with an average Google Trends score of 66.2 out of 100.

Although California is known for being an expensive state, L.A. coffee isn't actually more expensive than the average city's. A daily cup in Los Angeles adds up to just 1.68% of the average annual income there, compared to the average of 1.74% among cities in our study, a 4% advantage for L.A.

» Best Coffee Shops in Los Angeles: Dayglow Coffee and Alibi Coffee Co.

13. San Francisco, CA

☕ A Latte Coffee Shops

San Francisco has 55 coffee shops per 100,000 residents, compared to the average of 22.6 among cities in our study, that's 2.5x the number of cafes!

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San Francisco is another Californian city popular with Americans for its coffee scene. 30.4% of survey respondents selected San Francisco as one of their top five coffee scenes in the nation.

Part of the allure may be its affordable coffee, much like L.A. A daily cup in San Francisco adds up to just 1.22% of the average annual income there, compared to the average of 1.74% among cities in our study — a 30% advantage for San Francisco. Although the California housing market remains … intimidating at best, there is solace found in its more affordable
coffee.

» Best Coffee Shops in San Francisco: Pinhole Coffee and Andytown Coffee Roasters

14. Austin, TX

🏛 Cupital City

Austinites may be part of what makes the home of Texas's Congress so brewtastic! With a Google Trends score of 69.4 out of 100, residents search for coffee-related terms 21% more than the national average (57.6).

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Undoubtedly, part of what makes Austin such a great coffee destination is its donut shops. Just like Dallas, Austin is popular for its donut and kolache shops. It is home to 6 donut shops per 100,000 residents, 9% more than average (5.5).

Owing to this, Americans gave an enthusiastic yee-haw to Austin's coffee scene! It's popular among locals and visitors alike. 7.5% of our survey respondents indicated Austin as a city with a top-five coffee scene!

» Best Coffee Shops in Austin: Les Bobos Crepes and Greater Goods Coffee Co.

15. Salt Lake City, UT

🌊 A Lake of Options

Salt Lake City is home to 44 coffee shops per 100,000 residents. That's 95% more coffee shops than the average of 22.6 among cities in our studies!

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SLC is also pretty affordable for regular coffee drinkers. A daily cup in Salt Lake City adds up to just 1.6% of the average annual income there, 8% in savings compared to the average of 1.74% among cities in our study.

People in Salt Lake City are another bunch particularly enamored with coffee. SLC has an average Google Trends score of 62.2 out of 100 for an array of coffee terms, compared to an average of 57.6 for all cities in our study.

» Best Coffee Shops in Salt Lake City:
caffe d'bolla and Roots Coffee Utah

Data Details: Top 5 Coffee Cities by Category

Best Coffee Cities Worst Coffee Cities

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The 10 Worst Coffee Cities

It stands to reason that not every city in the country is a valley of plenty when it comes to coffee.

You might notice that our 10 worst coffee cities are all technically in the South, where it tends to be warmer throughout the year. Folks in these cities may be more likely to reach for an iced tea. Although iced coffee has grown in popularity over the years, it looks like there is much more ground to cover on the coffee front in these cities, which on average tend to have higher prices for coffee than their "best coffee city" counterparts.

We also observed that three cities were in both our bottom 10 overall coffee city rankings and America's bottom 10 for coffee scenes: Jacksonville, Florida; Birmingham, Alabama; and Phoenix, Arizona. It seems some cities just can't catch a break between more objective coffee metrics and the popular opinion of Americans.

  1. Louisville, KY
  2. Jacksonville, FL
  3. Birmingham, AL
  4. Memphis, TN
  5. Virginia Beach, VA
  6. Las Vegas, NV
  7. San Antonio, TX
  8. Richmond, VA
  9. Phoenix, AZ
  10. Charlotte, NC

Our worst coffee city, Louisville, Kentucky, really illustrates how coffee is more expensive in the bottom cities. An average cup of cappuccino in Louisville is $4.88, over 20 cents more than the national average. Louisville also has just 8 coffee shops per capita — less than a third of our No. 1 city, Baltimore, which has 26 coffee shops per 100,000 residents!

Although Louisville may be the worst city for coffee lovers, it does shine in other areas. Last year, Louisville came in No. 3 for best cities to retire. You may not be able to get amped up on coffee in Louisville, but you can sure look forward to enjoying your golden years there.

Methodology

Clever Real Estate compared the 50 most-populous U.S. metro areas across nine metrics. Each metric was normalized and graded on a 100-point scale. The combined weighted average of each score determined the overall "coffee city" score upon which the final ranking was based.

The metrics used are as follows:

  • Percentage of local annual income spent on buying a cup of coffee every weekday (26.1%)
  • Average price of a cup of cappuccino (26.1%)
  • Number of coffee shops per 100,000 residents (17.4%)
  • Number of donut shops per 100,000 residents (8.7%)
  • Google Trends popularity for five different coffee terms: coffee, cappuccino, coffee shop, whole bean, cafe (4.3%)

Sources: U.S. Census American Community Survey, Google Trends, Yelp, and Numbeo.

Clever also surveyed 1,000 Americans on their personal top five coffee scenes around the country in December 2022. These responses did not factor into our overall best coffee city rankings.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the coffee capital of America?

Baltimore is the coffee capital of the U.S., with 26 coffee shops per 100K residents! That's not the only reason Baltimore brews supreme. Find out what else makes for the best coffee city.

What city in the U.S. has the most coffee shops?

Boston has the most coffee shops per capita with 61 coffee shops per 100K residents. Find out more about the Boston coffee scene.

Which U.S. city is known for coffee?

Los Angeles has the most popular coffee scene, according to a survey of 1,000 Americans. At the same time, it was dubbed the fifth-worst coffee scene by the same group. Talk about polarizing.

Article Sources

[1] CBS News – "More American workers are taking on second jobs as inflation rages". Pages 1. Updated July 21, 2022. Accessed December 19, 2022.
[2] National Coffee Association USA – "". Pages 1. Updated September 30, 2022. Accessed December 19, 2022.
[3] Sprudge – "Remote Work Is Keeping Coffee Shop Sales From Recovering To Pre-Pandemic Levels". Pages 1. Updated August 1, 2022. Accessed December 19, 2022.
[4] Bureau of Labor Statistics – "Consumer Price Index - November 2022". Updated December 13, 2022. Accessed December 19, 2022.

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