Cincinnati

The Top 20 Mom and Pop Coffee Shops in Cincinnati

The Best Places to Stop for that Authentic Coffee Shop Experience

October 30, 2018

By

Lani Redinger

on

Oct 16, 2018

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There’s no better way to start your day than with the perfect cup of joe. You don’t have to look far in the Cincinnati area to find a great coffee shop for a fresh brew, latte, or iced joe to fuel your day. While chains certainly dominate the coffee game, sometimes you want an authentic Mom and Pop coffee shop. And if you’re currently house hunting in the Cincinnati area, you’ll want to make sure there’s a great spot to grab coffee every day, so we’ve chosen the best coffee in each neighborhood.

Don't forget to check out our latest (and most accurate) listings in Cincy >


Coffee Beans and Brew- Liberty Township

Enjoy a variety of coffee and espresso drinks, muffins, breakfast sandwiches, cookies, cupcakes, and even cheesecake at Coffee Beans and Brew. For folks who aren’t a morning person you can add a shot of B12 to to a smoothie or frozen lemonade.

Brian R. on Yelp shares, “Coffee Beans & Brew is a coffee shop located in the Liberty Township area.  My family and I came here on a Saturday morning for drinks and breakfast and enjoyed our experience.  

Coffee Beans provides an at home coffee house feel even though it is located in a strip mall.  The drink menu offers all of the staples from coffee, lattes, and seasonal specialty drinks.  The food menu has a selection of pastries, hot oatmeal and breakfast sandwiches.  My wife and I each had a breakfast sandwich on a biscuit and it was hot and tasty.  We also sampled a couple of muffins with our daughter and each were moist and flavorful.  Overall we enjoyed our experience there.  The service was quick and friendly and everything tasted good.  This place is worth checking out.”

Kala Coffeehouse- Mason

Kala Coffeehouse is dedicated to offering more than just quality beverages.  They are from Warren County and for Warren County, giving a portion of proceeds to local charities, especially kid focused causes. They also focus on the best ingredients with minimal processing and locally sourced. You’ll feel right at home as you get cozy with a book or get some work down in the rustic atmosphere

Yelper Jaccard W. raved about them, “Kala coffeehouse is a cozy yet spacious coffee shop in Mason that serves great coffee while keeping one mission in mind, supporting the community.

The building is tucked behind Axis church (not operated by) and just feet away from Mason CrossFit gym.

The menu includes your typical espresso, cappuccinos, lattes and cold brew coffees. Alongside a menu of hearty "No Utensils Required" menu of breakfast sandwiches, and unique Avocado toast.

I celebrated a bit when I saw they serve coffee emporiums roast as I've been wanting to try that shop as well. Several seating options from sofas, dining style tables, group tables with benches and cute cafe style window seating.

The staff is very sociable, from discussing the current fundraising, coffee, diets and events happening around the area. You can tell they enjoy the place.

It's a little out of my way, but I will revisit when life brings be to the area.

(Check out the drinks of the month to see if your Team Rodger or Team Jackie)

Cheers to caffeine from a member of Team Roger!”

Fairfield Coffee- Fairfield

At Fairfield Coffee the motto is, “Life begins after coffee.” Truer words have never been spoken! You can find the classic coffee shop beverages from espresso drinks to specialty lattes, as well as treats to nosh on like muffins, cookies, biscotti and sandwiches.

La B. shares on Yelp, “I am so excited I found this awesome place! The decor is really cozy. They have great menu choices for breakfast and lunch. I tried the coffee cake muffin it was soo good. I highly recommend their caramel iced latte. The staff was very friendly.”

Collective Espresso- Over-The-Rhine & Northside


At Collective Espresso you’ll forget you’re in Ohio and feel like you’re in a classic metropolis coffee shop. With two locations in Over-The-Rhine and Northside, you’ll never be far from the perfect java. Owners David Hart and Dustin Miller traveled the country for inspiration from the best in coffee culture. ENjoy coffee in its purest form, no syrups, made to order, no pretense.  

Billie H. explains on Yelp, “Best cappuccino I've had outside of San Francisco. So very happy that Cincinnati has two locations with great coffee. The downtown location is a great place to sit though where Northside is a more intimate space.”

