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Coffee Life Blog by Waka

These Are The 10 Best Coffee Cities in the U.S. in 2022

Proud of your local coffee scene and curious to learn if your city made it on the list? Let's explore the top 10 best coffee cities in the United States based on 2022 data.

what-are-the-best-coffee-cities-in-the-US 

Few beverages are inherently American as a nice cup of coffee. While tea certainly has its place in our history, coffee has become somewhat of an American pastime, with it frequently being considered the quintessential morning drink for countless people across all industries. Few things unite the US like its overwhelming love of coffee drinks.

Coffee has surged in popularity over the years and showing no signs of slowing. From craft roasting houses and artisan coffee shops, to newer trends like quality instant coffee and coffee concentrates. With coffee prices reaching 10-year highs, being in the coffee business has also never been more challenging. So, it's time to celebrate those places that work extra hard to serve you a delicious cup of coffee!

We’ve looked previously at the single best coffee spot in each state, but now we’re going to dive into the top cities for coffee. 

Determining The Best & Worst Places For Coffee

clever real estate 2022 data on the best coffee cities in America

 Data courtesy of Clever Real Estate

We’ve examined data from many different sources, that used a wide range of metrics in measurement, to highlight some of the absolute best cities in the nation in which to enjoy a cup of java. Just to make things a little more balanced, we’ve also got a list of the cities that are the least amenable to the coffee clan, having either sparsely located coffee shops, or wildly more expensive coffee that makes consistent consumption costly.

How Were The Cities Measured?

The metrics and their various weight factors included:

  • Each city’s average price for a cup of coffee, weighted heavily
  • Proliferation of coffee shop options, or how many shops per capita, weighted moderately
  • The number of shops per square mile, weighted lightly
  • The cost of coffee vs. average income, weighted lightly

The Best Cities For Coffee Lovers

After the first dozen or so, the results become relatively homogenous, so here are the top 10 cities with coffee in their veins.  

10. Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut is the tenth best coffee city in America

    Coming in at a reasonable $4.50 per cup, the home of the Gilmore Girls still fills your cup without emptying your wallet. They have a surprisingly robust 21 shops per capita, nearly doubling the average, and you’ll be able to find your favorite roast and flavor profile easily.

    9. Seattle, Washington

    Seattle, Washington is the ninth best coffee city in America

      Seattle is considered by many to be the birthplace of American craft coffee and is the home of the very first Starbucks. There are a staggering 27 cafes per capita, and while that gives you plenty of coffee options, it does come at a price. The average cost in Seattle is nearly $0.70 more expensive than the average.

      8. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvennia

      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the eighth best coffee city in America 

        Another unlikely coffee champ, Pittsburgh has a respectable 16 shops per capita, besting the national average by 3. They also are able to pump out the best brew in Pennsylvania at an average cost of $3.96, well below the national average of $4.36.

        7. Cincinnati, Ohio

        Cincinnati, Ohio is the seventh best coffee city in America

          The “Nasty ‘Nati” has some of the best coffee in the Midwest, and some of the cheapest, coming in more than sixty cents lower than the average. The home of the biggest Oktoberfest event in the US doesn’t mess around when it comes to beer or coffee, with about 11 cafes per capita, giving you plenty of options to find your caffeinated companion.

          6. Boston, Massachusetts

          Boston, Massachusetts is the sixth best coffee city in America

            Boston is another city that you may be surprised to see on our list, but it has certainly earned its spot. Boston is the original home of super-fast coffee spot Dunkin’ Donuts, and while their prices are right in line and only a few cents off of the national average, there is a surprisingly large list of smaller shops to get your fix. Boston boasts 22 cafes per capita, making them #6 in the nation.

            5. Providence, Rhode Island

            Providence, Rhode Island is the fifth best coffee city in America

              The capital of the smallest state is competing on the big brew stage with 23 coffee shops per capita, giving you an option for java every 4 square miles. You won’t find your cup as cheap as other cities, but it’s still nearly a quarter cheaper per cup, than the national average. This means in the average year, you’ll spend about 10% less on your coffee than in most other cities.

              4. Buffalo, New York

              Buffalo, New York is the fourth best coffee city in America

                At 0.69 cents below the national average, the unassuming city of Buffalo, New York is one of the best places in the northeast to grab a hot cup. There is no shortage of options either, with about 20 cafes per capita, which comes out to nearly one shop for every 7 square miles.

                3. San Francisco, California

                San Francisco, California is the third best coffee city in America

                  The San Francisco bay area is known for its forward-thinking and innovation in every industry it houses, and the coffee industry is no exception. They are well-loved for not only having some of the best single-origin coffee on the market but there is plenty of it, with 1 shop for about every 2 square miles and 23 shops per capita. If you like having a massive selection of coffee shops to choose from San Fran is where you need to be.

                  2. Portland, Oregon

                  Portland, Oregon is the second best coffee city in America

                    Portland strives to stay weird, but with the most coffee shops per capita in the country, their new motto should be “keep Portland wired”. They boast 27 coffee shops per capita, more than double the national average of just 13, and they still manage to put out cup after cup of artisan bean brew at several cents below the national average of $4.36.

                    1. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

                    Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the best coffee city in America

                      While normally you might think of Wisconsin as one of the states where beer is more plentiful than anything, you’d still be right, but it’s also home to a sleeping giant of coffee: Milwaukee. Milwaukee is not only home to a booming coffee scene, it also manages to rank incredibly high on the affordability index, since the coffee is so cheap compared to the average income. They have prices that are about 22% lower than the national average.

                      If You’re Looking For The Best Cities For Coffee

                      where-to-look-for-best-coffee-cities-in-america

                      If you’re planning a road trip or just looking for the best places where you may be able to feed your coffee thirst, your best bet is to look to either coast. Coffee superstars line both the east and west coasts, with options from north to south. If you’re stuck in the middle, you may have to make a trip to the hidden coffee gem of the midwest, then get to one of the coasts.

                      Don't live around one of these coffee-loving cities? Try Waka Coffee to enjoy one of the best coffees around, wherever you are. Get it here.