15 mins read

Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Coffee Shops in Pittsburgh

Welcome to the ultimate guide to the best coffee shops in Pittsburgh, a city renowned not just for its storied industrial past and picturesque landscapes, but also for a vibrant coffee culture that rivals any other. As local connoisseurs and dedicated explorers of the city’s ever-evolving café scene, we’ve brewed up a comprehensive list that promises to guide both residents and visitors alike through the rich tapestry of Pittsburgh’s coffee havens. From the artisan roasters pioneering sustainable sourcing to the cozy nooks that have become staples of their neighborhoods, this article is your all-access pass to discovering where a cup of coffee is more than just a morning ritual—it’s an art form.

Pittsburgh’s coffee shops are as diverse as the city itself, offering an array of experiences bound to satisfy any palate or preference. Whether you’re in search of the perfect espresso, a cozy spot to unwind, or a vibrant community hub for local art and music, our meticulously curated selections showcase the best of what Pittsburgh has to offer. This isn’t just about caffeine; it’s about culture, community, and the unique stories brewing behind each coffee shop’s doors.

As you delve into our guide, you’ll uncover hidden gems where the passion for coffee shines through in every cup, learn about the innovative practices shaping the future of coffee, and discover spaces that blend delicious brews with unforgettable experiences. Our exploration is more than a mere listing; it’s a journey through the heart of Pittsburgh’s coffee scene, designed to intrigue, inform, and inspire your next coffee adventure.

So, whether you’re a Pittsburgh native on the hunt for your new favorite spot or a visitor eager to taste the local brew, prepare to embark on a flavorful tour of the city’s best coffee shops. Let’s raise a mug to the baristas, roasters, and coffee aficionados who make Pittsburgh a true coffee lover’s haven. Welcome to your caffeinated journey through the Steel City.

Section 1: Pittsburgh’s Premier Coffee Shops

Section 1: Pittsburgh's Premier Coffee Shops
Section 1: Pittsburgh’s Premier Coffee Shops

A Deep Dive into Iconic and Must-Visit Cafes

Pittsburgh has its fair share of nationally renowned coffee shops that should be on any coffee lover’s bucket list. Here are some of the most iconic, must-visit cafes in the Steel City:

Tazza D’Oro

Location: Highland Park
Known For: Intense espresso, specialty coffee drinks, warm atmosphere

With its dark wood interior and tantalizing aroma of freshly ground beans, Tazza D’Oro has been a Highland Park staple since 1997. Their rich espresso drinks are legendary, crafted with care by experienced baristas. Don’t miss their creamy cappuccinos and intensely flavored espresso.

Commonplace Coffee

Location: Multiple locations including Squirrel Hill and Downtown
Known For: Direct trade coffee, light roasts, trendy vibes

Commonplace sources its beans through direct trade relationships with farmers around the world. Their baristas are meticulous about the brewing process, crafting the perfect cup to showcase light, fruity, floral notes. Minimalist decor and ample light give Commonplace an Insta-worthy modern cafe aesthetic.

Constellation Coffee

Location: Lawrenceville
Known For: Experimental coffee and teas, relaxed space, stellar bakery

At Constellation, coffee exploration is the name of the game. Their baristas blend creative concoctions like coffee-infused teas and fruit-tinged coffee drinks. With plush chairs, bookshelves, and cool music, Constellation’s space invites lingering. Their in-house bakery’s pastries and breads make the perfect accompaniment.

La Prima Espresso Company

Location: Strip District
Known For: Classic Italian espresso, cafe culture vibe, exposed brick interior

With its striking exposed brick and ivy-lined walls, La Prima will transport you to a cafe in Rome. Their battled-scarred espresso machine dates back to 1967, churning out classic Italian espresso. Sip your drink al fresco to soak up the bustling Strip District vibe.

