America's Best Coffee Bars

It’s been more than two decades since Starbucks started serving designer lattes in Seattle, and America’s obsession with coffee continues to grow as a new wave of independent, boutique cafés opens across the country. The mark of a great café isn’t just about a well-poured cup. Coffee snobs might not adore the chicory-spiced coffee at Café du Monde in New Orleans, but the atmosphere and location of the open-air café overlooking Jackson Square—and the powdered-sugar-covered beignets—are incredible.

Toby’s Estate Coffee; Brooklyn, NY

Australian roaster, Toby Smith, who cut his teeth in Brazilian and Guatemalan coffee institutions plopped down in New York (with four locales). His first in Williamsburg, gives his rich, strong beans their powerful flavor profile. Opt for the signature Flat White with two shots of espresso, textured milk (sans foam) or order a cup of Brazilian Monte Alegre.

Abraço; New York, NY

Co-owner Jamie McCormick and his baristas make some of the city’s strongest and finest espresso drinks while chatting away with regulars at this standing-room-only café. The space only fits a handful of customers at a time, but there’s a sidewalk bar outside for lingering over a cortado and fantastically savory black-olive shortbread cookie baked by partner Elizabeth Quijada.

Boxcar Coffee Roasters; Denver

Denver’s coffee scene is booming and the four-year old Boxcar uses small batches of beans roasted in a German built Ideal Rapid roaster. They also helped develop Boilermaker to brew coffee at Colorado’s high elevation and low boiling temperature. In the tradition of classic “cowboy coffee” – the grounds are immersed in boiling water to extract the best flavor.