To determine America’s best independent coffee shops, 24/7 Tempo created a weighted average of user ratings from Yelp covering all the coffee shops included in that site’s “Coffee & Tea” category in the thousand largest cities in America by population.
We eliminated bakeries and cafés with extensive food menus from the results, as well as establishments that are primarily devoted to sandwiches, ice cream, doughnuts, or juice, even if they serve good coffee. Places that serve a selection of breakfast foods and a few other food items remained on the list, as long as their coffee program took precedence. We also filtered out drive-thrus and coffee carts.
The majority of these coffee shops are one-of-a-kind operations, but a handful have more than one location; we’ve limited our choices to those that have no more than five.