Alreddy Cafe & Espresso Bar - Sharonville

Latte Macchiato, Cappuccino, Coffee, Cafe, Drink

If you’re seeking the best cup of joe in Sharonville, head to Alreddy Cafe. More than a coffee shop, it’s a quaint cafe, with a full breakfast and lunch menu in addition to an espresso bar. Family owned and focused on fresh ingredients, you can’t go wrong. Bonus! There’s a drive-thru when you’re in a hurry.

Lindsey O. explains on Yelp, “I LOVE this place! It's cozy, the food is delicious and their coffee drinks and lattes are top notch. Their seasonal pumpkin spice latte is better than Starbucks, but my personal favorite is a caramel mocha. As far as food, I love to treat myself to their biscuits and gravy. But I've sampled most of their menu, and you really cannot go wrong with anything. Highly recommend!”

Brick Coffee Company- Norwood

Brick Coffee Company is all about building a sense of community and belonging in their neighborhood of Norwood. Determined to cultivate something excellent in every cup of coffee they serve, in drip or pour over variety.

Alenna I. describes them on Yelp, “Just spent the last two BEAUTIFUL sunny days out here at Brick Coffee Co. Stumbled on this place while looking for a study spot down in Cincinnati! Literally my favorite coffee shop down here so far! I love that they have little wooden benches/tables outside, perfect for taking advantage of the incredible weather! The outdoor seating is unique in that it's a few steps "above" ground level, so you get a little birds-eye-view of the roads and pedestrians as you're lounging outside (in front of the shop)...I guess if it ever floods here, they'll be safe! Haha

Definitely try their Iced Lavender Latte (with almond milk of course) + a dollop of honey...freaking delicious. You're welcome. I need to try their other flavors but I can't seem to get enough of this lavender yet.”

Coffee Emporium- Hyde Park

In Hyde Park you have your pick of several lovely coffee shops including Coffee Emporium on Erie Avenue (they also have a location in Over-The-Rhine). You’ll find Artisan roasted, direct trade coffee, from an establishment with relationships from seed to cup. Try their unbelievable Cold Brew to go, including a bourbon Barrel Aged blend.

Rebecca M. on Yelp raves, “Coffee Emporium has changed me. I've always been a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato (basic) girl. I stopped into CE just to check it out and I left a better, more well-rounded coffee person.

I love all the cute chocolates that greet you at the door. I almost grabbed some of the cutest Star Wars chocolates for some kiddos I watch until I saw the massive cookies on the counter. They're huge!

I let them know it was my first time in and they welcomed me with a smile and showed me around the pastries and goodies. It all looked so good. I ordered a choc chip cookie and Iced Latte... while I waited, I browsed the cold items and found the most delicious looking sandwiches and salads. You can guarantee I will be back to try them both.

Anyways, back to the part that changed me: the Iced Latte. It was delicious! I'm so embarrassed to admit I use to love syrup filled drinks when in reality, a good wholesome coffee drink is amazing.

Lastly, this space is awesome. I love the front porch until I saw the back porch... now I love both! This is such a trendy spot to grab a coffee and sit outside. 

Awakenings Coffee and Wine- Hyde Park  


Where else can can you find two of your favorite vices in one place? Awakenings Coffee and Wine can wake you up or chill you out with your pick of java or vino. They also support the local arts community with exhibits, fundraisers, and occasional performances.  No detail is too small in their attention to quality ingredients from handcrafted wines and single sourced beans.

Andrea N. shares on Yelp, “Favorite coffee shop in town (and not just because I live on Hyde Park Square and can walk in less than 60 seconds. Although that might also play into it... ).

I personally love flavored coffees, but hate adding syrups and other artificial flavorings to my brew. Awakenings serve a different flavored coffee every day until 2pm (shoutouts go to Cinnabon and Blueberry Cobbler), and have a reduced price for those of us who bring their own mugs (check out as using a 'mobile cup'!). Make sure to get a punchcard if you're a frequent coffee drinker!

Noteworthy scoop: Awakenings also serves wine flights and has music on Friday and Saturday nights. A fun alternative from Unwind for those who are not on a date.”


