As a Cleveland native, I have had ample time (19 years) to try all sorts of coffee shops all throughout The Land. The following list includes my top five personal favorite places to grab a coffee in Cleveland:
5. Koffie Cafe
Koffie Cafe is severely underrated. Located on a side street just off of West 25th in Ohio City, this place is somewhat hidden from mainstream coffee lovers. The shop itself is cozy and certainly isn't the biggest coffee shop in Cleveland, but I wouldn't go as far to say that it is small or claustrophobic. The coffee is relatively good, but the food that they serve alongside it is phenomenal.
Whenever I go to Koffie Cafe, I typically order a hot mocha. That's probably my favorite drink on the menu. This place also offers an outdoor seating area, and it's actually quite nice (although only accessible during the summer/warmer months). If you're looking for a relatively quiet place to get some homework done or catch up with an old friend over a cup of coffee, Koffie Cafe may be the best place for you. RATING: 4/5
4. Root Cafe
Located on Detroit Avenue in Lakewood, OH, Root Cafe offers some of the best coffee on the west side of Cleveland. The building itself is also quite spacious; in fact, it is the biggest cafe on this list. Chairs and tables are spread out all over the place, and there is even a small stage where music groups come to occasionally perform (last time I was there a jazz group was performing).
Since this place is located on such a busy street, it is usually quite crowded. This makes studying here rather difficult. And if you want to have an intimate conversation over a cup a coffee during a live performance day, forget it because your voices will certainly be drowned out by the music. What is the redeeming factor of Root Cafe? The coffee and food are absolutely fantastic. RATING: 4.1/5
3. Rising Star Coffee
Rising Star Coffee is a local Cleveland coffee chain. It is located in Little Italy, Hingetown, The Arcade, Lakewood, and has its main headquarters situated off of Walton Avenue. The coffee here is phenomenal and definitely one of the region's best. Also, the locations are great: both the buildings and the surrounding areas are both really neat and fun to explore. Rising Star Coffee, simply put, is absolutely fantastic. RATING: 4.5/5
2. Loop Cafe
Loop Cafe is located off of West 11th in Tremont and is probably the most underrated place on the list. I discovered this place late in the summer of 2017 when my friend and I essentially stumbled upon the location. Looking it up is quite difficult, for it is not even documented by Google Maps. This coffee shop is unlike any other local shop in Cleveland because it has two floors. That's right, you can take your coffee up one flight of stairs to the next floor. This is a great addition, and I wish more coffee shops had this fantastic feature.
Another quite unusual thing about Loop is that they sell vinyls. On the second floor stands shelves upon shelves of vintage vinyls. This quite cool because not many coffee shops sell vinyls, and it also really helps the aesthetic of the place. Loop's coffee and food are some of the best in the area, but I would recommend this place mostly because of its unusual setup and design. RATING: 4.6/5
1. Phoenix Coffee
Phoenix Coffee is a local Cleveland coffee chain. It has locations in Ohio City, downtown Cleveland, and Coventry. It is also the best coffee in all of Cleveland. My personal favorite location is the Ohio City one. I have quite fond memories of going off to Phoenix with my friends after a long day of school. It was also the place where I fell in love with locally brewed coffee. The coffee there is too fantastic to describe.
My favorite drink would have to be the mocha, which they prepare so beautifully. The baristas are incredibly nice people and always have top tier quality service. The building itself is pretty small, but the atmosphere and aesthetic really make the place feel like a second home. Overall, I have absolutely no complaints about Phoenix, and honestly, I would without a doubt recommend this place to anyone. RATING: 5/5