5 Ohio Coffee Shops We Love
By Nick Dekker

Ohio knows how to do coffee well: roasting it, serving it and experimenting with it. Whenever we travel around the state, we always find a local coffee shop to fuel our explorations. It’s an excellent starting point for the day’s adventurous. I love asking baristas where they like to eat, hang out and explore.

CLEVELAND




Rising Star Coffee in Cleveland

Rising Star Coffee
1455 W. 29th St.
Cleveland, OH 44113

Rising Star has three shops plus a roasting facility in Cleveland, and one of my favorites is the original location in the old Ohio City Firehouse (I love that whole neighborhood). Rising Star roasts their own beans, with a focus on organic coffees. Stepping into the shop, you get that lovely whiff of rich espresso, the kind of smell that makes you want to stay all day sipping cup after cup. You can certainly do that, but coffee also makes for a good starting point. I love beginning a day of exploring Ohio City – the West Side Market, Great Lakes Brewing Company, everything – with a shot of espresso from Rising Star.




Rising Star Coffee in Cleveland

Other Cleveland coffee stops: Pour Cleveland and Phoenix Coffee Co.

COLUMBUS




One Line Coffee in Columbus

One Line Coffee
745 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43215

The folks at One Line are the nicest. I’ll just start by saying that. Not to say that baristas at other coffee shops aren’t welcoming. It’s just that the One Line crew has always shown a genuine interest in helping their guests fall in love with coffee. I’ve stood near the espresso machine waiting for a drink and listened to baristas discuss the optimal serving temperature of milk in their espresso drinks, all with the goal of creating the best experience possible for their customers. That just heightens my love of their cappuccinos, their sweet honey latte, and their simply amazing Kyoto cold drip coffee. The Kyoto coffee is a slow drip technique that takes twelve hours to make; the result is an intense but remarkably clean coffee that’s served over ice, like a cocktail.




One Line Coffee in Columbus

Other Columbus coffee stops: Mission Coffee Co. and Cafe Brioso

ATHENS




Donkey Coffee in Athens

Donkey Coffee
17 W. Washington St.
Athens, OH 45701

Before we made our first trip to Athens ever, everyone suggested starting the day at Donkey Coffee (and then returning later in the day). It was a good thing, too, because it was a chilly November day, and a little espresso and hot chocolate went a long way. The coffee shop seems small when you first step inside, but as you explore you’ll find one room leads to another, with little nooks and crannies full of tables, chairs and couches for reading, studying, or just catching up with a friend. (There’s even an upstairs!) The back room of Donkey Coffee is a small music venue, so you can return in the evenings for concerts and other performances.




Donkey Coffee in Athens

Other Athens coffee stops: Fluff Bakery & Cafe and Court Street Coffee

CINCINNATI




Collective Espresso in Cincinnati

Collective Espresso
207 W. Woodward St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Tucked down a side street, Collective Espresso’s Over-the-Rhine location is a one-room coffee haven. We stopped in there on a freezing January morning, but the coffee shop was oozing with warmth and welcome. It feels like a little hidden gem in a neighborhood full of hidden gems. The barista asked what I was in the mood for, and that morning the answer was a cappuccino and a cortado (an espresso cut with milk). As I waited for the drinks, the barista chatted with sleepy regulars who lined the counters. I strolled around the creaky wooden floors and looked through the beans and coffee equipment. Then, with drinks in hand, we headed out for a day exploring the Queen City.




Collective Espresso in Cincinnati

Other Cincinnati stops: BLOC Coffee Company and Coffee Emporium

 

DAYTON




Ghostlight Coffee in Dayton

Ghostlight Coffee
1201 Wayne St.
Dayton, OH 45410

Ghostlight is a wonderful hybrid shop, one that appeals to both coffee nerds and the casual caffeine-seeking crowd. They pull their coffee beans from different roasters around the Midwest (including Cincinnati’s prolific Deeper Roots); I love how they brag on their roasters for producing such great roasts. The historic location in South Park heightened my desire to hang out there all day long, taking in the old storefront, the wooden floors and brick walls, and the artwork hung around the space. You seriously could sit there all day, sampling pour overs and tea and the occasional espresso, then taking in some live music in the evening.




Ghostlight Coffee in Dayton

Other Dayton coffee stops: Press Coffee Bar and Boston Stoker

Treat your tastebuds to more Ohio flavors – Find It Here at Ohio.org.

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