Hyde Perk- Hyde Park  


Our Hyde Park recommendations are rounded out by Hyde Perk, the only locally- owned drive-thru in the area. Grab a coffee or espresso drink, breakfast, wine or beer on the go or head inside for the eclectic, rustic ambiance. It certainly reminds one of the coffee shop on Friends where it gets its name.  Did we mention they also offer chocolate and wine pairings? Sign us up. 

Shirley R. on Yelp raves, “Really enjoy this coffee shop! Most recent drink: The Nutcracker.

It's staff, drinks, the added craft beer and wines available and prices are great. But the actual coffee shop itself with the cozy & comfy feel is my favorite!!! I mean, FINALLY, a coffee shop you can actually lounge at on nice, large couches. They also have multiple decent sized tables for two if you want to "keep your posture" for a quick meeting or to study/work for a cpl hrs. Most other coffee shops have the most inconvenient, uncomfortable and crammed seating- not here. They share the restrooms with Aladdins next door and they are always clean. Free Wi-Fi with quick access and a cute itty bitty patio for the warmer months with Fido. If you look on their "pin-up board", several meetings for networking, language classes, etc are also taking place here.”

Deeper Roots Coffee- Oakley


We’ve found not one, but two shops in Oakley to enjoy a quality cup of joe. Deeper Roots Coffee has a second location in Over-The-Rhine, and roasts their own beans in West End. Their approach is founded in a commitment to sourcing and crafting quality specialty blends. Beyond coffee they offer unique lattes and baked goods to enjoy.

Lauren M. describes them on Yelp, “Between the delicious coffee and tasty menu, its chill aesthetic, and friendly service, I think I've found a new study spot. I've been working through a lot of reading and assignments these last few weeks in preparation for school starting, and let me tell ya, Deeper Roots is an awesome place to sit, buckle down, and Get. Stuff. Done. The coffee is simply delicious, the flavored latte choices are so unique, and you can tell when you take that first sip that a lot of time and care went into the cup of joe you're about to enjoy. This local gem in Oakley encompasses everything you want in a local cafe. Whether you're looking for a delicious espresso, coffee or tea drink, you're craving a sweet or savory pastry (I recommend the tomato Parmesan scone!), or you're looking for a change of scenery while you do your work, this neighborhood coffee shop is a must try!” 

Redtree Art Gallery and Coffee Shop- Oakley


Our second Oakley pick, Redtree Art Gallery and Coffee Shop, is part art gallery, part coffee shop, dedicated to providing a space where creativity and community meet. They proudly serve coffee from the local roaster Carabello Coffee, along with other roasters and seasonal drinks. Enjoy your beverage with handmade fare from local vendors like Maribelle’s eat + drink, Donna’s Gourmet Cookies, Grateful Grahams, Madison’s Gelato (seasonally), Firecracker Bakery, and Peace Street Bakery.

Laura T. shares on Yelp, “The coffee, the local art, the atmosphere...Love Redtree! They serve Carabello coffees here and a variety of food items also from local spots. Great for groups or for getting some Me Time. I could spend hours browsing over the art and just enjoying the friendly, chill vibe. They have great hours, and are open later in the evenings. Try one of the fun seasonal coffee drinks - how could I resist a Bourbon Maple Cortado?”

Anat’s Cafe - Kenwood


With the charm of a European cafe, Anat’s Cafe highlights gourmet coffee, fine pastries, and enticing gelato. This family owned business only serves locally made products including La Terza Coffee, and cookies baked daily at the cafe.

Jimmy R. describes his experience on Yelp, “My wife and I enjoyed an Artisan Vanilla Latte & Double Espresso, last time we visited - while the girls sampled more Gelato - ultimately settling on Cotton-Candy and Cookies & Creme this time - and they split a delicious warm freshly baked cookie - YUM !!!  This is a must try local Gelato and Coffee spot on the 2nd floor of Kenwood Mall #EatLocal #DrinkLocal #SupportLocalBiz #WayBetterThanChainCoffee”

Sleepy Bee Cafe- Blue Ash


The best cup of java in Blue Ash can be found at Sleepy Bee Cafe. More than just a coffee shop, the cafe serves breakfast and lunch. Inspired by the hard-working, community focused, efficiency of bees, Sleepy Bee is a gathering place offering locally-sourced delights. 

