Thirsty Thursday: Coffee

Thursday, September 08, 2016

I’ve had a roller coaster experience with coffee. Never drank it, started drinking it in my early Chicago years (circa 2006-8), then quit cold turkey. Enter 2011. Started drinking a latte here and there. Then I went decaf (I KNOW, eyeroll) because I didn’t want the caffeine, but the taste of something else in the morning. Now with a 1-year-old, I dabble in a cup 2-3 times a week.

As I sip on a sugar-free iced latte from my new go-to, I thought I’d list out my favorite coffee spots in Pittsburgh and a few I hope to hit up. Note that most of my reviews are based on a vanilla latte.  If I’m missing out on the glory of a cup from your favorite spot, please do tell me.

Favorite Coffee Spots In Pittsburgh
  • Nicholas Coffee Roasters - This Market Square spot is MY JAM. I discovered it one day after a haircut (my salon is upstairs). I was getting my husband a cup of Joe and realized their prices were SUPER reasonable. The staff is SUPER friendly and there is also an array of fun snacks in the store.  And the best deal of all - they roast all of their beans in house. (BTW - Adam Levine is a fan).
  • Coffee Tree Roasters - My Shadyside go-to. If the vanilla lattes weren’t delicious enough, CTR offers stickers for your cup. SCORE! Coffee Tree had me dabble in a maple latte after it was one of their seasonal drinks and damn it’s good. They also have a good iced tea.
  • Espresso a Mano - A Lawrenceville stop, for some reason I always refer to this place as Cafe a Mano. Anyways, they have a good iced latte. Sometimes a little more on the sweet side, but still delish.

  • Commonplace Coffee - (above) You have to drive a little into the North Side to get to Commonplace (near The Mattress Factory), but it’s worth the trek. The coffee in this no frills shop is amazing and you can almost always find a spot to park. If you want to enjoy your cup outside, there is a cute little garden across the street. There is also a location in Squirrel Hill AND they also server Leona's Ice Cream (see Zeke's).
  • Zeke’s - Walking into the doors of Zeke’s East Liberty spot, you immediately feel comfortable and a little hipster. The lattes are great and you can pick up a Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwich (WORTH the stop!). Zeke’s has a dumpster drive through (you just gotta look) by the Target, which came in handy when driving around with baby girl.
  • Lili Coffee Shop - A nice little spot in Polish Hill. I wouldn’t recommend driving out of your way for this, but if you are passing through it’s a good option for a cup of brew. They also have brunch options!
  • Carnegie Coffee Company - (below) We tried this spot recently and it is adorable! The shop is located in an old post office and the coffee bar is adorned with old mailboxes!

If I want a regular, hot black cup of coffee, I think Eat ‘N Park has THE BEST.

Coffee Buddah will likely become our new neighborhood go to. My review is still out on this place.

For the record, I’m actually not a Starbucks fan anymore. I’ve realized that these other shops are SO MUCH better than SBUX. I’d also recommend passing on Dunkin’s iced lattes (too sweet) and Crazy Mocha (food is good, coffee is not).

Coffee Spots I Want To Try

I’ve been dabbling in Snapchat a bit with a theme - I only snap what I’m drinking (my name is WhatImDrinking). I never thought I was interesting enough to snap things and I figured my drinking theme went along with this blog name. Follow me if you want to see...well, what I’m drinking!