The folks at Food & Wine drank a lot of coffee during two years of what writer David Landsel calls “on-the-ground research,” to create their list of “nearly 100 of the most essential cafes, coffee shops, and espresso bars” around the country.
“Before there was a United States of America, there were coffee houses, because how are you supposed to build a whole empire without coffee? Seriously: the very first on these shores cropped up in Boston, back in 1676,” Landsel writes. “A little more than a century later, a group of stockbrokers would begin meeting in a coffee house on Wall Street in Manhattan, effectively founding what we now know today as the New York Stock Exchange, and things just pretty much went from there.”
This year’s list of the very best was compiled, the magazine says, “primarily through anonymous shop visits, with no solicitation of free samples, and no acceptance of undue influence over the process.”
“Pittsburgh is a coffee town, to say the least, and this is one of the city’s best roasters,” Food & Wine says about Commonplace. “But even if that weren’t the case, their relentlessly charming Buena Vista Street cafe, deep into the North Side’s magnificently-named Mexican War Streets neighborhood, is one of the city’s finest cafes.”
And Espresso a Mano earned this shoutout: “Opened in 2009 in now very happening Lawrenceville, this shop feels like Seattle, but with that classic Pittsburgh warmth that just comes built-in, they don’t even have to try. The coffees are very up to date, but the prices are positively retro. After a decade, as important as ever.”
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