Sharmeela S. describes them on Yelp, “We had a great brunch this morning.  Got there about 830am on a Saturday and there was no wait.  I really loved the Greek Bee - especially because I'd never through to make an omelette with chicken, olives and spinach.  I usually don't like chicken as a topping but they did prepared it very well.  I also liked that it was egg whites only.  The roasted potatoes, toast, butter and jam were very good too.  My husband enjoyed the avii omelette also.  We both thought the coffee was high quality as well.  The bee cookie was okay but probably won't try it again.  I'd like to try more of their coffee options and definitely other breakfast plates in the future.  The parking lot is pretty big but definitely gets crowded and hard to navigate by even nine am.” 

The Main Cup- Milford


Recently reopened under new ownership, The Main Cup has the best morning brew in Millford. Regulars are raving over the new staff’s friendliness and highly recommend the weekend waffles!

Lindsey S. shares on Yelp, “This cute little shop is a wonderful find! The atmosphere is friendly, warm, and inviting with plenty of books and trinkets to shop from.  They make the best chai latte I have ever had!! Plus offer specialty flavors like Purple Rain. I highly recommend visiting if you are in the area!”

Branch Hill Coffee Company- Loveland


Branch Hill Coffee Company is a quaint and cozy destination for quality coffee, specialty drinks, or a light lunch. Conveniently located right of the bike trail, they also feature a drive-thru, for when you’re traveling by four wheels instead of two.

Louis S. describes his experience on Yelp, “If you're looking for that friendly local coffee shop, where you feel like home, then you need to check this place out.  I visited this shop when one of my clients wanted to meet here. This is definitely nothing like the chain coffee shops, the staff is attentive, always smiling, and really take the effort to make you feel at home. There are a lot of options when it comes to coffee, teas, and other beverages. They also serve breakfast and lunch items, there's also a nice little display of pastries. The shop is a little house on a corner, some parking on the front, but mostly all in the rear. The drive thru seems to be where they stay the busiest, could be because of the cold weather. There is a nice little patio, and a bike rack, I feel like this place is really popping during the summer months. I had a dirty, vanilla, iced chai tea, and a breakfast croissant sandwich. The tea was delicious, and the eggs and bacon in the sandwich tasted really fresh. I'm definitely coming back to try their lunch menu.”

Lookout Joe- Mt. Lookout


Lookout Joe are the neighborhood experts on all things coffee in Mt. Lookout. Born as Blue Mountain Coffee as a local roaster, before rebranding as Lookout Joe. They offer a casual, artsy atmosphere with loyal clientele.

Catherine B. raves on Yelp, “The smoothest coffee and absolute best service in the city. Spend any time here and Olivia (she and her husband own the place) will have your drink ready as you walk in the door. They roast on site and have every variety possible of whole beans. When it comes to the drink menu, they can make everything and do any crazy specific request like it's nothing. The place runs like a finely tuned machine on busy mornings and in ten years of going there I've never once seen a mad customer. That's saying a lot for a coffee shop and busy am crowds. Food options are great too and it's easy to find something for the kids. Lots of regulars know each other and it's a welcoming unpretentious crowd.”

Luckman Coffee- Anderson Township


Luckman Coffee’s goal is to “romance” the optimum quality from every bean. Dedicated to the art of roasted coffee, with beans roasted in small batches, you can also enjoy made-to-order food. With a drive-thru and kid’s corner, they’re they perfect spot for mom and dad to grab their morning joe.

Robert B. raves about his trip on Yelp, “If the fantastic coffee doesn't make this coffee shop 5 star worthy, then the amazing staff is! This shop has fresh coffee prepared with love and joy from the staff, who always greet you with a smile and won't hesitate to joke around with each other, giving this place a friendly warm feel. Walking through the doors you quickly get a feel like you're in a safe home away from home. I was an avid Starbucks drinker, but this place won me over instantly. My personal favorite drink is the Cincinnati Mocha, which has quite a bite to it. I highly recommend this to any coffee drinker who is looking for something new with a comforting vibe to it!” 

Lydia’s on Ludlow-Clifton


Lydia’s on Ludlow is a great spot to enjoy the day, get some work done, or listen to jazz during their Sunday Brunch. Regulars love the cozy atmosphere and incredible coffee selection, and a variety of food options for various dietary needs.

