Cafe Civilization

While the simple storefront at W. 11th St. & Kenilworth Ave. in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood might look simplistic — and while a curious foray onto the website of said business might take you back to the early age of the internet — Civilization Coffee is, in practice, and exceptional experience. The fresh smell of coffee grounds that greet you when you enter this restaurant. Yes, Tremont is a trendy area, but the artful simplicity of a neighborhood coffee shop is an art that has become lost in the era of uber-connectivity. And this shop seems to shy away from the gimmicks in favor of that one simple, comfortable experience. 

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La Colombe Coffee Roasters

There are 26 locations of La Colombe Coffee Roasters, but the Philadelphia-based chain has concentrated on the East Coast, with most locations in New York City. Often innocuous — one location is built into an old warehouse near Hudson Yards that looks almost indistinguishable from the outside. But it’s a perfect little dive to grab a cup of coffee with a friend or two and enjoy some pleasant Conversation. Unusually spacious for a coffee shop in New York City, this place has an extra allure in that they roast their own coffee here and serve it with a small menu of baked goods and other things. Easy to overlook, hard to forget.

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The Coffee Pot

Greenville, Ohio is about as small-town-America as they come, and this border town between Dayton and Indianapolis is home to a lot of wonderful experiences you would only find in a place like that. Its homely charm extends to the local restaurant scene, where charming unique concepts abound. One of the main coffee shops in town, The Coffee Pot has it all—good coffee, nice drinks, baked goodies and soups and sandwiches that will keep you coming back for lunch, as well. This is the right kind of coffee shop to spend the afternoon relaxing with a good book or conversation.

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Third Perk Coffeehouse & Wine Bar

46 West Fifth Street Dayton, OH 45402 937.223.7375 website Opened in downtown Dayton as a coffee shop serving the sometimes-overlooked areas near Sinclair Community College, Third Perk Coffeehouse has a selection of drinks as well as food and other things that keep people coming back.  With a concept that doubles as a sometimes – wine … Continue reading

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ZenCha Tea Salon

Now with three locations across Columbus, Zen Cha Tea Salon is a modern take on the classic, quiet and lovable tea house. Tea lovers can come to a place like this for a chance to enjoy nice drinks and tea time bites to eat while in a quieter and more peaceful environment. The salon is located in places that are typically very busy and crowded, but in each, the tea house is an island of calm, its drinks and goodies a real reason to come in.

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Stauf’s Coffee Roasters

A neighborhood coffee and tea shop with a few locations around Columbus, Stauf’s Coffee Roasters is a bistro with a specialty in roasting its own coffee and making its own tea. While that by itself is a rare thing indeed, the best part about this little coffee shop is by far the atmosphere at each location; it’s really a place that feels like a comfortable and friendly environment, even in the bustle of a city. The drinks here are made to be appreciated, as is the atmosphere.

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Ghostlight Coffee

The South Park neighborhood near downtown Dayton is rapidly taking shape as one of the hippest neighborhoods in town. While many of the major chain restaurants haven’t established a foothold along the Wayne Ave. stretch, its community bars and food spots make for a unique atmosphere. The neighborhood’s popular groundswell rallies around Ghostlight Coffee, a place where you can get a lot of creative brews and spend some time. Ghostlight’s popularity is well known among downtown dwellers, but even as far out as the suburbs, it’ll be hard to find a coffee spot more Dayton-proud than this one.

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Coffee Nature

Little local coffee shops are an increasingly dying breed, especially in a vibrant and younger town like Washington DC. Every corner has a Starbucks or an Au Bon Pain or some other big name. And while there’s always a crowd who loves those spots, there’s also a crowd who wants to go somewhere where they can really feel like they’ll find a unique, lower-key experience. Coffee Nature, in Tenleytown near where Washington and Maryland meet, sits among a row of local restaurants, definitely off the beaten path from many of the most popular neighborhoods. Still, it’s a pleasant and economical experience.

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Press Coffee

Right on the cusp of downtown Dayton’s lively Oregon District, Press Coffee is a little hole in the wall along Wayne Avenue with a small but interesting menu of different coffee drinks. It’s frequented most by the folks who live and work in downtown, and Press has a very distinct feel, with its light wood tables and small countertops where folks have a tendency to meet and read. I’ve tried the spot a few times and in spite of some online criticisms I have found it to be a positive experience.

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Zen Tea

Atlanta’s Chamblee neighborhood has a lot of different little secrets to offer, and just along the railroad tracks along Peachtree Road is an experience in tea of all kinds. Zen Tea isn’t just like every other kind of coffee shop, though, it’s got some real local spunk. The kind of place where everyone seems to know one another and regulars pop right behind the counter, help themselves, then find a table in the corner to set up a computer and socialize. If your tea fanatic needs anything, for just about any kind of tea, you will find it here.

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