The list of all coffee lists: The Best Coffee in Portland
There are plenty of things to do in Portland, but first, you’ve got to find the best coffee in Portland.
Coffee is a commodity in the Northwest. It beckons us in our waking hours, morning excursions and afternoon breaks. For some, the aroma and the warmth maintain it’s lure into the evening, especially when the weather may turn stormy or cold.
Knowing a good spot to get the best coffee in Portland, when away from the home, is an important thing in the Pacific Northwest! We’ve curated this list of a best coffee shops and the best coffee around Portland, that we believe you’ll appreciate. And now, for the best coffee in Portland!
Nestled just below the West Hills off 21st street this local haunt is a favorite for writers, artists, and night owls alike. Coffee Time is the shop that Portland never talks about. For over 20 years this spot is something of a best kept secret. I’ve known many people who have lived in the city for many years and have yet to have heard of it. I was lucky enough to have some friends talk me into going one night just months after having moved to Bridgetown back in 2005.
This shop beckons you in with sidewalk seats, french doors that open up the front, and seating stretching back toward the rear of the establishment. Elaborate murals in the rear cove depict a story set likely during prohibition where people dressed in their best are fraternizing with each other at a bar.
There’s usually no problem finding a seat, unless of course it’s mid-terms or finals week. This place is open until midnight so students are able to take advantage of the free WiFi and a quiet space.
Coffee Time’s Coffee
The coffee is good. I cannot recall a single bad cup of coffee. They have a good balance between sweet and savory making them an attractive destination if you’re looking for something unique. Deserts here are delicious. The long bar boast of delicious pastries and food. It shows off the fact that this isn’t just a coffee shop; it’s a signature. The baristas are knowledgable and helpful knowing how to ask the right questions.
The main draw for me has been that it’s a good place to be with friends and have conversation while having a good cup of coffee. The atmosphere is prefect. It also perfect when you are alone but your want to at least be around people late a night.
We now arrive at 23rd Street which is a favorite for tourists visiting Portland. Off Pettygrove in the Knob Hill district stands another iconic Portland coffee shop dubbed Vivace’. Inside a Victorian style house built in 1893 Vivace’ is a fitting name which means “lively and brisk”! Founded in 2000 by the original owner, crepes and coffee are the cash crop of what makes up this coffee shop. Beautiful mustard painted walls with white trim and deep red curtains, a chandelier hangs from the ceiling lighting the room. There are a multitude of windows letting a significant amount of light in the main area. There’s a separate room off to the side usually more conducive to a quieter ambience from the bustle of the kitchen and overhead music.
Tables and chairs are plenty a caveat which makes for tight seating. This place is bustling during the weekend for all the “Brunchies”.
Nutella, syrup, honey, and oil crowd the shelves behind the bar in the kitchen. The counter is set inside a makeshift tile boarder. The chalkboard menu offers a plethora of espresso, pastries, sandwiches, and a surprising amount of crepe options both sweet and savory.
The food and coffee here is well crafted, delicious, and punctual. The ambience makes for a great place to catch up with friends or simply to find a comfortable place to sip coffee and read a book. It’s no wonder this place comes in high on places we recommend. Anyone who’s been here undoubtedly has great things to say about Vivace’, We certainly do!
There is something very special about Ava Roasteria. With strong influences from Italian design Ava stands out in Oregon’s Coffee City of cities.
(FYI-pronouced with a soft “a” – Ah-vuh. Similar to the “ah” sound in a-capella, not a hard “a” like Eh-vuh)
Most locations are large enough to accommodate a signifiant amount of traffic. Ava’s selection of menu items is broad. Pastries, desserts, soups, salads and sandwiches are all delicately prepared, making it more than a mere coffee shop and more like a cafe.
Ava Roasteria’s Location Details
Their locations are clean and bright while its interior design makes Ava a welcome alternative against a backdrop of danker and more questionable all-night coffee shops. While their locations look nearly the same on the inside their demographic is not. A broad span of racial and multigenerational diversity is a common thread seen in every location. Not only that but they have made an emphasis on rebuilding community within the suburbs of Portland. According to owner, Amy Saberiyan during a subcommittee meeting, their first coffee shop used to be a vacant and dilapidated fueling station, “an eye sore in the heart of Beaverton”. She follows up by saying, “Ava Roasteria is more than just an upscale coffee shop and bakery; it has become a community gathering place.”