Sarah E. shares on Yelp, “First time here, so happy I found this place! Stopped in after a movie at the Esquire for some tea and to check the place out. Great cozy atmosphere, comfy couches and cafe seating. There's food, alcohol, baked goods, coffee and tea, live music- this place has it all!

I ordered a pot of Green Jasmine tea and a blackberry scone and was not disappointed. The scone was just the way I like it: not too sweet, flaky, just enough blackberry jam.

Plus the service was great. Would return.” 

Bowtie Cafe- Mt. Adams


Bowtie Cafe has something from everyone from coffee to cocktails and casual fare. They proudly serve the finest Intelligentsia Coffee and espresso alongside a delectable menu, organic teas, whole fruit smoothies, and classic cocktails.  

Tess W. shares her love on Yelp, “So, so cute! Bow Tie is a must. It's a great place to work, catch up with friends, and has a great selection of coffee and food...nothing like a good coffee shop with even better food. It's fairly new and nice, while still giving you that genuine coffee shop feel. Plus, their "color" is purple, which gives it a fun, modern vibe. Every time I've gone, I haven't struggled with parking at all. Honestly, I'm usually one of the only people in their when I go! But trust me when I say I've seen some regulars walk in and grab a cup on the way to work.

I went the safe route and got scrambled eggs + toast, but LOVED every bite. I recommend anything on the menu, honestly, but the eggs were cooked perfectly. In terms of coffee, I've had both a latte and plain black when I've gone and both were fantastic.

I've never been disappointed by this place. Coffee, service, food, ambiance -- bravo Bow Tie!”

Muse Cafe- Westwood


Before Muse Cafe, Westwood had little to offer as far as quality coffee beyond a McCafe. With great ambiance, reliable internet, and food options for various dietary needs, Muse is your spot for an authentic locally owned coffee shop experience.  

Dr M describes his visit on Yelp, “In from out of town and used Muse today for a de facto office-it was fantastic! Spent most of the day here and everyone was super nice. Had a grilled cheese+turkey panini, almond pumpkin spice latte (fantastic) and a local IPA over the course of the day. Fast WiFi, comfy seating, and a great selection of local beer (and non-local wine). Great cafe, highly recommend!”

Roebling Point Books and Coffee- Covington, KY

Coffee, Cup, Drink, Espresso, Caffeine, Cafe, Breakfast

What goes better with a cup of coffee than a great book? You can find both at Roebling Point Books and Coffee, “where everybody knows your name.” The friendly staff and tiny rooms tucked away with a surprise around every corner, offer a hidden charm you’ll want to revisit time and time again.  

Jazdine G. Yelp “This is my favorite coffee shop in NKY/Cincinnati area. Why, first the location is amazing, the feel when you walk towards the coffee shop feels like you are so local NKY/Cincinnati residents. Anyway, second, literally they convert the house into a coffee shop so it feels so homey like I came down from my bedroom and boom I am in the coffee shop. Third, they have a decent coffee. “

Ft. Thomas Coffee- Ft. Thomas, KY

Coffee, Cafe, Coffee Powder, Grounded, Aroma, Fresh

Ft Thomas Coffee is a fabulous family owned and operated shop, serving Deeper Roots Seven Hills Coffee, delectable treats and light lunch options. The atmosphere is bright and inviting, as friendly as the staff, with a play area for your little ones too!

Kyle D. became a believer on his first visit, as he shares on Yelp, “If you're in the area and need a good coffeehouse pick-me-up drink, this is your place!

As soon as soon as you walk in you'll get that typical small town, local coffee shop feel. A friendly greeting by staff while "she is love" - Parachute is playing softly in the background. They had a wide selection of your traditional hot and cold beverages. I had mentioned to the barista I've not been here before and wanted something not too sweet. I opted for the mocha which she said she could customize it to my liking. (Very happy about that! I cannot handle sweet drinks). The mocha is not in a syrup form, rather a type of cocoa powder, which for me tastes 100% better. 

My first experience here was spectacular! If I find myself on the side of town again I will definitely be stopping in at Fort Thomas coffee!”

As you can see whatever neighborhood you live or plan to move to in or around Cincinnati, you’ll never be far from a quality ‘non-chain’ coffee shop.

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