Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Various locations, stumptowncoffee.com)
Stumptown is as basic to Portlanders as Starbucks is to America, but it’s still worth checking out if you’ve never been. Their coffee is great, which is why it’s now available nationwide and even in many foreign countries. Our personal favorite is their cold brew, which is available in cartons in three flavors: original, coconut, and the super dee-lish chocolate. There are Stumptown cafés throughout the city, but we recommend the location on the bottom floor of the Ace Hotel. You can sip your cold brew while chilling in the beautifully decorated and Instagramable lobby of the hotel. What’s not to love?
Heart (537 SW 12th, 2211 E Burnside, 5181 SE Woodstock)
Heart has locations on both sides of the river, but we prefer the one in Southwest Portland. It’s a large coffee shop in a bustling part of downtown close to a lot of well-known (and rightfully so) restaurants. The staff matches its name: They’re all welcoming, friendly, and have plenty of heart. The decor is classic and minimal with white walls, wood paneled ceilings, and simple black-and-white art. Even at its most crowded, Heart isn’t overwhelming thanks to the high ceilings and a wall of windows. There’s cute outdoor seating and tables affixed to the wall. Heart features coffee from multiple regions of Colombia, Ethiopia, and Kenya, and we recommend picking up the sample packs. One is an introductory selection, while the other is fruitier and floral.
Upper Left Roasters (1204 SE Clay)
Upper Left Roasters is a great spot to grab an iced latte and breakfast on a warm day. The coffee shop is extremely airy, and on sunny days resembles an open-air café straight out of SoCal. A self-described “boutique café and roastery,” Upper Left Roasters resembles many of the trendy, minimalist shops lining the streets of Southeast Hawthorne, just a block over. The food menu consists mostly of toasts on locally made bread from Little t Baker (another spot you should check out on SE Division and 26th), and open-faced sandwiches on their miche bread. We recommend the spelt toast with housemade macadamia nut butter, banana, and sea salt.
Coava (1300 SE Grand, 2631 SE Hawthorne)
Coava was started by veteran barista and specialty coffee roaster Matt Higgins out of his garage in 2008. More than 10 years later, it’s one of Portland’s favorite roasters and cafés. Coava’s Grand Avenue location shares a space with a bamboo furniture maker, which makes this spacious (and I mean spacious) minimalist café even better due to the cool bamboo installations throughout the shop. One of the neatest parts of the café is its bathroom—but you’ll have to visit Coava to see what I mean. Their second location is on Southeast Hawthorne at 26th, within walking distance of lots of fun vintage shops, record stores, and boutiques.
Deadstock (408 NW Couch)
Home of “snob-free” coffee in Portland’s Chinatown, Deadstock also happens to be a great place for cool people and sneakerheads to mingle and discuss their favorite passions. But stop looking for a menu—Deadstock doesn’t have one. They figure you already know what you want, and they’re more than qualified to make it, whether it’s a mocha, drip, or cold brew. Plus, nearly everything they sell is locally sourced, from the coffee and tea to the chai and syrups. In-the-know Portlanders know it’s the place to be.
Barista (Various locations, baristapdx.com)
Barista has four locations, including downtown. Their first location is in the heart of the Pearl, surrounded by tons of cool shops and restaurants. Barista is one of the more popular coffee shops in Portland, especially the Pearl, so be prepared to wait during peak coffee times. It’ll be worth it, though. Their iced lattes are unmatched.
More Coffee Places to Explore
Case Study (802 SW 10th, 5347 NE Sandy, 1422 NE Alberta), Good Coffee (1150 SE 12th, 4747 SE Division, 2175 NW Raleigh), Kainos (6633 NE Sandy), Prince (2030 N Willis), Water Avenue Coffee (1028 SE Water #145)