Unearthing Hidden Gems

Beyond Pittsburgh’s iconic third wave coffee shops, a treasure trove of under-the-radar establishments awaits discovery by intrepid caffeine devotees:

Redhawk Coffee

Location: Oakland
Vibe: Cozy basement hole-in-the-wall

Descend into this tucked-away gem for smooth, nutty cold brews. Redhawk’s quirky basement space features cave-like stone walls dotted with eclectic art.

Convive Coffee

Location: Verona
Vibe: Community-oriented coffee and wine bar

By day, Convive serves up pour overs and espresso alongside fresh pastries. By night, they transition into a relaxed wine bar showcasing natural wines. Their shop aims to be a welcoming community space.

Adda Coffee & Tea House

Location: Shadyside
Vibe: Serene coffee house with global influences

Transport yourself to a zen coffee temple at Adda, where you can sip naturally processed Ethiopian coffees in an airy, plant-filled oasis. With its calm vibe and internationally inspired menu, Adda feels worlds away from bustling Shadyside.

Leche Cafe

Location: Garfield
Vibe: Artsy, LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood spot

Leche Cafe’s quirky, art-covered patio and inclusive atmosphere draw a diverse local crowd. Their skilled baristas pull silky shots of espresso to fuel creatives and community members alike.

Section 2: Specialty Brews and Unique Experiences

Masters of the Brew: Specialty Coffee Innovations

Pittsburgh’s cutting-edge coffee culture goes beyond your average cup of joe. Here are some shops pushing boundaries and showcasing unique brewing techniques:

Arriviste Coffee

Innovations: Cold brew on tap, nitro coffee, coffee kegs
Specialty: Rich, smooth nitro cold brew infused with nitrogen bubbles

Adda Coffee & Tea House

Innovations: Natural coffee processing, sample roasted beans
Specialty: Ethiopian coffees processed through methods like honey and anaerobic fermentation

Commonplace Coffee

Innovations: Inventive coffee mocktails and lattes
Specialty: Coffee-based drinks like the Espresso Fizz with coffee, soda water and orange

Constellation Coffee

Innovations: Coffee blended with fruit and tea
Specialty: Grapefruit Ginger Black Tea blended with cold brew coffee

La Prima Espresso Company

Innovations: Classic Italian coffee drinks
Specialty: Expertly pulled espresso and silky cappuccinos

Beyond the Cup: Cafes Offering More Than Coffee

Many Pittsburgh coffee shops seek to build community by integrating coffee culture with events, food, and culture. Here are some noteworthy places merging coffee with experiential offerings:

Convive Coffee

Offerings: Wine bar, coffee classes, community events
Vibe: Wine, coffee, and community space

Commonplace Coffee

Offerings: Coffee cuppings, pour over tastings
Vibe: Coffee education in a minimalist space

Constellation Coffee

Offerings: Rotating art exhibits, coffee classes
Vibe: Coffee house meets art gallery

Adda Coffee & Tea House

Offerings: International food menu, hookah lounge upstairs
Vibe: Global cultural experience with coffee

Redhawk Coffee

Offerings: Board games, open mics, workshops
Vibe: Quirky coffeehouse hangout space

Read on to learn more: best coffee shops in phoenix

Section 3: A Neighborhood-by-Neighborhood Tour

Coffee Spots from South Side to North Side and Beyond

Every Pittsburgh neighborhood boasts its own distinctive coffee establishments. Let’s explore some top coffee shops neighborhood by neighborhood:

South Side Flats

  • Café du Jour: Lively Parisian cafe dishing up croissants, crepes, andzos pressos

Squirrel Hill

  • 61C Cafe: Cozy coffee and tea house with rustic wood decor
  • Coffee Tree Roasters: Locally roasted coffee in a minimalist, modern space


  • Adda Coffee & Tea House: Global influences meet zen coffee house vibes
  • Big Dog Coffee: Retro-style neighborhood cafe with sidewalk seating


  • Constellation Coffee: Coffee house, art gallery and bakery hybrid space
  • Coca Cafe: Trendy spot for Instagram-worthy coffee in an industrial setting


