The best neighborhoods in America for coffee

“Location, location, location” has always been a classic real estate term, I just never realised that it also applied to the proximity of coffeehouses to one’s home! Apparently, when looking for a new apartment, one can now factor in the best neighborhoods to find that ideal cuppa Joe — and some are definitely better than others (I might have chosen a different neighborhood in New York City had this information been available years ago…).

Real estate site looked at popular neighborhoods across the United States and used per capita and business density calculations to find the 25 best neighborhoods for coffee — from New York to Los Angeles, as well as some smaller (and unexpected) cities in between. I like that the list is highlighting independent, specialty coffeehouses (and in our current environment we need to support small businesses as much as possible).

According to the study, and quite astonishingly, Downtown East Lansing, Michigan is the leading neighborhood for coffee in America.

With its five coffee shops per only 600+ residents, Downtown East Lansing claimed the top spot by “out brewing” neighborhoods in known “coffee-loving” cities: Seattle, Washington (three neighborhoods), New York, New York (six neighborhoods) and San Francisco, California (four neighborhoods). Rounding out the top five best neighborhoods for coffee in America, respectively, are: The Ave, Seattle; West Edge, Seattle; Flatiron District, New York City; and Castro, San Francisco.

Interestingly, Rose Hill in NYC is ranked the 25th best neighborhood — I have lived in Manhattan for two decades and never once heard of this neighborhood, which evidently, is situated somewhere in between the Flatiron District and Gramercy Park neighborhoods. (To be fair, new names for neighborhoods in NYC are constantly popping up in the Big Apple’s lexicon. For example, I believe NoLiTa in Manhattan and Dumbo in Brooklyn didn’t have those catchy names in 1990.) Other surprise cities – not just the neighborhoods – on the top 25 list include Downtown Gainesville, Florida (14), Harsimus, Jersey City, New Jersey (16) and Short North, Columbus, Ohio (17). I would have thought that Lower Nob Hill, San Francisco would have ranked higher, but it’s #23 on list.

To discover the best neighborhoods for coffee, neighborhoods on were scored by business density (coffee shops divided by land area) and coffee shops per capita (coffee shops divided by population). Each score was weighted at 50 percent and combined to come up with an overall coffee score for each neighborhood. The neighborhoods with the highest combined score were determined to be the best neighborhoods for coffee in the quantitative study. Neighborhoods with fewer than five coffee shops and 500 residents were excluded.

Per, coffee shop totals come from commercially licensed business listings and may not reflect recent openings or closures (the findings were released in August 2020). Population and area come from the US Census Bureau.

To see the full list of the best neighborhoods in America for coffee (and learn the names of some of the best local coffeehouses), visit:

Happy apartment hunting — and coffee drinking!

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