Here’s a local’s guide to the five must-try coffee shops in Portland, Oregon
I didn’t choose the mug life, the mug life chose me
Portland’s brewing scene isn’t just limited to beer. Coffee is a big deal in our community, and if you search for ‘coffee shops in Portland Oregon’ in Google Maps, you get ten pages of shops with a similar rating of four-ish stars.
Use these five starter locations as your foundation to build on during your coffee journey here in the City of Roses!
Clinton Coffeehouse (or K&F, affectionately)
I’m a little biased in this case, but I basically grew up in this coffee shop. I came often with my mom and brother, and then later with my friends in high school. Small and clean, they offer a fairly straightforward menu with a lot of options for adjustment. Prices are good for the area and the staff is quick and efficient. Best pastries in the case are the cinnamon roll and the pizza bagel, and I highly recommend their hot chocolate and their white mocha.
Case Study: Downtown
This is a great spot to get your inner ‘hipster graduate student’ on. It’s a larger open layout with mixed contemporary and industrial vibes on the corner of 10th Avenue, right by the central library. Half of the walls are windows out to the street so there’s plenty of natural light to crack open a book under. They offer the basics along with a specialty list consisting of creamier, richer flavors (think hazelnut, aged caramel, etc.) and prices are reasonable for downtown PDX. I recommend starting with a basic latte or chai and settling in for a relaxing afternoon of reading and sipping in the heart of Portland.
Coava is the ultimate spot if you’re looking to feel super bougie. It’s expensive AF, which luckily translates into it being delicious AF too. It’s got that perfect blend of minimalist and industrial in its atmosphere and has obscure magazines laid out on the counter. Staff is your typical twenty-something hipster who’s polite enough while still being nonchalant about everything. Highly recommend the vanilla latte or a good old hot chocolate. The pastries are bomb too.
One could argue that Stumptown started it all when it comes to the coffee boom here. Regardless of whether that’s true or not, I definitely will argue that the Division location of Stumptown is awesome. Staff is fast and nice and the atmosphere is cool. They even have an old functioning coffee roaster in the shop, which is always neat to look at. Prices are a little high but I think they’re worth it. Baristas there say people come back again and again for their cappuccinos, but me? Hot chocolate with whip. Every time.
Okay, so it’s not really coffee…but it’s still absolutely worth a visit! Tea Bar makes all kinds of tasty tea lattes, bubble teas and herbal blends to satisfy every hankering. The atmosphere is very cute, clean and simple with lots of white and pastels in the color scheme, and the staff is really chill and friendly. It’s a bit pricey but totally worth it. The pastries are to die for, and many of them have floral flavors. Try the rose croissant or blueberry cream cheese danish, along with a matcha latte or classic bubble tea.