  • Commonplace Coffee: Third wave coffee served in a relaxing yet modern environment
  • La Colombe: Sleek and expansive cafe with a robust food menu

North Side

  • Allegheny Coffee & Tea Exchange: Locally owned shop offering global coffee and teas
  • Gryphon’s Tea: Whimsical tea house with a wide array of quality loose leaf teas

Architectural Marvels and Cozy Corners

Beyond location, Pittsburgh’s cafes can be categorized by their architecture and ambiance:

Exposed Brick Charms

  • Constellation Coffee
  • Cafe du Jour
  • La Prima Espresso

Cozy Basement Havens

  • Redhawk Coffee
  • 61C Cafe

Urban Industrial Vibes

  • Coca Cafe
  • Arriviste Coffee

Minimalist Modern Spaces

  • Commonplace Coffee
  • Gryphon’s Tea

Quirky Artsy Spots

  • Leche Cafe
  • Big Dog Coffee

Airiness and Light

  • Adda Coffee & Tea House
  • Commonplace Coffee

Whether you crave the snugness of a subterranean cafe or the sleek aesthetics of a modern spot, Pittsburgh has a coffee shop to match your mood.

Section 4: The Broader Impact of Coffee Shops

Sustainability and Ethical Practices

Pittsburgh’s coffee shops increasingly prioritize sustainable business practices:

  • Direct trade: Commonplace Coffee and others directly source from farmers.
  • Reusable cups: Most shops provide discounts for using reusable mugs.
  • Composting: Redhawk Coffee and Convive Coffee compost waste.
  • Green design: Coca Cafe uses reclaimed materials, energy efficient lighting.
  • Workplace ethics: Commonplace Coffee focuses on inclusive hiring and staff benefits.

By supporting sustainable growing practices, reducing waste, and creating an ethical workplace, Pittsburgh’s coffee shops enact positive change.

Boosting the Local Economy and Community Engagement

As small businesses, coffee shops also boost Pittsburgh’s economy and communities:

  • Support local roasters like Commonplace
  • Host events spotlighting local creators
  • Create inclusive community spaces like Leche Cafe
  • Form partnerships supporting local non-profits
  • Act as business incubators, with spaces for remote workers
  • Drive foot traffic to neighborhood business districts

Through community building, inclusive environments, and showcasing other local ventures, coffee shops act as engines powering local economic growth in Pittsburgh.

Section 5: Diving Deeper Into Coffee Culture

The Art of Coffee Making: Workshops and Tastings

Pittsburgh coffee establishments allow you to refine your coffee making abilities through hands-on learning:

Coffee Cuppings and Classes

  • Commonplace Coffee
  • Convive Coffee
  • Constellation Coffee

Latte Art Workshops

  • Big Dog Coffee
  • Commonplace Coffee

Home Brewing Demo

  • Allegheny Coffee & Tea Exchange

Roastery Tours

  • Commonplace Coffee

Immerse yourself in coffee education – from tasting techniques, to roasting, to creating latte masterpieces.

Supporting Local Artists and Musicians

Coffee shops shine a spotlight on Pittsburgh’s creative talent:

  • Rotating art exhibits: Cafe displays at Constellation Coffee, Adda Tea House, Leche Cafe, and others showcase local artists across mediums.
  • Music showcases: Shops like Redhawk Coffee, Convive, and Leche frequently host emerging musicians and open mic nights.
  • Creative collaborations: Collaborative, coffee-fueled creative events draw together Pittsburgh’s maker community.

The symbiotic relationship between coffee culture and the arts creates a thriving incubator for local talent.

Section 6: Navigating the New Normal

Adapting to Change: The Impact of COVID-19

Pittsburgh coffee shops demonstrated resilience and quick adaptation to operate safely during the pandemic:

  • Contactless ordering/payment via mobile apps and websites
  • Outdoor spaces like parklets and sidewalk cafes
  • Delivery partnerships with services like DoorDash
  • Enhanced sanitization procedures to protect staff and guests
  • Virtual experiences like online coffee tastings and brewing demos

Thanks to flexible operations and a community spirit, coffee shops weathered immense challenges while continuing to serve.