This is quite true. On any given day Ava is see as a hub for students, families, bookworms, gamers, and coffee aficionados alike. There is little to no singular demographic dominating the scene. This is where I believe its diversity is a small, none the less, vital attribution of a larger balanced business model. Ava is strong and growing and in turn making their brand more accessible not limited to urban areas but in the neighborhood. With over ten years under their belt and even growth during a recession, their five locations leave little room for doomsday skeptics. A humble power (coffee) house.
Ava Roasteria’s Coffee
The coffee here is Fair Trade, and according one of Ava’s managers, is roasted in both the Beaverton and Orenco Station sites. It’s well roasted making both its use for espresso and house coffee delicious and is some of the best coffee in Portland.
Locations are open 24 hours and free 5G WiFi is provided.
Locations include: Beaverton off Hall Blvd, Tigard in Progress Ridge, Orenco Station in Hillsboro, Lake Oswego off Kruse Way, and their latest location is just off HWY 26 on Barnes Road.
There’s good reason why most of Portland (and surrounding suburbs) use late 19th to early 20th century houses for businesses. Symposium in Sherwood is no exception. In a city full of cookie-cutter and one-decor-fits-all coffee shops this Craftsman style Bungalow house is a welcome retreat giving visitors a certain home like vibe.
The spacious front porch as well as portions of the front yard provides seating during the warmer months. The inside layout remains much the same as your typical home. Hardwood floors, muted interior colors, and large windows. It just so happens to double as a coffee shop. Seating is plentiful both on the main floor and upstairs. Cleverly, they’ve even chosen old church pews for seating. Pastries and sandwiches are on hand if you’re hungry.
Symposium serves Stumptown Coffee, we think is a perfect choice. Due to it’s quality, popularity and that it’s local to Portland, it makes for one of the best coffees in Portland. The baristas are well informed displaying a craft for well made coffee without pretense. Although the menu is minimalistic showing only fundamental drink options (ie. “Latte, Mocha, Americano, etc) their offerings, however, extend to more lavish options. The baristas have some great ideas for drinks. I personally recommend the lavender latte. Believe me when I say it’s one of their most popular choices.
Although not open very late it’s worth mentioning that the upstairs tends to be much quieter which accommodates those who are studying.
Sherwood, Oregon is a relatively isolated little town about 30 mins outside Portland. Although close to highway 99W there’s no quick way to reach Sherwood. The highways are simply four lane roads (two lanes each way). Additionally there are a plethora of stoplights. Factoring in Portland’s relatively recently traffic increase rush hour now affects these districts as well. Despite the gridlock, there is a coffee shop in Sherwood we think is worth the drive. Set in an old two story house in the heart of Sherwood I hope to instill the desire within you to find yourself at Symposium Coffee.
*note there is another symposium coffee in downtown Tigard.
Other coffee shops with the best coffee in Portland
Sisters Coffee: Sisters Coffee in the Pearl is an homage to it’s flagship store in Sisters Oregon. With roots and a roastery in the Sisters Country of Central Oregon, Sisters coffee brings their down home flavor to the Pearl District. Much of the design is an homage to its flagship story in Sisters, OR. There are some cozy spots in the loft for reading or conversations, and large stone fireplace just steps from the bar. Check out their Roasters Blog
Insomnia Coffee Co.: Insomnia Coffee Co. brings quality coffee culture to the suburbs, featuring a comfortable vibe, live music and friendly staff. They have two Hillsboro locations at 3rd and Main and Baseline, along with a Tanasbourne in Beaverton. While at the coast you can enjoy their offerings at their Cannon Beach location. Insomnia features Dapper & Wise Roasters.
Southeast Grind: I’ve only been here twice but I was left with the impression that aside from being slightly overcrowded, the good coffee, wifi, and punch cards make Southeast Grind desirable destination in Southeast Portland. The barista’s are jovial and cheery. There’s a surprising amount of seating here and the environment was very quiet and peaceful.
McMenemins: Their house drip coffee holds it’s own. Simple.
Barista: Can be crowded but the baristas at Barista are well trained and helpful. There’ s a full service bar environment and lots of long wooden tables with bench seating.
Well And Good: A small location of 72nd Ave in Tigard. Well and Good is a great place for small chats and in and out stops.
St. Honore Boulangerie: Locations include Lake Oswego, SE Division, and NW Thurman. Get delicious pastries to pair with your coffee in this immersive patisserie experience.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters: Multiple Locations throughout Portland. The one I recommend is on the corner of Division and Southeast 45th. A full service bar for simple yet delectable coffees.
Please comment below about your favorite coffee shop and what you consider the best coffee in Portland!