Creating Inclusive Spaces

Top coffee establishments also work to create welcoming environments for all:

  • ADA accessible spaces: Ramps, wide doors, and counter heights accommodate disabilities
  • Gender neutral restrooms: Options like Commonplace Coffee ensure comfort for all genders.
  • Sensory adjustments: Some shops like Adda Tea House offer adjustments like lower music and lighting upon request.
  • LGBTQ+ positive signage and actions: Leche Cafe champions LGBTQ+ equality.
  • Diversity in staffing and ownership: People of color own and operate spaces like Truth Lounge.

Through inclusive hiring, accessibility adjustments, and actively welcoming vibes, Pittsburgh coffee shops strive to be open to all.

Section 7: Meet the People Behind the Brew

Stories from the Counter: Baristas and Owners

Pittsburgh’s cafe community extends far beyond drinks – it’s built from passions of real people. Here are a few of their tales:

  • Kayla, barista at Commonplace Coffee Downtown: Kayla honed her coffee skills while touring the world, visiting cafes from Italy to Australia. Her global influences inspire Commonplace’s menu.
  • Blake, owner of Leche Cafe: Blake established Leche as an LGBTQ+ safe space born from his challenges coming out in a conservative town. He takes pride in creating a radically inclusive environment.
  • Cara, manager at Coca Cafe: Cara became enthralled with specialty coffee after working as a barista through college. She loves learning customers’ stories while crafting the perfect drink to match their tastes.

These narratives reveal the care, creativity, and community driving Pittsburgh’s coffee scene from the inside.

Section 8: Your Guide to Becoming a Coffee Connoisseur

Health Benefits and Myths

Coffee boasts legitimate health perks, though some supposed benefits lack evidence:


  • Antioxidants that may protect cells
  • Enhanced focus and memory
  • Potentially decreased risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s


  • Helps you lose weight (caffeine only boosts metabolism minimally)
  • Stunts growth (typically safe in moderation for kids/teens)
  • Dehydrates you (caffeine has mild diuretic effect easily offset by water)

While coffee has advantages, moderation is key as excess caffeine has side effects. Talk to your doctor about healthy consumption.

Exploring Coffee Tech

Specialty coffee establishments integrate innovative tech to brew and serve:

  • Mobile ordering apps like Commonplace Coffee and La Colombe allow cashless transactions.
  • Pour over drippers directly shower coffee beds for precise extraction.
  • Cold brew taps serve fresh cold brew on demand.
  • Coffee pedals let you ride stationary bikes to create your own power.
  • Roasting software like Cropster enhances roast consistency.

Tech allows cafes to serve next level coffee while showcasing coffee’s incredible science.


With its passionate coffee community whipping up exquisite cups using cutting edge techniques, welcoming vibe where locals congregate, and steadfast commitment to positive impact, Pittsburgh’s coffee scene has plenty to savor. By supporting local cafes, we in turn support our community – and there’s nothing better than that first sip to get you connected. Hopefully this guide steeps you in inspiration to explore Pittsburgh’s diverse coffee culture. Brew forth and let the city’s cafes infuse your day with delight.

Call to Action

Join the Conversation

Share your favorite Pittsburgh coffee spots or experiences on social media using the hashtag #SteelCityCoffee. Tag the cafe and let your voicebrew heard!

Coffee Passport Challenge

Make it your mission to visit every coffee shop in this guide then share your journey on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Check-in as you caffeinate across Pittsburgh neighborhoods and discover new local roasts and cafe spaces. Let’s brew this town together!

0 thoughts on “Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Coffee Shops in Pittsburgh

    1. Artisan’s coffee in Bloomfield is a great spot to hang out at, especially if you’re an introvert. Plus the coffee is the best I’ve had in the city. Tyler (owner) knows his stuff.

  1. Black Forge, metal themed coffee house. I don’t even like coffee, but I dig their aesthetic and friendly staff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *